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our weekly e-newsletter . . . with random thoughts from the Pastor.



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26
November 26, 2018

We are . . . often . . . as children of God . . . asked to do what we think is impossible. And often our response to being asked to do something impossible is to ask how can I do that – or even why should I do that? And the answer – the reason for the why is usually because it is the best thing for you to do [I don't believe that God wants us to do things "just because"].

One of those best things for you is to forgive. It is difficult to forgive a hurt. We might think some slights or slams or actions are impossible to forgive. Yet Jesus teaches us that it is important to offer forgiveness rather than holding on to the pain of what was done to us. And we've discovered that forgiving can do more than restore and bring healing to a broken relationship – it can bring healing to our own souls! Robert Sutton wrote Even if your tormentors don't deserve to be let off the hook, pardoning them for their sins can free you from being haunted by them and will bolster feelings that you are master of your own fate. Letting the pain go can restore you – mind, body, and soul.

Click here to read yesterday's message on the call to be forgiving.

Click here to read the New York Times article Portraits of Reconciliation – Pieter Hugo's photographic record / tableaus of Hutus and Tutsis in post-war Rwanda.

Click here to go to read stories from around the world on our theme as recorded by the forgiveness project.

We are about to enter the season of Advent. This Sunday we begin lighting the candles that remind us of the incarnation  . . . singing the carols and hymns of Christmas . . . celebrating the birth of the Christ Child.  Please note the dates and times of our church activities during the season.

This Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent . . . we'll celebrate communion in our service as we prepare our hearts for the season. The first message in our Advent series not your usual attitudes looks at Zacharias in the temple: I Doubt It!

Next Sunday, the second Sunday of Advent, is our day of musical celebration. We look forward to many of our congregation sharing special Christmas music and readings.  Following our service we will go out for our Festive Fellowship at the nearby St. Hubert's chicken [1754 St. Laurent Boulevard].                                                                        

The third Sunday of Advent is December 16. Our message looks at Mary and at her response to the angelic announcement: I'm Not So Sure! We will gather for our annual open house and fellowship at the parsonage for the evening [beginning at 6:30pm].

The fourth Sunday of Advent is December 23. We will look at the birth of the Christ Child . . . a time of worship and wonder in the fulfillment of the promise. Our message: I'm Going to Believe.

Christmas Eve we'll gather for our candlelight service at 7pm . . . a time of joyous reflection of the incarnation. We will concluding our series with the message        I Will Celebrate.

Even if we stretch it, the whole of the Christmas story covers less than 150 verses in Matthew and Luke. Join me in reading this story slowly as a daily reflection as we turn our hearts toward Christmas. You can find the full reading schedule at the end of our Musings. This week, the promise of the Advent:

  • December 1: Isaiah 9:6-7                         
  • December 2:Isaiah 53:1-7

Opportunities to Show Compassion . . .

As I have mentioned during the past month, your church board has committed to meet the needs of one of the 10 Nazarene children left orphans in the plane accident in Cuba last May. Meet 12-year-old Eliezer Garcia Suarez [son of  deceased Pastor Norma Suarez Niles and Jesus Garcia Oberto of Unas Church], whom we now have care of. As sponsors, we are committed to invest $30. a month for his care for the next 10 years [as well as birthday and Christmas gifts]. If you would like to be part of the support team, please give through your tithe envelope  or on-line giving, indicating "Child Sponsorship".

Yasel Lazaro Betancourt Mayo is the current pastor of La Maquina Church – the church we have sponsored the past number of years. He has asked for [and we are going to send him, through Pastor Junior Sorzano who is going to Cuba in January] a Thompson Chain Reference Bible [resources there are, as you would expect, quite difficult to locate].

The Church of the Nazarene in Cuba is growing at an amazing rate – it has more than doubled in the past few years, with 128 churches now in existence. In faith, the church board has committed to support a second pastor and church. Thank you for your generosity in compassionate giving.

The Fifth Annual CHRI Pajama Drive is underway. The station is asking for donations of new PJs, which will be distributed through local and rural food banks and to given to families who face difficult challenges such as poverty, addiction, domestic violence and mental health challenges.

The Pajama Drive will continue until the end of February. Click here for more information.

