February 2017

Here is the February 2017 edition of Crescent United Church's newsletter to bring you up to date on the activities in the church.
Amalgamation Proposal Receives Overwhelming Support 
On Feb. 19 Crescent, Sunnyside and First United in White Rock all voted in favour of becoming one new community of faith as of July 1, 2017.   The 93% overall support of the Amalgamation motion was a strong endorsement from the three congregations.  It has been a long and good process to get to this place.   The three Councils and the Peninsula Core Group have offered excellent leadership over the past 3 years.  They ensured that we had many opportunities for conversations that helped deepen our understanding and trust.  We also had many opportunities to serve together in community ministry projects and of course worship together.  In 2016 we worshipped together 21 times.

The hard work is not over.  We are entering into an intense phase of preparing for the actual amalgamation.  Even though we have a plan in place, it won't necessarily be clear sailing.  We are entering into new territory and there may be times when we do not know the exact coordinates to chart our course.  So let's be patient and gracious with one another as we figure it out together.  If you start to feel anxious, remember to breathe deeply.  Most of all, remember how God's people have been guided throughout the ages.  Remember that God is faithful and steadfast.   Remember that we journey with God in love and for love.

You might want to sing, "Don't be afraid. My love is stronger, my love is stronger than your fear.  Don't be afraid, my love is stronger and I have promised, promised to be always near."  (More Voices, #90)
  Church Office Hours
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 9am to 2:30 pm;
Wednesday: 1 - 4 pm;
Friday: 9 am to 12 noon
Office will be closed on Statutory Holidays:
Good Friday - April 14; Easter Monday - April 17;
Victoria Day - Monday, May 22
In This Issue
Message from Janice
The season of Lent is a period of 40 days of opening our hearts to the Holy One as we look more closely at our lives, examine our attitudes and actions, and seek God's healing so that we may better reflect God's love and grace.   My Lenten journey this year will include a reconciliation journey from March 22-27 to the isolated central coast community of Bella Coola.   I am so grateful that eight members of the congregation will be joining me:  Val Austring, Marilyn Dyer, Linda Lee Henriksen, Victoria and Peter Jones, Jean Macdonald, Anna Paton and Susan Zwick.    We are going on the invitation of the Reverend Donna Dinsmore of the Bella Coola Pastoral Charge with the hope of building relationships with the two congregations she serves in the Bella Coola valley - Emmanuel United Church, a predominantly First Nations congregation, near the mouth of the Bella Coola River and Augsburg United Church which is further up the valley in the area known as Hagensborg. 
Hagensborg was settled in the late 1800's by a small group of Norwegian colonists from Minnesota.  They were informed about Bella Coola by my Norwegian great grandfather, Filip Jacobsen who was a collector of First Nations artifacts for museums in Germany and the United States.  When he first traveled up Burke Channel and North Bentick Arm into the traditional and ancestral territory of the Nuxalk people, he was reminded of Norway and so chose to make this beautiful valley his home.   After settling in Bella Coola he continued collecting from First Nations coastal communities.  Over 200 masks, totem poles and other items that he collected are now housed in the Royal BC Museum in Victoria.  I learned recently that the Nuxalk people gave him the name 'Klolkva' which means "he who takes or buys everything he sees." 
I long to be reconciled to this piece of my family history.   This trip is an opportunity to learn about the relationships that have formed over the past century between the European settlers and the Nuxalk people who have lived in the Bella Coola valley for thousands of years.   We hope that we might also learn how the current residents are living into reconciliation and perhaps begin to explore together the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. 

I am immensely grateful to Marilyn Dyer who has designed two liturgical art pieces that we will present to the Bella Coola Pastoral Charge.  I am also grateful to the amazing team of fabric artists who are working with Marilyn to create the communion tablecloth for the Emmanuel congregation and a pulpit hanging for the Augsburg congregation.    In addition to Marilyn, my profound thanks go to Helen Virgo, Betty-Lou Douglas, Betty Fjell, Vicki Warren, Anna Paton, Claudia Semaniuk and June Pratt for all their loving snips and stitches.   We hope to bless these two gifts during the worship service on March 19.
I've heard that other members of the congregation may be interested in making some sort of offering for this Bella Coola journey.  Crescent Council recommends cash donations that could be used to support the Bella Coola Food Bank.  About 80 hampers are given out once a month to residents in the valley.   Augsburg United Church will also be providing support to the Bella Coola Food Bank during Lent so this gives us an opportunity to partner with them.   Reverend Donna tells me that yarn for slippers, afghans, prayer shawls, toques, etc. would be greatly appreciated.   Look for the Bella Coola Box in the narthex for yarn donations.  Cash donations and cheques made out to Crescent United Church and marked Bella Coola Food Bank can be placed in the little wooden church offering receptacle on Sunday mornings.   Please include your name (and envelope number if applicable) if you wish to receive a tax receipt.

