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SASS Weekly Newsletter - May 25 2020
by Pastor Martin

SASS Weekly Newsletter

May 25 2020


May 3-24 2020 – Sunday Worship

During May we have been focusing on four NT words that describe the church: fellowship, service, proclamation and witness. On Sunday May 24th I encouraged all of us to read Hebrews 11. The “ancients” were commended because they had an unwavering conviction in God. so much so that they lived their lives based on their absolute confidence in His Word. Therefore …

Hebrews 12:1 begins with that word “therefore.” If we are surrounded by their witness what is stopping us from doing the same, from living our lives with that same absolute confidence and assurance in God and His redemptive plan for this creation? What is stopping us?


Don’t forget, we do not have to do anything, correction, “be” anything on our own. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit, who would come upon us in power if we believe. Next Sunday is Pentecost Sunday, when we will be focused on the Spirit, and the influence the Spirit has in our lives. So what is stopping us from asking God to fill us with His blessing?


If you missed the mini series on “the Church” then why not catch up by watching it on YouTube. Recordings of the online services are available on our SASS YOUTUBE channel. Simply search on YouTube for “SASS Presbyterian” or click on the link on our church homepage.


Moments with the Master in May

Hopefully you have been blessed these past few weeks spending 20 minutes each 

day reading and meditating on Luke’s Gospel; precious “moments with the Master in May.”


I have included the reading plan for this upcoming week, for your reference. As you can see you will be starting ACTS before the end of the month, Luke’s second volume. 





Luke 22:63-23:25


Luke 23:26-56


Luke 24:1-12


Luke 24:13-35


Luke 24:36-53


Acts 1:1-26


Acts 2:1-47



Thursday Morning Bible Study


Pastor Daniel is continuing to lead the weekly Thursday Morning Bible Study, using ZOOM, 10-11:30am.





SASS’ Missions and Evangelism Ministry Team


Over the past two weeks two missions that we passionately support made unfortunate but necessary decisions.

Camp Douglas will NOT be operating as usual this summer. Young people will be devastated because they can not wait to spend one week every year up at that blessed place, with incredible leaders. Please keep Daniel, Janet and the rest of the 2020 team in your prayers as they put their thinking caps on in the coming weeks to plan how best to “virtually” connect with campers this summer.


Last Tuesday night the SASS Session met and discussed the re-scheduled 2020 Mexico Mission team. We unanimously agreed that it was highly unlikely that travel restrictions will be lifted sufficiently before the end of August. As such we made the recommendation to the team that they postpone for a second time. We hope that they will get to go in March 2021. The team undoubtedly understand this decision. In order to keep them as safe as possible, and to minimise any risk of contracting this virus, the trip must be postponed. But that does not make it any easier to accept, so please keep the 12 wonderful team members in your prayers. On a very practical note, I pray that all 12 of them will be able to plan to go in March 2021.


Further to the above, the Session discussed our Province’s “reopening” plan. Given that the summer is just around the corner, during which our ministries usually take a break, and given that it is very likely that Dr. Henry will not lift the restrictions on mass gatherings in the near future, we made the decision to continue as we are until at least August 31st. In the meantime we have put together a small steering committee to put together a safety plan for how we might move towards more in-person gatherings, following that date, and how to safely make use of our building in the coming months as this pandemic continues.


Competition Time


Not too sure what to say. I thought there were more “green” fingers in the church family. For the past two weeks I was hoping, not with absolute confidence but more out of desperation, that someone would be able to name the 12 plants that I am currently growing in my garden. 


I am going to award a prize to Jane Calland, who responded first. I am not convinced Jane got all the right answers, but I think these are the names of the 12 plants, but what would I know?



Piers Japonica


Euonymus “Happiness”






Candy Tuft




Calla Lily


N.Z. Flax






Azelea (Rhododendron)




Our new competition is … Name as many animals in the following collage as you can.


Whoever has emailed me the most names by next Sunday night will win a prize.









During our service on May 24th we heard from Alana Romain, as she shared some of her experiences during this pandemic. Alana then led us in prayer, focusing us on the education system. I have asked Alana if I could reprint that prayer here so we can all repray it this week, as many teachers and kids prepare to return to school on June 1st. Bless you Alana, and thanks.


Father God, You are good, and You are never changing. In the midst of the unknown, You are always there. At this time, we need You more than ever, especially in our schools.


Please bless our leaders with wisdom and discernment to make the best possible decisions for our children, teenagers, teachers, education assistants, office staff, custodians and administrators. So many people are filled with fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of illness, fear for those they love. But through it all, you are bigger. You are greater. You are stronger. Please fill us with Your strength so we can face the coming days and know that we are not alone.


Over the last number of weeks, our administrators, custodians and office staff have been faced with more work than ever and have had to adapt to many different policies and procedures. Give them renewed strength as we push through to the end of the year.


As our teachers navigate this transition, please help us remember the joy that teaching can bring, even in tough days. Teachers want to make our classrooms a welcoming, safe space for our students and that is hard for those who feel so filled with fear and anxiety. Instead, please fill our hearts with peace, so much peace that there is just no space for the fear.


