Announcements November 27

THE 1ST SUNDAY OF ADVENT

27 November 2022

Welcome! We extend a warm welcome to our guests, and invite you to sign the guest book at the back of the sanctuary. Everyone is invited to remain for coffee and fellowship, downstairs in the Church Hall, following the service.

The Greeters this month are Bruce and Lisa Sneesby.

The Reader today is Keith Kelly.

This Week in First Church:

– Today – Deadline for submissions for the December Newsletter

– Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. – Bible study (by Zoom)

– Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – Men’s Breakfast

Coming Up:

– Sunday, 4 December – Hanging-of-the-Greens service and pot-luck lunch

– Sunday, 11 December – Communion service; Anniversary Sunday

– Saturday, 24 December, 7:00 p.m. – Christmas Eve service

The Christian Year – Today is the first Sunday of Advent, which is the first of the six seasons of the Christian Year. Advent is a season of preparation for Christmas, the festival of the birth of Jesus. It always has four Sundays.

The name “Advent” comes from the Latin word advenire, which means “to come to”. Advent is a season distinct from Christmas. It has to do with preparing ourselves for God’s coming into the world in Jesus Christ. That is, we recall how the ancient Israelites anticipated the coming of the Messiah, how God announced to Mary and Joseph that they would become the earthly parents of Jesus, and how John the Baptist called on the people of his day to repent (turn away from sin), in preparation for Jesus’ ministry. At the same time, we focus on Jesus’ promised Second Coming at the end of the age, and prepare ourselves for it by turning away from sin, and renewing our commitment to God.

The symbolic color for Advent is purple, signifying repentance and preparation.

Full announcements here

Announcements November 20

CHRIST THE KING

THE FINAL SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

20 November 2022

Welcome! We extend a warm welcome to our guests, and invite you to sign the guest book at the back of the sanctuary. Everyone is invited to remain for coffee and fellowship, downstairs in the Church Hall, following the service.

This Week in First Church:

– Wednesday, 5:00 p.m. – Meal-in-a-Bowl Supper

– Thursday, 7:00 p.m. – Session meeting (by Zoom)

Coming Up:

– Sunday, 27 November – First Sunday of Advent

– Sunday, 27 November – Deadline for submissions for the December Newsletter

– Sunday, 4 December – Hanging-of-the-Greens service

The Christian Year – Today is Christ the King, the final Sunday of the Season after Pentecost, and the final Sunday of the Christian Year. A new Christian Year begins next Sunday, the First Sunday of Advent.

Christ the King affirms and celebrates Jesus’ kingship over the world and over the church, as well as in the lives of individual Christians. Today’s scripture readings lead us to reflect on the meaning of Jesus’ kingship. In the Gospel reading, he is derisively called “the Messiah” and “the king of the Jews” at his crucifixion by people who don’t accept him as such; while in the reading from the Letters, he is portrayed as possessing great authority and power.

The symbolic color for Christ the King is white, symbolizing joy and celebration.

Full announcements here

Announcements November 13

THE 23RD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

SOUP KITCHEN SUNDAY

13 November 2022

Welcome! We extend a warm welcome to our guests, and invite you to sign the guest book at the back of the sanctuary. Everyone is invited to remain for coffee and fellowship, downstairs in the Church Hall, following the service.

The Greeters this month are Bruce and Lisa Sneesby.

The Reader today is Philip Dunn.

This Week in First Church:

– Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. – Presbytery meeting at Neepawa

– Friday, 10:00 a.m. – Synod meeting, by Zoom

– Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – Men’s Breakfast

Coming Up:

– Wednesday, 23 November, 5:00 p.m. – Meal-in-a-Bowl Supper

– Sunday, 27 November – First Sunday of Advent

– Sunday, 27 November – Deadline for submissions for the December Newsletter

– Sunday, 4 December – Hanging-of-the-Greens service

Soup Kitchen Sunday – Today is our tenth annual “Soup Kitchen Sunday”. On this day, we affirm and celebrate the ministry of the First Presbyterian Soup Kitchen, and express our thanks for the many volunteers and donors who support and participate in this ministry, including churches, Hutterite colonies, organizations, businesses, and suppliers.

