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December 2, 2019

We begin this edition of our Monday Musings with a special announcement about a special announcement which you will receive via e-mail tomorrow. The Tuesday after Black Friday is known as Giving Tuesday, and Canada Helps (the host of our on-line giving site) is . . . well, I can't tell you until tomorrow! So be aware that an announcement is coming at midnight.

Speaking of Canada Helps, they are asking how you will participate in Giving Tuesday. Click here to visit their pledge page (do it by midnight tonight) and let them know.

And as I said, tonight at midnight we'll be able to let you know about their special announcement (which you'll need to answer by midnight tomorrow if you are going to participate).

By the way, I discovered that the link to our own giving site was broken; it has now been repaired.

Advent : a time marked by a spirit of remembrance and of expectation, anticipation, preparation, longing for the return of Jesus . . . and of hope for spiritual renewal. Yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent – the celebration of the birth of Jesus the Christ in his First Advent or coming to earth. We lit the first of four candles (let there be light!), sang some of the songs of Advent., and heard our first message of our The Comings of Christ series.

Forget that Calum Marsh suggested that Christmas, much to our irritation, is insulated against criticism – we have no problem criticising that which needs to be. We want to be careful with the glitzy and overdone secularization and commercialism of the season – it is first and foremost the season of focussing on the Christ-Child. We want to be intentional about our celebration, while at the same time we want to be cautious that we do not fall into the trap of complaining about Christmas as it has become while participating fully in the same thing we are complaining about! We will keep Christ in Christmas by feeding the hungry, comforting the afflicted, loving the outcast, forgiving the wrongdoer, and inspiring the hopeless – in other words, by living the Jesus life.

In yesterday's message we looked at the angel's visit to Joseph and at his reaction to the news that he was about to become a father . . . that the surprising and unexpected pregnancy was in fact good news. The message manuscript has been posted on our Facebook site as well as on our web site: click here to download a copy. You can also watch our service on Facebook (click here), although you may want to just listen to it if you are using a desktop computer. Fear not: we (that is, Pierre and I) have learned what to do so that from now on the stream will be in "landscape mode" – properly viewable!

Following our service we enjoyed each other's company over lunch at our annual Festive Fellowship.

I am looking forward to next Sunday morning's service. It is the second Sunday of Advent, so we have that to look forward to . . . the candle lighting and the hymns of Christmas and our message from our series the comings of Christ. We'll look at Christ Coming in the Flesh, looking at the Messiah's arrival on earth . . . and remembering another arrival as well. To conclude our service we'll celebrate communion we continue to prepare our hearts during this season of hope.

The third Sunday of Advent is December 15. It is our annual day of musical celebration for Christmas. Many people have already contacted Matt and have told him how they will participate. It is going to be another great day of music and song and word. Be sure to see him if you haven't yet told him how you are going be part of this great day of congregational worship and praise.

We will then gather for our annual open house and fellowship at the parsonage in the evening [beginning at 6:30pm]. An announcement will be made about this time together during Sunday's service.

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; print copies can be found on the table at the rear of the sanctuary]. You can give through the church or directly to NCMC either on-line [click here] or by mail.

We continue to support Eliezer Garcia Suarez, the son of Pastor Norma Suarez Niles and Jesus Garcia Oberto of the Unas Church in Cuba who were killed in "the plane accident" in Cuba. We have made a commitment to meet his needs for the next nine years [along with birthday and Christmas gifts]. If you would like to be part of the support team, please indicate Child Sponsorship on your tithe envelope or through your on-line giving.

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.

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!

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.

Sundays Ahead . . .

  • 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     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

Our Winter Series: Say What? (Churchy Words)

  • Jan      5   Salvation
  • Jan    12   Sanctification
  • Jan    19   Discipleship
  • Jan    26   Matt speaking
  • Feb     2   Matt Speaking
  • Feb     9   Fellowship
  • Feb   16   Evangelism
  • Feb   23   Holiness