June 2012 Newsletter letter

Dear Friends,

This last Sunday was a blended service at Briarwood.  It was decided to hold a blended service on this day because it was Pentecost Sunday.  A day celebrating the Holy Spirit.  And a celebration of the Holy Spirit is truly was.  It is the Spirit that gives a variety of gifts to the church.  I was amazed at the variety of gifts in use on this Sunday in particular.

We had the choir leading in music, with Alejandro Duran joyfully playing the pipe organ.  We had Liz K.’s band, with drums, keyboard, guitar and bass guitar.  We had Briarwood’s Director of Families Ministries sharing with the congregation and all-ages about Pentecost. We had a high school student lead the responsive Psalm, her speaking in beautiful French and the congregation responding in English.  We had 16 children join in Sunday school, plus those in the Nursery.   All followed by a meal together on the front lawn of the church.

For the next 25 Sundays it is the season after Pentecost.  We go back to our regular rhythm of two Sunday morning services.  Whether at 10 a.m or 11:30 a.m. Sunday, weekday or weekend, morning, noon, or night let’s live in that Spirit that St. Paul writes about to the church in Corinth.  “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” II Corinthians 3:17

With best wishes,


Sunday’s Coming 87


This Sunday is one, blended service at 10:30 a.m.. We combine both services from time to time for special occasions.  This Pentecost Sunday is one.  After the service we will elect new elders. The ballot information was emailed around to everyone this week.  I am pleased to remind us that the two names on the ballot will be Margaret Bryson and Jennifer Vissers.

After the service there is a BBQ for everyone.  Tickets will be sold.  Please see me or Jim Murray if you are unable to afford one at this time.  We want everyone to eat together!

Thank you to everyone in advance for making this Sunday possible.

Here is some music for this Sunday’s service:

Good news from this week:

  • Jim T. is back home;
  • Rev. Dr. John Vissers recently received a doctorate honoris causa from The Montreal Diocesan Theological College.

Best wishes to everyone,



Sunday’s Coming 86

This Sunday we rejoice with Nabih Saikaly, who will share part of his story of faith at the 11:30 a.m. service. At both the 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. we’ll look at the story of Paul in a Phillipian prison: What is freedom?

Please pray this week for all those considering eldership at Briarwood.

Below is a photo of last Sunday’s xylophones in church! Thank you Judy.



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Greetings. This Sunday is Christian Family Sunday. We continue with the Book of Acts, with Paul’s vision in the night.  There is Sunday School and Nursery at the 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. services.  After the 10 a.m. service there will be a light lunch for all.

Last night was Amanda H.’s convocation. See photos attached.

This week we remember those enjoying this weekend’s Spectrum concerts,

and Messy Church Friday night.

Best wishes



Sunday’s Coming 84

Greetings. This Sunday we continue with the Book of Acts and the story of Saul’s journey on the road to Damascus. He starts out one way, but completes his journey transformed. Acts 9: 1-20. Sunday School and staffed Nursery at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. services.

At the 11:30 a.m. service there is Communion followed by lunch for all.

Here is a hymn for this Sunday at 10 a.m.: All my hope on God is founded

Here is a song for this Sunday at 11: 30 a.m.: Mighty to Save

This week we remember,

those women attending the silent retreat this weekend (John 4: 1-42);

those coming to the church Saturday morning for the Spring work day;

Jessica G., the Vanier CEGEP student here all year with NOVA and finishes her placement today (see photo below);

Rob P., who plays stand-out bass guitar in the first second service band and who received the prestigious Jeff Mills Memorial Cup at John Abbott this week for academic and athletic excellence (Go Rob!);

Amanda H., our in-year ministry student who has Convocation this Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul (contact Moira R. for car-pooling).

Best wishes,



May Newsletter Letter

Dear Congregation,

Thank you to everyone for making April such an excellent month at Briarwood; for Tisha Lynne M. for championing the all-night Youth Vigil with 10-12 High School students;  for Judy P. and committee, running the successful Teacher/Leader Courses on April 21 with 25 leaders from Briarwood, Taiwanese Robert Campbell and the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul; for the tremendous support for all the Good Friday and Easter services.  

In May, are things supposed to slow down?  Doesn’t look that way at the moment.  I look forward to Messy Church for young families and their children on May 11th and for the one Blended Service and BBQ on May 27th, Pentecost Sunday.  

This season of Easter and Pentecost were not quiet ones for the first Christians.  There was buzz.  Questions about Jesus and what really happened to him and what it really meant.  There was call.  Call from Christ to reach out in new ways, yet undiscovered.  There was Spirit.  A Spirit uncontrolled, fresh and free.  

As we come into this month at Briarwood, we’re not entering into it another other way except this way – a month of the presence and power of the risen Jesus, and a month of the transforming activity of God the Holy Spirit in our lives, in this church and beyond.

I look forward to May 20th, when one of Briarwood’s newest members, Nabih Saikaly, will share what this community of Christian faith means to him.

With God’s blessing and best wishes,