2024-04-07 Weekly E-News

Elgin Portland United Church

This message is an excerpt from my Easter worship at Lanark Lodge. It is the second part of my “Who Cares” message shared last week. May it resonate with you…Clinton Halladay

This is not the season of the year when we normally think of parties. Parties we associate with Christmas or New Year or celebrating an event like a birthday, wedding or retirement.

Yet in the lives of followers of Christ, this is the party season. When Jesus rose from the dead and exited the tomb, nobody was sitting by the graveside, standing by the rock, or even hiding nearby in the bushes. And God — as He often does because of our dullness and disbelief — came up on their blind side. Hope slipped in and surprised them.

No wonder Easter is the high-water mark of the Christian year. No wonder churches are crowded Easter Sunday. What a reason to celebrate! What a party!  And look at the guest list! God is so extravagant he invites everybody to the party. You would think God would be a bit more selective, but we are evidence that God will invite anybody.  The party was last week. That was Easter.  Resurrection, the party day, has come and gone.  Have you ever been late for a party?

Today is like coming late to the party. We recall some of the excitement of last week, but we are missing the enthusiasm, the swell of emotion, the elation of fellow worshipers.

All the people in Jesus’ life were late to the party.   None of them had actually seen the resurrection.  None of them witnessed the stone roll away. None of them saw Jesus exit the tomb. They had heard the reports about the empty tomb; a couple of them had seen a mysterious stranger on the road to Emmaus, who appeared to be Jesus. Things were now quickly returning to normal.

It can be so easy for Easter to be a moment in time and not a moment that changes time. Our experience with Christ should change our lives. We shouldn’t experience the resurrection and then just go back to our day-to-day lives unchanged. Life should be different because of the grace of Christ. Did Easter change you, or are you back to the daily grind? Jesus wants more from us than to just experience the joy of the resurrection – He wants us to live changed lives!”

May it be so.


Young at Heart Breakfast Club.

The YAHBC next meeting will be Thursday the 18th of April at the usual time and place. More information coming closer to the date.

The folks that come enjoy themselves. If you haven’t come yet come and join us.  Ted

Bible Discussions Groups

All are welcome to share the warm fellowship and lively Bible discussions at our weekly Bible discussion groups. The Portland meeting is 6:30 pm at the church on Monday Evening and the Elgin meeting for this week will be at the Elgin Municipal Complex Community Room at 10 am. Our current readings and discussion are on the Apostle Paul’s letters to the Galatians and Ephesians. Any and all questions are entertained. For info contact Jim at ccjimbarton@gmail.com or 613-328-4089.

John 17:3 “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

 Elgin United Church

Barb Rowat is now home and according to Jim is doing very well. I’m sure both Barb and Jim would welcome you contacting them.

June Smith continues to reside at VanHorne Manner in Smiths Falls. She is enjoying the social environment and no cooking or dishes. June appreciates hearing about local activities of church and community.

“We are called to be the Church:
to celebrate God’s presence,
to live with respect in Creation,
to love and serve others..”

from UCC ‘A New Creed’

On Sunday, April 21 Elgin United has a wonderful opportunity to collaborate in community service, and to act as stewards of Creation.

Instead of our regular service that day, we will be partnering with St. Luke’s parish and Country Roads Community Health Centre (CRCHC) for an Earth Day event at the Elgin community centre.

We are invited to join St. Luke’s for a joint service led by Rev. Trish at 11 a.m.

Following worship, we will be serving a community lunch together, and CRCHC will present information on their programs that are available to the community.

To wrap up the afternoon, the film “Kiss the Earth” will be shown, and free trees will be given out to members of the community for planting.

Several loaves of sandwiches and crock pots of soup will be needed. If you can contribute, please sign up on the sheet at church, or contact Pat: coatsworth.greenhorn@gmail.com

All members of EPPC and the community are invited and welcome!

Elgin United Church Council

Portland United Church

As always, you are invited to drop in weekly on Thursdays to Chit Chat, downstairs between 10:30 and 12:00 noon.

Sylvia French is currently receiving naturopathic treatments for recently diagnosed liver cancer. Please remember her in your prayers.

