Autumn Meditation

Thanksgiving is upon us and signs of fall are all around: leaves are beginning to change; pumpkins and gourds are showing up at the market and there is a chill in the morning air. This is a time when nature reminds us of the beauty of letting go – leaves fall to the ground and become mulch, mulch creates nourishment for the soil, the soil supports seeds to grow come spring. The changing seasons can be an invitation for reflection. What are you ready to let go of? What nourishes your soul? What are you thankful for? Here is a meditation to accompany you during this time. 

“Autumn Months”
O God of Creation, you have blessed us with the changing of the seasons.
As we welcome the autumn months,
may the earlier setting of the sun
remind us to take time to rest.
May the brilliant colors of the leaves
remind us of the wonder of your creation.
May the steam of our breath in the cool air
remind us that it is you who give us the breath of life.
May the harvest from the fields remind us of the abundance we have been given and bounty we are to share with others.
May the dying of summer’s spirit remind us of your great promise that death is temporary and life is eternal.
We praise you for your goodness forever and ever.
– Author Unknown

National Day of Truth and Reconciliation

This year marks the first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation in Canada, Turtle Island. It is an observance of Truth and Reconciliation and an opportunity to engage deeper with the process of reconciliation, recognizing that there is much work to be done. September 30 is also Orange Shirt Day, a day that was designated to commemorate the residential school experience, to witness and honour the healing journey of the survivors and their families, and to commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation. Of course, none of these activities are limited to September 30. Reconciliation is something for everyone to participate in, it is an ongoing process that invites us to learn about the experiences of the First Peoples of this land and create bridges for reconciliation.

Below is a list of some activities and resources for this Day of Truth and Reconciliation.

Sept 27 – Oct 1 – The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation is hosting speakers all week to mark the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. https://www.youtube.com/c/NationalCentreforTruthandReconciliation

September 29, 11 am – 12:30 Pacific Mountain Region Town Hall Zoom Link  Marking the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation with the very special guest, Elder Alberta Billy. PPlease wear Orange for this Town Hall, if you’re able. .

Sept 30, 1:15 -2:15 – Online Service for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation 
An eccumenical service of reflection and prayer with Oasis United Church, Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Penticton United Church and St. Saviour’s Anglican Church. The Service will include a pre-recorded service from the Anglican Diocese of Canada. We will end by participating in Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc’s “Drum for the Children,” a time to virtually join with people around the world to sing and drum to the Secwepemc Honour Song. Wear an orange shirt and bring a drum of some kind, if you have one.  To access the service, please contact the church office.

Sept 30, 4 pm (pst) – Online Vigil with Indigenous Ministries and Justice Executive Minister Murray Pruden  https://www.facebook.com/IndigenousMinistries

Additional Resources:
Orange Shirt DayAbout Orange Shirt Day: https://www.orangeshirtday.org/about-us.htmlPhyllis Webstad’s story  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuW4WbekhxY

Drum for the Childrenhttps://tkemlups.ca/drum/On this very first –Canadian–National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc  is calling upon people around the world to gather –safely– to drum and sing for the missing children of Indian Residential Schools.

Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Actionhttps://ehprnh2mwo3.exactdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Calls_to_Action_English2.pdf

21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act by Bob Joseph https://www.ictinc.ca/blog/21-things-you-may-not-have-known-about-the-indian-act-

Resources from the United Church of Canada for other ways to honour children who attended residential schools.https://united-church.ca/social-action/act-now/honour-children-who-attended-residential-schools?fbclid=IwAR1Sw2JYH5wIadANxlUfDRPl4eWkoCRwT9b11JEbM1Gyvd9ToS7cDIhYfKg

Council Update – July 28, 2021

Penticton United Church Council met on July 28 to discuss the report from the Re-Opening Committee and recommendations from the Pacific Mountain Region. 

– In-person worship: The Region continues to stress the importance of a gradual and thoughtful return to in-person worship. After careful consideration, including the increase of cases of COVID-19 in BC, it was decided to continue with online services at this time. Council will meet again September 8 for further review. 

– PUC will be changing from a COVID-19 Safety Plan to a Communicable Disease Prevention Plan, as per Worksafe B.C. The M and P and Property committees will be working on this plan.

– User groups will be allowed to return to the building in September, based on staffing availability and following requirements outlined in B.C.’s Restart Plan and Worksafe B.C. User groups are required to have their own Communicable Disease Prevention Plan and would be required to follow PUC’s plan, as per Worksafe BC. The Re-Opening Committee will be seeking guidance from Pacific Mountain Region (of the United Church) regarding specific requirements the church needs from these groups. User Groups will be contacted in advance. 

Support for those impacted by the fire in Lytton, B.C.

Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc has generously opened their hearts and space to welcome all evacuees to their community at Moccasin Square Gardens on the reserve. They have said the best way we can help them is by providing gift cards. Kamloops United Church is collecting money for cards for gas, food and clothing. If you would like to contribute, you can donate here: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/16702 (Canada Helps handles KUC donations), marking Fire Relief in the notes. Kamloops United Church will then purchase gift cards for food or fuel, to immediately help those in need. Thanks for your help!Kamloops United Church is also giving out vouchers for the KUC Thrift Store to families from Lytton who have been evacuated to Kamloops.  

Community Refugee Sponsorship

Please consider helping a Penticton nurse raise funds to bring a refugee family to Canada.

