Announcements April 24

THE 2ND SUNDAY OF EASTER

24 April 2022

Welcome!  We extend a warm welcome to our guests, and invite you to sign the guest book at the back of the sanctuary.  Unfortunately, however, we are not yet able to resume our after-service fellowship time in the Church Hall.

We thank Keith Kelly, who is leading our service today in John Zondag’s absence.

The Greeters this month are Rob and Cheryl McPherson.

This Week in First Church:

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

Vacation – John Zondag has been on two weeks’ vacation, and expects to be back in the church office tomorrow, the 25th.

Ukraine – PWS&D is accepting donations toward the effort to provide assistance to refugees fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  The most urgent needs are for food, water, and shelter.  PWS&D provides assistance through its partners, the ACT Alliance (ACT stands for “Action by Churches Together”) and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.  Donations can be made through our congregation; just mark your cheque or envelope “PWS&D – Ukraine”.  If you would like your donation to reach PWS&D faster, you can donate online, using your credit card.  Go to http://www.WeRespond.ca, click on “Update: Ukraine Crisis Response”, click on the “Donate Now” button, and follow the prompts.  You can check the website also for periodic updates.

Full announcements here

Announcements April 17

EASTER SUNDAY

17 April 2022

Welcome!  We extend a warm welcome to our guests, and invite you to sign the guest book at the back of the sanctuary.  Unfortunately, however, we are not yet able to resume our after-service fellowship time in the Church Hall.

We thank Raymond Reichelt for leading our Good Friday service in John Zondag’s absence, and we thank Charlie Clifford, who is leading our Easter service today.  As well, we thank Keith Kelly, who will lead our service next Sunday (the 24th).

The Greeters this month are Rob and Cheryl McPherson.

The Reader today is Lalaine Buan.

This Week in First Church:

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

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

The Christian Year – Today is Easter Sunday, the joyful celebration of the resurrection of Jesus.  Easter is the third of the four major festivals of the Christian Year (the others being Christmas, Epiphany, and Pentecost).  Easter Sunday is also the first day of the Easter Season, which is 50 days (7 weeks) in length, concluding at Pentecost.  The 50 joyful days of Easter stand in sharp contrast to the 40 subdued days of Lent.

     At Easter, we celebrate God’s triumph over the powers of evil and death in raising Jesus up from death.  Luke 24 (as well as the parallel passages in the other three Gospels) tells of how Jesus’ disciples first learned of his resurrection two days after he had been put to death on the cross; and also describes some of the appearances of the risen Jesus to his disciples between his resurrection and his ascension (his return to heaven).  At Easter, we also affirm and celebrate the biblical promise that all who believe in Jesus will be raised to new, eternal life in the kingdom of God after they die, just as Jesus himself was raised from death.  We affirm as well God’s power to make good come out of bad in smaller ways, too, in everyday life.

     The seasonal color for Easter is white, symbolizing joy and celebration.

Full announcements here

Announcements April 10

PALM/PASSION SUNDAY

THE 6TH SUNDAY IN LENT

10 April 2022

Welcome!  We extend a warm welcome to our guests, and invite you to sign the guest book at the back of the sanctuary.  Unfortunately, however, we are not yet able to resume our after-service fellowship time in the Church Hall.

This Week in First Church:

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

– Friday, 10:30 a.m. – Good Friday service

Coming Up:

– Sunday, 17 April – Easter Sunday

The Christian Year – This week, the final week of the Season of Lent, is called Holy Week.  During this week, we commemorate the events of Jesus’ Passion (suffering) in Jerusalem.  The significant days in Holy Week are:

•   Palm/Passion Sunday (today), which commemorates Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem (see Luke 19.28-44 and the parallel passages in the other three Gospels)

•   Maundy Thursday (also called Holy Thursday), which commemorates Jesus’ last supper with his disciples, his institution of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, his arrest in the garden of Gethsemane, and his interrogation by the Sanhedrin (the council of chief priests, teachers of the law, and elders) (Luke 22.1-65 and parallels)

•   Good Friday, which commemorates Jesus’ interrogation by Pilate, his death on the cross, and his burial (Luke 22.66 – 23.56 and parallels)

The symbolic color for Holy Week is red, signifying blood, which reminds us of Jesus’ suffering and death — the sacrifice that allows our sin to be forgiven, making it possible for us to be reconciled to God and be adopted into his family.

