Praying for the Whole World

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Mayday Comfort Bird

I think it was early October when we had a really heavy snowfall. You know, that wet, heavy snow so common in southern Canada, but quite rare in the Yukon. Anyway, we had such an overnight snow on the trees before the leaves had dropped off.  The effect it had was to weigh down the branches to the breaking point.

In front of our church we have a beautiful mayday tree (Asian bird cherry – Prunus padus var. commutata). When it's in bloom, it is a truly awesome sight. Sadly, one of the large limbs of the tree was so heavily weighed down by the snow that it broke off.  

Harris Cox, Fred Smith and Hank Moorlag cut the broken limb off and pulled another couple of limbs together with ratchet straps because they had split as well.  They hauled away the branches from the broken limb and then salvaged the larger pieces.  Hank took them home and cut them up on the bandsaw into 2" X 2" blocks, about 12" long. 

Since then, they've been drying in Hank's shed.  Now they are dry enough to work with and carve comfort birds. Comfort birds are small wooden birds intended to be held in the hand to bring comfort to those who are ill or are going through difficult times.

So, here is a photo of the damaged tree with an insert of the first comfort bird Hank carved from the broken limb.

Perhaps an appropriate resurrection story for today - Easter Sunday.

Posted by Hank

The Risen Lord

Jesus Christ is risen today, hallelujah!
Our triumphant holy day, hallelujah!
Who did once upon the cross, hallelujah!
Suffer to redeem our loss, hallelujah!

Hymn 155 Voices United
Words & Music: Lyra Davidica 1708

Easter Service

We were blessed with a truly joyous Easter celebration at today's service.

Here are a couple of photos by Harris Cox:

The Aurora Bells

Children singing "Everybody Gets Some"

Easter Greeting from Dr. Martin Rumscheidt

Dr. Martin Rumscheidt was with us at Whitehorse United during Bev's sabbatical, leading worship services and engaging us in workshops.  He sends this Easter greeting from his home in New England:

My Dear Friends, Beloved Sisters and Brothers.

Peace be with you from the One who raised Jesus from the dead; may the grace which is beyond what we may grasp bless you. I miss you! I miss you a lot! I miss you every day! When is Bev's next study leave?

On this Easter Sunday my thoughts are with you especially as I join in the Hallelujahs we raise to God today. With you - in your singing and speaking, in your listening to the music Barry, Derek and the choir offer to God, in your hearing of the Scriptures and the sermon - I rejoice in the good but mysterious news of the Risen One. And I accompany you - albeit in spirit and not, however much I wished it, in body - on your walk with Jesus and with one another in the ministry to which you have been called in Whitehorse, in the beautiful valley of the Yukon River, below Grey Mountain, and among God's beloved First Nations peoples. In spirit, take me with you.

I want to thank you once again for all the gifts you gave me, the opportunities you offered me, and for the stunning beauty of your countryside in which you wrapped it all up. I also thank you for allowing me to venture into your high schools and your college, the side trips to CBC North and the Whitehorse papers. I derived really deep satisfaction in working with you in our workshops; my old professor's heart leapt with joy over the opportunity to be engaged in those intense conversations we had together around the table and how you challenged me. It was wonderful and truly unique.

So, as I greet you fondly from my heart, let me conclude with my question earlier: When is Bev's next study leave? Or does she have to leave at all so that I may return rejoicing?

As aye and indeed affectionately,


ps: Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Good Friday

O Sacred Head Sore Wounded

O sacred head sore wounded, with grief and shame weighed down,
now scornfully surrounded with thorns thine only crown;
how art thou pale with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn;
how does that visage languish, which once was bright as morn.

Thy grief and bitter passion were all for sinners' gain,
mine, mine was the transgression, but thine the cruel pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Saviour, turn not from me thy face;
but look on me with favour, and grant to me thy grace.

What language shall I borrow to thank thee dearest friend,
for this thy dying sorrow, thy pity without end?
O make me thine forever, and, should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never, outlive my love to thee.

Be near when I am dying, O show thy cross to me,
and for my succour flying, come, Lord, to set me free.
These eyes, new faith receiving, from thee shall not remove,
for all who die believing, die safely through thy love.

Voices United #145
Words: Paul Geerhardt 1656, translated by James Waldell Alexander 1830
Music: Hans Leo Hassler 1601, Harmony by Johann Sebastian Bach 1729