FROM THE MINISTER’S DESK
“As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, ‘See, I (God) am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” (Mark 1:2) In this opening part of Mark’s gospel the curtain is pulled back on the ordinary of life so we can see the real story that is unfolding; so we can understand the events of Jesus’ life for what they really are. The human Jesus is much more than meets the eye; if you saw him walk past you on the street in Capernaum he would be like other humans walking past you. But Mark says there is so much more to see. This life that believers walk by faith looks ordinary; it is like those of other citizens around us. Rather ordinary stuff. And yet we are, in reality, part of a great drama that tells us who we are and where we are going. It is the story of God coming into the world among us in Jesus calling us to believe him when he tells us who we are and believe him that he comes to bring us home.
SUNDAY WORSHIP 10:00 A.M.
Central United Church welcomes you to join our Worship Service Sunday mornings at 10:00 am. In worship we proclaim our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour; God’s word is read and preached, sacraments celebrated, faith sung and prayers offered.
Sunday services are also livestreamed (and recorded) through the Church website or you can join here. A copy of the bulletin for this Sunday’s Service is attached here.
This Sunday’s Scripture readings are Isaiah 40:1-11, 2 Peter 3:8-15a and Mark 1:1-8. You can also find a daily scripture message at the top of our website.
CHRISTMAS GIFT BAGS
Christmas Gift Bags, a meaningful gift with a charitable donation, will be offered for sale on Sunday. It’s a perfect gift for a hostess, the person who has everything, teacher gift, something for a co-worker/colleague and service providers who help you. Each gift bag contains a tree ornament made by an artisan in a developing country along with a message that the ornament symbolizes a donation was made to the Markham Food Bank. Suggested donation is $25 (cash or cheque), 100% of the proceeds go to the Markham Food Bank, with a tax receipt provided. If you would like delivery or porch pickup please contact Ruth Duffield at email@example.com to coordinate.
REFUGEE CHRISTMAS OUTREACH
This year we hope you can help support 3 refugee families for Christmas. The Toronto Peoples Church has 3 homes where refugees are welcomed, encouraged and ministered to. Refugees come to the homes by referrals from a central hub, direct from the airport or by word of mouth. They can stay up to 3 months, but with the housing crisis they tend to stay 4-6 months.
Information & suggested gift ideas for these families is posted on the church bulletin board. So if any of you need an excuse to check out the new toys at Mastermind here is your chance. Please could you have any gifts for them delivered to the church by Monday, December 18.
Winter coats/jackets are the most important thing on the need list for refugees, as many of them come from warm countries and are ill prepared for a Canadian winter. So with this in mind if you have any used but still fabulous winter coats/jackets that you no longer use please bring them to the church or contact Eilis Wu. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
For those of you who use offering envelopes, your boxed set for 2024 is available for pick up in the narthex. If we have missed your name and you would like a set for your weekly offering, please speak to Sharlene or Sally Sandiford. Please ensure that at the end of 2023 you destroy your old envelopes and begin using the new set that has been assigned to you.
CHRISTMAS CAROLING AND HOT CHOCOLATE
Central United Church will be part of this year’s Unionville Main Street Olde Time Christmas parade this Saturday, December 9th at 6:30 pm. Members of the choir and anyone else interested can join in walking down Main Street in the Parade, singing carols.
We will also be resuming our well attended Carol Sing at the church running from approximately 7:00 – 9:00 pm. Anyone who is out enjoying the parade, is welcome to come join in the Carol Sing as well. We will be offering our always well received hot chocolate & cookies! This is a fun and meaningful outreach activity for our community. Please sign up in the narthex if you can help with things such as preparing and serving hot chocolate, clean up, welcoming visitors, or singing in the parade.
WHITE GIFT SUNDAY
Sunday, Dec. 10th we will celebrate White Gift Sunday during the morning worship service. Your donations of nonperishable foods are appreciated. Cash gifts will also be received – special “White Gift” offering envelopes will be made available. Your gifts of food/money will also be used to assist the Markham Food Bank.
The Mitten Tree is now up in the Friendship Room. Should you wish to donate, please drop off hats, toques, scarves and gloves by Sunday, Dec. 17th so that we can deliver them to the Salvation Army before Christmas. They can be dropped off at the church on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm or if you’re attending in person worship on Sunday morning and prefer to drop them off then, that would be fine as well.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
WEEKLY PRAYER MEETING & TIME OF FELLOWSHIP
You are welcome to join the Thursday prayer meeting tonight at 7:00 PM for a time of prayer and fellowship. The meeting is held using Zoom technology.
Here are the details for those who wish to participate:
Access to Join from your PC, Tablet or Smartphone:
Copy this address into your web browser https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8925458525 or click here
Quick access by phone:
1. Call: 647 374-4685
2. When prompted press: 892 545 8525 #
3. Then when prompted again press: # to enter the call
CHURCH FAMILY NEWS
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of John Heighway on Friday, December 1st. John was a long standing member of Central United Church and leaves to mourn his loss his beloved wife Laura and son Alan. John will be deeply missed by all that knew and loved him.
A memorial service will be held at a later date and will be communicated to you once we have all the details.
We are grateful for our Saviour’s promise to welcome John home with Him. Please remember Laura and Alan and the members of their family in your prayers.
Should you become aware of any illness, bereavement, hospitalization, etc., among people of our church, please notify the church office as soon as possible.
If you would like a pastoral visit, please contact Rev. Clubine at the church office 905.474.0183 or mobile office 416.358.4924 or by email email@example.com.
We want to help you stay connected so if you happen to be wondering “who’s doing what” in terms of duties, the list for this week is below….
December 10th 2023
LAY WORSHIP LEADER: Ron Wyse
MUSIC: Sarah Wyse
POWER POINT: Henry Wong
GREETER: Cynthia Yee
WORSHIP HOST: Cynthia Yee
COFFEE HOUR: M & P
SUNDAY SCHOOL: Sharon Gayman Laird