A few reminders for this week Dec. 7 – Dec. 13, 2020

FROM THE MINISTER’S DESK
Christmas gatherings with loved ones is one of the special joys of Christmas. This strong desire to be together at Christmas witnesses that we humans treasure the joy of being present with one another. This coming Sunday we light the third of our Advent Wreath candles, the candle of joy; in this act we acknowledge that with the coming of Jesus into the world he brings true joy. The gospel declares that the joy that rises above all other joys, the joy that transcends and lifts and orders all other joys, is the joy of knowing Jesus Christ. This is why the Apostle Paul can write to a persecuted people, “rejoice always.” It isn’t because every circumstance is joyful; it is because the joy of knowing Jesus Christ transcends all circumstances including times of gathering restrictions. The joy the believer finds in Jesus is because nothing in life and in death can separate her from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 
CHRISTMAS EVE AT CENTRAL
December 24th at 7:00 pm
A Christmas Eve Worship will be held this year at 7:00 P.M. Registration to attend this service in person will begin on December 14th and is limited to current seating capacity guidelines. You can join the livestream of the service shortly before 7:00 P.M. and a recording will be available for viewing throughout the rest of the evening on our YouTube channel immediately following the service.  Come Let us Adore Him.
REGISTRATION TO ATTEND
IN-PERSON WORSHIP AT CENTRAL
Due to current guidelines limiting attendance at religious services, we are asking members of the congregation who wish to join in-person worship to register for Sunday services throughout the month of December. Registration will be open each week from Monday to Friday (noon) for the following Sunday. You can register through the church website or by calling the church office. Thank you for registering and helping Central maintain these health measures.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
2021 OFFERING ENVELOPES
2021 Offering Envelopes are now available and can be picked up in the narthex this Sunday or you can drop by the church Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday mornings to pick them up. If you are unable to come in and pick them up please let Sharlene know in the church office and she will make arrangements to have them hand delivered to you. These new envelopes are to be used as of January 1st. (At that time, it is imperative that you discard any unused envelopes from previous years so that your givings are credited correctly.) Please note that this year your envelope number may have changed. If we have missed your name and you would like a set of envelopes, please speak to Sharlene and she will be pleased to look after that for you.
CHRISTMAS GIFT BAGS
Christmas Gift Bags will be available at Church on Sunday. Perhaps you’ve bought one or a few in the last 8 years or are looking for a meaningful charitable gift for someone. 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 $20 minimum with 100% of the proceeds going to the Markham Food Bank, with a tax receipt provided. If you are interested to buy 1 or a few, or just make a monetary donation to the Markham Food Bank, please contact Ruth Duffield [email protected] to coordinate a porch pick up/delivery before/on Sunday.  
MITTEN TREE
With the Christmas season upon us, the Mitten Tree is once again up in the Friendship Room. Should you wish to donate, please drop off hats, toques, scarves and gloves by Dec. 13th 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 and 1:00 or if you’re attending in person worship on Sunday morning and prefer to drop them off then, that would be fine as well.
POINSETTIA SALES
In prior years we have sold poinsettias to be placed in the sanctuary in memory of loved ones. This year the logistics of doing live plants has been complicated by Covid, so we are still asking for memorial donations but instead of a plant, we will be sending the money to the Salvation Army’s front lines.
The names will still be published in the bulletin on Dec. 20th, and your donation will be directed to the Salvation Army. We are suggesting a $20.00 donation.
Please submit the names of those you wish to be recognized to Sharlene, and your payment can be left at the church or deposited through Canada Helps.
WEEKLY PRAYER MEETING & TIME OF FELLOWSHIP
December 10th, 2020 at 7:00 pm
Come and join the Thursday prayer meeting! You can listen to what participating is like here. After the prayer time we have some time for fellowship to allow us to catch up with each other a little. The meeting is held using the Zoom technology. Please join 10 minutes before the 7:00 PM start time.
Here are the details for those that wish to participate:
Access to Join Zoom Meeting from your PC, Tablet or Smartphone
  1. Copy this address into your web browser https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8925458525 or click here
  2. If you are joining with the Zoom App the Meeting ID is: 892 545 8525 (Note that you can also download the Zoom Application and use the Meeting ID to join)
 
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
CENTRAL UNITED IN-PERSON WORSHIP
December 13th, 2020
Central United Church is offering in person worship and welcomes people in the church building subject to limits set for seating capacity, social distancing and health guidelines. Registration is required throughout the month of December. To view the guidelines at Central United please click here.
 
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we endeavor to work together to make our worship both safe and meaningful during this unusual time.
ONLINE SUNDAY WORSHIP, December 13th
This Sunday’s service will be available to watch via live streaming at 10:00 am and is recorded for later viewing, through the Church website. To watch live or view a recording later, go to the Church website, scroll down and click on Central United’s Live Stream Page or click here. A copy of the bulletin for this Sunday’s Service is attached here. We suggest, for joining the live stream, that you tune in early. You are encouraged to have your bible handy and please note that the text of this Sunday’s Sermon will be available on our Church website prior to Service time. This Sunday’s Scripture readings are Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 and John 1:6-8, 19-28. You can also find a daily scripture message at the top of our website.
Please join us each week and spread this good word. Share our streaming information with family and friends, and via your extended social network, hopefully, more and more people will hear about our live stream services and join in each week.
ONLINE DONATIONS
Donations for the work of Central United Church can be made online.
  • You can donate to Central United by clicking here:
  • You can continue to specify how you want your donation to be allocated by either selecting the appropriate category on the website or by typing in your choice in the MESSAGE box.
  • Donation receipts will be issued directly by Canada Helps, so there is no need to include your envelope number.
  • If you have any questions, email [email protected].
In addition to the online donation option, your church offerings can also be mailed to the church.

PASTORAL CARE
Should you become aware of any illness, bereavement, hospitalization, etc., among people of our church, please notify the church office as soon as possible.
During this time of limitations on in-person visits, Rev. Dr. James Clubine is available for a telephone or video conference pastoral ‘visit’ and prayer. If you would like to book a visit, please contact Rev. Clubine at the church office 905.474.0183×228 or mobile office 416.358.4924 or by email [email protected].

SCRIPTURE READINGS
If you are interested in reading ahead a little, below are the readings for next week.

Dec. 20th 2020
2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16
Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26
Romans 16:25-27
Luke 1:26-38