|Posted by Harmony United Church on January 14, 2021 at 4:00 PM||comments (0)|
"A friend is one to whom one may pour out the content of one's heart, chaff and grain
together, knowing that only gentle hands will take and sift it."
- George Eliot (1819 - 1880)
|Posted by Harmony United Church on January 11, 2021 at 5:50 PM||comments (0)|
In light of current events in Washington, our Moderator Richard Bott offers the following prayer:
Prayer for Our US Neighbours
As we follow our newsfeeds,
and observe with horror
what is happening in the capital of the United States of America,
we call on you, Creator of All Love.
We painfully remember peaceful protests of tangible and documented injustices,
led by Black and Indigenous peoples
who were sadly met with undue hostility and violence,
and characterized as rioters,
in contrast to how the violent clashes incited by Trump supporters
on baseless claims is being responded to
and reported on.
We pray for those who are most acutely experiencing the terror caused by these actions,
and those who deeply understand the hatred and racism that such acts fuel.
We call on you, Prince of Peace,
and pray for your wisdom, your guidance, and your love,
that those who are rioting would leave Washington,
so that elected decision-makers can go back
to their chambers,
to the lawful work that they have been given
by the people of the United States.
We pray, with all that we are,
―Moderator Richard Bott, Adele Halliday, and Alydia Smith
|Posted by Harmony United Church on January 9, 2021 at 2:50 PM||comments (0)|
Rev. Rob Smith is leading Virtual Lectionary Bible Study on Mondays at
1:00 p.m. through ZOOM. The participants explore the scriptures for the
coming Sunday. The regional lectionary Bible study by ZOOM will start
again on Monday, January 11th at 1 p.m. I hope you will join us. We are
averaging about 6 people. We can always find another place at the table
for you. Here is the ZOOM invitation for the study:
Time: Jan 11, 2021 01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Meeting ID: 846 7957 7617
|Posted by Harmony United Church on January 9, 2021 at 2:45 PM||comments (0)|
The Worship Committee thanks Christina Stricker for
her unfailing leadership and contributions almost every
week to the Sunday Live Stream Services. We are
grateful to all of the choir members of Harmony, and
readers, for their willing contributions.
|Posted by Harmony United Church on December 31, 2020 at 7:05 PM||comments (0)|
Future Services & Updates about Reopening:
January 17th – Pinegrove will coordinate (closed until further notice)
January 24th – Trinity will coordinate; Anne Macdonald will preach (no set time to reopen,
but continuing to Live Stream)
January 31st – St. Paul’s will coordinate (no services until further notice)
Broadway: (hoping to reopen January 11th if the lockdown is lifted on January 9th)
|Posted by Harmony United Church on December 3, 2020 at 5:00 PM||comments (0)|
Worship Service Outline:
For those of you who would like a
copy of the service emailed out to
you, before or after presentation,
please contact me by email and I
will send whatever is available each
week. This may not always include
the sermon. I'll send whatever I can.
|Posted by Harmony United Church on November 26, 2020 at 3:05 PM||comments (0)|
Here is some Good News from Zambia!
It is just a beginning, but Rev. Sakala has received a letter from Immigration Canada to go and get the 'Medicals' part of the process completed within the next ninety days. Hallelujah! One caveat: only Rev. Mastard has his letter, the rest of the family are still waiting for theirs, but we all live in hope. The completed Medicals are the last stage before the issuing of Visas.
The Sally Sunshine in me suggests that the four applications of the Sakala Family would be more or less attached to one another so the other three notices should appear soon.
In a recent Chronicle Journal newspaper article it was reported that Immigration Canada is about 90% back on track in their processing of Immigration Applications. This is good news as everything was virtually shut down since March. There is a backlog, of course, but it seems that Immigration Canada is eager(!) to work through this backlog as quickly as possible. And the best news is that Rev. M's letter indicates his application is still 'on the table', not lost forever in an administrative wilderness. Carry on Immigration Canada!!!!
(Submitted by Christina Stricker, Chair of the Search Committee)
|Posted by Harmony United Church on November 13, 2020 at 4:20 PM||comments (0)|
Harmony United Church
email: [email protected]
web site: http://www.harmonyunited.webs.com
Serving & Helping...
• If you aware of anyone who is in hospital or requires a pastoral
telephone call, please notify the Church Office.
• Do you have a suggestion for any of our church committees? If so,
please put it in our locked mailbox until further notice. The
Committee Chair will be notified of your suggestion.
• Harmony’s Facebook Page site administrators are Gary Pederson
and Teri Lynch. Please share any ideas and words that may bring
comfort or joy to members of our congregation, and pictures of
what you are doing to keep busy: Teri and Gary can be contacted at
• Greeters, Scripture Readers and Coffee Hosts/Hostesses will be
needed when we get back together again. Please call the church
office to indicate your interest: 345-5065. • Monthly GO Team
Collection: 3rd Sunday of the Month. (January's collection will
benefit “Teen Challenge Thunder Bay”.)
• Donations of Canadian Tire Money are gratefully appreciated to
help offset our operating costs! • New Broadview Magazines are
available. Please come by during office hours if you would like one.
