September 2012 newsletter letter

Dear Friends at Briarwood.

This Fall, all the way to Advent, we will be studying and exploring the stories of the Book of Genesis. As we do so, we will mirror the themes in each Sunday morning children’s faith program. For those interested, I can recommend an accessbile commentary on this first book of the Bible that you may wish to follow throughout the Autumn in your own study and reflection. Genesis for Everyone by John Goldingay (2 vols.). Available through

In addition to beginning at the beginning with Genesis each Sunday morning, this September there is also on offer a refresher course on Christianity each Wednesday evening from 7:15-9 p.m. I will be leading this and all are invited.

As many of you know, Judy Pemberton, Briarwood’s Director of Family Ministries (a position made possible through your pledges, prayers and a Presbytery grant) has been working with the Christian Education committee with a focus of growing our witness of passing on Christian faith to children in the church and community. On September 16th between services, we’ll celebrate a related initiative, the acquisition of a SmartBoard for the children’s faith program. For those who have yet to see this resource in use, come and see; and for all, come at 11 a.m. for a short service of dedication in the Hall. Also on September 16th, we will dedicate with thanksgiving all those working in the ministry of teaching or music in the year ahead.

Finally, let me highlight “Welcome back to church Sunday” on September 9th. This is not to say we haven’t been at the church over the summer. (In fact, with two services all July and August, our average attendance was 111 kids and adults.) But it is a Sunday to celebrate together the beginning of a new church year. We are blessed that Grace Wurah will be baptized in the family of God at Briarwood at 10 a.m. this Sunday too. A reminder for all us that we belong to God through the covenant of God’s grace and love in Jesus; a story of covenant and love that begins, where….you guessed it; Genesis.

On a personal note, our family enjoyed a good summer, minus a broken arm and with it (it seems) our customary summer hospital ER visit.

Since we’ll begin with Creation on September 9th, I’ll sign off now with a quote from C.S. Lewis on beauty:

“Most people, if they had really learned to look into their own hearts, would know that they do want, and want acutely, something that cannot be had in this world. There are all sorts of things in this world that offer to give it to you, but they never quite keep their promise….

We do not want to merely “see” beauty–though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words–to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.”

Wishing all the very best.


Sunday’s Coming 97

Greetings Friends,

This Labour Day Sunday we look at the invitation to “arise, and come away” from the Song of Songs 2: 8-13.  As we have all summer, we come to worship with the opportunity to join at 10 a.m. or 11:30 a.m.   Children’s faith program at both services.  We sing of the joy of Christ made known among us in “Fairest Lord Jesus” at the 10 a.m. and of the refuge of God’s presence in “I lift my hands” at 11:30 a.m.

Wishing everyone an excellent weekend,



Sunday’s Coming 96

Greetings Everyone!

I’m happy to be back among you after several weeks away with family.  We enjoyed lots of swimming, hiking, singing and boat rides in the 1000 Islands.  Thank you to all those who led in worship in my absence.

This Sunday is special in a few ways.  First, it is, like every Sunday, a day of resurrection.  We gather to put first things first.  We gather in hope.  It is also a special day because Joe and Audrey M. celebrate 65 years married.  There will be a celebration lunch after the first service to which all are invited.  Congratulations Joe and Audrey!

The text for Sunday is Ephesians 6: 10-20.  About strength.

This week we remember before God with thanksgiving:

the choir gathering at Alejandro’s place north of Repentigny Friday afternoon;

the annual Session retreat Saturday morning;

one of our M.I.A.s, Dr. John Vissers, leaving for Africa as Moderator of the P.C.C., with Lynne;

our youth group and leader Tisha M., 5 of whom went to CY2012 (see CY video).

With best wishes,