2024-05-18 Weekly E-News

Elgin Portland United Church

Vicky Bedore Celebration of Life will be held in the Sanctuary of Portland United Church on Saturday, May 18th.  Visitation 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.  Service at 1:00 p.m. followed by light refreshments downstairs.

Plan to attend the 130th anniversary of Elgin United’s iconic building on Sunday, May 26th. Our grand Ole structure was dedicated on May 27, 1894. Rev. Shaun Seaman, whose local roots run deep and include much involvement with the church and community, is leading worship.  Cupcakes follow the service. Everyone is welcome.

Bible Discussion Groups

Reason to read the Bible #1: The Bible reveals God’s character to us.  Exodus 34:6-7 ““The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty.” We can build a stronger relationship with the Lord when we learn more about Him and live in a manner that is pleasing to Him. Learn more at the weekly Bible Discussion Groups. Portland UC on Monday evening at 6:30 and Elgin UC on Tuesday morning at 10am (this week’s meeting will be at the church). For info contact Jim at ccjimbarton@gmail.com or 613-328-4089.

Summertime is just around the corner, and that means summer fun for kids!  Christian summer camps are one way for kids to be kids during the summer as they immerse themselves in an atmosphere of adventure and the teachings of Jesus. That said, going to summer camp brings about large costs for families. For example, one week at a local camp is approximately $800. People wishing to donate money towards sending kids to camp are invited to make a donation marked “Summer Camp” anytime in the coming weeks. All donations will go directly to families to help offset costs. Please reach out to Pauline French (613-331-6876) with any questions.

Murder by the Book, a theatrical performance presented by Rideau Lakes Public Libraries, staring our own Graham Lowe, May 30th through June 2nd, at the Delta Old Town Hall.

Check the calendar at rideaulakes.ca for details and tickets. Tickets are also available at Library Branches.


 Elgin United Church

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.

Joanne McLean has relocated to Smith Falls hospital. Please keep both she and John in your prayers.

Volunteers urgently needed  for Elgin Community Garden program. If you are able to give a few hours of your time to help feed your community with fresh and healthy food, please contact Geri Baker at 613-583-7509. Thank you! Pat

Annual Memorial Service
Sunday, June 2, 2024 @ 2:00 P.M.
Elgin United Church
donations towards upkeep welcomed

              Portland United Church

Shine On Shine On

AS OF May 11


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

The Hoogeboom’s are holding a huge yard and garage sale on the Victoria Day Weekend at their home at 7 Cachet Drive, Smith Falls.  All proceeds donated to the Long-Term Care Home Maple View Landings fundraising efforts to improve the lives of residents.

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 18, 2024

I have come to the conclusion that life is full of surprises. Some are good, some bad, some spectacular and others, you could do without. Regardless, that’s what we live with.

Many times, as customers enter through the front door of the Marina where I work, they too encounter this – and I trust that most experiences are valuable.

Of course, there are always those people who insist they do not like surprises. They dread those special occasions when a family member ‘springs’ that already booked trip to the restaurant, when you feel like you just want to curl up with a good book, a bag of potato chips and a glass of your favorite ‘beverage’. But that will have to wait.

As I browse through the Scripture, I often encounter those moments of surprise: ‘What? Does it really say that?’ or ‘Where did that come from? I’ve read this passage a hundred times and I never saw that!’

And then there are those moments when you are asked a simple question and the answer, for the moment, eludes you.

For instance, In Genesis 6, we come across these people who are referred to as the Nephilim. Do you know what that means? So many times, I have read the story of Noah. Yet I missed this fact of these giant people who are mentioned. And when I took the time to look up some biblical history on them, it appears they have sometimes been called fallen angels, who tempt God’s people into sinful ways.

They are mentioned only twice in Scripture – in Genesis 6 and again in Numbers 13.

This is not the only surprise I have found in Scripture. I have learned there are at least 185 songs in Scripture, mostly in the Psalms. Did you know the word ‘psalm’ comes from the Greek word ‘psalmos’, which means ‘song sung on a harp’? Kind of makes sense as David, who played the harp, is given credit for writing this book of the Bible.

And I have been challenged when I found out there are 1,189 chapters in the whole Bible. That means if I read 3.25 chapters a day, I could read the whole Bible in ONE year. That is an astonishing fact! For many, reading the Bible seems like a daunting task. But broken down like this, it makes the impossible, achievable.

So many surprising facts about this precious Book and so many discoveries to make – a lifetime is not long enough!

Last week you were reminded that you are all AI – Awesome Individuals. And this week you are discovering you can read these Holy Scriptures in a year.

If I start now, and I live for a few more years, I may one day discover I have still only scratched the surface of this awesome Christian life I have been given.

Be energized.

Know that you are loved.



Liz Church, Director of Pastoral Care

Elgin/Portland Pastoral Charge