SHEILA’S THOUGHTS

Yeah tho I walk through the valley of the shadow… Thoughts from June 17th 2018

Father’s Day was observed at ENUC on Sunday June 17th. Our Sunday School children learned about Bible Dads and made a craft for their dads and father figures.

Pastor Katie continued our series on Psalm 23, this week focusing on Psalm 23 and its relation to Fatherhood. In Psalm 23 God is seen as our Shepherd but also our Father we know this because a Father is like a Shepherd who helps keep us safe from dangers. A shepherd and Father guide us through dangers that lie ahead (through the valley of the shadow) and the GOOD Father (God in heaven) knows the outcome of the valley we are in and will never lead us.

A shepherd (and a Father) is always ready to defend his flock, always has a hand ready on his rod but also knows that just reaching for his rod will keep the danger at bay and his flock in line. A good father has no need for violence, only guiding love and protection. Sometimes we may become annoyed and take our Father for granted but he is always there and always aware of the dangers that lie ahead and continually acts as our guide no matter what.

Pastor Katie reminded us that God our Father is like:

“A Shepherd who leads us, restores us, leads us in the right direction, walks with us through the valleys, never leaves us, makes us feel secure, prepares a table for us, revives our soul, follows us with goodness and mercy and… invites us in to dwell with him in HIS house.. forever.

That is who our Father is.

That is who David said his Lord was.

Our Lord.

Our Father.

This is who we should aspire to be.”

 

Joe Hutton provided us with special music on Sunday, leading us while we sang two hymns and the Sunday School Children also gave a special gift of chocolate bars to all the father’s, grandfathers, uncles, and ALL those in fathering roles at ENUC.

After a tasty lunch of hamburgers, hotdogs, salads and deserts our Sunday School hosted continued in festivities outside on the lawn of Mr. and Mrs Welsh. Many fun games were played such as, three legged race, wheelbarrow racing, kick the shoe, and many more! It was a lovely afternoon with plenty of sun and a lovely breeze.

On Saturday June 16th a successful fundraiser was held at ENUC which consisted of a bake-sale hosted by our women’s group, a silent auction, and a Tombola run by our Sunday School. We had a clown who made wonderful balloon animals and did magic and a delightful wandering musician who provided us with music too! Much fun was had by all.

In July we will host a Vacation Bible School from July 3-5 from 9:30am – 11:30am our theme this year will be “Journeys in the Bible.”

All are welcome to attend. Admission is free! Simply contact me (Sheila Greason) at 519-349-2768 or email Pastor Katie @ pastor.enuc @ gmail.com for more information or to register. Or click here to see our VBS poster.

Thanks again everyone for reading!

Until next time,

Sheila Greason


 

The Lord is My Shepherd… Thoughts from June 3rd 2018

On Sunday June 3rd Pastor Katie began a series based on Psalm 23. Throughout the series she will be using different translations of the psalm to help us gain different perspectives and a deeper understanding of one of the most well known pieces of scripture.

Pastor Katie reminded us of the power of singing and how the literal translation of the word “Psalm” means “words for singing.” This seems appropriate since the Psalms were originally meant to be sung and how there are many different musical renditions of Psalm 23.

The opening verse to this Psalm reminds us that the Lord is not only David’s shepherd but our shepherd. God is the shepherd and everyone can connect to the Lord who is our Shepherd since it is a shepherd who guides and protects. Pastor Katie reminded us that the psalm is not about a shepherd and not about sheep but about a partnership between the shepherd and the sheep. Psalm 23 is a psalm for everyone not just for the author, David. It is a psalm that reminds us that God is the Shepherd who will guide and protect and care for us.

” Psalm 23 was written by David as a way to connect us through the generations to God. As a way to reminds us that God seeks us.

That God wants us. That God cares about us. Cares about YOU. Cares about all of us. From the lowest of the low to the best of the best. No matter who you are God wants you. God is the shepherd of us all.

God inspired David to write it and ultimately it’s main goal is to connect us to Jesus.To bring us together to unite us as a people of God. To close all social and economic barriers.

