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Join us for Worship Sunday at 10:00 AM followed by fellowship and refreshments in the HeBrews Café
- Our next Senior’s Fellowship Lunch will be on Tuesday, January 23 at 12:00 noon in the Van Roon Community Hall. This month’s program will be a light hot lunch followed by a presentation on genealogy research by our own Gord McBean. Please contact the church office, 204-832-3667 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in attending so we can have a sense of numbers to prepare for.
- Join us next Sunday, January 21 for a service with Contemporary Christian music and guest musician singer-songwriter Keith MacPherson. Keith’s visits are always a time of great joy and next Sunday will be no exception.
- For news and events please have a look at Life & Work on our website: Life and Work
Welcome to worship for Sunday, January 14, 2024.
January is named for the Roman god Janus who, in art, was depicted as having two faces, one that looked forward and one that looked backwards. It is an appropriate name for the first month of a new year. How can we not enter into a new orbit of the sun without pondering what has been and what will be?
Many of the year end greetings in cards and letters I received from friends at Christmas commented on the hardships that seems evident enough to put a din on celebrating the year gone by. Most obvious is the war between Israel and Hamas that began with the terror of October 7 and continues with devastation in Gaza. Like the invasion of Ukraine by Russia in 2022, this has the feel of conflict entrenched and unresolvable leaving the world seemingly divided between those whose hearts are hardened and those whose hearts are broken. But I would add our ongoing concern for the care of creation, the uncertainty caused by politics of identity and division, and the loss of those very near and dear to us. Perhaps fireworks were not the best symbol for the passing of 2023.
One of the blessings of faith is that we know how true it is that life and death, joy and sorrow, sin and grace always live side by side. As such we can also say that 2023 was a year for which there was much to be thankful. It was a full, twelve-month year in our life together, for the first time since 2019, and throughout it we saw a return, a renewal, and a restoration of the activity and programs that bless and encourage us. If you are a member, adherent, friend, neighbour, or partner of Charleswood United Church I would like to thank you for the ways you found to be connected to us in this time of rebuilding.
As we look forward into the new year we know there is a lot ahead of us. As we made the decision last year to replace our roof, this year will call upon us to see that through and begin the process of paying for it. Our first fundraiser has already been planned, a concert on February 17 with “The Very Groovy Things”. Information on ways to donate and support this effort will follow.
When I look at the calendar I can see two new initiatives continuing, the Senior’s Fellowship resumes January 23 and Still Waters, our grief support program returns January 24. An important workshop on climate change called “Roots to Rise” is sponsored by our Mission and Social Action Committee and takes place Sunday, February 4 at 1:00. And on the not-too-distant horizon is our annual Dixieland themed service on February 11. This year is even going to see the return of the Rummage Sale after a five-year absence. That is scheduled for Saturday, April 13 and more information will follow soon. All this and much more is ahead for our community of faith.
Needless to say, I do not believe in Janus. Romans gods are soooo 2000 years ago. But I sure believe in the God who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow! The One who blessed us with many opportunities for ministry in the year gone by. And the One who will be our companion in times of worship, fellowship, and service in the year ahead.
Thank you for being part of this life we share together.
Grace and peace,
- 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
- Share the service with friends by forwarding this email or using this link: https://youtu.be/T4nuZFLAoQ0
- Read this week’s scripture lesson here: John 1:43-51