July 06, 2016

WEDNESDAY, JULY 6th, 2016 - "Some things are better left unsaid, which I generally realize right after I have said them"

SUNDAY, JULY 10th, 2016 - Join us for morning worship at 10:00 - led by Rev. Deb Rapport, Arise Ministries. We will celebrate communion.

MISSION CAPSULES: Presbyterians Sharing ... supports the Life and Mission agency of the Presbyterian Church of Canada. Earlier this year, three staff members were recognized for their new positions at the PCC's national office. Jen de Combe as Associate Secretary of Canadian Ministries, Guy Smagghe as Director of PWS&D and Ian Ross-McDonald as General Secretary of the LMA. The Rev. Glynis Williams shares, "The LMA is not an acronym, but an active, engaged, thinking, praying and visioning group of people who love God and want to be faithful to the call of Jesus Christ in our lives. Today we recognize these gifts in Jen, Guy and Ian."

JOB POSTING: Evangel Hall Mission is seeking a Community Outreach and Development summer student ( age 19 - 30).

SOMETHING DIFFERENT! The Straw People .... an allegory

Once upon a time, in a land long ago and far away, there lived a people. A fiercely stalwart people, strong and mighty in battle. The strongest, it was said, that existed in the world.

Their custom was to make all of their houses from straw. They heard that people in other places built homes from sod, or wood ... or even from stone and mud...but they were a proud people and wishing to differentiate themselves from other neighboring lands, they passed a law stipulating that all houses in their land were to be constructed from straw and nothing else. Understandably, they came to be known as "The Straw People."

Now, it came to pass that one of the more adventurous of the Straw People went on a journey to another land nearby and discovered they were using something none in his land had ever seen before. It was called Fire. Intrigued, he bartered with an opportunistic black market dealer and took some fire back home. At first he kept it a closely guarded secret until he realized that he would be able to profit by trading portions of his fire to others in his land in exchange for meat and vegetables and other provisions. Eventually, he established a company. It was called FireX.

And thus it was that the use of Fire grew among the Straw People. To begin with, people purchased and used it on a selective basis. To provide warmth on colder nights. To dispose of stubble in fields. To herd wild animals together and thus make for more efficient hunting. As a landmark beacon to identify their territory. To ward off marauding bandits from nearby nations. However, slowly but surely fire came to be widely used, more fire was made and sold and the profits of FireX grew by leaps and bounds.

It turned out that, as with any collection of people, there were those among the citizens who were of dark spirits. When disputes arose, one of the parties would suddenly find their house on fire. Houses being made of straw, burned quickly and there was frequent loss of life as well as possessions.

The fire that had once been seen as a positive good was not seen as being capable of great evil. Thus there were those among the leaders in the land who sought to monitor and control fire, how it was used and also those who owned it and used it. But others saw it as a right to own and use fire as they saw fit and fought against there being any restrictions that would inhibit their freedom. FireX and the fire enthusiasts of the land promoted the following theory: "The more people that have fire, the safer everyone is."

Fire devotees loved their fire. It became like unto a God to them. All powerful. All controlling.

As debates raged on, the profits of FireX, that still made and distributed all fire, soared beyond belief, making FireX by far the most powerful enterprise every known in the land.

Over time, tensions increased. More and more houses were burned down. Every time another house was burned down, the question of restricting the use of fire was raised but quickly snuffed out. More and more people wanted to own fire -- not for warmth or hunting purposes -- but in order to protect themselves from their neighbours, because they were afraid ..... so FireX made and sold more fire.

One day, after several houses had been set on fire all at once, substantial winds blew up. causing the entire land to become engulfed in one giant inferno. And great was the burning of it. The Straw People, consumed by their own fear and folly, came to an unspeakable end - their civilization, as had numerous other great civilizations across time, perished. Not due to external conquest but from an unwillingness to confront and control the evil that burned among them.

There was, at a later date, a monument built on the lands formerly occupied by the Straw People. It had one simple inscription "Sic transit gloria mundi .... Thus passes the glory of this world."

Have a good week - MB