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


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February 4, 2019

Number 4 [or maybe number 3, depending on your interpretation of what a holiday is]: that's where "holiday" spending on Valentine's Day comes in North America. First [no surprise here] is Christmas; second [if you consider it holiday spending, I don't] is back to school; third [no, second!] is Mother's Day; then comes Valentine's Day [followed by Easter, the Super Bowl (that's a holiday?), Father's Day, and Halloween].

This year your Valentine purchases might be a different. Roses and chocolate and cards might still be on your list, but you will not be able to find those candy sweet hearts anywhere – they aren't being made this year [I'll tell you more about that in a couple of weeks]. And that's OK – true love remains strong without sugar, and we are called to be gracious and loving people . . . true people of God  . . . sans gimmick.

Also true is what Lynn Austin said [as you read here last week]: Often, it's not one great, dramatic thing that God asks us to do but hundreds of little everyday things. If we want to be used by Him, if we're ready to be used and aren't all tangled up with your own plans and projects, then He'll show us the work He has for us. And isn't that part of His covenant with us as His people – that He will use us for great things if we let Him [and conversely, that He will allow us to wallow in complacency if we ignore Him].

Yesterday we continued our winter series by looking at the Mosaic – or Sinai – covenant. The condition of the covenant [it was a conditional covenant] was keeping the commands of God. I suggested that the commands were not found in a list because as Jesus said lists can be a roadblock to the kingdom of God but in relationship with God and with other people.

The promise of the covenant was blessing – not just material blessing, but the blessing of God's presence in the lives of His people – His children. They failed miserably. We fail miserably. But God continues to walk with us and help us to become what He wants us to be: loving and merciful [mercy-filled] and gracious [and grace-filled] and forgiving people. Our lives are to be a reflection of who He is as we respond to Him.

Click here to download our message so you can read it at your leisure.

OK . . . I may have "misspoke" when I made the announcement inviting everyone to be part of our worship planning team. As you know, I've invited our worship team to be more involved in planning our orders of worship, and they have wholeheartedly embraced the opportunity . . . and they have become true leaders.

And it came to me . . . everyone has a favourite hymn or worship song, and we as your worship planners may rarely  if ever choose that song/those songs . . . so why not invite "you the congregation" to give input as well. That's what I did yesterday – I suggested that "you the congregation" give me your individual lists. Choose up to four songs – find a theme, if possible – and send the songs to me. I did not mention that they should probably be songs that we know and sing already. Oops. So I repeat the invitation to participate, but add that thought!

Following the suggestion by some of our youth we started to take time following the first Sunday of the month to visit and to catch up with one another over coffee . . . it was a great suggestion that has been embraced. Thanks for staying yesterday . . . though next month's coffee time will be cancelled because . . .
we want to honour David and Pamela on their recent marriage, and will hold a shower for them following our service March 3. Matt will host a potluck lunch at his home. More details will be announced as the event is finalized. We are collecting a "congregational cash gift" . . . please see one of your board members if you would like to contribute.

We are nearing the end of our winter series on the Old Covenants. This coming Sunday we'll look at the covenant God struck with King David. The last of the covenants in the Old Testament points to the great covenant of the New Testament . . . so while we look at Nathan's visit to David [found in 2 Samuel 7] we'll also turn to Gabriel's visit to Mary [found in Luke 1].    

Our annual International Dinner and Food Fair Fellowship in celebration of our relationship with the churches we have partnered with in Cuba is nearing and will take place following our February 24 service. This is a potluck fellowship: please bring a meal representing your heritage/culture as we eat together. As we focus on the pastors and congregations of La Maquina and Almendares churches we will receive our annual offering for them [and continue to do throughout the month of February].  

I am still waiting to hear from the team of leaders from our district that visited our sister churches in Cuba last week, as we continue to wait for more information about our second sponsored church [Almendares] as well as an update on our "original" church [La Maquina] and a better introduction to the child we have agreed to sponsor [Eliezer].

Again this year we have the opportunity to skate at the Governor General's residence/Rideau Hall. Our congregation has the rink to ourselves for the evening of Friday March, 8 from 7:00-8:30 pm. Plan to come out to this family fellowship time and an evening of fun . . . invite someone to come with you!
Bridlewood will host a celebration service March 24 at 7:00 pm. As well, we will meet with the Bridlewood congregation for services during Holy Week again this year: Monday and Wednesday at Bridlewood at 7:00 pm; Tuesday and Thursday at Trinity at 7:00 pm, and Good Friday at Bridlewood at 4:30 pm [April 14-21].

We will hold our spring service of music and celebration in our April 28 service. We encourage everyone to participate . . . to sing  . . . to read . . . to share something! Matt will speak to us about our participation closer to the date.

We are inviting the members of the Ottawa Misfits motorcycle group to join us on May 26. We will prepare breakfast for the group and they will join us in our worship service before a "blessing of the bikes". Pray that God will bless and use this outreach opportunity for His glory. Our message: We're All Misfits!

A wonderful tribute to David Rapkins is found in the Ottawa Citizen . . . click hereto read it. He lived a full life and will be missed. Please note that in lieu of flowers a donation to the Alzheimers Society would be appreciated.

We are in the process of updating our church directory – would you help us by making sure that the information we have is current? Check the bulletin board to see that what we have on file is correct. We'll make the updated directory available [print or digital] as soon as possible.

Sundays . . .

  • Feb 10     The Old Covenants: David
  • Feb 17     The New Covenant
  • Feb 24     Matt speaking
  • Mar  3    A Clean Sweep
  • Mar 10   Cross Words: Forgiveness
  • Mar 17   Cross Words: Promise
  • Mar 24   Cross Words: Despair
  • Mar 31   Cross Words: Completion
  • Apr  7     Cross Words: Commitment
  • Apr 14    Palm Sunday
  • Apr 21    Easter Sunday
  • Apr 28    a day of Music and Celebration
In February . . .
  • 08            Youth Alive . . . Jeopardy
  • 10            Worship Practice, 10am
  • 10            Worship, 11am
  • 15            Youth Alive . . . Mystery and Intrigue
  • 17            Worship Practice, 10am
  • 17            Worship, 11am
  • 21            Young Adult Q&A, 6:30pm
  • 22            Youth Alive . . . Beach Night
  • 24            Worship Practice, 10am
  • 24            Worship, 11am