A few reminders for this week Nov. 21 to Nov. 27, 2022

FROM THE MINISTER’S DESK

This coming Sunday marks the beginning of the church season of Advent. The word Advent means coming. Because of the cultural emphasis on Christmas that surrounds us, we tend to think of Advent as preparation for Christmas—our Lord’s first coming. We get distracted from the historic emphasis of Advent on Jesus’ promised second coming in glory. Advent differs from the other seasons of the church year in that it looks beyond history altogether and waits for Jesus Christ’s coming again “in glory to judge the living and the dead.” In the cycle of seasons and festival days that takes the church through the life of Christ, it is Advent that gives us the final consummation; it is the season of the last things.

SUNDAY WORSHIP

Central United Church welcomes you to our Worship Service Sunday morning at 10:00 am and we would love to have you join us. We rejoice that we can worship together and give thanks, offering prayer and lifting our voices in song.

Sunday services will also still be available to watch via livestreaming at 10:00 am 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.

This Sunday’s Scripture readings are Isaiah 2:1-5, Romans 13:11-14, and Matthew 24:36-44. You can also find a daily scripture message at the top of our website.

COVID Update: Ontario’s chief medical officer of health is ”strongly recommending” that Ontarians wear masks in all indoor public settings. He said that province’s health system is facing “extraordinary pressures” with the ongoing circulation of COVID-19, the earlier than normal rise in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), as well as influenza.  

 

As a result, we will ensure that there is a supply of masks available at the Church for anyone that needs one.”



Strategic Plan Committee update

 

Every three years our Church Constitution, requires that a Strategic Planning Committee be constituted to perform the following tasks: 

 

             I.   In consultation with the congregation, coordinate a strategic planning process to identify and review the long-range needs of Central United Church.

 

(ii) To set objectives and direction for the future at all levels of the organization and ensure that these objectives are consistent with the spirit of Central United’s Mission Statement – “To grow in Christ and to help others grow with us”. 

 

As announced earlier this year, Church Council initiated this required review, asking for volunteers. The resulting Strategic Planning Committee members are: Doug Stirling (Chair), Karen Coll, Jim Clubine, Lindsay Duffield, Linda Patterson, Winston Roberts, Jake Thiessen, Scott Wetmore and Ron Wyse. Other volunteers will be needed based on the outcome and results of this review.

 

As some background, The United Church of Canada is in decline with a reported 300 churches closing per year. While Central United has a solid financial foundation today with an engaged congregation, we are experiencing a declining membership and attendance at church, with an aging and aged congregation. We have a continual challenge filling all of the necessary volunteers needed to fulfill our Mission, as well as attracting younger families and children.

 

The current phase of the project is Planning, with the help of an outside facilitator. The next phase, to start in the months ahead, will be engaging the congregation and external parties via surveys, focus groups and interviews.

 

The Committee will provide regular updates of its progress in the Announcements along with a more detailed update at the AGM in February.  In the meantime, feel free to reach out to any of the Committee members if you have any questions, comments or want to get involved. 

 



CHRISTMAS GIFT BAGS

Christmas Gift Bags, a meaningful gift with a charitable donation, will be offered for sale again this year. 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 or to meet her at Church on Sunday, December 4th in the narthex immediately following the Church service.

COMFORT SERVICE

Our Annual Comfort Service will be held on Sunday, Dec. 4th at 7:00 pm. This service is offered to those who have experienced loss of a loved one and is a good opportunity to reach out to our congregation and community at large. All are welcome to attend and please invite family and friends who may benefit from such a service.

WHITE GIFT SUNDAY

Sunday, Dec. 4th we will celebrate White Gift Sunday during the morning worship service. Your donations of unwrapped 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.

MITTEN TREE

With the Christmas season upon us, the Mitten Tree will once again be up in the Friendship Room. Should you wish to donate, please drop off hats, toques, scarves and gloves by Sunday, Dec. 11th 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

CHRISTMAS EVE WORSHIP SERVICES

Saturday, December 24th, 2022

at 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY WORSHIP SERVICE

Sunday, December 25th, 2022

at 10:00 a.m.

WEEKLY PRAYER MEETING & TIME OF FELLOWSHIP

Please come and join the Thursday prayer meeting tonight at 7:00 pm. 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

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.

If you would like to book a pastoral visit, please contact Rev. Clubine at the church office 905.474.0183 or mobile office 416.358.4924 or by email [email protected]

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SCRIPTURE READINGS

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



December 4th, 2022

Isaiah 11:1-10

Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19

Romans 15:4-13

Matthew 3:1-12