Vacation – John Zondag will be taking two weeks’ vacation time from the 11th to the 24th of April, in order to travel to southern Ontario, to celebrate his mother’s 100th birthday on the 17th.  Pulpit supply for the services that he will miss will be provided by our lay preachers, as follows:

     – Raymond Reichelt – Good Friday (15 April)

     – Charlie Clifford – Easter Sunday (17 April)

     – Keith Kelly – The 2nd Sunday of Easter (24 April)

We thank Raymond, Charlie, and Keith for offering to lead those three services.  

     If a pastoral need should arise while John is away, please contact your elder, or Raymond (239-5359), to find out which ministers are available to assist you.   John plans to be back in the church office on Monday, 25 April.

Full announcements here

Announcements April 3, 2022

THE 5TH SUNDAY IN LENT

COMMUNION SUNDAY

3 April 2022

Welcome!  We extend a warm welcome to our guests, and invite you to sign the guest book at the back of the sanctuary.  Unfortunately, however, we are not yet able to resume our after-service fellowship time in the Church Hall.

Communion – Today’s service is a Communion service.  Due to pandemic-related precautions, we are continuing to do things a bit differently than usual, as follows:

– The texts that we normally read from the hymnbook (the Apostles’ Creed, etc.) will be shown on the screen.

– The Communion table will remain in the chancel, for the sake of physical distancing.

– Rather than passing the bread and juice through the sanctuary, you will be invited to come forward to receive the bread and juice, which are set out on another table at the front.

– Please come forward by the center aisle, and return to your seat by the side aisles.  Please come forward separately (or along with those in your own household), in order to maintain physical distancing.  Please take the bread and juice set out at either end of the table (left or right), working your way toward the center.

– The bread and juice may be either consumed at the front, or taken back to your seat.  We will not wait for everyone to consume the bread and juice simultaneously, as we would normally do.  As usual, the bread is gluten-free.

– Anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable receiving Communion today should feel free not to partake.

This Week in First Church:

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

Coming Up:

– Sunday, 10 April – Palm Sunday

– Friday, 15 April, 10:30 a.m. – Good Friday service

– Sunday, 17 April – Easter Sunday

Full announcements here

Announcements March 27

THE 4TH SUNDAY IN LENT

27 March 2022

Welcome!  We extend a warm welcome to our guests, and invite you to sign the guest book at the back of the sanctuary.  Unfortunately, however, we are not yet able to resume our after-service fellowship time in the Church Hall.

Today – We thank Raymond Reichelt for leading today’s service, in John’s absence.  John is at Knox Church in Neepawa today, where he serves as interim moderator, so that he can chair their Annual Meeting following the service.

The Greeter this month is Val Pogue.

This Week in First Church:

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

Coming Up:

– Sunday, 3 April – Communion Sunday

– Sunday, 10 April – Palm Sunday

Ukraine – PWS&D is accepting donations toward the effort to provide assistance to refugees fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  The most urgent needs are for food, water, and shelter.  PWS&D provides assistance through its partners, the ACT Alliance (ACT stands for “Action by Churches Together”) and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.  Donations can be made through our congregation; just mark your cheque or envelope “PWS&D – Ukraine”.  If you would like your donation to reach PWS&D faster, you can donate online, using your credit card.  Go to www.WeRespond.ca, click on “Ukraine Crisis Appeal”, click on the “Donate Now” button, and follow the prompts.  You can check the website also for periodic updates.

Newsletter – The March issue of the Newsletter has been sent out by e-mail, and hard copies will be mailed out this week to those who don’t have e-mail.  Many thanks those who contributed material for this issue, to Lisa Sneesby for putting the Newsletter together, and to Mardine Garnham for printing and mailing the hard copies!

Service Scripts – We are continuing to make a script of each Sunday’s service available, for those who would like one.  If you would like to receive it each week, please let John know.

Full announcements here

Announcements March 20

Announcements for the Bulletin

Welcome! We extend a warm welcome to our guests, and invite you to sign the guest book at the back of the sanctuary. Unfortunately, however, we are not yet able to resume our after-service fellowship time in the Church Hall.

Service Scripts – As of today, we are no longer recording an abbreviated version of our Sunday services and uploading it to YouTube. However, the script for each Sunday’s service will continue to be made available. If you would like to receive it each week, please let John know.