Families are faced with the decision of whether or not to send their children back to school or for them to continue learning from home. Whether students are in-school or at home, please bless them with a feeling of connectedness. Just because they may not be in the same room does not mean that they are not equally cared for, valued and loved. For the students who return to school, please give them the strength to follow all of the measures and health guidelines to keep them as safe as possible. For those who stay at home, please bless them and their families with patience for one another.


With the return of teaching staff and students, It will be such a time of adjustment and will certainly feel rather different from normal. BUT, that doesn’t mean that we can’t see Your light through the changes. May our hallways and classrooms be filled once again with community, laughter, hope and joy. We ask these things in your precious name, AMEN!

Don’t forget, let’s pray for each other. 


This week let’s uphold in particular Eileen Claydon, and her extended family, after the death of Doug. Eileen and Doug were in their 65th year of marriage. What an incredible witness they were to so many of the Gospel.


Also this Tuesday Gary will be interring his mother, Muriel Dionne, at 1st Memorial.


In order for us to pray for each other we all need to share what’s going on in our lives. Send your prayer concerns, requests, stories by emailing



  Worship Service information

We continue to hold our Sunday worship services online, via ZOOM. The link to all SASS meetings and worship services is easily accessible. Just go to our homepage – and scroll down and click on the following graphic. The password to access our ZOOM meetings will be “sass” – lowercase, no quotes.


The ZOOM Meeting ID for our SASS worship services is – 795 930 7120


If you DO NOT have access to a computer / internet then you can phone in and listen to any SASS meeting / service using the above meeting ID.

  1. Dial 778 907 2071
  2. When prompted enter the Meeting ID: 795 930 7120, followed by #.
  3. You will be asked for a participant ID - just hit the # key.
  4. When prompted enter the password: 676824


PLEASE REMEMBER on Sundays to check that your MIC is muted and that your video is disabled / turned off, to limit bandwidth usage and potential on-screen distractions.

If you dial in using your phone please MUTE your phone, if that option is available.


Please note, ALL participants will be required to run ZOOM v5

after May 30th, so PLEASE ENSURE your ZOOM APP is updated.




Final Thoughts – “Going to the Barbers – a new experience”


Last Wednesday I was pleasantly surprised to get an appointment at my usual barber’s. I can not remember the last time I went. I badly needed to go. The girls were threatening to put my hair in pony tails. Agh!


So I went, mask in hand, actually it was on my face. As I stepped in to the shop I was greeted by four masked assistants asking me if I had any symptoms of CoVid-19? “Nope!” I said reassuringly. As such I was directed to a chair. I removed my jacket, looked around for somewhere to put it, and finding nowhere I placed it on the chair to be behind my back. “Oh,” said the barber, “it doesn’t matter.” Was I supposed to do something else? Where was the usual coat hangers?


Anyways, the barber clearly wearing an N95, started to struggle to put on his gloves, and then proceeded to be very particular about getting a new towel and folded gown from a cupboard beneath his work station. Finally he was ready to begin cutting. So I thought. Actually the way he was preparing all his utensils and the amount of sanitizing spray he was using on everything I thought I was about to have surgery. The next 15-20 minutes passed really really slowly. He was not confident about anything. He appeared to be constantly reminding himself to spray, and spray again, everything before touching it. I tried to lessen the stressful situation, but to no avail. The barber started telling me in great detail that in his opinion the shop was not as ready as it should be, and will be, to have customers. Next week, he said, when customers arrive they will step in to a machine that will wrap their feet in plastic. “It is an operating theatre after all,” I thought.


I have never had such an uncomfortable experience. I thought going for a massage was bad enough but this trip to the barber’s will be forever ingrained in my memory.


It just did not feel right, for so many reasons. And to top the whole thing off, I paid almost double what I used to always pay.


Life has changed, hasn’t it?


But I should be happy, right? After all, everything he was doing was to keep me, him and everyone else in the world safe. Yes he was. I totally get what he was doing. In fact I am very grateful I got my haircut. It was getting so bad I think I was almost at the point of trying to do a “JohnEdmonds!” But it just did not feel right.


I left that night believing I might actually have this virus after all, because that’s how I felt I had been treated. And then, it came to me. I felt like a leper. I’ve read those stories in the Gospels so many times, but never really been able to experience what it must have been like to be one of them. (Before I get a hundred emails I know my trip to the barber is nothing like having leprosy.) Lepers were subjected to “physical distancing” every day for the rest of their lives. Can we imagine how horrible that must have been. And then He came one day, with no mask, no gloves, no plastic on His feet, and just like that He reached out and touched them. What a Saviour we follow. He loved us so much that everything we experience that makes us less than we were made to be, He took upon himself in order to give us life, life in all its fullness.


Thank you Lord Jesus, thank you from the bottom of my heart.


In your presence no matter who I am, what I am full of, you will envelop me in your arms of love. Hallelujah, what a Saviour!


May the love of the cross,

the power of the resurrection,

and the presence of the living Lord

be with you always.

And the blessing of the eternal God,

creator and sustainer,

risen and ascended Lord and Saviour,

giver of holiness and love,

be upon you now and evermore. Amen.


God bless,

Pastor Martin

Direct Line in Church Office – 604 770 1025