Monday, December 16, 2019

Advent at SPPC

So much is happening around the church during Advent, this week's blog is an update on events past and others still to come. Get out your calendar.

To begin, Peter had an idea and Tore has a basement workshop. Together they created these
lovely outdoor decorations using the themes of Advent, hope, peace, joy and love. Hope, peace and joy are in place off the roof of the church. Love will appear next week, as we approach the fourth Sunday of Advent. Thanks you two. It looks great and provides a much needed bright spot on the outside of the building.

Last Sunday, the third of Advent two new elders were ordained during morning service. Elders in the presbyterian church bear significant responsibility for the well-being, both temporal and spiritual, of the congregation. Our thanks to Darlene and Tore for filling these positions.

The "out to lunch bunch" has been enjoying good company and good food since September, but this month we had a special event. Thirty six members of the congregation enjoyed a special Christmas buffet at Haro's restaurant in Sidney. We had our own room so all our visiting didn't interfere with other patrons. Fortunately no one kept track of the number of repeat visits to the buffet table.

Sunday was white gift day when we collected some extras for the shut-in members of our congregation and for those in need in our community. The Sidney Food Bank is always grateful for our donations.

There was a bake sale following worship. Thanks to Diane and Darlene and Joan and Linda and Aarol and all who contributed goodies. Thanks also to all who opened their wallets and took home the treats. The money raised goes toward our mission projects.

Sunday afternoon we put on our usual Community Carol Sing. We see many of the same faces year after year. Good to know the church is part of the community Christmas tradition. 
We followed the carol sing with a pot luck supper, shared with the Jesus is Lord congregation. Lovely to meet the evening worshipers in our church building.

Next Sunday we light the fourth Advent candle during morning worship, 10:00 am. In the afternoon we'll host a carol service at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital.

Christmas Eve is our lessons and carols service, complete with candles and Silent Night. Service begins at 7:00 pm.
Christmas Day at 10:30 am we celebrate Jesus' birthday with a short, family service.

With all this activity, it's easy to forget that Advent is a time of waiting. Linda has sent along this little reminder.

Thoughts on an Advent Devotional
Christmas is a busy season and one of the ways I cope with the busyness is to make lists.  One of  the important tasks on my list is to complete an advent devotional.  Today is day sixteen and I thought I'd share some of my thoughts so far.

  • In order to clear the clutter for Christ we have to take a moment to listen intentionally and expectantly.
  • Christ is the most important present to unwrap.
  • Rethink, rearrange and refocus so Christ has room in our lives.
  • For some there is little joy in the season, remember Christ came for the broken.
  • When does Christmas officially begin?  Christmas “officially” began with the fall of man when God put His rescue plan into motion. I never considered this before.
  • Advent means coming--lets be ready for this special guest.
  • Christmas brings us unfathomable Grace and unstoppable Love
  • Don’t doubt God's power, Mary didn’t.
  • Joseph showed no fear when he was obedient after God spoke to him.

Llinda Cliff
  These are some of my reflections from reading the devotional “Making Space” written by Susan Narjala a freelance writer who lives and writes in India.  The devotional is available on line, why not it read for yourself?
I wish you all a merry Christmas.

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