• Lillian Gillson would welcome calls. She can be reached
at 768-0589, or via the Glacier Ridge desk: 343-0242.
Events Happening at Harmony United...
• Until our banking arrangements have been
finalized, please continue to make out your
cheques to Knox United Church. Many thanks to
those who have been dropping off giving
envelopes and donations in the church’s locked
• Wednesday’s 'Coffee Drop In' and 'Home Group'
are cancelled until further notice.
Attention all wanna-be SINGERS!!
Here's a rare
opportunity to practise your singing from home!
All are invited to join in Harmony's Church Choir
practices, as we continue to meet via ZOOM
(or telephone) on Thurs. evenings at 7 p.m.
The ZOOM meetings open at 6:45, for those that
want to come early to "chat." At 7:00 p.m. we start with
vocal warm- ups, then sing through the hymns of the week, and
work on learning our different parts of anthems. Because Zoom
doesn't precisely synchronize all the voices, the leader will "mute"
everyone but herself (or it will sound like chaos!) while we are
singing. This makes for a safe experience practising your singing -
because you are the only one that will hear you singing - as you
sing at home following the voice of the leader, and the piano.
Although, in some ways it's not as good as singing together in
person, Kim is leading Zoom practices each week with 2 different
small choirs, and both are finding it enjoyable and valuable. If you'd
like more information, or want to know the simple process of
joining with a computer, ipad or by telephone, phone Harmony's
choir director, Kim Fuzzen at 473-5271.
Sign In Clipboards During our response to
Please ensure that you sign one of the two
clipboards ... in Crittall Hall, or in the entrance to
the Sanctuary. Please note your name, the date,
time in, time out, and your telephone number.
(Courtesy of Christina Stricker)
“Chickenpox is a virus. Lots of people have had it, and probably don't think about it much once the initial illness has passed. But it stays in your body and lives there forever, and maybe when you're older, you have debilitatingly painful outbreaks of shingles. You don't just get over this virus in a few weeks, never to have another health effect. We know this because it's been around for years, and has been studied medically for years.
Herpes is also a virus. And once someone has it, it stays in your body and lives there forever, and anytime they get a little run down or stressed-out they're going to have an outbreak. Maybe every time you have a big event coming up (school pictures, job interview, big date) you're going to get a cold sore. For the rest of your life. You don't just get over it in a few weeks. We know this because it's been around for years, and been studied medically for years.
HIV is a virus. It attacks the immune system and makes the carrier far more vulnerable to other illnesses. It has a list of symptoms and negative health impacts that goes on and on. It was decades before viable treatments were developed that allowed people to live with a reasonable quality of life. Once you have it, it lives in your body forever and there is no cure. Over time, that takes a toll on the body, putting people living with HIV at greater risk for health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, diabetes, bone disease, liver disease, cognitive disorders, and some types of cancer. We know this because it has been around for years. As well, it has been studied medically for many years.
Now with COVID-19, we have a novel virus that spreads rapidly and easily. The full spectrum of symptoms and health effects is So far, the symptoms may include:
Acute respiratory distress
Lung damage (potentially permanent)
Loss of taste (a neurological symptom)
Diarrhea Nausea or vomiting
Loss of appetite
Strokes have also been reported in some people who have COVID-19 (even in the relatively young)
Blood clots S
COVID toes (weird, right?)
People testing positive for COVID-19 have been documented to be sick even after 60 days. Many people are sick for weeks, get better, and then experience a rapid and sudden flare up and get sick all over again. A man in Seattle was hospitalized for a total of 62 days, and while he was well enough to be released, still has a long road of recovery ahead of him. only just beginning to be cataloged, much less understood.
Then there is MIS-C. Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. Children with MIS-C may have a fever and various symptoms, including abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes, or feeling extra tired. While rare, it has caused deaths.
This disease has not been around for years. It has basically been 6 months. No one knows yet the long-term health effects, or how it may present itself years down the road for people who have been exposed. We literally *do not know* what we do not know. For those in our society who suggest that people being cautious are cowards, for people who refuse to take even the simplest of precautions to protect themselves and those around them, I want to ask, without hyperbole and in all sincerity: How dare you? How dare you risk the lives of others so cavalierly? How dare you decide for others that they should welcome exposure as “getting it over with”, when literally no one knows who will be the lucky “mild symptoms” case, and who may fall ill and die. Because while we know that some people are more susceptible to suffering a more serious case, we also know that 20 and 30-year-olds have died, marathon runners and fitness nuts have died. Infants and children too. How dare you behave as though you know more than medical experts, when those same experts acknowledge that there is so much we don't yet know, but with what we DO know, are smart enough to be scared of how easily this is spread, and recommend:
baseline precautions such as: - Frequent hand-washing
Reduced social/public contact or interaction
Covering your cough or sneeze
Avoiding touching your face
Sanitizing frequently touched surfaces
The more things we can all do to mitigate our risk of exposure, the better off we all are, in my opinion. Not only does it flatten the curve and allow health care providers to maintain levels of service that aren't immediately and catastrophically overwhelmed; it also reduces unnecessary suffering and deaths, and buys time for the scientific community to study the virus in order to come to a more full understanding of the breadth of its impacts. I reject the notion that it's “just a virus” and we'll all get it eventually. What a careless, lazy, heartless stance.
