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



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18
March 18, 2019

Ah, Saint Patrick's Day . . . that most sacred day when people honour the memory of a holy man by drinking green beer and falling down drunk. The word incongruous comes to my mind on that one! A more appropriate celebration would, I think, have people worshipping the God of Good News that Patrick spoke of when he went to Ireland. And that's what we did yesterday as we gathered together as a people of God.

In our service we sang some of the older hymns of our faith [we are making it a point to sing some of the more ignored or forgotten hymns] as well as some of the contemporary songs of praise and worship [we are making it a point to sing some of the new songs of our faith as well]. We prayed. We encouraged one another. And we looked at God's Word. We had church!

As we continued our study of Jesus' words from the cross we looked a little deeper at a bit of a theological discussion – what I called the controversy of the comma. As we looked at what the thief on the cross asked Jesus and at Jesus' reply, we also looked at the promise of heaven, about timing, and about . . . well, click here to download the message and read it yourself!

Next Sunday's message may not seem encouraging at all . . . but if we are to look at the words of Jesus we need to look at the discouraging as well as at the hopeful [and hope-filled]. And while I am probably well out of my depth in discussing the topic, I know that the Bible has great insight into the mind and the heart of Jesus as He cried out to God.

Yes . . . Jesus cried out to God . . . in despair. The same despair the people of Maskwacis went through just over a year ago [and may very well still be going through; it's just that other more recent events have taken precedence]. Do you remember Maskwacis? Even when the crisis was happening it didn't get the attention that the Humboldt Broncos bus accident did.

Maskwacis is a hamlet of approximately 17,000 people in Central Alberta. It is between Edmonton and Red Deer, so it is not an out-of-the-way community. In December [2017] and January [2018] – two months – 14 of the people of Makwacis committed suicide. Maskwacis Indian Health Services mental health worker Rick Lightning said "The only people that were doing well are the funeral homes making the money off of us." Grandparents . . . parents . . . siblings . . . cut to the heart by the deaths of family members. Others – perhaps some we know – have also lost loved ones to suicide. What drives a person to kill himself? What depths of agony must she have gone through? Why would a person not reach out for help?

Yes, well out of my depth as we look to the words of Jesus this week. We look at Mark 15:34, and at despair. And ultimately find some encouragement there-in.

It just creeps up on us, doesn't it? Time, I mean. Yesterday was March 17, and I announced this coming Sunday's service with the Bridlewood congregation as "March 24", as if March 24 isn't . . . this coming Sunday! So, just in case you haven't caught it, this coming Sunday we will join the Bridlewood congregation at the Bridlewood church for a time of celebration and fellowship.

Our praise and worship time begins at 7:00 and will be followed by a time of fellowship. Join us . . . this coming Sunday evening!

During Holy Week we will join with Bridlewood Church for services that will lead us to Easter . . . Monday through Thursday evenings at 7:00 and a service on Good Friday at Bridlewood at 4:30. Each church will host her own Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday services.  

  • April 15: at Bridlewood, 7:00 pm
  • April 16: at Trinity, 7:00 pm
  • April 17: at Bridlewood, 7:00 pm
  • April 18: at Trinity, 7:00 pm
  • Good Friday: at Bridlewood, 4:30 pm

Our spring service of music and celebration is planned for April 28 – 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!

Lent doesn’t work unless you fill what you give up with something else, something good, something godly, something . . . God. How is your fasting going?