Spirit News

The Spirit, Oct 2011

1 October, 2011, 9:33 pm

Music in Worship

If you have not been attending church lately, you are truly missing a great treat! The above two soloists are a regular part of our choir, and when they sing together, the rafters ring! On September 11, Stephanie and Paul sang Andrew Lloyd Webber’s beautiful “Pie Jesu”. In case you are not a student of Latin, you may not know the words that are sung, so here they are:

“Merciful Jesus, who takest away the sins of the world, grant them rest. O Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, grant them eternal rest.”  Needless to say, Stephanie and Paul, plus Paul’s friends Bo and Arlene Wisser, have given our faithful Chancel Choir new life, and they made their mark on Sunday, September 25 when they sang the lovely “River in Judea.” We welcome all these songsters with open arms! 

Our Junior Choir under the direction of Sue Raynor also delighted us with two songs on Sunday morning. 



The Good Samaritan in all of us!

We were reminded on Sunday, September 25 Mission Sunday, just how blessed we are as residents of Canada, as Glen Canavan, a Halton paramedic, shared with us about his seven trips to Central American countries and Haiti after the earthquake. Glen works with a group of volunteers who take medical supplies to the very poor in remote areas of Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador. It was shocking to hear about children suffering from parasites due to dirty water or asthma due to sleeping in a hut where meals are cooked over a fire with no chimney, and no understanding of why that should be necessary. Glen had so many stories that would break your heart, just imagining the suffering in these poor countries whose governments care so little about their citizens. 

We can help! Glen tells us that babies are laid on the bare dirt floor without clothing to keep them warm. His team want to take a supply of baby shirts on their next trip in February. They can be knitted vest-type tops or they can be purchased. Grace Schroeder has offered to collect baby shirts, so just bring them to the church on Sunday mornings. 

Glen also told us that the mats made from plastic milk bags are very useful as sleeping mats. So start collecting these bags and bring them to church for Grace, who will then pass them on to some ladies at the Oakville Christian Centre across Randall Street, who can make the mats.  Please be sure to bring clean bags only. If anyone in the congregation knows how to make these mats and would be willing to make some over the winter, please let Grace know. The more people making them, the more can be sent to these needy people in poor countries.

Music Notes

I’m very excited to report on an upcoming event that St. John’s will host at 7:00 p.m. on October 16. The event is entitled “Songs of Praise,” and is an evening of hymn singing and wonderful music presented by the downtown Oakville churches, including choirs and musicians from St. Jude’s Anglican, Central Baptist Church, St. Andrew Roman Catholic Church, and of course, St. John’s United. The theme for the event is Unity, and the ecumenical nature of these various churches gathering together embodies the theme. Raising our voices together in song will bring the concept to life! Come out to hear the massed choirs of these churches, including the 30-voice youth choir from St. Andrew church, and the praise team from Central Baptist. Mervyn Russell had the initial idea for this event, and got the planning ball rolling last spring. Over the past few months, he and I and the music directors of the other participating churches have met to share our ideas as we planned the evening. We have all become truly excited about what a wonderful night this is shaping up to be. So plan to join us at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 16, in the sanctuary. Come prepared to sing lots, to listen to some wonderful soloists, to the combined choirs, and to have an amazing evening praising God through music.

And although I don’t want to scoop myself for the November Spirit, I would also ask you to mark your calendars now for Saturday, November 19, at 7:00 p.m. This is the date of the Oakville Wind Symphony concert, “Light Up the Night” here at St. John’s. They have invited some surprise guest performers. . . Look for more information in the November edition of The Spirit.

St John’s Finances Support St. John’s Programs

Good things are happening and will continue with your financial support!

We continue to improve our church music program. The addition of Deb Bradley as Music Director has resulted in a dramatic improvement in the music at our Sunday services. Last year and again this year, Stephanie Barone has been a wonderful addition to the soprano section of our choir. For 2011/2012 we engaged Paul Schillaci to strengthen the tenor section. All of this costs money but is critical to the enjoyment of our Sunday service experience. 

These past few months, a number of our church leaders participated in an eight-week program, “Unbinding the Gospel.” This was a prelude to giving the congregation the opportunity to participate in a six-week program, “Unbinding the Heart.” Rev. Don’s fall sermons will be linked to these programs. 

One of the objectives in renovating our facilities was to increase community exposure as well as rental income. This has been a big success. We now have many more community activities enjoying the combination of our lovely sanctuary and the adjacent reception rooms. On the rental side, significant rental income is making a vital contribution to our church finances.

For several years the Power of One Team has led us in supporting a number of Outreach Projects. In 2010, over $60,000 was raised, $15,000 as part of the Trust Funds block grant, but the balance has been raised through various fundraising efforts by the team with your generous support. 

All of the above points to the importance of St. John’s to our community and in our lives. Especially in these challenging financial times we need your continued financial support as we build towards a stronger tomorrow. At a minimum, we need the regular envelope givings to achieve the 2011 budgeted level.

 In addition, we are asking any of you who can do so to consider an extraordinary contribution at this time of Thanksgiving as this will add tangible support for our programs.

- Ross Hutchison
  Board of Trustees

Prayer changes nations, one prayer at a time!

Did you know that on October 28 to 30, a meeting of Commonwealth Heads of Government will take place in Perth, Australia? See www.chogm2011.org  The 54 Commonwealth countries represent 2 billion people, 1/4 of the world’s population and 1/3 of the world’s nations, and they have met every two years since 1949 to discuss matters relating to the welfare of millions of people, for example, apartheid in South Africa. The churches of Perth have organized a vast

Commonwealth Prayer Initiative during this past year, and their goal has been to have 54 churches in Perth pray for this meeting at the end of October. They are calling on churches around the world to join them by praying for peace for all nations. See www.commonwealthprayer.org  We at St. John’s can be a part of this prayer vigil for peace, not only for Commonwealth nations, but for the whole world, especially the Middle East. Once again, let’s repeat and remember:

Prayer changes nations, one prayer at a time!

There is still time to sign up for one of the study groups beginning on October 16. There are four choices of times, before or after church on Sundays, or 7:00 am or 6:30 pm on Wednesdays, for six weeks. Don’t hesitate to come even if you can’t be sure you can make it for all sessions.  There are two more Sundays when you can sign up on the pink sheets on the bulletin boards in Lusk Hall. Come on!  Don’t be afraid! You won’t be forced into anything!

This is Zoe, granddaughter of Ralph and Karen Slayer. She has had many obstacles to overcome in her seven years – heart transplant and currently a cancer patient – and now she is a Sick Kids ambassador. The picture shown here appeared in The Globe and Mail last week. What an inspiration this little girls is! Be sure to remember her in your prayers.



Saturday, November 26, 2011
from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

Here’s what YOU can do!
1. Make some extra jams or jellies to donate.
2. Gather your unwanted china, glassware,
silver, linens and good jewelry for the
Treasure Room.
3. Larger quality items suitable for a Silent
Auction will be greatly appreciated.
4. During the week of the bazaar, bake your
favourite recipe for the Bake Table.
5. Sewn and knitted items will also be welcome.
6. Many helpers will be needed to serve lunch,
sell items and clean up afterward; the more
help we have, the better.
Please note, there will not be a less-than-treasure
table this year due to less space available.
This is a great opportunity to help raise much
needed funds for church programs and at the
same time, get to know others and have fun!