FROM THE MINISTER’S DESK
The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.(Isaiah 11:6) In his essay Christianity and Poetry, Dana Gioia writes, “To stir faith in things unseen, poetry evokes a deeper response than do abstract ideas. Angels may be content to speak in prose, but incarnate beings like us require the physicality of poetry.” The Bible is full of poetry and Isaiah’s vision of the peaceful kingdom is one such poem. Advent is the season when we look to the second coming of our Lord and reflect on the future promised in Him. The wolf shall live with the lamb, … and a little child shall lead them. The lines from Isaiah’s poetic vision speak volumes regarding this future. Take some moments to let this vision assure you that in our Lord the best is always yet to come.
WHITE GIFT SUNDAY
This Sunday, Dec. 4th we will celebrate White Gift Sunday during the morning worship service. Your donations of unwrapped non perishable food 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.
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 11:1-10, Romans 15:4-13, and Matthew 3:1-12. You can also find a daily scripture message at the top of our website.
Our Annual Comfort Service will be held this 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.
STRATEGIC PLAN COMMITTEE UPDATE
As announced earlier this year, Church Council initiated a Strategic Planning Committee. 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.
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 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. As part of this phase, we will be engaging the congregation through a survey that will be completed online or in hard copy. Please watch for the announcement and participate in the survey.
Also, feel free to reach out to any of the Committee members if you have any questions, comments or want to get involved.
CHRISTMAS OUTREACH INITIATIVE
We would like to thank all of you who so generously supported the school bag & duffle bag outreach to the Children’s Aid Society this past year. As you know we have in the past purchased Christmas gifts for a number of vulnerable local families through the Children’s Aid Society. This year we have agreed to support a youth who has been in foster care for a number of years. His foster family is relocating and he has decided to move into his own apartment. If you are interested in helping this young man there is a list posted on the bulletin board in the foyer. The Children’s Aid Society has also requested that we donate common store gift cards, like Walmart, and they can give them to families to choose what they need in lieu of Christmas gifts. Information about how to donate from Central will be on the bulletin board, or contact Éilis Wu at email@example.com. The deadline for donations is next Sunday, December 11th.
SAMARITAN’S PURSE – Christmas Shoebox
We would like to say a great big THANK YOU to all those who participated in this year’s Christmas Shoebox project. Many participants packed their own boxes, others did it online, while some supported the cause with a monetary contribution. In total we packed 84 boxes which will put a smile on the face of many children this Christmas. Another wonderful achievement. God Bless you all!!!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
to coordinate a porch pick up/delivery or to meet her at Church this Sunday, December 4th in the narthex immediately following the Church service.
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
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
- Copy this address into your web browser https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8925458525 or click here
- 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:
- Call: 647 374-4685
- When prompted press: 892 545 8525 #
- Then when prompted again press: # to enter the call
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@example.com.
In addition to the online donation option, your church offerings can also be mailed to the church.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.