News from Christina Stricker...
Update: Rev. Mastard Sakala and
his family are safe and well in
Lusaka Zambia. There was a
meeting with the Church Elders last
Saturday, November 14th
concerning the unsustainable
timetable for Rev Sakala.
He had been expected to preach six
days a week, usually at 5 a.m.
except for Sunday morning. This
came about as the congregation is
huge (about 1000!) and the Covid
restrictions meant that no more than
150 people could be in their building
at one time. In addition, Rev. Sakala
was also expected to continue with
his usual daily office and pastoral
care routines. He was approaching
exhaustion. The Elders proved their
wisdom by reducing the
workload somewhat, to a tolerable
timetable, and Rev. Sakala feels he
can now manage properly. Lay
leaders were also going to be
encouraged to serve in the pulpit on
occasion. Rev. Sakala always sends
his warm greetings, and his
gratitude for our prayers. He ends
his emails assuring us that the
Harmony family are in his family's
prayers. They are all looking forward
to arriving on our doorstep and
settling into the process of
becoming Canadian Citizens ... in
the fullness of time. Zambia is
moving into their rainy season with
usually very wet weather and
temperatures between 23'C and
37'C. Thinking of these
temperatures should help us keep
warm as ours drop into the -C
numbers, with snow instead of rain!
Covid numbers in Zambia are
considerably less than in Canada of
course, but still significant. As of
November 16th, there were 434
active cases across the country.
Third item of possible interest:
Michael and Arlien Wesa and
Christina have been working at
cleaning up the paperwork and
some of the kitchen supplies, etc. at
the Current River site. A full set of
dishes has been set aside with the
other Sakala Family furnishings still
onsite there. The Sakala furnishings
will all be moved to the Harmony
gym once the yard sale material has
been moved. Most paperwork has
been sorted into 'discard and
recycle', 'shred' or 'archive'
groupings and these actions will be
taken as soon as possible. This
amounts to at least forty boxes of
paperwork! MEMO (Dr Jerome
Harvey) has expressed interest in
anything left (furnishings, books,
etc) for a shipping container being
prepared for an orphanage, a
school, and a church in Zimbabwe
in the spring. This would certainly
reduce our workload of clearing the
building to be ready for sale. They
will move the material out of the
building when we are finished
removing what we want to retain.
(Submitted by Christina Stricker)
We have just received word that our
free Web Site provider, Webs.com
will no longer be offering this service
after March 31st 2021. If someone
in our congregation is interested in
exploring a web site offered through
the United Church of Canada,
please contact Ruth Kamo.
|Posted by Harmony United Church on November 13, 2020 at 4:15 PM||comments (0)|
A Prayer for People of Courage
(From the United Church of Canada)
We offer to you, O God, our prayers for those who
seek justice and resist evil. We pray for those who
need your presence and strength to stand firm; for
those who are oppose the use of violence in any
form in faithful response to the Prince of Peace.
We pray for those are prepared to be firm to
protect those in danger. We pray for those who
walk with others who need strength. We pray for
those who protest, those who organize letter
campaigns, those who give sacrificially on behalf
of others. We pray for those who speak the
unpopular truth; who protect the unpopular
victims; who choose the unpopular path of peace.
We pray for those who do not let their desire for
peace hinder the requirements of justice, and for
those who do not let their zeal for justice override
the call for peace. —from "On This Day of
Remembrance," prayers for Remembrance Sunday
(by the Rev. Dr. Neil Parker, military chaplain
at the 4th Canadian Division Training Centre in
|Posted by Harmony United Church on August 3, 2020 at 4:20 AM||comments (0)|
July 30th, 2020
“And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three;
and the greatest of these is love.”
1st Corinthians 13:13
It is with a deep sense of gratitude but also sadness that I write my last weekly message to you, the good people of Harmony United Church. I am grateful to have served as your minister for over a year, for we have shared so many special times together. I will miss seeing you on a regular basis, sharing spirit-filled worship, visiting together in times of joy and times of sorrow, enjoying times of music, fun, amazing food, and laughter, and doing our best to serve God together in our community and in our world. Peter and I feel truly blessed to have been part of this church family.
I will be on holiday during the month of August, and will be retiring (again!) after that. I was ordained 30 years ago, and have had so many great and varied experiences. But now it's time for new experiences. With COVID 19 restrictions still in place, our holiday travel, like that of many of you, will be limited to exploring our local area. We have been fortunate enough to be able to reserve a cabin for a week at the Sleeping Giant Park, and look forward to rest and relaxation in that lovely setting.
I have great affection for all of you, dear friends, and will hold you in my heart and in my prayers. I also pray that Rev. Sakala and his family will soon be able to come to our city, and that his ministry with you will be a great blessing, as I know your warmth and support will be a great blessing to him and his family. You are special!
God bless you,
(Rev.) Joyce Fergus-Moore