Special thanks to Shelly Burton (coordinator), Gloria Nichols (assistant coordinator) and Henry Riendeau (treasurer)! Thanks also to the other members of the Soup Kitchen Committee

Full announcements here

Announcements November 6

THE 22ND SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY

6 November 2022

Welcome! We extend a warm welcome to our guests, and invite you to sign the guest book at the back of the sanctuary. Everyone is invited to remain for coffee and fellowship, downstairs in the Church Hall, following the service.

The Preacher today is Keith Kelly, and we thank him for taking part in leading the service. The rest of the service will be led by John.

This Week in First Church:

– Today, 5:00 p.m. – Fall Supper

– Tuesday, 6:00 p.m. – Exit Visit (with the minister)

– Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. – Exit Visit (with members of the Session) – Church Hall

– Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. – F&M Committee meeting, by Zoom

– Thursday, 7:00 p.m. – Worship Committee meeting

Coming Up:

– Sunday, 13 November – Soup Kitchen Sunday

– Sunday, 27 November – First Sunday of Advent

– Sunday, 27 November – Deadline for submissions for the December Newsletter

Full announcements here

Announcements October 30

THE 21ST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

REFORMATION SUNDAY

30 October 2022

Welcome! We extend a warm welcome to our guests, and invite you to sign the guest book at the back of the sanctuary. Everyone is invited to remain for coffee and fellowship, downstairs in the Church Hall, following the service.

This Week in First Church:

– Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. – Bible study – by Zoom

Coming Up:

– Sunday, 6 November – Daylight Saving Time ends

– Sunday, 6 November, 5:00 p.m. – Fall Supper

Treasurer – Mardine Garnham has given notice of her intention to step down as treasurer of our congregation. We are therefore looking for someone to take over the position from her. Financial records are kept on the church’s computer, so the new treasurer would need computer skills as well as knowledge about creating financial statements, etc. If you’re interested, or know of someone else who may be interested, or have questions, please speak to either Mardine herself (239-0497) or Keith Kelly (857-5712), the convener of the Finance and Maintenance Committee.

This Week – We have been notified by Manitoba Hydro that they will be blocking off a portion of the lane between the church and the City Hall this Thursday (3 November), as they do some work at the City Hall. The parking area behind the church will remain accessible, but anyone parking there will need to enter from Tupper St. rather than Royal Rd.

Assessment Report – Highlights – The Session is making available to the congregation highlights of the Assessment Report written for us by the Rev. Mark Lewis in the fall of 2020, as part of the New Beginnings process for congregational renewal. A nine-page document has been sent out by e-mail, and a few hard copies have been set out on the table at the back of the sanctuary. The report as a whole is very detailed and very lengthy — 78 pages in all! The Highlights document includes the following: 1) a Summary of the report, 2) four possible “Future Scenarios” for our congregation, 3) Concluding Remarks by Mark Lewis, and 4) an appendix that lists Five Strategies for a “New Beginning” for a congregation. The four possible future scenarios are set in the year 2025, and assume that we have gone through the entire New Beginnings process, which, unfortunately, we have not been able to do. However, they are interesting, and worth reading. If we had been able to continue the New Beginnings process, we would’ve discussed the Assessment Report in a series of small group meetings, and then decided how we as a congregation wished to proceed. If you would like to see the entire report, let John know, and he will e-mail it to you.

The Christian Year – The 31st of October is Reformation Day. On that day in 1517, Martin Luther, a professor of theology at the University of Wittenberg in Germany, posted on the door of a prominent church an invitation to a debate on the church’s practice of selling “indulgences” in order for people to receive forgiveness of their sins. The invitation also stated Luther’s own position in 95 points, and thus came to be known as his “95 Theses”. That event sparked an upheaval in the church — a period of debate, conflict, and reform that lasted for more than 100 years, and came to be known as the Reformation. A number of Protestant churches (including the Presbyterian Church) came into existence during that time.

