Annual Meeting – Our Annual Meeting will be held Sunday, 11 February. We will have a pot-luck lunch following the service, and the Annual Meeting will begin between 12:15 and 12:30. We are planning to have the Annual Report ready in time for next Sunday, so that everyone has a chance to read it prior to the Annual Meeting. Please note that we are looking for someone from the congregation at large to serve on the Endowment Committee for a three-year term (that is, someone who is not already serving on the Session or the Finance and Maintenance Committee). The Endowment Committee oversees the Endowment Fund, and consists of five voting members, plus two non-voting members. If you are interested or have questions, please speak to the convener of the committee, Lisa Sneesby.
This Week is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, observed annually from the 18th to the 25th of January. Let us give thanks to God for the progress that has been made over the past century in fostering a greater spirit of mutual respect and cooperation among churches of various denominations. Let us also pray that further progress may be made. Many denominations have come a long way from the days when each one considered itself to be the “only true church”. In many communities, churches of various denominations hold a joint ecumenical (interdenominational) service to mark the occasion, but that doesn’t seem to be the tradition here in Portage la Prairie!
Ready to go back to work
Presbyterians Sharing is helping to transform the lives of people in Montreal’s Little Burgundy neighbourhood. The statistics for Little Burgundy are grim: 2/3 of children and youth live below the poverty line and 32% of students drop out before finishing high school. But Tyndale St.-Georges Community Centre is helping provide community members with the tools they need to realize their dreams, at every life stage. Tyndale’s employment programs not only teach job search techniques, but also build self-esteem and life skills. Jane shares, “I came to Tyndale during the lowest time in my life, and I decided to give it a shot. I was looking for something to bring back my self-confidence that would enable me to go back to the workforce. And Tyndale delivered exactly what I was looking for. And now I’m strong, I’m back again, and I’m ready to go back to work!”
Presbyterians Sharing helps people transform their lives and realize their dreams
New Ways to Nourish Families
Who better to learn new farming methods from than a farmer in your community? Through a Presbyterian World Service & Development-supported farmer-to-farmer agroecology project in Malawi, farmers selected for training are able to share their agricultural knowledge with other families in their village. Techniques like composting and intercropping are helping women and men transform plots of land into thriving sources of nourishment. Since learning to plant groundnuts and pigeon peas together on one plot of land, farmer Abel has seen his soil’s fertility improve and his yields double. He and his wife Mercy are incorporating the food they grow into new recipes. “Life has greatly changed for us,” shares Abel.
PWS&D supports food security for smallholder farmers
Happy New Year from First Presbyterian Church
Gifts that make a difference
As we reflect on giving and receiving gifts this Christmas, let us give thanks for Presbyterians across Canada who are making a difference through their gifts to Presbyterians Sharing! Together, we are supporting inner city missions, equipping congregations, encouraging children and youth, enabling congregational renewal and development, supporting theological education, maintaining international partnerships, sending mission staff – and so much more! Together, we are making mission and ministry happen in Canada and around the world. This Christmas Eve, we anticipate celebrating the greatest gift of all – Jesus Christ our Lord – whose example of giving inspires our own.
Presbyterians Sharing is making a real difference in so many lives
Equipping and nurturing future church leaders
Gifts to Presbyterians Sharing equip and nurture future church leaders who in turn will equip and nurture others to witness faithfully in the world. In 2017, 18 students graduated from our three theological colleges – Knox College in Toronto, The Presbyterian College in Montreal and Vancouver School of Theology and St. Andrew’s Hall in Vancouver. These colleges provide a strong academic and practical foundation to pre-pare students to serve our congregations. The PCC supports ministry candidates and their presbyteries as they work to discern the candidate’s call. In 2017, 16 candidates attended the PCC’s Guidance Conference, which helps participants recognize their abilities, strengths and weaknesses and develop a plan of growth as they move forward. Together, we also encourage and support new clergy who have just begun their ministries.
Presbyterians Sharing supports visionary church leaders
December 10 – World AIDS Day
Dr. Eddy Jonas, head of women’s health at Zanmi Lasantein Haiti, is standing up for victims of gender-based violence. While Haiti’s justice system is unable to respond adequately to widespread occurrences of violence against women, Dr. Jonas remains committed to providing the medical care, psychosocial support and community accompaniment victims need to recover. Dr. Jonas is thankful for the support from Presbyterian World Service & Development that is helping address this critical human rights issue and giving victims hope again.“If we can’t receive victims and give them proper treatment, then we are a part of the system of violence,” says Dr. Jonas. “There is a level of responsibility.”His hope for the program is to provide a shelter for women after they receive treatment.
PWS&D protects the rights of vulnerable women
December 3 is Anniversary Sunday. 2017 marks the following anniversaries:
– the 155th anniversary of the first Presbyterian worship service held in Portage la Prairie (1862)
– the 144th anniversary of the establishing of the original Presbyterian congregation in Portage la Prairie, called Knox Presbyterian Church (1873)
– the 92nd anniversary of the establishing of our current congregation, when the congregation of Knox Church opted to become part of the new United Church of Canada (1925)
– the 90th anniversary of the construction of our current building, which was completed in December of 1927
– the 30th anniversary of the construction of the addition to our building that comprises the south entrance, kitchen, washrooms, and classroom (1987)
Nov. 26 is Christ-the-King Sunday, the final Sunday of the Season after Pentecost, and the final Sunday of the Christian Year. A new Christian Year begins next week, with the First Sunday of Advent.
Christ-the-King Sunday affirms and celebrates Jesus’ kingship over the world and over the church, as well as over the lives of individual Christians. It looks back to Jesus’ ascension, recognizing that he currently reigns in heaven, along with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Also, it looks ahead to his coming in glory, anticipating the time when he will assert his royal authority over all creation. Christ-the-King Sunday reminds us that Jesus is not just a person of the past, but also of the present and the future.
The symbolic color for Christ-the-King Sunday is white, symbolizing joy and celebration.