Monday, 30 December 2013

Von guten Mächten wunderbar geborgen

Von guten Mächten is a prayer/poem written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer while in prison.  He sends it to his fiancée at the turn of the year 1944/45. Shortly after (April 9th 1945) he will be hung by the Nazi regime.  Bonhoeffer finds his strength in his faith and his support in prayer. “Von guten Mächten” has been widely spread in the German speaking world. The promise of the Lord’s presence in every situation in life, especially in dark and difficult times rarely has been better formulated.  It is an unshakable “I know” that the Lord’s light shines in the night and that every further day is under His protection and presence.

Ivo Tamm sang  the German  Von guten Mächten in our church on Sunday evening, Dec 29, with the English text on the screen (see below).  Various English translations of the poem have been written, including the two provided here. May God bless you as you look back on 2013 and anticipate God's loving forces in 2014.

By loving forces...

By loving forces silently surrounded,
I feel quite soothed, secure, and filled with grace.
So I would like to live these days together,
and go with you into another year.

Refrain:       By loving forces wonderfully sheltered,
                      we’re awaiting fearlessly what there might come.
                      God is with us at dusk and in the morning
                      and most assuredly on every day.

Still matters of the past are pressing our hearts
and evil days are weighing down on us.
Oh Lord, to our souls, so scared and sore,
give rescue, as it's that you made us for.

And when you pass to us the bitter chalice
of suffering, filled to the brim and more,
we take it, full of thanks and trembling not,
from this, your caring and beloved hand.

But if you want to please us, yet, and again
with our shining sun and wondrous world,
let us muse on what is past, and then we shall,
with our lives, in all belong to you.

Warm and bright be our candles' flame today,
since into gloom you brought a gleaming light,
and lead again us, if you will, together!
We know it: you are beaming in the night.

When silence now will snow around us ev'rywhere,
so let us hear the all-embracing sound
of what is not for eyes, but there, endless, wide,
your world, and all your children's soaring hail.

By loving forces wonderfully sheltered,
we’re awaiting fearlessly what there might come.
God is with us at dusk and in the morning
and most assuredly on every day.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

A touchable God

"The Word became flesh..." is the miracle of Christmas, that God came to earth as a baby, a baby that could be held, touched.  We worship a touchable God.  He is more than a concept or a philosophy, he is even more than a spiritual being - our God became one of us.  May you experience the presence of God in real and tangible ways this Christmas. We worship together on Christmas Day at 10 a.m.  Join us.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Violet Ruth Harris

On Sunday, Dec 15, we witnessed the baptism of Violet Ruth Harris, baby daughter of Tom & Charlene.  Congratulations!

FISH breakfast

No, not a breakfast of fish--  FISH is our church youth group:  Friends in Service For Him.  They served up breakfast last Saturday.  It was great! Thanks FISH!

Friday, 13 December 2013

More than charity

You've probably seen the you tube video by now, the one where West Jet passengers are surprised to find their gift wishes come true.  That kind of gift giving depicts charity as it was intended - as a joyous surprise that gives just as much happiness to the giver as it does to the receiver.
John the Baptist instructed the people in how they should act in preparation for Jesus' coming (Luke 3).  We too, should prepare the way of the Lord, because Jesus is coming back. May our acts of charity and compassion reflect the joy that comes from sharing God's love to everyone and anyone!  Join us this Sunday, Dec 15 at 10 a.m.

Friday, 6 December 2013


"Holiness is not perfection.  We do not by some act of divine fiat become sinless creatures incapable of all wrong doing.... Even so, holiness is progress in purity and sanctity... We are ever in the process of becoming holy" (Richard Foster). On this second Sunday of advent, we embrace the holiness tradition, as exemplified by Joseph.  Rev. Joel Bootsma preaches the message, this Sunday, Dec 8 at 10 a.m.