Another prominent figure in the Reformation was John Calvin, from France. In the 1540s and 50s, he established in Geneva, Switzerland, a separate branch of the Reformation from Luther’s. Now known as the Reformed Tradition, this branch of the church is the one to which our own Presbyterian Church in Canada belongs, along with the United Church, the Christian Reformed Church, and many other denominations around the world.

Reformation Day is not only an occasion to commemorate the accomplishments of the Reformers, but also to recognize that the church always needs reforming in order to stay true to God’s wishes and purpose for his people. The symbolic color for Reformation Day is red, in recognition of the fact that a great many people lost their lives during that turbulent time.

Full announcements here

Announcements October 23

THE 20TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
23 October 2022
Welcome! We extend a warm welcome to our guests, and invite you to sign the guest book at the back of the sanctuary. Everyone is invited to remain for coffee and fellowship, downstairs in the Church Hall, following the ser-vice.

This Week in First Church:

Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. – Bible study – by Zoom

Thursday, 7:00 p.m. – Session meeting – by Zoom

Coming Up:

Sunday, 6 November – Daylight Saving Time ends

Sunday, 6 November, 5:00 p.m. – Fall Supper

Treasurer – Mardine Garnham has given notice of her intention to step down as treasurer of our congregation. We are therefore looking for someone to take over the position from her. Financial records are kept on the church’s computer, so the new treasurer would need computer skills as well as knowledge about creating financial state-ments, etc. If you’re interested, or know of someone else who may be interested, or have questions, please speak to either Mardine herself (239-0497) or Keith Kelly (857-5712), the convener of the

Full Announcements here

Announcements October 16

THE 19TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

STEWARDSHIP SUNDAY

16 October 2022

Welcome! We extend a warm welcome to our guests, and invite you to sign the guest book at the back of the sanctuary. Everyone is invited to remain for a free spaghetti lunch, downstairs in the Church Hall, following the service

This Week in First Church:

– Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. – Bible study – by Zoom

– Wednesday, 5:00 p.m. – Meal-in-a-Bowl Supper

– Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – Men’s Breakfast

Coming Up:

– Sunday, 6 November, 5:00 p.m. – Fall Supper

Today – The Session has designated today Stewardship Sunday. For today’s service, John is making use of a Stewardship resource entitled “From Bread and Cup to Faith and Giving”, made available to congregations across the country by the national church. It includes suggestions for preaching (rather than a complete sermon), as well as a couple of suggested prayers. The resource actually provides materials for eight such services, based on various New Testament texts having to do with meals and eating. Today’s scripture reading is Matthew’s account of the so-called “Last Supper”. We will not be doing a Stewardship Visitation in connection with today’s service, however, due to lingering concerns regarding COVID-19.

Treasurer – Mardine Garnham has given notice of her intention to step down as treasurer of our congregation. We are therefore looking for someone to take over the position from her. Financial records are kept on the church’s computer, so the new treasurer would need computer skills as well as knowledge about creating financial statements, etc. If you’re interested, or have questions, please speak to either Mardine herself (239-0497) or Keith Kelly (857-5712), the convener of the Finance and Maintenance Committee.

Carberry – The Presbytery will be holding a special service this afternoon (the 16th) at 2:00, to “dissolve” the congregation of Knox-Zion Church in Carberry (meaning that it will no longer exist). This is being done in response to a request from the Carberry Session, following a decision made by the congregation at its Annual Meeting, back in the spring. The congregation will hold its own final Sunday morning service today, as well.

