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



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16
December 16, 2019

We call it a celebration of music and worship for Christmas . . . and what a celebration it was yesterday, even though some of our musicians were away. We gathered to sing and we gathered to listen. We gathered to remember the Christ of Christmas – the Babe in the manger and we gathered to worship the Christ of our redemption.  We gathered and we celebrated.

It is unfortunate – and we are disappointed – that we were unable to provide a live feed of the service. The Spanish congregation has updated the sound system and we have been using their equipment to stream our services – we are dependent on them to connect to Facebook to show our services. Unfortunately, they took their camera outside the church Saturday and Sunday so we did not have the ability to videotape (videotape? I think I'm a decade behind!) the service. It just reminds us that we need to have our own equipment . . . and we will look into that in the new year.

We are glad for everyone who was able to join us at last night's open house at the parsonage.  The open house is our family's way of saying "thank you" for your prayers and support and friendship . . . and to say "Merry Christmas", of course! Tea and coffee was on; treats were out; fellowship was warm.

Next Sunday is the fourth Sunday of Advent . . . awe, wonder, and adoration fill us as we look to the manger and the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes. We'll continue our series on the comings of Christ as we look at the beginning – His birth, the middle – His life, death and resurrection, and the end but our beginning – His return. Our message: Christ Coming in Glory at the End.

Christmas Eve we'll gather for a time of joyous reflection of the incarnation at our Candlelight Service, which will begin at 7pm. Music and the Word will feature prominently in the service, of course. Special music will be shared throughout the service, we'll sing the wonderful Christmas hymns of faith, and we'll hear again the Christmas story before our Christmas Eve message which will remind us of to the response to Christ in the Manger.

Our year end service will be a service of remembrance of the year past and a look to the hopes and dreams of the future.  We will also take time to remember those who passed from this earthly life into the presence of the Heavenly Father. Our December 29 service is one of Remembering.

People are more open to an invitation to attend a church service during certain times of the church year than at other times. Christmas is one of those 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.

Our winter preaching series is titled "Say What?" and will focus on "churchy words" – words that we use and know the meaning of while others may wonder what we are talking about when we use them – words like salvation, sanctification, discipleship, evangelicals and evangelism, fellowship, and holiness. Hmmm . . . we may not know the meaning of these words as well as we think we do either!

We have already been looking ahead at events to come and we have confirmed a number of other dates for the new year . . . please note these on your calendar

Instead of the regular coffee fellowship that normally follows the first Sunday service of the month, on January 5 our young people will "cater a meal" to thank the congregation for their support over the past year. Plan to enjoy some great post-Christmas fellowship and enjoy time together as the teens once again provide our dinner.

This year we again have the opportunity to skate at the Governor General's residence/Rideau Hall. Sharpen your skates . . . bring a friend  . . . and let's have a great time together. The rink is "ours" Friday January 24 from 7:00 – 8:30 pm.

It's in its initial planning stages . . . our February Family Fellowship will be a Karaoke night. We'll let you know the date once it is confirmed (it will be a Friday evening). "Youth of all ages" are encouraged to come to entertain and to be entertained . . . and to have some fun.

Bridlewood Church has invited us to join them for a prayer gathering which will be part of the Young Adult Zone Rally which they are hosting February 14-17. We'll gather at their church at 6pm Sunday February 16 (young adults can talk with Matt or me for more information on the weekend's activities).

Our annual International Dinner to celebrate our partnership with the churches that we sponsor in Cuba will follow our service March 8. We will receive a special offering to be sent to them as we support their efforts to share the Good News, and will hear an update of their work.

In March 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 the 29th to 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.

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 only December and I'm already looking to spring!).

Our next day of music and celebration is planned for May 24. We'll look forward to another great time of speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart 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] as we rejoice together.

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.

Undated: the young people will lead one of our services in June . . . a lawn chair service will be planned for early August . . . the date of a possible pool party will be announced once we can confirm it . . .

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.

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.

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 to Come . . .

  • Dec   22   Advent 4: In Glory
  • Dec   24   Christmas Eve Candlelight Service: In the Manger
  • Dec   29   Remembering
  • 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
  • Mar    1   Prayer