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FALL 2020
Recognizing Elders in Ottawa
Music Ministry Musing from Calgary
By Evan Mounce, Director of Music Ministries, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Calgary, Alta.
The ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic have affected every aspect of my musical life, but the impact has been felt most significantly by the choirs with whom I work. I was talking with my colleague Tim Shantz in May, brainstorming about what the next season for the Calgary Philhar- monic Chorus might look like, and he suggested that we treat the season like a sabbatical. I think this is the perfect way to reframe our current circumstances: using this time as a chance to study, acquire new skills, and connect with the community and with each other. From here on, the music ministry of St. Andrew’s Pres- byterian Church in Calgary, Alta., is on a COVID-19 Sabbatical.
During Pre-COVID times, choir practices at St. Andrew’s Presby- terian Church often began with a five-minute warm-up, followed by a speedy survey through the service music, and then our best attempt to get through a stack of new pieces set out that evening. In contrast, at our last online choir meeting, we took turns talking about our plans for the summer and how we were doing, and shared memories of a former
    The Rev. James Hurd with Judy and Stewart Reeves.
choir member who had passed away. We discussed our next virtual choir projects, our Minute for Music video series, and what the fall might look like for us. There has been a steep technological learning curve with the filming of videos and logging into online meetings, but we have perse- vered and have acquired some new and useful skills to help us stay con- nected.
St. Andrew’s has reached out to people outside our church commu- nity, hiring musicians from across Canada and the U.S. to submit videos for incorporation into our live-stream services. We are doing our part to help musicians in a time when they need our financial support. We are also planning to support a Canadian composer by commissioning a piece for the choir. Working directly with a composer gives us a chance to get more involved and invested in the music that we are learning and per- forming and gives us another project to look forward to: selecting texts and collaborating in the creative process.
The constraints of COVID-19 have fuelled our creativity.
We must re-imagine what it looks like to gather as a group, and what it sounds like to put together voices when everyone is apart. Like many places, next fall will look and sound different for us at St. Andrew’s PC, but we are seizing this opportunity and accepting this creative chal- lenge. Kellie Walsh, artistic director of Shallaway Youth Choir and Lady Cove Women’s Choir in Newfound- land, shared some words early in the pandemic that I keep coming back to for inspiration:
“If a choir is only about singing and performing—there will be no choir for a while. If a choir is about teach- ing and learning, growing, connect- ing, community, cultural exploration and transmission, and innovating— we will find a way to have choir.”
Although our COVID-19 Sabbatical wasn’t anticipated, we are using this time to grow in life together and we are going to come back to our music ministry refreshed and renewed.
By Dennis Featherstone, Clerk of Session, Parkwood Presbyterian Church in Ottawa, Ont.
In March, the Session of Parkwood Presbyterian Church in Ottawa, Ont., formally acknowledged, with thanks- giving to God, the service of Stewart and Judy Reeves, who together have rendered some 90 years of combined service as elders in The Presbyterian Church in Canada.
Stewar t was ordained as an el- der on Feb. 24, 1963, at The Pres- byterian Church of Saint David in Halifax, N.S. When he moved to Dar tmouth, N.S., in 1964, he con- sidered a transfer of membership to St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Dartmouth. Learning, however, that a new congregation was to begin meeting in a school within sight of their house, affiliation there was to be his destiny. The new congrega- tion was Iona Presbyterian Church, Dar tmouth, and Stewar t was elect- ed as one of the congregation’s first elders in January 1965. He was ap- pointed clerk of Session on Feb. 5, 1965, the office he held until April 27, 1975, when a transfer to Ottawa, Ont., necessitated his resignation.
On Sept. 25, 1978, Stewart and Judy were received as members of Parkwood Presbyterian Church in Ot- tawa by transfer of certificate. Both were elected elders in 1979.
The Session minutes record that their induction was approved on June 26, 1979, and scheduled for Sept. 16, 1979: Judy by ordination, and Stewart by admission as an el- der previously ordained.
Stewart was an active and devoted elder at Parkwood for some 33 years, from 1979 until Dec. 31, 2012, when his request to resign from active ser- vice was accepted with regret by the Session. Judy made a similar request
on Jan. 1, 2020, after more than 40 years of active service.
There are likely few other couples in The Presbyterian Church in Cana- da who have a comparable record of service as elders.
At Parkwood, we have been bless- ed by their contributions in many ways. Judy has demonstrated active, faithful and attentive care for those in her district, visiting and maintaining contact and offering prayer and sup- port in many ways. For several years, she quietly under took the goodwill task of sending cards and notes on behalf of the Session to those who were ill or bereaved, or who celebrat- ed significant life events. Stewar t’s prior experience and service at Iona Presbyterian Church, and as a clerk of Session, enabled him to share wisdom and guidance with those re- sponsible for policy and planning at Parkwood. His musical contributions as a member and the president of the choir are remembered with thanksgiv- ing, as is his time spent convening the former Worship and Nurture Commit- tee, particularly in the search for and recruitment of leadership for music ministry. Together, Stewart and Judy have rendered significant services to the wider community, delivering Meals on Wheels within our city.
The Session of Parkwood Pres- byterian Church rejoices in the gifts of God’s grace to Stewart and Judy Reeves and, through them, to the church in advancing our witness and service to Jesus Christ.
“I thank my God every time I re- member you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy be- cause of your partnership in the gos- pel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 1:3–6 NIV).
Members of St. Andrew’s choir.
   Moderator Welcomed to Fallingbrook
  The Rev. Angela J. Cluney (left) and the Rev. Amanda Currie, Moderator of General Assembly.
By the Rev. Angela J. Cluney, Fallingbrook Presbyterian Church in Scarborough, Ont.
Fallingbrook Presbyterian Church in Scarborough, Ont., was pleased to host our moderator, the Rev. Amanda Currie, on March 1. Amanda joined us for worship, and she preached and co-officiated Communion with me before joining us for a luncheon in her honour.
This was a special visit, not only because the congregation had never hosted a moderator before, but also because Amanda had last preached for us as a Knox College student in 2001 for Knox College Sunday.
It was an extra delight for me to
welcome Amanda to be my worship partner as we first met each other on our first day as students at Knox Col- lege. A few months shy of 20 years later, we were able to lead worship together. What a blessing!

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