Week of April 5 to 11

Services and most congregational activities are canceled for the time being, due to the COVID-19 pandem-ic. We will resume our regular activities as soon as the government decides it is safe to do so.

Depending on how things go, John may create a YouTube video for Sunday’s service, in which case he will mail out directions for accessing it. If he’s not able to do that, he will send out a service script by e-mail that will be a little more complete than what he sent out last Sunday. He is planning to prepare worship material for Good Friday as well, but not for Maundy Thursday.

The Bible study group met online by “Zoom” last week, and will continue to do so on Tuesday evenings at 7:00. We will soon be starting a six-week study based on “The Armour of God”. If you are interested please contact Margaret Dunn.

Full announcements here

Cancellations

Due to concerns about spread of the COVID-19 regular church services at First Presbyterian Church are suspended.

Our minister, Rev. John Zondag will circulate a message this coming Sunday. In the coming weeks, we’ll see if we can do something more elaborate than that.

Rev. John Zondag is available for telephone consultations at his office during regular hours.

Full announcements here

You can continue your offerings to our church through our donation tab

Remember: God is with is with us at all times

Update March 22 – 28

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no Fellowship Time following the service for as long as we need to practise “social distancing”. 

In addition, we are implementing the following modifications to our normal Sunday routine:

– Please spread out in the sanctuary, so that the only people you sit with are those you live with, or family members with whom you have frequent contact during the week.

– Please avoid shaking hands with others altogether.

– An offering plate has been placed at the back of the sanctuary, so that you can place your offering onto it as you enter.  We will do this for the foreseeable future, rather than gathering the offering during the service by passing the plates from person to person. 

– Committee/group meetings will be held in the Church Hall only, where there is room to spread out.

This Week in First Church:

– Sunday, following the service – Choir practice

– Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. – Bible study, in the Church Hall

– Thursday, 7:00 p.m. – Session meeting, in the Church Hall

Coming Up:

– Sunday, 29 March – Communion Sunday

Cancelations – The following activities, programs, and fundraisers have been canceled, due to the COVID-19 pandemic:

– The Soup Kitchen, due in part to a growing shortage of volunteers

– The Meal-in-a-Bowl Supper originally scheduled for this Wednesday

– Our bi-weekly Men’s Breakfasts

– The Pasta Supper, originally scheduled for Sunday, 5 April

– The Anglican Church’s remaining Lenten noon-hour concert

– The Kurdish Dinner and Dance fundraiser, originally scheduled for Saturday, 4 April

Full announcements here

Cancellations

Due to the ongoing concerns with the Corona virus, the following events have been cancelled:

  • 25 March, 5:30 p.m. – Meal-in-a-Bowl Supper
  • Sunday 5 April, 5:00 p.m. – Pasta Dinner

As well, the Soup Kitchen will be closed starting March 19, 2020 until further notice

Church services will continue since we typically have fewer than 50 people in attendance. If there is a change, it will be posted here.

Please note that God is available to hear your prayers at all times. He is with us throughout this difficult time.

Upcoming March 15 to 21

Full announcements here

This Week in First Church:

– Sunday, following the service – Choir practice

– Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. – Bible study at Lalaine’s home

– Wednesday, 1:30 p.m. – Endowment Committee meeting

Coming Up:

– Wednesday, 25 March, 5:30 p.m. – Meal-in-a-Bowl Supper

– Sunday, 29 March – Communion Sunday

– Sunday, 5 April, 5:00 p.m. – Pasta Dinner

Newsletter – The March issue of the congregational newsletter has been sent out by e-mail, and can be seen here. Hard copies are available for the elders to deliver to those in their districts who don’t have e-mail.  Many thanks to Lisa for putting the newsletter together, and to Gwen for printing the hard copies!

