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



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25
November 25, 2019

Congratulations – you made it through! With yesterday's message we concluded our series on the things we don't talk about in the church. Over the past few months (among other things) we looked at money, human trafficking and modern day slavery, mental anguish, suicide, sex, abuse, and – yesterday – a number of the isms that are part of our society.

Our message – titled the isms and theism – focused on bias, equality, and the things that can divide . . . at the isms (including classism, sexism, racism, ageism, ableism, sizeism, heterosexism, nationalism, and any other ism that may fit the bill) in a general way. We looked at what the Bible has to say about these isms in general – about our relationships with other people. The message has been posted on our web site and can be downloaded [click here] as well as on our Facebook page.

Next Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent – the celebration of the birth of Jesus the Christ in his First Advent or coming to earth, and the anticipation His return as Christ the King in his Second Advent or coming to earth. Advent is marked by a spirit of remembrance and of expectation, anticipation, preparation, longing for His return . . . and of hope for spiritual renewal.

It is a busy season –many feel that it is "too busy". If we do not deliberately take or make time, the Christ of Christmas may be missed in the hustle and bustle of the secular seasonal celebration. Sadly, Christ can almost be missed in the church as well because of a busy calendar! So this coming first Sunday of Advent as we light the Advent candle and sing hymns and carols of the season, the first message of our Christmas series the Comings of Christ will look at Christ coming In Our Hearts.   

Following our service we will enjoy fellowship together at St. Hubert's chicken on Saint Laurent Avenue at our annual Festive Fellowship.

The second Sunday of Advent is December 8 . . . we'll celebrate communion in our service as we prepare our hearts for the season.

The third Sunday of Advent is December 15 . . . our day of musical celebration. Everyone who would like to share a special Christmas song or reading is welcome and encouraged to participate – please see Matt as we look forward to a great time of congregational worship. 

We will gather for our annual open house and fellowship at the parsonage in the evening [beginning at 6:30pm].

The fourth Sunday of Advent is December 22 . . . a time of worship and wonder as we look to the manger and the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes.

Christmas Eve we'll gather for our candlelight service . . . a time of joyous reflection of the incarnation. Our service will begin at 7pm.

Our year end service is a service of remembrance of the year past and a look to the hopes and dreams of the future. 

There are certain times that people are more open to an invitation to attend a church service than other times. With all of the different activities at our church this December, this might be a good opportunity to invite someone to an event where they won't feel threatened.

It can be easy to focus inwardly at Christmas and a challenge to focus outwardly, but we want to do just that: to look outside of our own wants and desires and to be aware of others in the world around us that may not have the opportunities that we have. We deliberately focus on being compassionate people.

We can be aware of the opportunites that we have as a denomination. The 2019-2020 Nazarene Compassionate Ministries Canada gift catalogue can be found on-line [click here to access a copy; we are trying to find our print copies]. You can give through the church or directly to NCMC either on-line [click here] or by mail.

You might also want to think about a reverse advent calendar. Instead of opening a door to take a treat [mmm, Lindt chocolate!], place a non-perishable food item in a basket each day of Advent and at the end of Advent take the basket to a food bank. Or come up with your own unique idea to make Christmas more giving than receiving.

The Sixth 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.

It is still Movember – a month of fundraising for men's health and the search for cures for cancers specific to men. I have Movembered for the past 10 years. I do not set a specific fundraising goal, but do invite those who wish to support me to click here this week to donate. Thank you.

You might be interested in the Alta Vista Cooperative Nursery School's winter fundraiser: Purdy's chocolates. Click here to go to the order catalogue – you'll have to sign in or open a new account – the customer number is 37568. It might take a while to get used to the site and find your way around it. Orders must be made by Wednesday; pickup is December 13.

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 leading this ministry initiative.

The City of Ottawa has informed us that because more than one group uses our facility we are no longer eligible for curb-side garbage pick up. With this in mind, we are going to strive to be a "zero-waste" facility . . . which is a good thing to be anyway!

We ask your assistance in fulfilling this goal by (1) bringing no garbage onto the property/into the building and (2) using the appropriate recycling bins. 

Used paper towels are to go into the green recycling bins. Plastics are to go into the blue bins. Paper is to go into the black bins. If non-recyclable material is brought into the building it cannot be left behind but must be taken away for disposal. Diapers are not recyclable and must be taken away. Feminine products may be left in the small garbage can in the toilet area.

Please remember that food is not to be taken into the downstairs area but must be eaten in the Fellowship Hall (there have been instances lately in which fast food containers have been found in the washroom garbage containers).

Looking ahead, we have the opportunity to skate at the Governor General's residence/Rideau Hall on Friday January 24, from 7:00 – 8:30 pm. Get those skates sharpened . . . bring a friend, and let's have a great time together!

Sundays Ahead . . .

  • Dec     1   Advent 1: In the Flesh
  • Dec     8   Advent 2: In Our Hearts        
  • Dec   15   Advent 3: Christmas Musical Celebration
  • Dec   22   Advent 4: In Glory
  • Dec   24   Christmas Eve Candlelight Service: In the Manger
  • Dec   29   Remembering

Christmas Events and Activities

  • Dec     1   Advent 1: In the Flesh
  • Dec     1   Festive Fellowship, following our service.
  • Dec     8   Advent 2: In Our Hearts        
  • Dec   15   Advent 3: Christmas Musical Celebration
  • Dec   15   Parsonage Open House, 6:30 pm
  • Dec   22   Advent 4: In Glory
  • Dec   24   Christmas Eve Candlelight Service: In the Manger
  • Dec   29   Remembering