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



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23
December 23, 2019

As we begin our Christmas Musings, allow me to express my thanks to you for your gift to us this year. We appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity, but more than that we appreciate you – our church family. We wish you God's greatest blessings this Christmas season, and His touch in the days ahead as you continue to serve Him.

Let me also express thanks (this would be on behalf of the congregation!) to the ones who donated a new laptop computer to the church. You would have noticed the "glitchiness" of the one we have been using Sundays in our services: the slideshows that didn't work properly and the music that wouldn't play because the laptop we have been using is in poor condition (and the difficulty it was to set up the program each week because the screen has so many cracks on it!). The problems we have been having should be alleviated with this new laptop . . . so thanks!

Now . . . to do something about our problems with streaming our services for those who are not able to join us Sundays but want to be part of our services. We have been using the Spanish church's equipment so that our services could be seen on-line, but they use it elsewhere as well as at Trinity Church, and it has not been set up the past few Sundays. We are working on finding what we need, and hope to have our own video capabilities in the next few weeks. Thank you for your patience.

Oh, and don't forget that this coming Sunday is the last day to give your tithes for 2019 income tax credit at the church. You may give on-line until December 31 through e-transfer (to ottawatrinity@rogers.com) or through our online giving site (click here).

This will be the last Musings until the new year. Please take note of our upcoming events.

Yesterday . . . the fourth Sunday of Advent . . . awe, wonder, and adoration fill us as we looked to the manger and the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes. We concluded our series on the comings of Christ as we looked at the beginning – His birth, the middle – His life, death and resurrection, and the end – His return. Our message: Christ Coming in Glory at the End. Click here to download a copy.

Tuesday we'll gather for a time of joyous reflection of the incarnation at our Christmas Eve 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.

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.