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


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October 28, 2019

Sunday. The Lord's Day. Our day of rest. A time of sanctuary – an escape from the pressures of the world – of life – around us.  A time to be encouraged. A time to be built up as we gather together to sing together and to worship together and to pray together. We continue to do that week after week . . . and to seek and to find God's renewing touch in our lives. And to be challenged as we learn from the Bible.  

Admittedly . . . the sermon series that we are working our way through this fall is not a feel-good series of messages, though it is, I believe, challenging. There is good reason to call the series the things we don't talk about in the church. As I've said, some of those things are awkward. Some of those things are embarrassing. And some of those things we'd rather just ignore. Yesterday's message focused on one of those things: abuse.

The topic is vast . . . and relevant to what is happening in the world today. From bullying and physical abuse in schools and homes to the #metoo movement and claims of "impropriety" [a nice tame word for something so wrong] to a myriad of activities in between, abuse is too commonplace. And unfortunately, the activity extends from society around us into the church [no wonder we don't want to talk about it!].

Yesterday's message Sticks and Stones mentions abuse in many of its forms and the fact that we too often turn away when we notice it happening [to our shame]. Click here to read the message. But don't just read it – heed it! Do something about it when you notice someone being abused!

And then this coming Sunday – something that is even more awkward to talk about. Children are willing to talk about it. Schools are willing to teach about it [and parents are willing to complain about schools teaching about it].

The Doug Ford government promised to change the curriculum set out by the Kathryn Wynne government [and barely did]  . . . but the curriculum just teaches about the how-tos of the subject [something that parents say is their responsibility but wait to do until long after their children have already begun discussions about it with their peers.

Yes, this is the week we discuss the birds and the bees – from a Christian perspective. This natural part of life is definitely one of those shush! topics in the church, although I'm not sure why. After all . . . well, we'll wait until Sunday morning to see what the Bible has to say about . . . about  . . . sex [there, I've said it!].

And then, in two weeks we are going to look at something that has become an acceptable part of church life even though the Bible – our guide to living for God – speaks strongly against it. Actually, we are going to change focus just a bit.  We'll touch on what the Bible has to say about divorce [moving that up from the end of the month] but our main focus will be on strengthening the family unit as it is a special day in our church.

A potluck dinner and baby shower has been planned; it will follow our November 10 service. We'll celebrate with Pamela and David as we await Nylo's arrival. Talk with Cindy, Emmanuelle, or Johania for more details. Cindy is collecting for a "group gift". A sign-up list for our meal will be circulated in our service this coming Sunday.

I'm not sure what the word is . . . it's not really a problem . . . but it is one. It will affect how we do things in the days ahead. The City of Ottawa has just informed us that we [the church] will no longer have access to curb-side garbage pickup.

A by-law officer visited us last week and informed us that since we do not pay property taxes as a non-profit organization butthat more than one group uses the facility [even though we are all non-profit] we do not qualify for garbage removal [and that we have "been lucky" these past number of years and should be thankful that it was not removed long ago]. I am in discussions with the by-law department and with our councillor and hope to have this positively resolved shortly. Until then we will recycle everything we can [which we should be doing any way]. We have become a "no garbage zone", and any garbage we do create must be taken away from the church each day.

It is that time of year again. As I suggested in our announcement time yesterday, my preference would be to be able to grow hair on the top of my head, not just on my upper lip. It is Movember . . . the focus, fundraising for men's health and the search for cures for cancers specific to men. I do not set a goal, but do invite those who wish to click here to donate. Thank you.

And yes, I do realize that you can hardly see the moustache in this picture from my "younger days" – all I can do is say "I try".

The renewed FreeShare/Care and Share ministry is operational! Our Facebook page is up and running, and a few available items have been noted. Instead of having items stored at the church and opening the building once a month for people to come and see what is available, we'll post pictures of available items on this Facebook page and have people make arrangement for pick-up.                                 

If you have "gently used" items that you no longer need and would like to give to someone who has a need send an e-mail along with a picture of the item to the church or to Emmanuelle, who is going to lead this ministry initiative.

Sundays Ahead . . .

  • Nov 03   not here, Pastor! – sex
  • Nov  10   today? Really? – divorce
  • Nov 17   Matt speaking
  • Nov  24   not necessary here – prejudice
  • Dec     1   Advent 1: In the Flesh
  • Dec     8   Advent 2: Christmas Musical Celebration
  • Dec   15   Advent 3: In Our Hearts        
  • Dec   22   Advent 4: In Glory
  • Dec   24   Christmas Eve Candlelight Service: In the Manger
  • Dec   29   Remembering