One more request please.  If you have family connections with Bella Coola please make a note of that on the flip chart in the narthex.   Those connections help us remember that even though we may never have actually visited this community, we are already connected to one another in many ways.  These connections will be a starting place for conversation with our hosts in Bella Coola and will undoubtedly help us deepen the relationships between our communities.  

Finally, please hold our group of pilgrims and the Reverend Donna Dinsmore and the people of the Bella Coola Pastoral Charge in your prayers as we enter into this new relationship between our communities. 

In peace and gratitude
Janice Young
Lenten Bible Study - Cancelled
The Lenten Bible Study scheduled for five Tuesday mornings at Sunnyside from February 28 to March 28 has been cancelled due to low registration.
Forty Days, Forty Items
Following along with our commitment to be a greener and more sustainable faith community with our "Let's Go Green" promise to use less paper, we are inviting the congregation to participate in a Lenten challenge.  At the beginning of Lent, Wednesday, March 1, we  encourage people to each day donate one household item no longer needed, put it into a garbage bag, and donate these items to a charity of your choice at the end of the Lenten season.
Worship News
What an exciting time in our congregational life!    Our decision to amalgamate means we can now roll up our sleeves to enter into the exciting work of becoming one body from three. We will carry on with opportunities to share in worship with our friends in the coming months. We plan to repeat our Holy Week schedule from last year and will hold services at all three churches. As well, we have additional Music and Meditation services by Thirdspace scheduled. 

Upcoming Worship highlights:
March 5      Sharing in a Baptism
March 12    Communion
March 19    Shared Service with Sunnyside and First - Guest Speaker: Mary Fontaine
March 26    Pulpit supply as Janice will be away in Bella Coola
   Worship Services for Holy Week
  Maundy Thursday, April 13 - 7 pm at Sunnyside
  Good Friday, April 14 - 11 am at First
  Easter Sunday, April 16
    Sunrise Service at Blackie's Spit at 7 am
    Easter Morning Service - 10 am service at Crescent
     (Easter Morning Services at each congregation
    will be held at the usual time.)

A Note from your Council Chair
We have voted and the answer was very clear from all three congregations. It is time to move ahead, to pool our resources and become a meaningful force - a new amalgamated United Church on the Semiahmoo Peninsula.
There are still many decisions to make - many very difficult decisions, but the direction is very clear.  We are here to do God's work, to care for the marginalized, the disenfranchised, those who we love, those who are part of our families and our world.
As we move forward towards one church in the Peninsula we need to continue listening to our members yet not get caught up in trying to solve every hurdle along the way. We must trust that if we listen to God's words we will find the solutions and a very clear direction.  
Lenten Lunches
Thursdays March 9 - April 6, from 12 - 1:30 pm.  Make the weekly lunches a part of your Lenten journey. The first lunch on March 9 will be held at St. Mark's Anglican Church, 12953 20 Ave.  See the poster or our website for the list of locations.  On March 30th the 3 Peninsula United Churches will be hosting the lunch at First United White Rock.
UCW Frozen Food Fundraiser
Marine Bay will be organizing a frozen food sale again this Spring.  Brochures will be handed out the first three Sundays in March. Delivery will be Saturday, April 8th in the Narthex.

Fraser Presbyterial UCW Spring Rally & AGM
Tuesday, March 7, 2017, 9:30 am - 2:30 pm
at United Churches of Langley, 21562 Old Yale Road, Langley.
Theme: New Beginnings. Keynote Speaker: Reverend Sophia Ducey.  For rides please contact Winnie Kowalewich 604-541-4674.
"Celebrating Spirit": 55th Anniversary of the National UCW
July 10-14, 2017 at UBC
Speaker: Ann Mortifee, Music: Linnea Good
The women of the British Columbia Conference UCW raise their hands and with open arms welcome all women from across Canada and Bermuda to come to BC, to celebrate together, to strengthen the fellowship that has kept us joined in spirit and in service for the past fifty-five years. Talk to Winnie Kowalewich for more information.
Thirdspace Music & Meditation Services
Please join us on Friday, March 10  at Sunnyside United for Music & Meditation. A light supper (FREE!) is served at 6:30 pm and we begin to gather around 7:15 pm.  We look forward to seeing you!
For more information email bruce@ourthirdspace.com.
Next service will be Sunday, March 26 -
Watch for more details.
Thirdspace NEW Sit & Stitch Program!
Tuesdays at 7 pm at Sunnyside United Church

