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Join us for Worship Sunday at 10:00 AM followed by fellowship and refreshments in the HeBrews Café
- Join us this 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 Sunday will be no exception.
- Our next Senior’s Fellowship Lunch is this 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 email@example.com ) if you are interested in attending so we can have a sense of numbers to prepare for.
- Bell Let’s Talk @ Charleswood UC – This month Canadians are once again focusing on working for good mental health and to eliminate the stigma of addressing it. In support we will be holding a public education event on Wednesday, January 31 at 7:00 PM in the Van Roon Community Hall. The program will feature two members of our community with a keen interest in this issue. Colleen Gockel-Askew is a person with lived experience of mental health challenges who has emerged into a place and time where she is eager to help others. John Cail is a retired Psychiatric Nurse with 40 years experience. Collen and John will share personal stories and discuss resources available in a conversation moderated by Michael Wilson. There will be an opportunity for questions and comments from the audience but this is also a safe space for those who wish only to listen. This evening is for those who struggle, those who want to help, or anyone who simply wants to join in the conversation. Let’s talk.
- Root to Rise is a workshop on climate change hosted by Mission and Social Action in conjunction with Crestview United Church. Join us Sunday, February 4 at 1:00 in the Van Roon Hall.
- Tickets are now available for our first fundraiser for this year’s roof project. A concert with “The Very Groovy Things” is the place to be on Saturday, February 17 at 7:00 PM. Tickets are $25 and available from the church office or before and after service on Sunday.
- For news and events please have a look at Life & Work on our website: Life and Work
Welcome to worship for Sunday, January 21, 2024.
Last Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States. He is one of only three people in the history of the U.S. whose birthday has been designated a national holiday. Though there may be many reasons why Dr. King and the civil rights movement should have faded from memory like so many other popular civil movements, this one has had a remarkable staying power. Even though there was little about it that affected me directly I must confess that King, his message, and his story have long had a hold on me.
When I say that I do not have a direct connection I mean that quite literally. I have no memory of the civil rights movement. I was born the same year as the March on Washington and the famous “I Have A Dream” speech. I am not an American nor have I ever been part of the African-American community for whom this legacy means so much. It is not my intention to co-opt or appropriate the words of Martin Luther King and take them out of the context in which they were delivered.
But among the many adjectives that can be used to describe MLK, it is fair to include disciple. And I suppose that is a point of connection for many of us. He was unapologetic about being a Christian. He found inspiration for peaceful resistance in the teachings of Jesus. And whether or not it could be duplicated today, the battery that powered that movement back then was the church.
Many years ago, my sister went to Memphis, Tennessee on a vacation with friends. When she returned she brought me a couple of cassette tapes (yes, cassette tapes! – ask your mother) of speeches and sermons by Martin Luther King Jr. that had been recorded live at events in Memphis. One of them was the “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech which was given the day before he died. It is beautiful, brilliant, and poignant as you might expect. But a couple of the other recordings were really interesting to me because they were not famous speeches but rather sermons preached in a church on a Sunday morning. There is a character to the sermons preached in the safe environment of a worshipping congregation that can’t be found in the public speeches. Of course, there is the familiar rhythm and cadence and fluctuation of a skilled practitioner of the African-American pulpit tradition. The great orator is on full display. But in addition, in the context of worship, King used humour and dialogue and a sense of delight that demonstrated how much the Black preacher in the Black church was truly at home.
In the sanctuary of the Christian Church Martin Luther King found the inspiration, the encouragement, and the company(!) to confront the important social and political issues of his time. It was the place from which he learned about justice with compromise, peace without violence, and transformation without enmity. Many of those issues continue to exist in many places today but leadership imbued with an understanding of grace is less evident.
This week remember a fellow follower on the path Jesus invites us to walk. As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said:
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
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/gNix-975QOI
- Read this week’s scripture lesson here: The Book of Jonah