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06
January 6, 2020

Numbers. We celebrate numbers. The number sixteen – the age one can obtain a driver's license in Canada (unless you live in Alberta, where the age to get your first license is fourteen). The number eighteen – the age of "adulthood"; voting age. Sixty-five – the unofficial age of retirement, though some retire earlier and some retire later.

We've celebrated a few important numbers at Trinity Church recently as well. Seventy-five – the number of years the Church of the Nazarene has been in Ottawa. Fifty – the number of years Trinity Church has ministered to our community from Avalon Place. And yesterday, twenty-five.

What can I say? We were totally surprised by your remembrance of our years here. We honestly thought that yesterday was about supporting our teens, not about supporting and honouring us. Which makes me wonder . . . in our service yesterday we talked about sin and I mentioned/questioned the lists that we make for ourselves (and that others make for us) . . . wouldn't deceit be on that list? I guess it is necessary for a surprise party . . . and since no one told us that this little gathering wasn't to include us no lies were told. We'd better be careful about our lists, though . . . and we'll talk about them more in a couple of weeks, as our churchy word will be holiness.

Total surprise. So thank you. Thank you for honouring us . . . especially since it has been our honour over the years to be part of Trinity Church. You have been kind and generous and supporting of our family and have made us part of you. We are touched.

We also do want to continue to support and encourage our young people as they continue to grow in grace and as they become disciples, not just followers (message to come February 23). To Matt and his crew of cooks (no picture of them in action, sorry) and cleaners (the picture that I did take is not very good and is not publishable) . . . thank you. We your church do appreciate you!

I had suggested that the young people were preparing a meal for us as a thank you (I didn't realize how narrow "us" was) and that we as a congregation could continue to show our support for them with a "thank offering". I still think it is a good idea for us to do that – so over the next few weeks we'll make that our above and beyond emphasis . . . make a donation to our "youth fund".

We had special guests with us in our service yesterday as well . . . another unexpected surprise. The District Superintendent from Bolivia and his wife were in Ottawa visiting their son (and new grandchildren) and they joined us in our worship time. He is on his way back home later this week for their District Assembly (and his vote – pray that God's will would be sought and fulfilled); she is staying for a few months and will join us in our services as she can.

Oh . . . the service itself! Ah, yes! Following a wonderful time of worship through song and praise, we started our Winter preaching series Say What? Churchy Words, which will look at . . . Churchy Words! – words that we use that people outside the church might understand differently than we do when we use them (or may not understand at all); words that we use that we ourselves may not understand properly! It will be an interesting series.

We began by looking at salvation. To understand salvation we need to understand the reason we need to be saved – our sin. We began with a non-traditional definition or understanding of what sin is. Once we defined it (trying all the while to avoid even more churchy words) we realized . . . well, rather than preaching the whole message again, click here to download it and read it at your leisure.

We have an answer! It is not the answer that we wanted to hear, though. The Spanish congregation is no longer providing streaming services for their congregation so has removed their equipment. Hence, we cannot stream our services unless we supply our own camera.  We are looking for a used I-Phone (which we know will work), a used Android phone with a decent camera (which may work), or a small video camera to plug into the system. We hope to be streaming our services again soon, and ask for your patience.

Our winter preaching series will continue this coming Sunday with (are you ready for this?) a look at the second work of grace, sanctification. And you can most definitely say "Say What?" to those churchy words.

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 . . .