THE CHRISTIAN YEAR – ASCENSION DAY

This Thursday is Ascension Day, the festival commemorating Jesus’ return or “ascension” to heaven, and his enthronement there “at the right hand of God the Father Almighty”.  Ascension Day is the 40th day of the Easter season, which always falls on the Thursday following the sixth Sunday of Easter.  Like the date of Easter Sunday, then, the date of Ascension Day changes from year to year.  Jesus’ ascension is described in Acts 1.1-11, and is either mentioned or alluded to in many other New Testament passages.

There is a sense in which Ascension Day is the “opposite” of Christmas Day.  Christmas Day is the celebration of Jesus’ coming into the world, and Ascension Day is the celebration of his return to heaven.  Together, these two events “bracket” Jesus’ life and ministry on earth.  Even though his departure no doubt saddened his disciples and followers, Ascension Day is a joyful festival, since it celebrates Jesus’ return to his rightful position of power and authority in heaven.  The symbolic color for Ascension Day is therefore white, signifying joy and celebration.

Refugee Project

Refugee Project – The Refugee Coalition needs your help!  Like many other groups across the country, we are still waiting for the arrival of our refugee families.  You can help make this a government priority by writing to our Member of Parliament, the Minister of Immigration, the Cabinet Minister from Manitoba, and the Prime Minister.  Copies of suggested letters are available at the back of the sanctuary.  If you would prefer an electronic copy that you can e-mail or personalize and print, please e-mail John at jzondag@mymts.net, and he will send you one.  Thank you for helping the government to know that this is important to us as Canadians.

 Also – Are you looking for some nice furniture pieces?  The Refugee Coalition was blessed with an abundance of donations, and some nice stuff just did not fit in the homes.  We are conducting an on-line auction until May 2 at http://portagerefugees2016.eflea.ca/view to sell those pieces, with all proceeds going to the Refugee Project.  Please check it out, and invite all your friends.

Mission Moment

April 22 is Earth Day

On his farm in the western highlands of Guatemala, Juan Ramirez Cardon was very reliant on the use of chemicals and costly fertilizers to grow enough food to provide for his family. But the expense soon became more than he could bear. Juan worried about how he could continue feeding his family. All that has changed now because of a Presbyterian World Service & Development program helping farmers in the region increase their yields while preserving the soil. Juan learned about seed selection and diversifying crops—methods that are yielding significant results and diminishing the need for fertilizers. He is sharing his knowledge of soil-healthy farming so more people can grow a variety of food for their families for many years to come.

PWS&D helps farmers care for creation

Mission Moment

Serving God in Guatemala

Presbyterians Sharing supports Chantel Cole, an International Development Studies student who is on a ten-month work placement in Guatemala. Chantel is a Program Assistant with the community-based Maya-Mam Association for Research and Development, a PWS&D partner organization. AMMID’s work is dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable people – particularly the Maya-Mam indigenous community – in the town of Comitancillo. This community, much like other indigenous communities in Guatemala, has historically been marginalized. Chantel shares, “The people of Comitancillo have been warm, kindhearted, great-spirited and supporting. They have opened up their little town to me and have made me feel very welcome here and for that, I am sincerely grateful.”

Presbyterians Sharing helps students gain hands-on experience

Mission Moment

April 7 is World Health Day

In Canada, the news of pregnancy often brings joy and hope to expecting mothers. But in Malawi and Afghanistan—where maternal and child mortality rates are among the highest in the world—it is difficult for many women to get the support they need for a healthy pregnancy. Presbyterian World Service & Development is working to improve health services and overcome cultural barriers that prevent women from receiving necessary pre and postnatal care. Health facilities are being established and upgraded and more birth attendants are being trained. Communities are being taught about the importance of healthy family relationships and the needs of mothers, newborns and children. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of women and children and empower communities to grow healthier.

PWS&D helps mothers and babies lead healthy lives