Friday September 9th, 2022

Ministers Mussing 

Hello everyone,

As I sit and write this Friday Message, I am filled with excitement and anticipation for our Welcome Back Sunday Worship service and BBQ. It’s so great to be back at Highlands – I have missed you all and I can’t wait to catch up with you over a tasty burger lovingly prepared by the Shelter to Home folks.

Our service this week is all ages, and I am happy to let you know that Alexa will be back in the nursery this Sunday. We welcome you back to Highlands, a place where you are known, a place where you are seen, a place where you are loved. Whether you are new or have been coming your whole life; whether you took a break over summer or through Covid times and now feel you are missing something; whether you join us in person or from the comfort of your own homes – we enthusiastically welcome you back home to your Highlands community.

During the service we will have a Blessing of the Backpacks, so don’t forget to bring your school or work bags so we can bless the year ahead. Our BBQ will happen right after the service in the courtyard and the weather report is looking great!

Can’t wait to see you on Sunday.

Sunday Service Link 

Ministry & Personnel

Welcome to our new congregational minister – Julie Lees, who started on September 1 and has quickly jumped into the deep end! Nothing like hitting the ground running at full speed!

We would like to let you all know that our lead minister Will Sparks is on leave following the recent loss of his brother. Will did come back to work as planned last week; however, he has found that he needs some additional time off so that he can be fully present and at his best when he returns to work. We do not know yet how much time Will needs and when he will be back, but we are in good hands while Will is off.

M&P met with the co-chairs of the Leadership Board, as well as Julie, and Marc Coulombe. We continue to collaborate and build out our plans; over the next several weeks, Julie and Colleen will extend their hours and we will contract with Sandi Parker to return once again to help ensure as smooth a transition to the schedule for the next few weeks as Highlands returns to its usual busy fall season at full speed."

Craig Madill, Chair Ministry & Personnel

We are sad to announce that Don Currie, a former, active, long standing member of Highlands, passed away in Sechelt on Wednesday, September 7th.  Don joined Highlands in 1973 with his then wife, Aunna, and his children Jim and Margaret.  After the passing of Aunna in 1980, he married Donna English at Highlands in 1983, and became step-father to Don and Jill English.  He served as Chair of the Board and volunteered in many other capacities during his time at Highlands, and continued to attend Highlands until the late 1990s when he became a member of St. John's United Church in Davis Bay. 

A celebration of life will be held at St. John's at a date still to be determined.  

Upcoming Events 

To Everything There is a Season

Planning for a Good Death
  • September 21st:  Welcome back and an introduction to the Autumn Series….with Colleen Blair 
  • *Saturday, October 1st , 1-3 p.m. : (note change of date) The How and Why of Advance Care Planning…. with Connie Jorsvik, Patient Pathways 
  • October 5th:  End of Life Choices….with Dr Paul Sugar and Dr Marylene Kyriazis, founders of The Paul Sugar Foundation
  •  October 19th:  Medical Assistance in Dying….with Alex Muir, from Dying With Dignity
  • November 2nd:  yet to be determined! 
  • November 16th:  The Role of Ministry Staff at the end of Life- the final days and planning for how you will be remembered….with Will Sparks, Colleen Blair and Geordie Roberts
 RSVP required…..everyone welcome!
To register, contact Colleen Blair or call 604 980 6071 ext 227

Refugee Committee - URGENT NEED 

URGENT NEED for housing for SYRIAN REFUGEE FAMILY  of 4 ......apt.,house, in Vancouver with maximum budget of $1800 per month arriving Sept.13 from Abdullah Refugee Camp in Jordan. 
This link gives all the info who to contact.
Thanks for your help. 
Sheila Durward 

Meridian Fundraiser is Back!!

Have there been tantalizing smells wafting over from your neighbour’s barbecue? Perhaps you have a hankering for sweet local peaches or juicy corn. Maybe you’re one of those uber organized people already planning your Thanksgiving feast. What a great time to stock up on gift cards for yourself or friends from our community partner, Meridian Farm Market. 30% of gift card sales ordered through Highlands is returned for the work of the church. So, as an example, if you buy spend $200, you receive $200 in gift cards and the church gets $60. How’s that for a deal?!
Sales will open on September 9th and will close on September 28th. Please check the Highlights for your links. 
Gift cards, which never expire, are available in the following denominations.
$10, $25, $50, $75, $100
If you’ve seen the cute little red tractor on Marine Drive but aren’t  sure what Meridian Farm Market offers, check out this 30 second video:
Sign up HERE and the form will take you straight to Paypal don't worry if you don't have a Paypal account just scroll done and find the pay with your credit card button.
If you have other questions, please reach out to Susan Hogman, Sandra Whittle, Julie or Ed Hunt

Janet Gear Book Launch 

Please join Janet Gear for the launch for her book “Undivided Love”
Tuesday Sept. 13 from 7pm – 8:30pm
At St. Andrew's Wesley United Church Downtown Vancouver
You can also find details on Facebook:
(this event is hosted by Leadershift)
Everyone is most welcome!

