Announcements July 12 – 18

Joint Services – For the rest of the summer, we’re participating in joint services with the two Presbyterian congregations in Brandon — First and St. Andrew’s.  This week’s service was recorded this past Wednesday, and music from older services has been edited in.  Unfortunately, the service will be accessible only on Facebook this week; but starting next week, it will hopefully be accessible on YouTube as well.  We are doing a sermon series on the Ten Commandments this summer.  Glenn Ball preaches on Commandment #1 this Sunday, and John will preach on Commandment #2 next Sunday.  John will miss participating in the services for the five Sundays he will be on vacation (26 July – 23 August), but will preach again (on Commandment #8) on the 30th of August.  Glenn Ball and Laura Hargrove will take turns preaching while John is off.

If you wish to view the online service videos from Trinity United Church after Julie Baker gets back from her vacation (starting 16 August), you can access them through Trinity Church’s website, www.trinityunitedportage.ca.

Full announcements here

Here is the link to the service

Announcements July 5 to 11

Joint Services – We will be participating in joint summer services after all this year — although not with the two United Church congregations in town, but rather with the two Presbyterian congregations in Brandon (First and St. Andrew’s)!  The joint services will begin next Sunday (the 12th), and will continue at least until the 30th of August.  They will be pre-recorded services, accessible online, and will be a little more elaborate than our own services have been.  They will feature a sermon series on the Ten Commandments.  The three ministers will take turns preaching, although John will not be involved in the services for the five Sundays he will be on vacation (26 July to 23 August).  This will give us some continuity over the summer — plus, there will be music, which we’ve been missing in our own services. We will announce next week how you can access these service videos.  Sunday’s service, then, will be our final “regular” video service for now.

If you wish to view the online service videos from Trinity United Church after Julie Baker gets back from her vacation (starting 16 August), you can access them through Trinity Church’s website, www.trinityunitedportage.ca.

Full announcements here

June 28 to July 4

We continue our pandemic-style worship.  We thank Charlie Clifford for leading the Prayers of the People in today’s service.  Given the continuing pandemic restrictions, and the continuing health risk, the Session reaffirmed this week its decision not to resume regular Sunday services until the fall.

Check your e-mail inbox each Sunday between 10:15 and 10:30 for an e-mail with the link that you need in order to access each Sunday’s service video on YouTube.  Occasionally it takes longer than usual to upload the service, in which case the e-mail with the link gets sent out later than 10:30.  You can also access the current Sunday’s service through this website.

John will continue producing service videos for the next three Sundays (5, 12, and 19 July).  While he is on vacation (20 July – 23 August), we will try to give you access to online services from other churches.  For example, on the 16th and 23rd of August, you can access Trinity United Church’s service video through its website, www.trinityunitedportage.ca.  Keep an eye on the Announcements Sheet in the next couple of weeks for additional details.

Speaking of which, Philip Dunn and John have decided to continue producing a weekly Announcements Sheet through the summer, or at least for the weeks that John is working, to help us keep in touch.  Many thanks to Philip for putting the Announcements Sheet together through the year, to Gwen Henwood for filling in for Philip at times when he was away, and to Brian Yeo for printing the hard copies each week (that is, back in the days when we came together for worship in the sanctuary!)!

Scripture Readings – The scripture readings for today’s service are

– Genesis 22.1-19 – God tests Abraham
– Psalm 13 – “How long, LORD?”
– Romans 6.12-23 – “Slaves to righteousness”
– Matthew 10.40 – 11.1 – Jesus’ “mission discourse” (conclusion)

The Bible study group will meet by Zoom on Tuesday evening at 7:00.  This will be its second-last session.

Full announcements here

Announcements June 21 – 27

We continue our pandemic-style worship for another week.  Given the continuing pandemic restrictions, and the continuing health risk, the Session decided at its May meeting not to resume regular Sunday services until the fall.  Although the maximum number has just been raised to 50, the requirements for sanitizing surfaces, etc., are still quite stringent.  They can be found online at manitoba.ca/covid19/restoring/guidelines.html.

