Whose Land? Whose Promise? Palestine, Justice and The Bible

A zoom-based Webinar in two parts (Sept 18, Oct 2)

This two-part webinar (90 minutes each), hosted by Canadian Friends of Sabeel*, is being presented by a project-team from Canada’s United, Presbyterian, Mennonite, and Christian Reformed Churches. (*Sabeel is an ecumenical grass-roots liberation theology movement among Palestinian Christians, based in Jerusalem.)

event poster
Whose Land? Whose Promise? Palestine, Justice and The Bible – poster small size

Day 1 (Saturday, Sept 18, 12 noon, Eastern Time) offers an ecumenical dialogue involving Palestinian and North American theologians and church leaders, who will be in conversation about what the Bible does (and doesn’t) say about the current situation in Palestine and Israel.  Dr. Alex Awad is Dean of Students at Bethlehem Bible College (Bethlehem, Palestine) and Senior Pastor at East Jerusalem Baptist Church; Rev. Carrie Ballenger is Pastor of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Jerusalem; Dr. Ron Dart is teaching in the faculties of Political Science and Religious Studies at University of Fraser Valley, after having worked with Amnesty International.

Day 2 (Saturday, Oct 2, 12 noon, Eastern Time) is a follow-up session, in which participants will have the opportunity to interact with one another in small groups about issues and questions raised in the first session.  This session will be facilitated by Dr. Dan Epp-Tiessen, Professor of Old Testament at Canadian Mennonite University (Winnipeg).

For registration and more details, please click here.

Christian Education Director

The Nurture and Education Committee is working towards hiring a Christian Education Director. This is a part-time position, approximately 10 hours per week, $20 per hour.  If you would like to see the job description, please contact Rev. Helen Smith via the office at office@guildwoodchurch.ca.

Please consider if this is something God is calling you to do.

A version of this message first appeared in the Saturday, August 21, 2021, edition of Tidbits.

Welcome Back BBQ – Sunday, September 12

We would like to invite all to the Welcome Back BBQ on Sunday, September 12, 2021 after church.  Please join for fellowship, burgers and hotdogs on the back lawn.  Currently, according to Public Health guidelines, we are limited to 100 people for outdoor functions.  If you plan to attend, please indicate on the signup sheet at the church entrance or email the church at office@guildwoodchurch.ca.

A version of this message first appeared in the Saturday, August 21, 2021, edition of Tidbits.

The Revs. Smiths’ Message for August 29, 2021

Dear Friends,

So, the time has finally arrived, and in a few days we will officially welcome our new minister, the Rev. Chuck Moon. I can sense the excitement in everyone I talk to, and like everyone, can hardly wait to see Chuck’s ministry take shape in our midst.

Headshot of the interim ministers of the church, the Revs H and B Smith
The Revs Helen & Bob Smith

As central as Chuck will be in our church community’s life, it might be good to remember that we are all a part of a collection in which each of us has a role. In Ephesians 4 Paul reminds the people in the early church that we are all given gifts by the Spirit for building up the body of Christ in the work that it has to do in the world. Each of us has a role, a part to play, and it is in the drawing together of all those gifts in order to see God’s work in us move forward.

With our minister, we are all Christ’s ambassadors in the world, proclaiming to the world the good news of the love of God. Chuck’s work in our midst will bear fruit as we encourage him in it, and offer ourselves and our God-given gifts, to be co-workers with him under Christ.

Together, may we see our church grow and reach out, to God’s glory.

In Christ,

Revs. Bob and Helen Smith

A version of this message first appeared in the Saturday, August 28, 2021, edition of Tidbits.

The Revs. Smiths’ Message for August 22, 2021

Dear Friends,

In our neighbourhood it is a delight to watch the children play, not street hockey, but street cricket!  We certainly have trouble figuring out the rules. We got some help, sort of, from the Yorkshire County Cricket Club Rules of Cricket:
You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that’s in the side that’s in goes out, and when he’s out he comes in and the next man goes in until he’s out.

“Lords-Cricket-Ground-Pavilion-06-08-2017.jpg” – Lord’s Cricket Ground in London, England. CC BY-SA 4.0 International. Photo by Yorkspotter. Full credit below.

When they are all out, the side that’s out comes in and the side that’s been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out.

Sometimes you get men still in and not out. When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out, he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in.

