Advent Two Candles 2

 

 

 


 

Watch this week’s service on YouTube by clicking:

December 10 Worship Service Video

 

 

Join us for worship on Sunday at 10:00 this week featuring

The Winnipeg Brass Ensemble

 

 

  • Please join us after the service in the Van Roon Community Hall for the HeBrews Café, refreshments and fellowship before continuing on with your day.

 

  • Senior’s Christmas Lunch, Monday, December 18 at 12:00 noon – Join us for a time of seasonal fellowship, singing, and light lunch. Please register with the church office, 204-832-3667, so we can have a sense of numbers. Silver collection taken.

 

  • Christmas Eve is on a Sunday this year and with that the morning service will feature a Children’s Christmas Party. Christmas Eve services will be held at 7:00 PM and 9:00 PM with communion at each.

 

  • We were saddened this week to learn of the sudden death of Sheila Austman. We give thanks to God for the gift of Sheila’s life and her gentle presence among us. Please remember her family in your prayers this week.

 

 

Dear Friends

Welcome to worship for Sunday, December 10, 2023.

I am not a robot.

Not that I thought any of you suspected that I was, but this week I received confirmation that I am not a robot. It seemed like good news and worth sharing. I was filling out an online form and came to the part where one must “prove you are not a robot” by the very sophisticated method of clicking on four out of nine photos that had a crosswalk in them. I’m not sure how this came to be the test that provided incontrovertible evidence that one is not a robot but I’ve had to pass this test before and I’ve never seen an alternative. Apparently, robots are not very clever when it comes to identifying crosswalk or bridges or trucks. Who knew?

Anyway, after clicking the appropriate pictures I then had to click the box that says “I am not a robot”. I did so and received a checkmark. It was very reassuring. Once more I had passed a test that no robot could ever possibly pass. What was new was that with the checkmark came a message on the screen that I had not seen before, on any of the other times I had clicked the right boxes. The message that popped up…CONFIRM HUMANITY! (I added the exclamation point. It just seems too important not to).

I look forward to Advent and Christmas all year long. Some may like to speak of these two brief seasons separately but I don’t think you can really separate them. Advent prepares us for the joy of Christmas. Christmas is made deeper by the anticipation of Advent. As advent begins we get to bring out al the things that were stored away at the end the season last year. We changed the quilted banners. We found the Advent wreath. We changed the pulpit hangings. We put up lights and trees. We changed the section of the hymn book from which we sing. And then we began to live through all the programs that we save for this time of year. Super Saturday Sundae and White Gift and Women’s Advent and Lights for Lives and Christmas Hampers. This Sunday is our traditional service with a Brass Ensemble. Plans for Christmas Eve are underway. How do I describe life in the church in December? Some might say it’s robotic.

But we are not robots! You’ll be glad to know this. I am a expert. In fact, I just passed a test! We don’t approach rituals and customs and traditions in some robotic-it-must-be done-this-way manner. Rather, the return of our seasonal customs actually enrich and confirm our humanity. What could be more confirming of our humanity than hope in the midst of despair, peace in a time of conflict, joy rising above sorrow, or love as the light in our darkness. Advent celebrates the most human of all needs, to be in the warm company of others who share the human experience.

All leading to a reminder of the greatest gift of all. The God-With-Us revelation of the birth of Jesus. God choosing to dwell among us in the flesh.

What could confirm our humanity more?   

 

Grace and peace,

Michael

 

 

 

 

  • For news and events please have a look at Life & Work on our website: Life and Work

 

  • Did you know you can support this ministry by e-transfer, automatic withdrawal (PAR), and gifted securities, in addition to weekly or monthly cheques? For Offering Information please visit: https://charleswoodunited.org/support/  Thank you for your generous support.

 

  • Through the United Church of Canada’s membership in the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, an appeal for donations has been issued for the Humanitarian Crisis in the Middle East. For more information and to donate please visit:  Humanitarian Crisis in the Middle East Appeal

 

  • Michael Wilson’s book “A Pastoral Pandemic: Remaining Connected in a Time of Disconnection” is available in store and online through CommonWord Bookstore (Canadian Mennonite University). For more information visit: https://www.commonword.ca/go/3408

 

 

  • The reading for this week’s service can be found at: Mark 1:1-8