I am a Penticton nurse who has spent my career working with marginalized populations both in Canada and overseas. I met Luke and Nyalah at a refugee camp in South Sudan while working as a nurse with Doctors Without Borders. Their story touched my heart.

Luke and Nyalah were born in Sudan in the mid-1990s. Sudan is wracked with intertribal conflict, violence, and poverty. Human trafficking and sexual violence are not uncommon. Today, Luke, Nyalah, and their daughters live precarious lives.

In partnership with the Diocese of Kootenay Anglican Church of Canada, 9 others and I created a non-profit organization called Dthora Madong Penticton (“A Forever Place” in the language of South Sudan) to sponsor this family to relocate to Penticton. Funds will support travel, food, medical needs, and housing for their first year. A goal of $45,000 has been set; as of June 2021, we have raised $22 130 with the promise of matching donations for the next $10 000 raised.

To find out more: please visit our GoFundMe page to see pictures of Luke and his family and read more of their story. It can be found at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-luke-nyalah-and-their-family-come-to-canada

Other donation options: cheques can be made out to “St. Saviour’s Church”, with “Refugee Account” in the memo line. The mailing address is St. Saviour’s Church, 150 Orchard Ave., Penticton, B.C. V2A 1X8. For e-transfer, the email address is saintsav789@gmail.com. If you would like a receipt for income tax purposes please include your full name, address and phone number.

For more information, please contact Sara Goddard, Chair, at 236-853-9483.

Yarn Bombing

This week a group of knitters “yarn bombed” two trees in front of the Penticton United Church.

Yarn bombing means to wrap a tree with knitted or crocheted squares that are sewn together. You may notice also many different embellishments that have been lovingly made and sewn on including hearts, flowers, doves, happy faces and butterflies to name a few. If you look really closely you’ll may also see a little dog embellishment.

Penticton United Church’s Prayer Shawl Knitting Group help to coordinate the project. Many thanks to all of the knitters who contributed squares and add-ons and who came out to sew them together. We did it to spread beauty and joy in the community and have some fun too! Please stop by and have a look!

Thanks to the Penticton Art Gallery and Seniors Wellness who started the “yarning bombing” project. To see the “yarn bomb” tree at the Japanese Gardens click here.

Ordination

Joanne Scofield

On June 13, I was ordained at Pacific Mountain Region’s Celebration of Ministry Service. I was gifted with this stole from the Congregation.

A stole is a symbol of ordination and the office of the ministry of Word and Sacrament. Stoles come in different colours and designs for different seasons in the Christian calendar. The stole used at Ordination is traditionally red, representing Pentecost and fire and spirit. I am so grateful to receive this gift from the congregation. You have all been a big part of my journey to ordination and it meant so much to me to have this as part of the service.

A Time for Mourning and Support

The horrific news that the remains of 215 children were found in a mass grave at the site of the Kamloops Residential School has created a sense of shock and deep grief for so many. We grieve with all who grieve in this time of sorrow.

Hear are some prayers, resources and responses that might be helpful at this time:

  • Prayer from the UCC National Executive Minister, Indigenous Ministries & Justice 
  • United Church Healing Fund
  • Leadershift – Calls to the Church, Listening to the Wisdom of Elders – free workshop series (June 1, 2, 3, 4, 6:30 – 7:30pm) coordinated by Rev John Snow, Pacific Mountain Regional Council Indigenous Minister, and Tony Snow, Coordinator for Indigenous Right Relations, Chinook Winds Regional Council.

Community Workshops and Resources:

Orange Shirt Day T-shirts: Joanne is going to put in an order for Orange Shirt Day t-shirts. With taxes and shipping they will be about $20 – 25 each. If you would like to order one, please get in touch with Joanne by June 11. https://www.orangeshirtday.net/en/cad/category/shirts–31435.html

Tuesday Evening Language and Traditional Practicehttp://www.thelanguagehouse.ca/news/tuesday-evening-language-and-traditional-practice-all-are-welcome

IndigenEYEZ is excited to invite you to sign up for our newest http://kinshift.ca/ workshop series—ELEMENTS of Truth: Before Reconciliation. These highly engaging & transformative 2.5 hour zoom workshops allow participants to learn, practice, ask questions, and make mistakes in a safer environment.   

“Yarn Bombing”

Yarn Bomb outside Penticton Art Gallery

Calling all knitters and crafty people. The plan is to join the “Yarn Bomb” project organized by the The Penticton Art Gallery and “yarn bomb” a tree in front of the church. We do this by creating knitted or crocheted squares that are then sewn together, to wrap a tree in front of the church.

The picture above is of the tree that was completed beside the Art Gallery building. If you haven’t seen it, you could check it out. You can also read about it in this article in the Pacific Western News.

The Knitting Group is starting to knit squares that will be used for the tree. You don’t have to belong to the knitting group to participate. If you would like to participate you can knit or crochet a square and pass it on to the church office. If you are not a knitter, you could help make felt flowers that we’ll add on. If you are interested in being part of this, please get in touch with Joanne.

Yard Clean UP

Thank you to all those who turned out for the work party at the church last week. And a special thank you to Gordon Houston who has done so much work on the grounds of the church in the past couple of weeks. If you would be interested in doing a bit of yard work, there is still some raking and weeding to do. Please get in touch with the office.