With God as our shepherd we are all equal. We are all sheep before God.  Together, we are a united flock.We are all his sheep and he lovingly tends to us all and he lovingly guides us all.

Because that is who he is.” (Pastor Katie – June 3)

As always thanks for reading.

Until next time,

Sheila Greason

Psalm 23

A psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd;
    I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
    he leads me beside peaceful streams.
    He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
    bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
    for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
    protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
    My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
    all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
    forever.

 

(Psalm 23 – New Living Translation)

 

 


Thoughts from May 27th 

On Sunday May 27th we welcomed Pastor Dale Mackness and his wife Janet to ENUC. Pastor Katie told us how she had met Pastor Dale at a worship gathering in London on May 6th and how they had been challenged to find someone at the gathering they didn’t know and commit to pray for them for 30 days. She was surprised and moved by the power of the Holy Spirit to find that of all the people gathered at the worship event she had met a fellow Pastor. Since that night on May 6th Pastor Katie and Pastor Dale have been regularly praying for each other, their families, communities and their places of worship. Pastor Dale is retired and attends Village Green in London.

Pastor Dale shared with us a special message titled “How Great is the Bible!!” where he wove together many great Bible verses and shared with us the power of the scriptures and the comfort, hope and assurance that they can offer us.

Earlier, the Sunday School enjoyed a outing to the creek at the Linton’s farm where the children were able to learn all about God’s living creatures in the creek. The children also helped to plant special planters for the Foodgrains garden which will be part of the dedication Sunday on June 10th.

As always thanks for reading.

Until next time,

Sheila Greason (& Pastor Katie)



Thoughts from April 28 – May 6th 

On Sunday May 6th we were delighted to have a visit from our community Youth Group. This group is a combination of youth from our Church, Browns United Church and other local Youth. They meet every other week and their ages range from 5-14. There are two groups one for older youth and one for younger. The older youth meet every other Tuesday and the younger youth meet approximately 5 Fridays a year. Six of the youth group members along with their leader Deb Tate were able to come visit us and tell us about the wonderful things that they do as a youth group for our community. Deb also reminded us about the wonderful benefits of Camp Tanner, a local United Church camp for youth. The theme for Sunday was camping and God’s loving care for us.

The young people, along with Deb, conducted the worship service and even used a skit to illustrate the scripture story for us! It was wonderful to see the youth energetically participate in worship. The scripture story from Sunday was from the Gospel of Matthew 8: 23-27 where Jesus calms the storm after awaking from a deep sleep in the boat with his disciples who had become fearful they were going to die. Jesus chastised his disciples for their weak faith, reminding them that he was there all along. Deb reminded us that in our lives, as we face storms, we need to remember that God is always there for us as will help us in our difficult hours. Like Jesus helped the disciples who were afraid of the storm Jesus will also be there for us. The congregation was then asked to participate in a interactive game of scrabble (fun!) where we were all given 3-4 letters and asked to build words of reassurance off of the word “storm.” It was great fun to see all of the different words everyone came up with.

The East Nissouri Union Church wishes to thank Deb Tate for the great work she does with the youth and for organizing Sunday’s worship for us. It was so wonderful to see the youth eagerly participating in worship. Thank you Deb!

Sheila Greason (& Pastor Katie)

Further Thoughts from Sheila…

On April 28th the Northeast Rally was held at Villages United Church. It featured Rev. Marion Jackson-Tyler (who is a fabulous story teller!) along with Lee Pickle and Marjorie Habermehl (two amazingly talented musicians!). The 2019 Rally will be hosted by Thorndale United Church.

On Tuesday May 1st the Union Church women met in the Church for their monthly meeting. We discussed the upcoming Church fundraiser, which will be held on June 16th. Our guest speaker on May st was Juhina Baghdan who, with her family has recently come to St. Marys from Syria. She compared life in St. Marys vs Life in Damascus (her home town in Syria) and shared many interesting facts about Syria.

The June meeting of the ENUC women will feature a visit to the St. Marys Museum and lunch at the Stone Willow Inn.