This Week in First Church:

– Today – Deadline for submissions for the March Newsletter

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

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

Coming Up:

– Sunday, 3 April – Communion Sunday

– Sunday, 10 April – Palm Sunday

Newsletter – If you have something to contribute to the March issue of the congregational Newsletter, please get it to Lisa Sneesby today, if you haven’t already. We hope to have the Newsletter ready for distribution in time for next Sunday, the 27th.

Next Sunday – John needs to be in Neepawa next Sunday (the 27th), to chair that congregation’s Annual Meeting — one of his responsibilities as its interim moderator. Our own service that day will be led by Raymond Reichelt.

Revised Protocols – In view of the easing of pandemic restrictions, the Session has revised our own protocols for Sunday services and other gatherings at the church, as follows:

– Wearing a mask and hand sanitizing are now optional.

– Continue to maintain physical distance (2 meters) from others (except members of your own house-hold).

– Refrain from shaking hands, etc.

– An offering plate is set out at the back of the sanctuary. It may be brought forward for the dedication of the offering by the Greeter (or someone else) if he/she is comfortable doing so.

– We will return to standing for the hymns and other parts of the service for which we stood previously; but will not yet put the hymnbooks and Bibles back into the pews.

– Bring your own cushion and/or Bible each week, if desired.

– There will be no coffee/fellowship hour following the service, yet.

– The names of attenders each Sunday will no longer be recorded.

Full announcement sheet here

Announcements March 13

THE 2ND SUNDAY IN LENT

13 March 2022

Welcome!  We extend a warm welcome to our guests, and invite you to sign the guest book at the back of the sanctuary.  Unfortunately, however, we are not yet able to resume our after-service fellowship time in the Church Hall.

Online Service – Today is the last Sunday that we will be recording an abbreviated version of the service, and uploading it to YouTube.  In view of the general easing of pandemic precautions, as well as the small number of people viewing these recorded services, the Session has decided that we will not continue doing this after the 15th of March — unless, of course, new restrictions are put into place sometime in the future.  The recorded service can be accessed from this website.

This Week in First Church:

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

Coming Up:

– Sunday, 20 March – Deadline for submissions for the March Newsletter

– Sunday, 3 April – Communion Sunday

Ukraine – PWS&D is accepting donations toward the effort to provide assistance to refugees fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  The most urgent needs are for food, water, and shelter.  PWS&D provides assistance through its partners, the ACT Alliance (ACT stands for “Action by Churches Together”) and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.  Donations can be made through our congregation; just mark your cheque or envelope “PWS&D – Ukraine”.  If you would like your donation to reach PWS&D faster, you can donate online, using your credit card.  Go to www.WeRespond.ca, click on “Ukraine Crisis Appeal”, click on the “Donate Now” button, and follow the prompts.

Full announcements here

Announcements March 6

THE 1ST SUNDAY IN LENT

6 March 2022

Welcome!  We extend a warm welcome to our guests, and invite you to sign the guest book at the back of the sanctuary.  Unfortunately, however, we are not yet able to resume our after-service fellowship time in the Church Hall.

Online Services – An abbreviated version of today’s service will be recorded, and uploaded to YouTube.  The link to the recorded service will be e-mailed out to those who have requested it.  It can also be accessed from our this website. Due to the easing of pandemic restrictions, next Sunday (the 13th) is the last Sunday we will be making a recorded service available — unless new restrictions are imposed sometime in the future.

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, 13 March – Daylight Saving Time begins

– Sunday, 20 March – Deadline for submissions for the March Newsletter

Annual Meeting – Our Annual Meeting was held last Sunday, 27 February.  The various reports in the Annual Report were adopted, as was the proposed budget for this year.

     Keith Kelly and Lisa Sneesby were re-appointed to the Endowment Committee for a further 3-year term, and Brian Yeo was re-appointed a Congregational Trustee for a further 2-year term.  Debbi Miles has allowed her 2-year term as a Trustee to expire, and we thank her for serving in that capacity for the past couple of years.

     Following the routine portion of the meeting, a discussion was had on whether the Session should permit same-sex weddings to be held in our church (they are now permitted by the General Assembly of our church, but each Session has the right to set the policy for its own congregation).  There wasn’t much discussion, but when an “advisory vote” was taken, the results were four “yes” votes and thirteen “no” votes.  The Session will take this into consideration when it finalizes its policy for weddings.

Full announcements here