See article in Portage Online
Summer Services – We will again be participating in joint Sunday services with McKenzie United Church and Trinity United Church this summer. The overall theme will be “What the World Needs Now: Compassion”, and the dates, locations, and worship leaders will be as follows:
2 July First John Zondag
9 July First Wilma Shirriff
16 July First Julie B. or Beth K.
23 July McKenzie Wilma Shirriff
30 July McKenzie Julie B. or Beth K.
6 August McKenzie John Zondag
13 August Trinity Julie B. or Beth K.
20 August Trinity Wilma Shirriff
27 August Trinity John Zondag
The service time will be 10:30 a.m. in all three locations. Regular services here at First Church will resume on the 3rd of September.
Transforming young adults
With support from Presbyterians Sharing, young adult international internships provide opportunities for young people to learn and grow in faith. Interns return to Canada having experienced Christ’s mission in the world, excited to share what they have learned with their congregations and friends. At the end of Au-gust, Jacqueline Bannerman will finish an eight-month internship working with our partner, the Reformed Church in Hungary, to support refugees in Budapest. This type of transformative experience influences life decisions. Preparing and supporting young adults and helping them discern the call of Christ in their lives, nurtures leadership in the church.
Presbyterians Sharing transforms lives
The Christian Year – June 4 is Pentecost, the fiftieth and final day of the Easter season, and the last of the four major festivals of the Christian Year (the others being Christmas, Epiphany, and Easter). Pentecost celebrates the giving of the Holy Spirit to the disciples and followers of Jesus, seven weeks after his resurrection (and ten days after his ascension), as narrated in Acts 2.1-41. The Holy Spirit was given to the community of Jesus’ followers to take his place as their teacher and leader, and to empower them to continue his ministry. The Holy Spirit continues to be given today to everyone who believes in Jesus.
Pentecost was originally a Jewish festival (called the “Festival of Weeks” in the Old Testament), which took place seven weeks after the Passover festival. On that day, offerings of the “first fruits” of the wheat harvest were presented to God in gratitude for the harvest. Thousands of Jews from all over the Roman Empire traveled to Jerusalem for Pentecost each year. When the disciples started speaking in all kinds of languages, these “Jews from every nation under heaven” were all able to understand what the disciples were telling them about Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection (Acts 2.5-11).
The symbolic color for Pentecost is red, recalling the “tongues of fire” that appeared to Jesus’ disciples when the Holy Spirit came upon them (Acts 2.3). The name “Pentecost” comes from the Greek word pentekostos (“fiftieth”), since the Jewish Pentecost festival was the fiftieth day after Passover.
Outdoor Service – As announced in the Newsletter, our annual Outdoor Service and picnic/barbecue will be held at the home of Bruce and Lisa Sneesby, on Sunday, 18 June, starting at the usual time of 10:30. Since Bruce and Lisa live a considerable distance out of town, we will carpool from the church. If you wish to carpool, please meet at the church that morning by 9:45. Please bring lawnchairs, sunscreen, and mosquito repellent. The food will be provided. In case of inclement weather, the service will be held at the church, and a notice will be sent out by e-mail. The elders will then pass on the information to any regular attenders in their districts who don’t have e-mail.
The May 2017 Newsletter is here!
The Christian Year – This Thursday is Ascension Day, the festival commemorating Jesus’ return or “ascension” to heaven, and his enthronement there. Acts 1.1-11 gives us the most detailed account of Jesus’ ascension, but it is mentioned also in many other places in the New Testament, often very briefly, such as in today’s reading from the Letters (1 Peter 3.22).
According to the first chapter of Acts, the ascension took place 40 days after Jesus’ resurrection. For this reason, the 40th day of the Easter Season — the Thursday after the 6th Sunday of Easter — is designated “Ascension Day”. Since it occurs on a weekday, it can be celebrated on either the Sunday before or after.
The ascension reminds us that the story of Jesus is not over — that he still is alive today, and that he will come back from heaven at the time of God’s choosing. The ascension also reminds us that Jesus is physically absent from the world for the time being; and that in his absence, the Holy Spirit has been given to his followers to take his place. According to the book of Acts, the giving of the Holy Spirit to Jesus’ disciples took place at Pentecost, ten days after Jesus’ ascension.
The symbolic color for Ascension Day is white, signifying joy and celebration.
Concert – St Mary’s Anglican Church is sponsoring a concert by champion fiddler Scott Woods and his band this Wednesday May 17th, at 7:00 p.m., at the Glesby Center. Tickets are $25 for adults, and $10 for children
May 7 is Mission Awareness Sunday, so designated by the General Assembly of our church. As the name implies, the purpose is to increase our awareness of the church’s mission, both within Canada and beyond our borders. Today’s service is being led by members of our local WMS (Women’s Missionary Society) group, using worship resources written for this Sunday by Joel Sherbino. Joel is a former mission worker, now serving as minister of the congregation in Paris, Ont. He also serves as part-time mission liaison between our national church and the Presbyterian Church in Malawi, and was recently featured in one of our weekly “Mission Moments”. Many thanks to the members of our WMS group who are leading today’s service!
Refugee Families – Both of the Syrian refugee families now have bikes, and this has been a wonderful gift in terms of mobility, especially for the Al Hallaq family. However, anyone who has been to the Al Hallaq apartment knows that there are a lot of stairs, and that it’s a challenge to get the bikes up and down them. So we are wondering if anyone has a garage or shed in the area around the “What’s the Scoop” Ice Cream Shop / Candy Store that they would be able to let the Al Hallaq family use some space in for their bikes. If so, please contact Beth Kerr at Trinity United Church (firstname.lastname@example.org). Also, both families are looking forward to gardening, and would like some garden tools. If you have some tools that you can donate, please let Sheri Blaylock know (email@example.com).