Denominationally . . . the 2017-2018 Nazarene Compassionate Ministries Canada gift catalogue can be found on-line [click here to access a copy; you can also pick one up from the table at the back of the sanctuary]. You can give through the church or directly to NCMC either on-line [click here] or by mail.

Congratulations, Pamela and David!

If you were in service Sunday you would have heard that David proposed to Pam on Saturday . . . and that she said "yes". The couple had talked of marrying sometime in the future. However, with Pam's recent educational changes [she is transferring from Ryerson in Toronto to Algonquin College] they decided that the future is sooner than later . . . in fact, the future is now!

They will be married this coming Thursday [November29] in Mississauga. The wedding will be live-streamed from David's Facebook page . . . to watch, become his Facebook friend! The ceremony will begin at 4:00 pm.

Movember is almost at an end. "Thanks" to those who donated to my fundraising efforts as I am try to do my part to raise funds for men’s health issues. This will be the last notice [for this year]. Click here to go to my fund-raising page and donate. [Pastor]

Following our service yesterday we took time for coffee together. This was initiated by our young people, who felt that we are often too busy to talk with one another outside of our welcome time even though we consider ourselves community. Once a month [to begin] coffee will be available in the hallway following our worship time . . . please stay behind so that we can continue to know one another better. And to our young people . . . thanks for your leadership!

The Nursery School's Christmas fundraiser is through Purdy's Chocolate. The web site is a little bit strange. Click here to access it; enter your e-mail address and either sign up [if this is your first time order] or sign in [if you ordered last year]; click on the "three bars" in the top right corner; click "shop online".

You will have two choices: "Use Online Order Form" or "Use Marketplace" [Marketplace shows you pictures of the product]. Add your product, proceed to checkout, pay, and pick up Sunday December 18th. Enjoy!

We are still planning for an interactive prayer time – perhaps in December. We also plan to live-stream our Sunday services via Facebook video soon, "piggy-backing" onto the system the Spanish Church is setting up. Unfortunately, things are taking longer than expected.

We'll keep you updated and will be "on the air" as soon as we can.

Our December Messages

  • Dec 02:         I Doubt It!
  • Dec 09:         Musical Celebration
  • Dec 16:         I'm Not So Sure
  • Dec 23:         I'm Going to Believe
  • Dec 24:         I Will Celebrate
  • Dec 30:         Matt Speaking

Church Life in December . . .

  • Dec 02:         I Doubt It! Pastor Frank speaking
  • Dec 06:         Congregational Prayer
  • Dec 07:         Worship Team Practice
  • Dec 07:         Youth Alive Teen Activity: Swimming at Splash Wave Pool
  • Dec 09:         Congregational Celebration of Music  
  • Dec 09:         Festive Fellowship, at St. Hubert's Chicken
  • Dec 13:         Young Adult Discussion
  • Dec 14:         Worship Team Practice
  • Dec 14:         Youth Alive Teen Activity: Christmas Party, at Matt's
  • Dec 16:         I'm Not So Sure, Pastor Frank Speaking
  • Dec 16:         Parsonage Open House, 6:30 pm
  • Dec 21:         Worship Team Practice
  • Dec 23:         I'm Going To Believe; Pastor Frank Speaking
  • Dec 24:         Christmas Eve Candlelight Service; 7:00 pm
  • Dec 30:         Matt speaking

Readings for Advent

  • December 1        Isaiah 9:6-7
  • December 2        Isaiah 53:1-7
  • December 3        John 1:1-5
  • December 4        Matthew 1:2-17
  • December 5        Luke 3: 23-38
  • December 6        Luke 1: 5-17
  • December 7        Luke 1:18-25
  • December 8        Luke 1:26-38
  • December 9        Luke 1:39-45
  • December 10      Luke 1:46-55
  • December 11      Luke 1:57-58
  • December 12      Luke 1:59-66
  • December 13      Luke 1:67-80
  • December 14      Luke 1:56
  • December 15      Matthew 1:18-24
  • December 16      Luke 2: 1-7
  • December 17      Luke 2:8-20
  • December 18      Luke 2:21
  • December 19      Luke 2:22-24
  • December 20      Luke 2:25-35
  • December 21      Luke 2:36-38
  • December 22      Matthew 2:1-12
  • December 23      Matthew 2: 13-18
  • December 24      Matthew 2:19-23