Welcome Back BBQ 

Sponsored by the Shelter-to-Home Ministry and all proceeds will go to help in their amazing work. 

Come one, come all to the 
Welcome Back BBQ- Sept 11th
Full Meal Deal-  $7.00 a person, $25 or a family  
Hamburgers, Hotdogs, Chips, and all the fixings
Payment will be taken on the day by cash.

For more information or to volunteer please email Melissa at

TRC News

ELL News

Sign up HERE for Intercultural Conversations and Speakers Group, for more detail please read the poster below or contact Judy O'Neill

Flea Market News.

The Flea Market is coming on Saturday, October 15 and many, many volunteers will be needed around that time.  More details to follow.
  • Sorting for the Flea Market will restart on Tuesday, August 30 at 9:00 in the Lower Hall.  The following week we will be sorting on Wednesday, Sept. 8 and thereafter on the Tuesdays.  Interested in joining in the fun of sorting - we  have lots of opportunities for both men and women. Contact: Chris Robertson.
  • If you can't help sort then maybe you can take a turn helping out at the Drop Off on Saturdays, 10:00 - 12:00.  Sign up here:

Shelter to Home



More on Transformational Economics
What if the world embarked on a bold economic strategy to achieve prosperity for a liveable planet?
More from Earth4All, with events beginning August 30. Opportunities to hear from leaders in the fields of Sustainable Prosperity and Economics. Information and registration here. [Note, some times given in CEST which is 9 hours ahead of Pacific Time].
How will we rid the oceans of plastic?
One of our members was encouraged by finding a well-produced video by Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup, a Dutch foundation developing technologies to rid the oceans of plastic. In the video, after clearly explaining the technology, Mr. Slat confidently declares, “We can now clean up 50% of the Pacific Garbage Patch in just 5 years time.”
That video is from 2017. So, how is the project going? We found several news updates:
2018: an unforeseen challenge needs to be remedied, article in the Guardian
2021: A base of operations is set up in Victoria BC, and the goal is now to remove 90% of the patch by 2040.
2022: The cleanup is back on track, with a new system that has removed 28,659 kilograms of plastic waste.
The Foundation has also developed a solution to clean plastic out of rivers before it reaches the oceans.
We are impressed by Mr. Slat’s persistent efforts for our environment since he founded the company in 2013 at age 18.

Opportunities to Connect

Calling all golfers or wanna-be golfers;        
contact Mechel MacDonald  
or Ann Echols
Companion Adventures
Have you ever wanted to go somewhere like the theater, Grouse Mountain, a restaurant or a movie but not wanted to go alone? Why not link up with others who enjoy the same activities and who would like some company. Sign up here and add your ideas, someone will be in touch either by email or phone to connect you with another person who has the same interest as you. Together we can make it happen! 
"Create or join a casual Coffee Clutch this summer" 

Gather in a small group to have a coffee - either in your home, back yard, or at one of our three Edgemont Village Coffee shops.

Simply look through the directory and invite a friend or two and possibly someone new or someone you'd like to know better.

Your choice of company, time, and place. 
If you are a bit shy to initiate a Clutch yet would like an invitation, please contact  Ann Echols 
We Welcome All!!
  • Starting in September on Mondays at 1pm in the choir room, the prayer shawl group is growing to include crafters and sewers.
  • As well our prayer shawls and toques projects we are excited to included needle crafts.
  • No need to be alone with your projects join our group for laughter, friendship and conversation.
  • contact Joy Dancey to join the group or learn more about the projects. email-

HUC Book Circle

Last Monday of the Month Book Circle:
Using our usual democratic dot-voting system we have selected the following variety of books for our up-coming discussions:  

 September - The Woo Woo by Lindsay Wong (2018)

  •  a "darkly comedic" memoir that is a "harrowing and honest depiction of the vagaries of mental illness experienced by a Chinese immigrant family"
  • was a Canada Reads book in 2019
  • multiple copies quickly and easily available from the NVDL's Book Club Sets program

   October - How It All Began (2011) by Penelope Lively 
NOTE:  We hope to gather in a garden for August so will decide closer to the time whether that meeting is during the day.   We welcome readers whose work, volunteer or recreational commitments lessen in the summer giving you more time to join us once or twice.    
 We are a circle not a club!  
If you have any comments or questions, please contact Phyllis HERE 


Community Events

Highlands Church Office
Opening Hours - Tuesday to Friday 9 am to 2:30 pm
Telephone number - 604 980 6071
Email address - or
If you have an emergency outside of office hours please call
Will Sparks on 778 968 7718.
Copyright © 2022 Highlands United Church, All rights reserved.

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