There are two men called umpires who stay out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out. When both sides have been in and all the men are out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game.
Fortunately, it is much easier to follow the rules of discipleship. You just have to, in theologian Paul Tillich’s phrase, “accept the fact that you have been accepted.”

And then you are in, and the game is amazing, and it goes on forever!

In Christ,

Revs. Bob and Helen Smith

Photo by Yorkspotter . Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Taken from the Wikimedia Commons.

A version of this message first appeared in the Saturday, August 21, 2021, edition of Tidbits.

The Revs. Smiths’ Message for August 15, 2021

Dear Friends,

Some advice from a butterfly, as recently seen on a T-shirt:

“Fesoj – Papilio machaon (by).jpg” – Butterfly of the species Papilio machaon. CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic. Photo by Fesoj. Full credit below.

Let your true colours show.
Get out of your cocoon.
Take yourself lightly.
Look for the sweetness in life.
Take time to smell the flowers.
Catch a breeze.
We can’t all be monarchs!

In Christ,

Revs. Bob and Helen Smith

Photo by Fesoj. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Taken from the Wikimedia Commons.

A version of this message first appeared in the Saturday, August 14, 2021, edition of Tidbits.

We’re re-opening August 22 at 10 AM

Guildwood Church will be open again for in-person worship starting on Sunday, August 22, 2021 at 10 AM. Public Health measures including mandatory mask wearing, contact tracing and physical distancing will be in place in accordance with current regulations.  Online resources will continue to be provided as well as hard copies for those who have requested them.  

The Revs. Smiths’ Message for August 8, 2021

Dear Friends, 

Who could help being caught up in the excitement of the Olympics?  The strength and stamina of the athletes, the photo-finishes, the teamwork — at this highest level of competition is pretty thrilling to watch.

I was struck by the Canadian swimmer, Penny Oleksiak.  She won four medals in 2016 in Rio, so was a star even before she got to Tokyo.  She won two medals, and all eyes were on her, because if she got one more, she would be Canada’s most decorated Olympic athlete.  She failed in her next race, coming in fourth, which just happened to break the Canadian record, but wasn’t enough for a medal.  Where she had her final success, and achieved her record-setting medal-count, was as the anchor swimmer in a relay.

Rio 2016 Olympics – Swimming final session 6 August; Penny Oleksiak seated at centre. CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic. Photo by Sander van Ginkel. Full credit below.

In her comments after that race, she said that she was glad not to have placed in the previous race, because the achievement was even better here — “sweeter” was her word — because it was shared with her teammates.

What a selfless thought.  The one at the centre of attention pulls her teammates into the circle. The one whom everyone is talking about wants to talk about the others who helped her get there.

To me, this is sports at its finest, and an example of how its lessons can extend beyond the swimming pool or track.  No great success is achieved without the support of others — parents, friends, coaches, teachers — and no failure or discouragement is overcome without their encouragement.  To acknowledge that only strengthens us, and helps us all move on to even greater accomplishments.

In Christ,

Revs. Bob and Helen Smith

Photo by Sander van Ginkel. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Taken from the Wikimedia Commons.

A version of this message first appeared in the Saturday, August 7, 2021, edition of Tidbits.

The Revs. Smiths’ Message for August 1, 2021

Dear Friends,

Professional basketball player Jeremy Lin was crashing on his brother’s couch in New York, warming the bench at the Knicks’ games, when he was put in to substitute for an injured player.  He went from an unknown benchwarmer to superstar.  During the 2011–12 season he unexpectedly led a winning turnaround with the Knicks.  “Linsanity” was born.  Lin was the first American of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA.  In 2019 he became the first Asian American to win an NBA championship with our own Toronto Raptors.

Jeremy Lin playing with the New York Knicks in 2011. CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic. Photo by nikk_la. Full credit below.

When asked about his meteoric rise, Lin, out of his Christian faith, said it was a miracle, “God’s fingerprints are all over the place, where there’s been a lot of things that had to happen that I just couldn’t control.  You could try to call it a coincidence, but at the end of the day there’s 20, 30 things when you combine them all, that had to happen at the right time for me to be here. That’s why I call it a miracle.”  Many times we look back over our own life stories as individuals and as a congregation and see that “God’s fingerprints are all over the place.” Thanks be to God that miracles still happen.

In Christ,

Revs. Bob and Helen Smith

Photo by nikk_la. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Taken from the Wikimedia Commons.

A version of this message first appeared in the Saturday, July 31, 2021, edition of Tidbits.