Upcoming March 8 – 14

This Week in First Church:

– Sunday March 8 – Deadline for submissions for the March Newsletter

– Sunday March 8 , following the service – Choir practice

– Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. – Bible study at Lalaine’s home

– Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. – Finance & Maintenance Committee meeting

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

Coming Up:

– Sunday, 29 March – Communion Sunday

– Sunday, 5 April, 5:00 p.m. – Pasta Dinner

Newsletter – Submissions for the March issue of the congregational newsletter, are due today (8 March).  You can either give or e-mail them to Lisa Sneesby (bneesby@mymts.net).  We aim to have the newsletter ready for distribution next Sunday, two weeks in advance of our next Communion Sunday, on the 29th.Concert Series – St. Mary’s Anglican Church is holding its annual series of noon-hour concerts followed by lunch on four Wednesdays during Lent.  This week’s concert (on the 11th) will feature our own First Presbyterian Church choir.  The cost for the lunch is $8.

Full announcements here

Upcoming March 1 to 7

This Week in First Church:

– Sunday, following the service – Choir practice

– Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. – Bible study, at Lalaine’s home

– Wednesday, 1:30 p.m. – WMS will meet

– Wednesday, 3:30 p.m. – Worship Committee meeting

– Thursday, 1:30 p.m. – Prayer Time, at Pat Mullins’ apartment

Coming Up:

– Sunday, 8 March – Daylight Saving Time begins

– Sunday, 8 March – Deadline for submissions for the March Newsletter

– Sunday, 29 March – Communion Sunday

The Christian Year – March 1 is the first Sunday in Lent, which is the fourth of the six seasons of the Christian year.  Lent is a season of preparation for Easter.  Like Advent, it is a penitential season in advance of a major festival.  It is a time for us to take stock of our lives, and to get our lives back on track by renewing our commitment to God and to living in his ways.  All of us easily get into bad habits, and Lent is a time to work at recognizing and breaking those habits, and establishing good ones instead.

The season of Lent originated in the early centuries of church history as a time when new converts, mainly adults, were given their final instruction in the Christian faith, in preparation for their baptism on Easter Sunday.  By the Middle Ages, however, it had evolved into a solemn season of penitence and fasting for all Christians, inspired by Jesus’ 40 days of fasting and being tempted in the wilderness (Matthew 4.1-11 and parallels).  The length of Lent was therefore set at 40 days (not including Sundays, however, since Sunday, the weekly celebration of Jesus’ resurrection, could not be a day of fasting).  Lent therefore always begins on a Wednesday, 6½ weeks before Easter Sunday — Ash Wednesday.  Since the date of Easter changes from year to year, the date of Ash Wednesday also changes.  The final week of Lent is called Holy Week, and during that week we commemorate the events leading up to and including Jesus’ death on the cross.

The symbolic color for Lent, as for Advent, is purple, signifying preparation and penitence.  The color for Holy Week is red, symbolizing Jesus’ blood, shed on the cross.

Full announcements here

Upcoming Feb. 23 to 29

This Week in First Church:
– Sunday, following the service – Choir practice
– Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. – Bible study at Lalaine’s home
– Wednesday, 5:00 p.m. – Meal-in-a-Bowl Supper
– Thursday, 7:00 p.m. – Session meeting

Coming Up:
– Sunday, 8 March – Deadline for submissions for the March Newsletter

The Christian Year – Feb.23 is Transfiguration Sunday, the final Sunday of the Season after Epiphany. On this Sunday we commemorate Jesus’ transfiguration, recorded in Matthew 17.1-13, as well as in parallel passages in Mark and Luke. Like his baptism, Jesus’ transfiguration was an event in which Jesus’ true identity as the Son of God was briefly revealed. The color for Transfiguration Sunday is white, symbolizing joy and celebration, while the color for the rest of the Season after Epiphany is green, the color for ordinary time.


This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Season of Lent. Lent is the season in which we prepare ourselves for the festival of Easter, through repentance — that is, turning away from sin, and seeking renewal in our relationships with God and each other. The name “Ash” Wednesday comes from a traditional ritual called the “Imposition of Ashes”, in which ashes are placed on a person’s forehead in the shape of a cross, signifying the person’s penitence, and consciousness of his/her mortality. The seasonal color for Lent is purple, symbolizing preparation and repentance.

Interim Moderator – John Zondag was appointed interim moderator for Knox Church in Neepawa, effective the 1st of February. He will need to lead the service there next Sunday (1 March), and chair their Annual Meeting following the service. Raymond Reichelt will lead our service that Sunday.