Our Purpose and Mission Statement

Working to build God's dream. Help wanted!

We the people of Glen Rhodes United Church, are determined that our life together will be fully inclusive for people of all ages, races, genders, sexual orientations, differing abilities, ethnic origins and economic circumstances. Therefore, we hope that God will work in us so that we will be a sensitive congregation, willing to share our faith and gifts in language and worship, in the life and work of our church and wherever God calls us to do justice in the wider community, with compassion, fun and laughter

Thursday, 22 May 2014

May 28 evening service - "The source of peace"

The regular fourth Wednesday evening service is coming up at Glen Rhodes. The theme is from a Japanese hymn as we end Asian History Month: "where, O where, can weary souls/find the source of peace?" The hymn title, in English, is "Here, O God, Your Servants Gather."

What a difference when we gather in the evening. Everyone's day is winding down, and we tend to be more contemplative in these worships as the light wanes. The group is smaller than the Sunday congregation and people gather closer together, both of which increase the sense of intimacy. Communion will be celebrated--taking some bread and a little grape juice to get in touch with the earth that brings forth grain and fruit, food producers, our hunger and all who are hungry, and the One who gave us this example of radical sharing.

Interested? Check it out on the 28th. Come with an open heart, and be ready to receive a gift of insight, release and peace. The service starts at 7:30 and lasts an hour, or a bit less. 

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Wear pink Sunday was a hit

I can't believe we didn't get pictures! An opportunity lost, with all so many of us looking lovely in pink.
We moved Wear Pink Day (from April 9), because we celebrated International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia in the worship service on Sunday. Glen Rhodes has been an Affirming Congregation (meaning welcoming people of all kinds, without regard to orientation, colour, income and so on) for almost twenty years. We're pretty good at this sort of thing, and sure enough, most of the congregation showed up in shades of pink.
Those who didn't were offered a selection of pink accessories, even pink bubble gum. But we didn't get a picture. Next time.

Upcoming film at Glen Rhodes
Still on the subject of inclusion, the sanctuary has been booked on Saturday night, June 7, at 7:30 for a showing of "Seventh Gay Adventists," an American documentary about the struggle for inclusion in the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Take a stand for justice! Come out to find and offer support, and discuss how to make change in church and society. There will be a panel discussion and also refreshments. A free will offering will be taken.
Hope to see you there.

Robin Wardlaw

Friday, 9 May 2014

In March the congregation of Glen Rhodes formally adopted its new purpose statement: "Working to build God's dream. Help wanted!" We are slowly getting used to the sound of it, and also asking ourselves, what dream?

No shortage of good thinking and good ideas about it, though, and a long history of justice-seeking at Glen Rhodes to guide us. Last Sunday the congregation reviewed all the ideas that members had put out there as dream builders, and narrowed the list down. 

There is some exciting stuff, such as taking on a new justice issue, working with agencies and other partners in the neighbourhood to enhance the church's care for low income and vulnerable people, opening the doors to new families flooding in to the area. I'll get back to them in other posts soon. Stay tuned.

Robin Wardlaw

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Easter at Glen Rhodes was amazing. So is the time it has taken for me to write about! Many people were out to church, and there was a great atmosphere of joy and togetherness. The music was uplifting, and we broke bread together. Here are a couple of pictures of communion. The first one is the four of us who served that day. The next one shows choir members receiving communion.

Plates of bread, cups of juice: could this be dangerous (in a good way?)

A radical act, caught on film

Communion is one of those things that often seems to fly under the radar—a radical act of equality and sharing posing as a simple symbol of a tiny bit of bread and barely a taste of grape juice. If all food distribution was based on communion, though, we wouldn’t have hunger or need food banks. Communion is all about each person having the same share, the amount they need, with no one hoarding, no one getting rich by claiming patent rights, or driving up prices.

What communion represents is a challenge to our economy and many of the assumptions of our society.  But it’s like that person who does good works and never draws attention to herself: modest to a fault. If we really appreciated what it means to break bread and share with everyone, regardless of how much they earn or give or have in the bank, their orientation, or anything else that often divides us, we would treat it like highly enriched uranium or something—dangerous stuff.

Those pictures may look tame, but they show a two thousand year Occupy movement, a revolutionary ideology, a beautiful reminder that we all God’s children, and we’ve all got a place in the choir, as the song puts it.

Robin Wardlaw