Please keep the Seward family and close friends in our prayers. 

Cheryl Stoddard is now residing at Hilltop Manor in Merrickville.  Please remember Cliff and Cheryl in your prayers.

Thursday, April 11th is the UCW AGM in Carleton Place at Zion United Church beginning at 9:30 a.m.  Rev. Rodney (former minister at Elgin/Portland United) is the guest speaker.  If you would like to join us at this meeting, please contact Connie Cochran at 613-220-7914 to participate in a carpool.  Cost is $20.00 for lunch and snacks.  A donation to the Food Bank would be appreciated.

Several religious books and children videos’ have been donated to the Portland United Church library.  Please check them out and borrow them as you wish.

Looking for a pleasant activity for a Sunday afternoon?  The Bells of St. Paul’s, and guests Don McLean, Brad Mills, and High Octane are pleased to invite you to Perth on Sunday, April 21st for this lovely afternoon filled with wonderful music.  This community bell choir welcomes ringers from the wider community, including Jane Pickard and Jan Haskin of Portland. We do hope you will join us!

An advance planning event:

This is a notice of the second annual ecumenical worship service and potluck event held at Bethel United Church.  Last year, we had a lovely time with about 45 people with 7 different churches represented.  The sentiment “we should do this more often” was heard many times.

So, we are!

Bethel United Church would like to invite you to be part of this on July 7 beginning at 4:30 PM.  We will have an informal worship service, that I hope all of you can participate in, and it will be followed by a ‘true’ potluck supper.  Last year the tables were groaning with food!!!  I’m considering using Matthew 18:30 “Where 2 or 3 are gathered….” and that we can specifically address rural and small church issues.

Portland United Church Council

Devotional Reflection

April 6, 2024

When I consider all the things I am grateful for, one that comes to mind is in my car – the amazing GPS system. It has saved me countless hours of travel and frustration, especially when I drive into the Big City! She talks to me and tells me to turn right, or left; how many more stoplights before the next turn, what lane to use to exit off the highway. She even reminds me of red-light cameras that are ahead, and speed cautions. She keeps me in line. That is, if I remember to turn her on.

This morning, as I travelled to Brockville, I was confident I knew where I was going so I silenced her for this trip. I had even left myself enough time to reach my destination! And then it happens.

I make my left-hand turn, drive down the street and come face to face with a  ‘closed road’ sign. No problem, I turn right and then left, drive down a few streets and come back to where I needed to be! To my dismay, the building I was looking for, was no where to be seen. Now how could that be. I had been there just last month. I’m sure it must be there.

That’s when I take out my trusty GPS! Lo and behold – I was on the wrong street. Central Avenue sounds like Front Avenue, right? NOT! My mind registered Central Avenue – the place I went to School for 13 years. A glitch in my thought processes (seems to happen a little more often these days)!

In the end, I was only a few streets off and found my way to my appointment with 1 minute to spare!

Life is like that sometimes. We feel we are getting along famously. We head out and before long we are tangled up and confused, wondering where we went wrong. It happens.

I know better than to rely on my own resources when there is so much guidance available to me. Why do I persist on struggling. You see, even this morning, I was unwilling to admit defeat, until I had totally got turned around. East, west, north, south began to seem the same. I did not even look at the compass setting in my car. So many ways given to help me, but I missed taking them.

I have been reading Scripture since I was a little girl. I can recite verse after verse of God’s words and God’s directions Yet, I still want to prove I can do it on my own. That stubborn streak has sometimes been called persistence, perseverance, endurance, dedication, devotion. And all those things may be true.

But I need to focus on a truth about myself – sometimes it is downright determination to do things my way.

Trouble begins to brew when I rely on myself. I could have just as easily said –‘Thank you Lord for this GPS system this morning. I will turn it on and follow it.’

And in spiritual talk we also need to say: “Thank you Lord, for Your guidance, for Your steadfast love. Help me to come daily to You, ask for You to walk with me and believe, by faith, that You are The Way.

Know that you are loved.

Liz Church, Director of Pastoral Care

Elgin/Portland Pastoral Charge