THE 21ST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
30 October 2022
Welcome! We extend a warm welcome to our guests, and invite you to sign the guest book at the back of the sanctuary. Everyone is invited to remain for coffee and fellowship, downstairs in the Church Hall, following the service.
This Week in First Church:
– Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. – Bible study – by Zoom
– Sunday, 6 November – Daylight Saving Time ends
– Sunday, 6 November, 5:00 p.m. – Fall Supper
Treasurer – Mardine Garnham has given notice of her intention to step down as treasurer of our congregation. We are therefore looking for someone to take over the position from her. Financial records are kept on the church’s computer, so the new treasurer would need computer skills as well as knowledge about creating financial statements, etc. If you’re interested, or know of someone else who may be interested, or have questions, please speak to either Mardine herself (239-0497) or Keith Kelly (857-5712), the convener of the Finance and Maintenance Committee.
This Week – We have been notified by Manitoba Hydro that they will be blocking off a portion of the lane between the church and the City Hall this Thursday (3 November), as they do some work at the City Hall. The parking area behind the church will remain accessible, but anyone parking there will need to enter from Tupper St. rather than Royal Rd.
Assessment Report – Highlights – The Session is making available to the congregation highlights of the Assessment Report written for us by the Rev. Mark Lewis in the fall of 2020, as part of the New Beginnings process for congregational renewal. A nine-page document has been sent out by e-mail, and a few hard copies have been set out on the table at the back of the sanctuary. The report as a whole is very detailed and very lengthy — 78 pages in all! The Highlights document includes the following: 1) a Summary of the report, 2) four possible “Future Scenarios” for our congregation, 3) Concluding Remarks by Mark Lewis, and 4) an appendix that lists Five Strategies for a “New Beginning” for a congregation. The four possible future scenarios are set in the year 2025, and assume that we have gone through the entire New Beginnings process, which, unfortunately, we have not been able to do. However, they are interesting, and worth reading. If we had been able to continue the New Beginnings process, we would’ve discussed the Assessment Report in a series of small group meetings, and then decided how we as a congregation wished to proceed. If you would like to see the entire report, let John know, and he will e-mail it to you.
The Christian Year – The 31st of October is Reformation Day. On that day in 1517, Martin Luther, a professor of theology at the University of Wittenberg in Germany, posted on the door of a prominent church an invitation to a debate on the church’s practice of selling “indulgences” in order for people to receive forgiveness of their sins. The invitation also stated Luther’s own position in 95 points, and thus came to be known as his “95 Theses”. That event sparked an upheaval in the church — a period of debate, conflict, and reform that lasted for more than 100 years, and came to be known as the Reformation. A number of Protestant churches (including the Presbyterian Church) came into existence during that time.
Another prominent figure in the Reformation was John Calvin, from France. In the 1540s and 50s, he established in Geneva, Switzerland, a separate branch of the Reformation from Luther’s. Now known as the Reformed Tradition, this branch of the church is the one to which our own Presbyterian Church in Canada belongs, along with the United Church, the Christian Reformed Church, and many other denominations around the world.
Reformation Day is not only an occasion to commemorate the accomplishments of the Reformers, but also to recognize that the church always needs reforming in order to stay true to God’s wishes and purpose for his people. The symbolic color for Reformation Day is red, in recognition of the fact that a great many people lost their lives during that turbulent time.