“This is the day that God has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!” – Psalm 118:24
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As a Resurrection People, we are born anew each day, called to see the miracle in the everyday, that little bit of extra in the ordinary. We are called to celebrate each dawn as a gift given and each sunset as a day well spent in the building up of the Kingdom of God.
Today I write you for a very special reason. On Sunday, November 1st, the St. Paul’s Church will be celebrating its 183rd year! To make the day as memorable as possible, we have a number of treats to follow your Halloween outing.
The first gift that everyone gets to benefit from is that the time changes. Everyone will get an extra hour of sleep, so don’t forget to move your clocks back. Beginning at 10:30 a.m., we gather for worship, but it won’t just be us. To help us celebrate the day, our sisters and brothers of Wilmot United Church will be joining us to sing, praise and pray. During the service, as we shout with joy for our anniversary, our Children’s Choir will be offering their gift in song. We will also be celebrating the sacrament of Baptism with our young brother Cormac Murphy. Though Rev. Ellen Beairsto and I will be doing much of the praying and presiding for this service, we also have a special guest speaker that many of us know well: former Moderator of The United Church of Canada and Ministry presence in both Wilmot and St. Paul’s Churches, the Very Rev. Dr. Peter Short. We are blessed that he will be sharing the day with us. Following the service, if we haven’t been energized enough, there will be cake (I think I heard 2 cakes) for all as we continue to share in the celebration of this church’s 183rd year.
Now, most parties end with cake, but we are just getting started. In the evening on November 1st, the men of St. Paul’s are organizing an Anniversary dinner! Starting at 5 p.m., there will be a ham dinner with scalloped potatoes, baked beans, rolls and coleslaw, with a variety of pies for desert. Tickets are available from Cathy at the church office (458-1183 or from Ralph Simpson (459-8485) and the costs are Adults $25, children under 12 $5, and kids under 5 eat free (guess what my twins are having for supper)! As you munch away at the meal prepared and served by the gents of the congregation, you might also notice items along the wall. This is our Silent Auction and includes treasures of art, jewelry, china, crystal, service and talents of your brothers and sisters in this place. The goal is to raise $5,000 to cover the cost of the new screen system installed in the sanctuary. Our original intent was to raise enough money to finish payment of the new audio visual equipment, and through your generosity, to date we have raised over 90% of that cost, so thank-you! Any funds raised over the balance will go into the operating funds of the church. As we approach the end of the year, we do have a deficit, but as we continue to do the work of God in this place, we will find a way forward together.
“But,” you might say, “it’s only 183 years, why not wait until 185, or 190? Those are nice round numbers.” You’re right, they are nice round numbers, but every year that we continue to be a place where the Good News of God’s great love is shared is a year worthy of celebration. Indeed, every day deserves the same pomp and circumstance, but who could eat that much cake? Come, join with us for the day on November 1st, All Saints Day, as we give thanks for the days, years and people who have brought us this far. Let us come together and celebrate our path forward together with Christ. This is the day that God has made, let us rejoice and be glad!
Yours ever in Christ,
Rev. Richard Bowley