Announcements Dec 20 – 26

Our in-person Sunday services continue to be suspended, up to and including the 3rd of January, at least.  A “virtual” service will continue to be made available on YouTube each Sunday, however.  John will send out the link as soon as the service has been uploaded each week, hopefully in time for our usual 10:30 service time.  Along with the link, he will send out a full script of the service.  Our Christmas Eve service also will be virtual, and will be made available in the same way.  It should be available by 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, the 24th.  We will have to wait until the first week of January to find out what the new public health orders will be.

This Week in First Church:

– Thursday, 7:00 p.m. – Christmas Eve Service, on YouTube

New Beginnings – We are currently working with Ian Fraser, our New Beginnings coach, on plans for “Phase 4” of the process, the “Introduction to Transformational Ministry” weekend.  It will include a) a workshop for the entire congregation, b) two training sessions for the people who will be leading the small-group meetings, and c) the Sunday service, at which Ian would be the preacher.  Because of the pandemic restrictions, all this will likely have to be done online, unfortunately.  Under ordinary conditions, Ian would come here for the weekend, and meet with us in person.  The dates still have to be determined; the Session has decided that we will need to wait until our Health Region’s status has gone back to “Orange” before we proceed with this phase.

     The small-group meetings (Phase 5) will take place as soon as possible following the Introduction to Transformational Ministry weekend.  Each group will meet four times, possibly once per week.

Bible Study – The Bible study group is taking a two-week break, and will resume on Tuesday,  5 January (the 12th day of Christmas!), with “Week 7” of the study on Ruth and Esther, beginning on page 49 of the study book.

Full announcements here

Announcements Dec. 13 – 19

Due to the most recent public health order, our in-person Sunday services continue to be suspended, up to the 3rd of January, at least.  This means that there will be no Hanging-of-the-Greens service this year.  A “virtual” service will continue to be made available on YouTube each Sunday, however.  John will send out the link as soon as the service has been uploaded each week, hopefully in time for our usual 10:30 service time.  Along with the link, he will send out a full script of the service.  Our Christmas Eve service also will be virtual, and will be made available in the same way.

This Week in First Church:

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

– Thursday, 8:00 p.m. – Service of Remembrance and Hope, by Zoom

Full announcements here

Announcements Dec 6 – 12

Due to current pandemic restrictions, our in-person Sunday services are suspended until the status of our Health Region returns to Orange.  An abbreviated service will continue to be available on YouTube each Sunday, however.  John will send out the link as soon as the service has been uploaded each week, hopefully in time for our usual 10:30 service time.  Along with the link, he will continue sending out a full script of the service.

Scripture Readings – The readings for today’s service are

– Isaiah 40.1-11 – “Prepare the way of the LORD!”

– Psalm 85 – “You, LORD, showed favor to your land”

– 1 Corinthians 1.3-9 – “Blameless on the day of our Lord”

– Mark 1.1-8 – The ministry of John the Baptist

If we’re unable to have the Hanging-of-the-Greens service next Sunday, the readings for that service will be

– Isaiah 61.1-4, 8-11 – “Good news to the poor”

– Psalm 126 – “When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion …”

– 1 Thessalonians 5.16-24 – “Blameless at the coming of our Lord”

– John 1.6-8, 19-28 – “Are you the Messiah?”

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 December (tentative) – Hanging-of-the-Greens service (see below)

– Thursday, 17 December – Service of Remembrance and Hope, by Zoom

Advent and Christmas – The current pandemic restrictions are leaving our worship plans for Advent and Christmas up in the air:

– The Hanging-of-the-Greens service was originally scheduled for today.  If we are able to resume in-person services in time for either next Sunday or the 20th, we’ll have the Hanging-of-the-Greens service on the first possible Sunday.  Otherwise, we’ll have to forego it altogether this year, since it doesn’t lend itself to the recorded service format.

– There will not be a Communion service this month; it was originally scheduled for next Sunday (the 13th), so we will have a non-Communion service that day instead.

Christmas Eve (Thursday, 24 December) – If we are still not able to resume in-person services by then, a recorded Christmas Eve service will be offered via YouTube, as we do for our Sunday services.

Full announcements here