Exit Visits – The Presbytery is conducting Exit Visits to both our congregation and St. Andrew’s Church in Brandon this fall, since the ministers of both congregations will be retiring at the end of December. It is customary to conduct an exit visit when a minister leaves a congregation. The visit is done with the minister and members of the Session. The purpose is for the Presbytery to determine how things have been going in the congregation in question, and to ascertain what the congregation’s needs are going forward. Because we are “short-handed” in our Presbytery, John, Raymond, Laura Hargrove, and an elder from First, Brandon, will be conducting the visit at St. Andrew’s, Brandon (this Tuesday, 18 October); and Glenn Ball, Laura Hargrove, and an elder from each of the two Brandon congregations will conduct the exit visit here (on Tuesday, 8 November).

Synod – John will be attending a Retreat organized by our Synod next week, from Tuesday evening, the 25th to Thursday morning, the 27th, in Gimli. The speaker will be Jen de Combe, our national church’s Associate Secretary for Canadian Ministries. Later that week, John, along with Raymond, will also be taking part in the Synod’s annual business meeting, which will be held by Zoom on Friday, 28 October. Our Synod is called the Synod of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario. It consists of three Presbyteries, the Presbyteries of Superior, Winnipeg, and Brandon, comprising all Presbyterian congregations in Manitoba, and as far east as Geraldton in northern Ontario.

Full announcements here

Announcements October 9, 2022

THE 18TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

HARVEST SUNDAY

9 October 2022

Welcome!  We extend a warm welcome to our guests, and invite you to sign the guest book at the back of the sanctuary.  Everyone is invited to remain for coffee and fellowship, downstairs in the Church Hall, following the service.

This Week in First Church:

– Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. – Bible study – by Zoom

– Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. – F&M Committee meeting – by Zoom

Coming Up:

– Sunday, 16 October – Stewardship Sunday

– Wednesday, 19 October, 5:00 p.m. – Meal-in-a-Bowl Supper

Food Bank Offering – In today’s service, we are accepting donations of non-perishable food for the local Salvation Army Food Bank, as a fitting way of expressing gratitude to God for his provision of food.  Donations can be placed at the front of the sanctuary before the service begins, and will be delivered to the Food Bank during the week.

Church School resumes today, following a long summer break!  We thank Margaret Dunn and Keith Kelly for agreeing to serve as our Church School teachers again this year!

Stewardship Sunday – Next Sunday will be Stewardship Sunday.  Following the service, everyone is invited to remain for a free spaghetti lunch in the Church Hall.  Bring your appetite!

Full announcements here

Announcements October 2

THE 17TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

COMMUNION SUNDAY

2 October 2022

Welcome!  We extend a warm welcome to our guests, and invite you to sign the guest book at the back of the sanctuary.  Everyone is invited to remain for coffee and fellowship, downstairs in the Church Hall, following the service.

The Greeters this week are Rob and Cheryl McPherson.

The Reader today is Philip Dunn.

Today we celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.  Everyone who has been baptized in any denomination of the Christian church is invited to participate in the Communion, including children.  The Communion bread is gluten-free.  Today we return to serving the bread and juice the way we used to do, before the pandemic broke out.  It’s our custom here at First Church to wait until everyone has been served, so that we all consume first the bread, and then the grape juice, together.  Please place your used Communion glasses into the hymnbook rack in your pew, and they will be collected following the service.

This Week in First Church:

– Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. – Bible study – by Zoom

– Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – Men’s Breakfast

Coming Up:

– Sunday, 9 October – Harvest (Thanksgiving) Sunday

– Sunday, 16 October – Stewardship Sunday Thanksgiving – Next Sunday, Harvest (Thanksgiving) Sunday, we will again be receiving a special offering of non-perishable food for the local Food Bank, as we have done for the past few years.  Sharing food with those in need is a particularly appropriate way to give God thanks for his provision of food.  The most-wanted food items are: canned fish or poultry; canned fruit or vegetables; canned stew, chili, or brown beans; baby food or formula; peanut butter; pasta (whole grain or whole wheat); rice; canned spaghetti sauce or tomatoes; cereal (high-fiber, non-sugar-coated); canned soup.  Donations can be placed at the front of the sanctuary as people arrive for the service

Full announcements here