The ENUC community was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Gordon Martin in Cornwall on April 30th. For those who with to attend a graveside service will be held on May 9th at 11am at the Lakeside (on the hill) cemetery.

As always thanks for reading.

Until next time,

Sheila Greason


 

From the Gospel of Mark, April 8th 

Mark 16:15  Jesus said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” 

On Sunday April 8th Pastor Katie wrapped up our series on the Gospel of Mark. Pastor Katie reminded us that the beginning of the Gospel reminds us of the beginning of Jesus and that this is also His creation story. She also reminded us that the scriptures as we know them wouldn’t be possible without 100’s of other stories too. God had a plan for everything and that plan was to bring Jesus to this world.

Pastor Katie reminded us that through the Resurrection of Jesus that the story is not over its just beginning. Our work is not over, we are called to share the story to the whole of creation.

Earlier in the week on April the 3rd the Union Church Women held their monthly meeting at ENUC. We invited guest speaker Stacey Watten from the Canadian Mental Health Association (CHMA) to join us for the evening. Stacey described the work of CHMA in Woodstock and also spoke to us about dealing with depression, anxiety and suicide. She outlined the signs of each and gave helpful suggestions for us to help others or even ourselves when facing these in our own lives.

As always thanks for reading.

Until next time,

Sheila Greason


 

From the Gospel of Mark Chapter 11, March 25th Palm Sunday

On Sunday March 25th we heard from the Gospel of Mark chapter 11: 1-11 which is the telling of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey.

A meaningful Palm Sunday Service was held at East Nissouri Union Church this past Sunday. Our Sunday School Children, accompanied by Alex Matheson on her ukulele, opened the service and presented the Palms along with a short program.

A video was shown depicting the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem and a short skit was presented by adult members of the congregation. The skit was a mock news cast depicting what it might have been like had a news crew been present the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem. It was brilliantly acted out by our congregation and a wonderful way to experience the story of Jesus’ arrival into Jerusalem from a new perspective.

Our message on Sunday minded us that Palm Sunday is mentioned in all four of the Gospel accounts and the arrival of Jesus on the donkey was foretold in the Old Testament. We were also reminded of the contrast that would soon happen in the week to follow. The crowds would go from singing shouts of praise and welcome to those of fear and rejection. But we should not carry that guilt with us into the world. Rather we should carry the hope of the risen Christ with us as we know the end of this story. It will be life not death!

We were joined this Sunday by John Uren who provided us with lovely music for our Palm Sunday celebrations. Everyone received Palm Crosses which were lovingly made by our Monday afternoon bible study (Mondays @2 – all are welcome!). The Sunday school also received a letter of thanks from the Emily Murphy Center in Stratford for the activity packages they made for the center. The activity packages were made with the leftover funds from our annual Lasagna Lunch which was held this past November. Because of your generosity we were able to donate many toques and mittens to Koats for Kids in St. Marys AND make roughly 15 activity packages for children to be sent to the Emily Murphy Center. Thank you ENUC family!

As a reminder everyone is invited to our joint worship service commemorating the last supper at Browns United Church this Thursday evening (March 29th) @ 5pm.

All are welcome to join us at ENUC at 5pm on Good Friday (March 30th) for a reflective service remembering all that Jesus has done for us at the cross. There will be scripture, prayer, quiet music, a short message and communion to commemorate this day.

And of course Easter Sunday will be Sunday April 1st with Sunday School at 10am and the celebration of the Resurrection at 11am

Worship with us this Holy and Sacred week and remember all that Jesus has done for us. We would love to have you with us.

Until Next time,

Sheila Greason & Pastor Katie Nightingale

easter


 

From the Gospel of Mark Chapter 8 & 9, March 18th 

On Sunday March 11th we heard from the Gospel of Mark chapter 8 and this past Sunday March 18th we heard from the Gospel of Mark chapter 9.

