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



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09
March 9, 2020

Yesterday was “International Women’s Day”. And the biblical basis of our morning message mentioned a woman: “Samson’s mother”. That’s it. No name. No description. His father’s name was given: Manoah. But she is only known as “the woman” and “his mother”. 

Women’s status had not changed as the intertestamental period neared. In the fourth century BC Demosthenes said We have hetaerae for pleasure, pallakae to care for our daily body’s needs and gynaekes to bear us legitimate children and to be faithful guardians of our households. Wives provided heirs and cared for them (with servants). Courtesans and mistresses provided distraction. Women were by no means important and were kept from learning – and ignored.           

Enter the Apostle Paul. His letter to the church at Galatia contained an almost unheard of thought: equality: not just of people from different regions, not just of people from different economic backgrounds, but also between the sexes: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus [Galatians 3:28].

Sadly, many times the church at large has ignored this teaching. At church women were permitted their place in the kitchen and were accepted as Sunday School teachers. But what was considered the “important work” was left to the men, and Paul’s letter and instruction to Timothy was – is – used as the basis: Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence [1 Timothy 2:11-12]. Thankfully, we are part of a denomination that recognized and recognizes the importance of women in the context of ministry, not waiting for “changing times”. From her beginning the Church of the Nazarene recognized and encouraged women in leadership in the church; so much so that even as the denomination began women were involved in pulpit ministry and were recognized as elders (“Reverends”) in the church . . . and today one of our six General Superintendent leaders is a woman. We celebrate!

But back to Samson’s mother – or rather, back to our message and to Samson and the beginning of our brief (three part) mini-series that discusses Who Are We? / Who We are! I began our series by suggesting something that we’d rather not admit to . . . that even though we may be “headed in the right direction”, based on some of the decisions that we made in the past – and keep making – we are Train Wrecks. Click here to download the message.

I admit that the term train wrecks is not positive. And I know that we attend our church services to be built up, not to be beaten down. But we need to know where we are coming from so that we can know how best to go forward – ahead.

As I suggested yesterday, we have options. We make our choices (oftentimes not good ones). And we crash (or are headed to a crash). What can we do? Part one of our series (from Judges 14) looked at the problem. This coming Sunday we’ll look at the solution to the problem and at where we are – there is hope! We are Forgiven Sinners, so we move along. Join us at 11:00 as we worship and learn together.

Our annual International Food Fair/potluck dinner that celebrates our partnership with the churches that we sponsor in Cuba followed yesterday’s service. We enjoyed great fellowship with a large variety of dishes from a number of countries.  We also received a special offering which will be sent to our sister churches as we support their efforts to share the Good News.

Unfortunately, none of our usual photographers picked up a camera, so there are no pictures! 

We continue to be in contact with our pastors from the churches. In fact, just after our service I received an e-mail from Pastor Albert: Dear brother thank you very much for your help with the money for our church and for our family, God bless you always, greetings for your family.                                                                                                            

Hugs of yours Brothers of *** Church

Pastor Albert and family

We do appreciate Nadine’s leadership in our missions training – she keeps us informed (in a way that only she can!). Continue to pray for her as she recuperates from this morning’s operation.

Pray for Matt as well, as he completes one set of studies this semester, then prepares for courses (having completed his assessment interview) for ministerial training.

It’s that time of the year again: the nursery school is fundraising, again through Purdy's chocolates. Order your Easter chocolates by signing in to your [or starting an] account at Purdy's [click here] – use customer number 37568. There is a nice selection of chocolate available. Order by March 26; pick-up is April 8 [the Wednesday before Easter] at the church. Enjoy!

March 29 District Superintendent Rev. Steve Ottley will be in Ottawa to visit with the pastors on our zone and will join us for our morning service and share our message. Unfortunately he will need to leave for Toronto immediately after our service as he has an evening obligation, but we will have time to talk with him before he goes.

Don’t forget that JCL – our “other” worship team – is readying an evening of praise and worship for us. There will be a bit of sharing and a lot of singing . . . a time of togetherness in Christ. We will meet at 7:00pm on April 26 to glorify God together, with congregational singing and special music. Plan to join us.

And speaking of singing . . . and music . . . and celebration . . . our next day of music and celebration will be May 24 as we speak to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and make melody in our hearts to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ [Ephesians 5:19-20] Be thinking ahead even now of what – and how – you will share: with voice or instrument or spoken word!

We're going to do it again: we're inviting the Misfits – and others – to join us May 29 for our second annual (if you do it twice that makes it annual, right?) "Motorcycle Rally". We'll provide breakfast for those who ride to the church; we'll have a great service together (it's Pentecost Sunday so our sermon – titled Invasion – will focus on what some people worry about may happen when a motorcycle club comes into a town and on what we know happens when the Spirit of God comes into a life). We'll end our time together with a blessing of the bikes. 

  • our the young people will lead one of our services in June . . .  
  • our annual lawn chair service (and pool party) is tentatively set for August 9  

Our Spring Clean Up Day has been scheduled for May 2 . . . join us for a few hours of work as we look after the building at the end of the winter (it's March and we’re already planning for spring!).