Praying for the Whole World

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Australia Day mates!

As I write this it's Australia Day, Jan 26th. From Nov 2007 to April 2008 I was in Australia doing a pulpit exchange there, and so I feel very close to that place and those people. I have to say that going to Australia was NOT a life long dream; the opportunity presented itself and I just said "why not?". I am so glad I did that. I was prepared to have a good time because I tend to have a good time wherever I go, but I was certainly not prepared for the way the people and that land got into my being. I traded churches with a woman from there; she came to New Brunswick and served my church while I went there and served hers. The Australian parish I served was made up of five little churches in the towns/villages of Ouyen, Walpeup, Underbool, Speed and Patchewollock. I LOVE THOSE PEOPLE!!! They were so kind to me,and so understanding as I somtimes struggled to understand what was being said. My first week there I had to ask for help so that I could decipher the messages on my answering machine! I'm usually good with accents but not that time.
The church was a cooperative parish between the Anglican church and the Uniting Church of Australia (the very same union as our United Church of Canada: the Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregationalist churches. Our union happened in 1925 and theirs 50 years later it was fascinating to see a younger version of the union at work)
I lived in Ouyen, which is in Victoria State, 5 hours from Melbourne. It is wheat growing/sheep farming country and they were (and still are) in the midst of a debilitating drought.
It is an experience i will never every forget. I'll tell you more if you want to know! I can speak for a loooooong time about that.

Posted by Bev

Monday, January 25, 2010

Haitian Disaster Relief - United Church Response

In response to the humanitarian crisis provoked in Haiti by the serious earthquake on Tuesday, January 12th, the United Church of Canada is appealing for donations to support relief and reconstruction efforts. The Church as already committed $20,000 to relief efforts by partners in the region.

Members of ACT Alliance (the network of churches and Christian aid agencies that enables global responses to emergencies) are already in place, assisting those affected by the earthquake. In response to the disaster, Canada initially pledged $5 million in humanitarian aid to Haiti and deployed the military's Disaster Assistance Response Team, known as DART. The Prime Minister has more recently announced that the $5 million cap would be raised.

How United Church People Can Help

  • Pray: Thoughts and prayers from the General Council Office go out to our sisters and brothers who have been affected by the earthquake. United Church members across Canada are urged also to pray for the people who live in affected communities.
  • Donate: You may make a donation in either of two ways:
  • Support the Emergency Response Fund of the United Church of Canada
  • Designate a gift for the "Haiti Appeal". Funds collected will be shared directly with networks in the region.

Cheques and online donations should be made payable to the United Church of Canada and marked 'Haiti Appeal'. The funds will be treated as 'designated gifts'. Please note: Designated gifts cannot be counted as M&S Fund credits. However, they are eligible for tax receipts.

Congregational treasurers may receive and receipt individual cheques and then forward one congregational cheque to the United Church of Canada. Cheque donations made through our local congregation should be made payable to Whitehorse United Church, and marked 'Haiti Appeal'.

At our Annual Financial Meeting yesterday, a motion was passed to contribute the net proceeds of this year's Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper to the Haiti Appeal.

A Prayer Suggestion

Let us call upon our churches to pray and to respond to this devastation, to bow and unite our hearts, praying for:

  • those who lost loved ones
  • those who are missing
  • those who lost their homes, church buildings, and businesses
  • first responders, rescue workers, relief agencies, church aid workers
  • hospitals, doctors, and nurses
  • all those evacuated

(Posted by Hank - with material from Sunday's Church bulletin and the UCC web site)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haitian Disaster Relief Effort

The United Church of Canada has today issued a press release on how the Church will respond, as part of the worldwide church community, to the results of the devastating earthquake in Haiti.

The press release can be found on the UCC web site at

The United Church of Canada is also making an appeal to local church congregations to turn their minds to how we can contribute.

I’m making this blog entry for the purpose of turning our minds to this urgent need. Comments are invited.

Posted by Hank

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The December 27, 2009 Church Bulletin

For those who may not have seen the bulletin for Sunday, December 27th., the cover featured another one of Harris Cox’s photos.

The photo is a winter scene from McIntyre Creek in Whitehorse.

Here it is:


Nice job, Harris! What a great way to end 2009 with your photo on all the Sunday service bulletins in United Churches across Canada - and to share a bit of our corner of the country with all those congregations at the same time.

Posted by Hank

Monday, January 11, 2010

Christmas Eve Pageant

The wonderful Christmas Eve Pageant is now up on the web site!
On the home page you will see the link 'Photo Gallery'. Click on this for the Photo Gallery viewer.

Here are a few tips for using the Photo Gallery viewer:
  • When the viewer opens in a new window it will display either a preview slideshow (with the first five slides of the latest album), or the 'index' page showing small thumbnails of all the albums.

  • If the preview slideshow comes up you can either watch the preview and then click 'index', or click on 'index' right away.

  • Click on the album you want to see, for example if you want to see the Christmas Eve Pageant click on 'album' over that heading.

  • This gives you a view of the first photo in the album and thumbnails of all the rest on the side.

  • If you click on 'Large', you can see the photo without the thumbnails and advance through the photos by clicking 'next'

  • Or, you can simply click on 'slideshow' and watch the photos appear full screen at 3 second intervals.

  • One of the options is also 'details' - choose this if you want to see the captions and text.


Posted by Hank

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy Socks

Bev keeps in touch with friends who don’t live in Whitehorse through facebook. Her own daily post always includes something she calls her “Gertie Project”.

She says, "It’s named after my mother who taught me to be thankful for simple things. Each day I list on line five things for which I’m thankful. They range from the grand (eg for life and for the magestic night sky) to the mundane (eg for the smell of coffee in the morning).

One particularly cold day I said 'I’m thankful for warm fuzzy socks.' Then, on a whim, I added 'so if anyone wants to send me any, I like funky colours, so here’s my address!'

THEN my friend Irene suggested turning it into a contest. People would send me socks, at a certain date I would choose the winning pair, keep those, and give the rest to the outreach van.

So that’s what we suggested. My facebook friends were invited to play my sock game. As the socks continued to come in (over 50 pair at the cut off date, with more apparently on the way) I decided that I would like someone else to choose the winning pair, and so the Sunday School children helped to do that the first Sunday of 2010. After much discussion, a neon pink pair with red pom poms was their choice."

The idea here was to pick the most bizarre, interesting, colourful, or even hideous, pair for Bev to keep. The rest to be donated to the Outreach Van.

And, the most popular choice - the pair of 'electric' neon pink socks!

Posted by Hank

Happy New Year!!

With the start of the new year and the new decade, it's a great time for new beginnings. So, this blog has been launched. We hope it can become a place to highlight events, to tell some stories, or share interesting snippets of information. And also to ask some questions and generate discussion through the 'comments' feature unique to a blog.

If you have any suggestions for other things that can be included here, or how our blog may be improved, let us know.

Posted by Hank