12 Dec 2007

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Conference Weekly News - December 10-14, 2007

A Christmas Message from the Bishop of Keewatin

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Greetings in the name of the Risen Lord.

“Joy to the World”.

The words of the beloved carol with its message of joy and love replacing sin and hatred will ring out time and time again this Christmas just as they have year after year since 1719 when the author Isaac Watts was inspired by the angel’s message in Luke 2:10 “Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy”

Regrettably they ring out in a world which seems to be becoming increasingly joyless. The disparity among people is increasing. Rich folk spend Christmas cruising the Caribbean while poor people line up at the food bank. Individuals become more and more self-centred while the life of the community dwindles. Some are so busy that they do not have time for the important things of life while others in loneliness pine away the hours. The news is filled with violence and alienation. Even the Church is plagued with schism. In other words, the situation today is very much like it was two thousand years ago when our Lord was born and when the angels delivered their message in song.

“Joy to the world” is not just a seasonal greeting. It is a mandate, a command for every baptized Christian. Instead of complaining about the world, we are called to transform it. We are set as a light in the darkness.
As a joyful people, we are called to set our priorities right by taking time to enjoy the wonders of creation and each other, by thinking of others first by sharing with each other the great gifts God has given us, and by making our homes and our churches places of warmth and welcome to friend and stranger alike. Having experienced joy ourselves we are to carry that joy into the entire world.

My prayer for you this Christmastide is that not only may you experience the joy of Christmas but that you may become a bearer of that joy to your family, your friends your workplace, your community, and your world all the days of the coming year.

My wife Penny and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and may God bless you all the days of your journey.

Right Reverend David N. Ashdown

11 Dec 2007

Third Sunday of Advent - worship

Third Sunday of Advent
December 16, 2007
Jackie Sturton Playing

Choral Anthem #12 "She walked in the summer"

Isaiah 35:1-10
Luke 1:47-55 page 898 in Voices United
James 5:7-10
Matthew 11:2-11

10 "Prepare the Way of the Lord"
Advent Liturgy please see the insert
6 "A Candle is Burning" verse 1,2,3 as the candles are lit

# 473 Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent
#328 Jesu, Joy of Our Desiring
#117 Jesus Christ is Waiting

It's renewal time for subscriptions to the United Church Observer. Only $15 for a year! Talk to Carol Walton if you would like to renew, or begin a subscription to the Observer.

Only 9 more sleeps till Christmas! Remember that we have two services here on Christmas Eve, a 7 p.m family service with comfy mattresses to curl up with your blanket and hear the Christmas story and the 11 p.m service of candlelight and Holy Communion. On the Sunday after Christmas we join the Pinawa Lutheran Church at 9:15 am for a singing service and Pot-luck brunch.

7 Dec 2007

Looking Ahead

2007 is galloping to a close and, while I'm not wishing my life away, there are some things I'm looking forward to. You may have seen the PCDC renovating the space next to the Post Office at the Mall. That has opened up some possibilities at the Whiteshell Centre. Whiteshell Insurance will be moving into the PCDC space and our landlord will be opening a connection for us between the existing church office and Tyler's office next door. That will give us significantly more space; room to have meetings and host events, and to offer mid-week programs. I can imagine after-school programs, morning groups for retired folks, evening study. How about rotating art exhibits of church member's work? What can you imagine? Along with this we will be placing a sign on the outside of the building and renewing the church sign at the Mall. As the only church congregation in Pinawa without a building to advertise our presence we need to work harder to let people know that we are here. If you have ideas to raise the profile of the congregation - don't keep them to yourself!