GREETINGS                                                 June 10, 2018
Provincial Election Day, this June 7, 2018. However it turns out, health care, education, the provincial economy and commercial climate, social services, infrastructure improvements, agriculture, supports for the arts, et cetera will all be continued with relative degrees of adequacy and inadequacy, even if the deck chairs in Queen's Park are shuffled around some. The nightly news we receive continues to be peppered with more anxiety and despair than with hopefulness, because that's where the media throws its attention. And for many, life continues to be a hard slog, a worrisome and fretful effort, something like Sisyphus still trying to push that big boulder up the hillside ... and for what reason?
People yearn for good news, for something to which to look forward,
for reasons to believe. That news, those somethings, and those reasons exist. They are probably more plentiful than we are aware of, but they just don't get enough air time or press. Faith and hope are the active atoms of resilience.   Artists often draw our attention to them directly or indirectly. Rod Stewart reactivated Tim Hardin's folksong from the 1960s about a jilted lover intent on moving past betrayal by finding "some reason to believe".   Some years ago, Bruce Springsteen also took note of people hoping against hope singing about several sad situations in which it still struck him "kinda funny... how at the end of every hard earned day you can find some reason to believe." And it's true, that often despite appearances and evidence to the contrary, hope and faith in human ingenuity and resilience and in God still being active in the world can carry the day and draw us into a brighter future.
This United Church of ours is one of those optimistic stories and projects, still intent on helping tear down walls and build bridges in human relationships, still persistent in calling everyone to live with respect in creation and help repair a damaged earth.   And, after 93 years since her founding, she's still here and finding herself staring in the face of some structural shifts in governance among other possibilities and concerns on the horizon.   Like many denominations, this United Church of ours has been depicted as "being in decline".   But, truth to tell, that growth spurt in congregations throughout Canada and the United States in the 1950s and early 1960s was a blip on the radar.   The baby boom years came and fed that influx, and then, a few decades later, they evaporated.   School systems, rural communities, programs for children like Scouts and Guiding, have all seen the same continual decline in numbers.   But, where are we now?   You might not guess. Someone in our statistical department has done some research, and they discerned that our membership and adherent population in this United Church of ours is pretty much the same as it was when we were founded in June of 1925!
Reason to despair? I think not. Here we are: a denomination intent on being a united and uniting church, a denomination whose aboriginal congregations are intent on remaining with us and rebuilding our sense of true partnership, a denomination with an array of not just ethnic congregations but a growing number of inter-cultural congregations, a denomination now with over 200 Affirming congregations and several Affirming Conferences, a denomination that is committed to creating inclusive communities of faith.   Here we are poised again in the early decades of the 21st century to be and become a beacon of hope, and help, and healing for many and a bright light for justice and renewal within our nation and around the world.   Oh yes, there are many good reasons to yet believe.

In our thoughts and prayers are Barbara New, Judy VanDuzer, Larry Webber and Patricia Bradshaw's grandson, Daniel. 

The flowers today are placed in the sanctuary by Brock Bedford in loving memory of his late wife Karen.



Music Sunday
This Sunday is Music Sunday and is celebrated world wide in many churches.  It is a day dedicated to local celebration of the music that enriches the life and worship of our church community, giving thanks for the diversity of our contemporary and traditional services.  We are thankful for the creativity and hard work of our singers, choir members, organists, band members and music leaders in sustaining a vibrant and meaningful role in worship.

Time Out with Jesus
Tuesday at noon in Brockhouse Park (Fiddler's Green and Wilson Sts.) Bring a lunch and share in a half hour or more of time for meditation and prayer. Should the weather be unpleasant, we will meet in The Gathering Place.
This Sunday, please support the Living Rock Ministries by donating food to the youth in the Hamilton Area.  They are always in need of pasta sauce, canned fruit and canned vegetables.

Rev. Dishers's Celebration
Sunday June 17th will be Rev. Harry's last service for us at Marshall. This will be a joint service at 10 a.m. followed by a light lunch in the fellowship hall catered by Frank Pierce. Please mark your calendars and join us to thank Harry for his time with us.

Rev. LeSage's Welcome

On Saturday June 23rd from 2 to 4 p.m. the congregation will have the opportunity to meet and chat with our new Minister, Reverend √Čtienne LeSage at a drop-in reception in the hall.



Joint Worship Service & Lunch - Ancaster United Churches
Again this year, Bethesda United Church will host a joint worship service and potluck lunch involving the various United Churches in Ancaster.
Date:  Sunday, June 24, 2018
Start Time:  10:30 a.m.
Location:  Bethesda United Church, 584 Garner Rd W
Bring:  Lawn chairs and a contribution to the potluck lunch
The theme of the outdoor worship service will be "The Whole People of God".  This was a wonderful gathering last year, as we enjoyed an opportunity to worship, eat and socialize together.  Please plan to attend.



White Brick Church Open House
On Saturday, June 9, as part of Ancaster Heritage Days festivities, the historic White Brick United Church will be open to the public from Noon until 3 p.m.  (Charlotte Steward will be present from 1 - 2 pm). 
The White Brick Church was dedicated as a Methodist Episcopal church on October 11, 1857 and continued in service until the union of all Methodist Churches in 1884.  Today it is part of the United Church of Canada and in recent years an annual service takes place each June.  Last Sunday, Frank Pierce played the pump organ and Marshall Choir sang at that service.  If you have driven by this church on Hwy 53 ( 99 Garner Rd E), but never had a chance to explore inside, this will be an excellent opportunity to do so. 

90th Birthday Celebration
There will be a 90th Birthday Celebration for Marion Stahn on Saturday, June 16 th , 2018 from 1-5pm in the Gathering Place.   Please e njoy visiting with light refreshments.  Best wishes only, your attendance is your gift!
Vacation Bible School
Registration forms are now available on our website or on the bulletin board down the hall.  It is in the mornings from July 3rd to 6th for children SK to grade 6.  The cost is $25 with cheques payable to St. Andrews Presbyterian Church.

Joy Day
Many of you have been asking about "JOY DAY" already.  That in itself brings me such joy!  All I know at this point is that it will be held on Saturday, December 8, 2018 at the Waterfront Centre once again.  Please mark your calendars.  You can contact Nancy Pierce at 519.304.3710 or or text 905.921.7882,  if you are new to Joy Day and would like to know more about it.