The December 2016 Newsletter is here
The December 2016 Newsletter is here
November 27 is the first Sunday of Advent, the season of preparation and anticipation leading up to Christmas. As we prepare to celebrate Christmas, we recall how the people of Israel waited for the coming of the promised Messiah, how John the Baptist prepared the people of Israel for the ministry of Jesus, and how Joseph and Mary looked forward to the birth of Jesus, which had been foretold to them. We also remember that we ourselves look forward to the Second Coming of Jesus at the end of the age.
Advent is a season that looks toward the future with hope and anticipation. It is also a season that challenges us to take stock of ourselves and renew our commitment to God, by identifying and turning away from sinful attitudes and behaviors.
Advent always has four Sundays. The symbolic color for the season is purple, symbolizing penitence and preparation.
December 1 is World AIDS Day
The Presbyterian Church in Canada, through Presbyterian World Service & Development, supports HIV and AIDS programs that fight stigma and discrimination, teach and equip people to prevent the spread and the transmission between mother and child and provide home-based care and medications to those living with the disease. In Malawi, Shadreck was afraid to disclose his diagnosis to his family, so he neglected to take his medication. His health deteriorated quickly. Desperate for guidance, Shadreck joined an HIV support group run by PWS&D partners. He met friends who encouraged him to be open about his condition. Now with the support of his wife, Shadreck is hopeful. “I can take my pills without stigma,” he shares. “I have my health back.”
PWS&D provides encouragement to people living with HIV and AIDS
November 20 is Universal Children’s Day
With the aim of helping communities care for orphans and vulnerable children, Presbyterian World Service & Development partners started working in Sobola, Malawi to support a new Community Based Child Care Centre—and it is making a big difference for two-year-old Memory and her family. Before the project, Memory would stay home while her parents went to work because there was no care centre in her village. Now Memory is learning the alphabet, meeting friends and eating a warm meal everyday under the supervision of trained caregivers. Memory’s mother Emily is especially grateful to PWS&D partners for mobilizing support for the centre—Memory is safe, happy and well equipped for when she will start primary school.
PWS&D supports a child’s right to healthcare, education and play
Hope for a better life
Danielle was 25 when she relocated to Kenora – alone, pregnant, homeless and hopeless. She shares, “One day I woke up and realized that I could not lead a life of drugs and stealing to support myself. I came to Kenora Fellowship Centre seeking help to point me in the right direction. The more I got to know the staff, the more comfortable I felt telling them about my situation. They were supportive and encouraging, and helped me get back on my feet. When I felt like giving up, they gave me hope and showed me that there is more to life. Today I am a mentor in the youth mentorship program, volunteering my time at the Centre by helping the staff and patrons with their needs. I first came to the Centre seeking help and support, and now I am dedicating myself to showing others that change can happen, as it did for me!”
Presbyterians Sharing provides hope to people in need
Presbyterian World Service and Development (P.W.S.&D.) was already appealing for donations to assist people affected by severe droughts in Africa when Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti — and now P.W.S.&D. is appealing for donations for both emergencies. Copies of an information leaflet on the droughts in Africa are set out on the table at the south entrance. Information on both appeals can be found on P.W.S.&D’s website at www.WeRespond.ca. Donations toward either appeal can be made through our congregation, using your offering envelope or a separate envelope — mark it either “Africa Drought” or “Haiti”. Donations can also be made directly, using your credit card, either online at www.WeRespond.ca or by phoning 1-800-619-7301, extension 291