2024-05-05 Weekly E-News

Elgin Portland United Church

WELCOME: The United Church of Canada is exploring just how welcome visitors feel when coming to worship at our churches. This week’s E.O.O.R.C. Newsletter speaks to it on the front page, aptly entitled “Welcome”.  An excerpt reads: “When have you experienced a wonderful welcome at church? How can we provide a warm welcome to those who visit our congregations?….. What are some practical steps we can take? Do you have a great idea to share? Would you like to read the welcoming ideas of others in our region? Please visit the welcoming web page and leave a comment. A selection of comments will be featured in a future newsletter.”.  The Newsletter is available on the E.O.O.R.C. website eoorc.ca under the News tab.

Personally, I feel we do well; however, could we do better and be more consistent? Probably. That falls on all of us, not just a few.

Sunday afternoon, April 28th, saw a fully packed community room at the Elgin Municipal Complex as a host of family, friends and community-at-large celebrated Carol Ann Jacob’s 70th birthday (yes she is ok with stating which birthday!). All enjoyed a wonderful time of visiting, mingling, sharing stories and of course eating in the presence of this wonderful lady. Congratulations Carol Ann.

On Tuesday evening, April 30th, the Ontario Volunteer Service Awards ceremony for our area was held at the Brockville Country Club.  In total over 1,600 years of volunteer service was recognized. Six EUC volunteers (the maximum allowed) were recognized.  Two recipients were able to attend the ceremony to receive their certificates and pins, and we picked up the other four to present locally: Michelle Knapp (20); Roberta McKinney (20); Sandra Smith (25); Karen Myers (30); Karen Earl (30); Jim Earl (30). Congratulations to each of you on your continued, unselfish, dedicated service to Elgin United Church and the community we serve.

Thank you to the three individuals, who shall remain anonymous, for your conscientious work of scouring the records to establish the 2024 recipients. Next year’s nominations will be upon us soon.

Bible Discussions Groups

All are invited to share lively conversations and warm fellowship to enrich their relationship with the Lord. Two Bible Discussion Group meetings each week. Monday evening in Portland UC at 6:30pm and the Elgin Community Room (of Municipal Complex) on Tuesday morning at 10am. 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.”Carelinks Canada

 Elgin United Church

May 7th – EUC Council meeting @ 7 pm

Joanne McLean remains in Kingston Hospital following hip replacement surgery. She expects to transfer to Smith Falls when well enough to be transported. Please keep both Joanne and John in your prayers.

The Untied Church of Canada (not a spelling mistake)

June 6, 2025 the United Church of Canada celebrates 100 years of union. Dr.Brian Arthur Brown has authored the book “the Untied Church of Canada” unfettered for 2025 celebrations.  This book is intended to celebrate the diversity and influence of The United Church of Canada throughout the vast reaches of this land.

The book lists at $39.95; however, orders of twenty-five (25) of more are $9.95. Let us look into individual purchases, council purchases, and other means, including partnering with Portland United so that our charge can meet or surpass the magic number.

I have the charge copy of the book, we only received one, and will share it with you to scan through if you wish. It is an interesting and enlightening read, and worthy of a prominent place on your bookshelf or coffee table.

Please let me know ASAP if you wish to purchase an individual copy.    Blessings…Clinton Halladay

An entry from the United Church of Canada Book Store reads:

Much like to the Confederation of Canada which preceded it, the glorious church union that formed The United Church of Canada was consummated by straight, white, English, male settlers. On June 10, 1925 there was no vote, no voice, and no participation by women, LGTBQ2S+, Indigenous, Black, and Asian Canadians (or even francophones, in the case of the church). Then in freedom from unnecessarily restrictive credal and social traditions, those in racial, linguistic, and gender bondage got “untied” during the following century, and share now in full participation and leadership.

After mid-century expansion, with changing demographics and smaller families, the United Church has now slimmed back down to its 1925 size of 300,000 active households, but is discovering that being leaner can actually mean being healthier in certain important ways. That “untied” church is now “an ecclesial machine; lean, green and keen,” implementing a Strategic Plan for 2023–2025, celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2025, and preparing for its next century in an evolving Canada.


              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.

May 14th – PUC Council meeting @ 7 pm

                     Portland UCW Meeting @ 1:30

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.

Volunteer Appreciation Event

Portland United Church Council


Devotional Reflection

May 4, 2024


The days of my life fly by. One month flows, the next comes before I have time to process what I have been doing.

But this week I was privileged to recharge my energy. I spent time with a dear friend who I believe spends much of his day sending out those good vibes that make others feel revitalized.

I also took time and did some reading up on becoming re-energized. What can I do to be invigorated and capture my earlier enthusiasm  for the work I love?

We are all pretty much aware that we often overtax our bodies in the physical sense. We push the limit on what our bodies can do. And that can be a good thing as long as we understand our limitations. Working towards a healthy body will boost our morale and strengthen us.

It follows that if we feel well physically, our mental energy may work better for us. I joke about the limited attention span many have today. ‘The attention span of gnat’ – what does that even mean? Building our ability to concentrate is a good practice.  Make sure you take the time for this energy boost.

I must ask this question: ‘ What is it that drains your mental energy? Perhaps your life, at this moment, is fraught with many happenings that you have little control of. Maybe job situations are weighing you down; family turmoil is always high on the energy-zapping scale; it could be housing, just making ends meet. And for some it may be arguments, or worrying about someone’s opinion. I could write a book, I’m sure, and I would still fail to give a complete list of what drains your mental energies. Emotions often control us rather than the other way around – so debilitating.

I write all this to you, my dear friends, to remind you that there is another energy we need to nurture – our Spiritual Energy! How to do we grow our spiritual energy so that when we are going through these events, we still feel revitalized in this gift of life we have?

Indulge my thought process for a moment. I work at the front counter at the Marina. Many times, a customer will come in with a ‘dead’ battery. Their boat is dead in the water without this, Explanations are aplenty – lights left on, forgot to turn off a switch, was not fully charged to begin with, water seeped in, etc. They come looking for a saviour, someone to fix it – someone to rescue them.

You know where I’m heading. Is your ‘battery’ dead! Have you forgotten to recharge your source of Power. Did you think that you could go forever on that one-time charge of salvation, and never replenish it?

Or perhaps your ‘battery’ is working at half power. You help others, begrudgingly, you are giving, you share, but your spiritual energy is low.

It’s time to tap into the never-ending source of Power. Refresh the page, restore the energy.

How? There are uncomplicated ways to do this. And I know you are doing some of those things.

Here is a refresher course from Scripture:

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Proverbs 3:5–6

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.

Romans 15:13 (NIV)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

As you work to increase your spiritual energy in your life, continue to grow through your study of God’s Word,  meeting with other Christians who give you encouragement, rely on your prayer life for guidance and strength, love one another.

Be energized. Know that you are loved.

Liz Church, Director of Pastoral Care

Elgin/Portland Pastoral Charge