2023-10-08 Weekly E-News

Elgin Portland Pastoral Charge

This weekend we celebrate Thanksgiving. Sunday, October 8, is Thanksgiving Sunday. Thanksgiving is a time of celebration, gratitude, and giving thanks. It has deep historical roots and religious significance.  It means we are thankful, that we have an attitude of gratitude, and we are giving that thanks away without expecting anything in return.  As we gather with loved ones, perhaps over a wonderful meal, let us remember the true meaning of Thanksgiving – an opportunity to express our gratitude to God for His blessings and to cultivate an attitude of thankfulness in our daily lives. Let us carry the spirit of thanksgiving beyond just one day and strive to bring the world back into focus, one person at a time. May our hearts overflow with thanks and our actions reflect the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

Here is a poem I found somewhere, but I can recall neither the where nor the who. The message resonated with me, so I read it at worship this week at Lanark Lodge and decided to share with you today as part of a Thanksgiving message.

I asked the Lord to bless us, as I prayed today,

To guide us and protect us as we go along our way.

His love is always with us, His promises are true,

And when we give Him all our cares, you know He’ll see us through.

So when the road we’re travelling on, seems difficult at best,

Just remember to keep praying, and God will do the rest.

May the blessings of God fill your heart and home with an attitude of gratitude and thanksgiving.

Elgin United Church

Happy Birthday to James Campbell. May you enjoy your day to the fullest.

Many of our congregation and community neighbours are experiencing illness, injury or difficult times.

We pray for their healing, comfort, shelter and peace in the arms of our Lord.

Reminder to mark your calendar for a busy October with Elgin United:

    • Small Halls Concert October 13th,@7 p.m. featuring Mikhail Laxton at Elgin United. Tickets at ontariosmallhalls.com
    • Crafters & Vendors Market October 14th @ 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 300 Hartsgravel Rd, Elgin. 23 vendors to choose from.
    • Canadian Women in Song concert October 21st @ 7.p.m. at the Elgin United. For tickets on line go to eventbrite.ca   Then go to search and type in Canadian Women in Song and it will come up. You can even pay for your tickets and print them out.
    • Elgin Sunday School is starting on October 22nd .

Advance notice of a Gentle Persuasive Approaches (GPA) in Dementia Care education session hosted by Elgin United Pastoral Care Group from 1-4pm Sunday, November 19th at the Elgin Municipal Complex. All are welcome. More information will be shared closer to the event.

Elgin United Church Council

Portland United Church

Portland Chit Chat is open on Thursday mornings from 10:00 until noon downstairs.  Come and enjoy a coffee or tea and visit with your neighbours.

“Rideau Sewers were busy over the summer contributing their time & often various supplies to make a colorful array of beautiful lap quilts for the Perth/Smiths Falls hospitals.

The recipients include palliative care and cancer patients as well as those on dialysis.

Not a sewer!  You can also participate by contributing funds to buy fabric.  All proceeds go into making the quilts.”

Contact Jane Pickard or Joan Horsfall

Organ has been fixed and sounding as good as brand new.

Portland United Church Council


Devotional Thought, October 7, 2023

We have been in the full swing of apple pie making this week. And wouldn’t you know it, some great truths are found in this exercise of love, patience and flour covered tables (and floor, in my case).

Now, I’m pretty sure that even the least experienced baker will know there are some intricacies to rolling pie, filling them with the correct quantity of fruit, right amount of cinnamon and sugar mix, and then topping the whole thing with another layer of a perfectly rolled-out pie crust.

As far as the bottom crust, you think that you don’t have to be so fussy. It is hidden. And yet, the truth is, this is meant to be the foundation that holds the rest of the pie together. It is the support. And so, I watch as the ‘pie crew’ undertake the rolling of the bottom crust. Spiritually, this procedure is like our daily Christian living. It happens. It is strengthened by supporting ourselves with the reinforcement of Prayer, Bible Study, Worship. No one really pays too much attention, but it is there, sustaining us. Sometimes, the occasional ‘imperfect crust’ slips through, no one notices. Or you have almost completed the rolling and the crust tears and you start over. Or you patch it, thinking that will do. For a long time, we have that tendency to let things slip. No one notices – but you know!

And then I am utterly amazed at the different ways to peel an apple, core an apple, slice an apple. I’m quite sure that if there were 8 ladies, all cutting apples, they would all be different. Some like them thick, others thin, some small slices, others chunky. And they all like their way best. Until ‘Sheila’ comes along. And then they all fit into the grove and there begins to develop an acceptable slice for all. The effort of consistency brings everyone into the team spirit and the process continues. Spiritually speaking, differences are great, but so is consistency and teamwork. It doesn’t mean my way is wrong, or not good enough. It means, for this particular task, consistency trumps individuality. Occasionally, when we think of working together, we struggle with our way not being the way chosen. We want to quit, feeling snubbed. And yet, I love how Scripture has reminded us of the importance of getting the message out – Jesus saves! And while the delivery of the message may be slightly different, in the end, it is the same clear message – Jesus saves!

Let’s not forget the flavour in the pies! Isn’t it incredible, as the pie begins to bake and the aroma fills the air. Those staggeringly wonderful, ‘sweet people’, got the recipe correct. Lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon. And perhaps even a secret ingredient or two. No doubt about it, key ingredients, all of them. Those who add these are the compliment to the success of the pie. And I would say, spiritually, this is so needed as we build each other up. Sour does not cut it!

This is my favorite part – those making the top crust. I have watched as the little cuts and indents take shape on top of a pie. Some have crafted their art of décor in that top shell. Flowers, chevrons, snowflakes. And then there are some, like mine, a knife cut, or some fork punctures. This is where differences can shine through. The little punctures are necessary for the steam to escape. But who is to say how it comes about. The free thinkers, adding their expertise. All doing as is required, just in a slightly, distinctive way. Their ability to give uniqueness to the product at hand. Yes, we need them in the church. They allow us to see outside the box, new ideas, capture our imagination. I praise God for those in the church who help us to grow in many different ways.

And we come to the finale. The protectors and instructors. Just before the pie is put into the freezer, it is bagged. This part of the team carries a big responsibility. They prevent the pies from becoming freezer-burned. And they provide instruction on the cooking. Without this step in the process, all the earlier work would be for naught. I give thanks to God for all those within the church who take on those responsibilities. We are blessed to have them among us.

Every job, every person has a place in the church. Only as we work together will we discover more about the building up of each other. The church is meant to be a team. And as you eat your pie, remember this reflection and give thanks to God.

Be blessed and refreshed this day.

Liz Church

Director of Pastoral Care

Elgin/Portland Pastoral Charge