If you are a wool craft person, and even if you're not, please join us on Tuesday evenings to share your projects, conversation, and a cup of tea.
Join Gillian McLeod in our newest program.
For more information email gil@ourthirdspace.com.
Singing Hope and Justice:
Jim & Jean Strathdee Concert
Saturday, April 29 at 7 pm
at First United Church White Rock

Internationally honoured song writers, worship leaders and concert artists, Jim and Jean Strathdee, through their music offer hope and encouragement with songs of love, justice and healing for the Earth.
A free will offering will be taken.

For more information contact Barb Gregg - 604-594-1262
Many Thanks
We acknowledge the ministry, caring and work of the following:
  • Peter Jones, Mildred Chang, Sandro Colasacco, and Leona Towers for their work with the Refugee Settlement Team.
  • Val Austring, Barbara Gregg, Peter Jones, and Doris Mowat for their work with the Peninsula Core Group.
  •  Dick Logie and helpers for arranging snow removal.
  • The Flower Committee - Val Thorner, Claudia Semaniuk, Donna Smith, Pat Logie, Val MacMillan, Leona Towers, Helen Virgo, Vick Warren - for the wonderful flower displays, both inside the church and outside the main entrance during the Christmas season.
  • All those who helped with preparation and activities of our Christmas season services
  • The Worship Committee for initiating Bring a Child to Church Sunday, and Teri Lydiard and helpers for organizing the Advent wreath making.
  • All those who helped plan and take part in the Women's Advent Service under the leadership of Val Thorner.
Sunday Lectionary Readings

 Click here to view weekly lectionary readings.

Family Album
Pray the gentle compassion of God be
with those families who have lost a loved one.
  • The family of Nicky Kirkpatrick
  • The family of Muriel Glover
  • George Searcy and family, at the passing of his wife, Anne.
New Members
We welcome these new members who recently joined Crescent United:

By Reaffirmation of Faith:

Bill & Joyce Cameron    Gordon Ford

Mary Hutchison              Norma Janzen

Victoria Jones                Patti Lawrence

Gillian McLeod

By Transfer of Membership:
  • Gillian Cole, from Mt. Seymour United, North Vancouver
  • Doreen Newman, from Summerland United Church, Summerland, BC
Important Dates to Remember
Season of Lent
Weekly Events: 
7:30 am - Centering Prayer
7 pm - Sit & Stitch at Sunnyside
  Mar. 9th - Apr. 6 - 12 noon  to 1pm
Lenten Lunches at Various Locations
Sundays, 10 am - Worship & Sunday School

Other Events:
Tuesday, March 7
UCW Spring Rally & AGM at United Churches
of Langley - 9:30 am to 2:30 pm
Friday, March 10
Music & Meditation at Sunnyside  - 6:30 pm Dinner; Service 7:15 pm.
Sunday, March 12
Daylight Savings Time begins.  Change your clocks!
Sunday, March 19
Shared Service at Crescent with Sunnyside & First.
Guest Speaker - Mary Fontaine; Blessing of gifts for Bella Coola
Soup Sunday after service (Hosted by the Nitelights)
Sunday, March 26
Pulpit supply (Janice in Bella Coola)
Music & Meditation at Sunnyside  
Thursday, Mar. 30
Lenten Lunch - 12 noon - hosted by Crescent, Sunnyside & First United Churches at First United Church
Holy Week 
Sunday, April 9
     Palm Sunday Service - 10 am   
Maundy Thursday, April 13
    Evening Service at Sunnyside United - 7 pm
Good Friday, April 14
    Morning service at First United Church - 11 am
    Church Office Closed
Easter Sunday, April 16
    Easter Sunrise Service at Blackie's Spit - 7 am
    Easter Morning Service - 10 am
    (Easter Morning Services at each congregation 
    will be held at the usual time.)
Easter Monday, April 17
    Office Closed
Other Dates to Remember
Saturday, April 29
Jim & Jean Strathdee Concert - 7 pm at First United White Rock
July 10 to 14
Celebrating Spirit: 55th Anniversary of the National UCW at UBC