On March 11th we heard about the unique relationship between Jesus and his disciples. As the disciples left everything behind to follow Jesus, they demonstrated a leap of faith. We were also reminded of the importance of the words found in Mark 8:33 just prior to Jesus’ rebuke of Peter.  Pastor Katie reminded us that Jesus turned around and saw the disciples in their moments of grief and that their pain did not go unnoticed by Jesus. By turning around Jesus met the disciples where they were at and reminded us that Jesus meet us where we are at too.

On March 18th we heard about the transfiguration of Jesus on the mountaintop. We were reminded that the act of climbing the mountain was like processing our grief. It can be hard work to get to the top, but the view is worth it in the end! The transfiguration gives us strength and hope and reminds us that even in our darkest moments Jesus has been with us the whole time. Jesus calls us down from the mountain top after the transfiguration to return to everyday living so that we might give hope to others.


 

From the Gospel of Mark Chapter 7, March 4th 

On Sunday Marth 4th we heard from the Gospel of March Chapter 7:24-30 which is the story of the woman who seeks out Jesus for healing for her sick daughter.

Pastor Katie told us that while Scripture does not attribute any name to the woman who seeks Jesus out in this chapter a early 3rd century Church father, Pope Clement the 1st has. The  name he has attributed to her and her daughter has been Justa, and Bernice.

The message was this week was told to us from the perspective of Justa, as if we were hearing Justa tell it to us ourselves. Who in her eagerness to have her daughter healed hurried to Jesus seeking just a small amount (or a crumb) of His healing power. She, even though a gentile, intuitively knew of God’s healing love and grace and sought Jesus out. Because of her faith, and determination, Jesus granted her request and her daughter is healed.

Mark Chapter 7 teaches us that faith and persistence changes lives. It reminds us of the vastness of Gods love, and how everyone is worthy of having that love bestowed upon them. No matter who they are or where they come from.

Later in the afternoon our Sunday School enjoyed an afternoon of bowling at St. Marys Bowling lanes with some pizza after at the Church. I have included a few pictures of our bowling fun below for your enjoyment!

Until next time,

Sheila Greason


From the Gospel of Mark Chapter 4, February 11th 

On Sunday February 11th we heard from the Gospel of Mark chapter 4:1-20 – The parable of the sower.

The parable of the sower was used to remind us about the reception of God’s Word by the listeners. We were reminded of the sowers outrageous optimism as he sowed his seed. Especially into soil that may not be fertile.

The parable reminds us that sometimes we must sow the seed over and over before even one takes root. We must be prepared to face rejection and sow outrageously in hope of new growth.

Our Sunday School also enjoyed a outing to Wildwood Care Center Sunday morning before Church where we were delighted to visit with and meet many of the residents. Our Sunday Children sang songs and handed out hand-made Valentine’s to each resident.

Earlier in the week on Tuesday February 6th we enjoyed a Family Games night at ENUC. We had pizza and make your own sundaes and enjoyed the company of our families and also Syrian friends too!

Here are a few pictures for your to enjoy!

Sheila Greason


 

From the Gospel of Mark Chapter 2, January 28th 

The theme of the service from January 28th was Celebration and looking back on the accomplishments of 2017.

Pastor Katie showed us pictures of baptisms, Sunday school activities, Foodgrain Growing project activities, Vacation Bible School, Fundraising activities, Special guest music, and other highlights from the year.

Pastor Katie reminded us of the unconditional love and welcoming atmosphere that our church community is known for. By showing that love we are the hands and feet of Jesus.

We welcome all to our Church without question, like Jesus welcomed all to his table without question.

Here are a few pictures from the year for your to enjoy!

Sheila Greason


From the Gospel of Mark, January 21st

The Message on January 21st was based on the opening line found in the Gospel of Mark which is “The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the son of God….”

Pastor Katie shared the following thoughts:

We are no different from the first hearers of Marks message. God gave the power to choose right and wrong to the people of Mark’s time and to us as well.

We are given assurance that when we wander in the wilderness of our lives, we are never alone, God is with us.

We will be studying the Gospel of Mark from now until Easter Sunday. Please join us for this series as we explore this gospel book!

Sheila Greason

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