Check your e-mail inbox each Sunday between 10:15 and 10:30 for an e-mail with the link that you need in order to access each Sunday’s service video on YouTube.  Occasionally it takes longer than usual to upload the service, so that the e-mail with the link gets sent out later than 10:30.  You can access the current Sunday’s service also through our this website.

Unfortunately, we will not be able to have joint services with the two United Church congregations in town this summer, as we normally do.  John will continue to produce service videos through the summer, except for the five Sundays that he will be on vacation (see the separate announcement below for the dates).  We will attempt to provide contact information for other service videos that you can access online during that time.

Full announcements here

Announcements June 14 – 20

We continue our pandemic-style worship for another week.  Regrettably, our annual Outdoor Service and Barbecue, originally scheduled for today, has had to be canceled.  Many thanks, however, to Bruce and Lisa Sneesby for having invited us to have the service and barbecue at their home again this year!  Given the continuing pandemic restrictions, and the continuing health risk, the Session decided at its May meeting not to resume regular Sunday services until the fall.  In addition to the restriction on numbers, the amount of cleaning/sanitizing that would need to be done is problematic.  However, if conditions improve significantly by its June meeting, the Session may change its mind on when to resume services.

John produces an abbreviated service video, approximately 30 minutes in length, every Sunday.  Each Sunday morning, he sends out, by e-mail, the link that you need in order to access the video on YouTube, normally between 10:15 and 10:30.  Attached to that e-mail is a full script of the service, which can be printed for any relative or friend who doesn’t have access to the internet.  You can also access the current Sunday’s service through this website,.  Each service video is deleted from YouTube the following Sunday.

Today – Raymond Reichelt will preach the sermon in today’s service, and John Zondag will lead the rest of the service.  We thank Raymond for contributing to today’s service in this way

Full announcements here

June 7 to 13 Announcements

TRINITY SUNDAY

THE 1ST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

7 June 2020

We continue our pandemic-style worship for another week, as we wait for conditions to improve and restrictions to be further eased.  Regrettably, our annual Outdoor Service and Barbecue, originally scheduled for next June 14, has been canceled.  Many thanks, however, to Bruce and Lisa Sneesby for having invited us to have the service and barbecue at their home again this year!

John is producing an abbreviated service video, approximately 30 minutes in length, every Sunday.  Each Sunday morning, he sends out, by e-mail, the link that you need in order to access the video on YouTube, normally between 10:15 and 10:30.  Attached to that e-mail is a full script of the service, which can be printed for any relative or friend who doesn’t have access to the internet.  You can access the current Sunday’s service also through this website

The Bible study group will meet by Zoom on Tuesday evening at 7:00.

In Portage Hospital:  Pat Antoski

The Christian Year – Today is Trinity Sunday, the first Sunday after Pentecost, a festival that celebrates and affirms the doctrine of the Trinity — the teaching that God is three “persons” (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), yet one God.

     This doctrine is not actually taught in the Bible; in fact the word “trinity” itself is not a biblical word.  Rather, the doctrine arose in the early centuries of Church history, as people sought to answer the question “Who are God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in relation to each other?”  Believe it or not, this is a question that was hotly debated in the early church, especially between the years 325 and 451.  People debated about what exactly it means to say that Jesus is the “Son of God”.  Likewise, people debated about the relationship between God and the Holy Spirit.  Each viewpoint was supported by biblical references, and claimed to be the only correct viewpoint.

     The issue was finally settled at the Council of Chalcedon in the year 451, when it was agreed that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit together are God — and one God, not three Gods.   This teaching is reflected in the wording of the Nicene Creed (#578 in The Book of Praise).  Notice that, although the Nicene Creed is structured in the same way as the Apostles’ Creed (#539), its wording is much longer, and much more detailed and precise.

     Interestingly enough, the doctrine of the Trinity became such a basic part of Christian doctrine that it was not seriously challenged during the Reformation (1517-1648), and is still accepted by Christian churches of all denominations today.             The symbolic color for Trinity Sunday is white, signifying joy and celebration.

The full announcements are here

June PCConnect

The Presbyterian Church in Canada

PCConnect Monthly E-Newsletter

June 2020

Click here to go to our COVID-19 resources page:

presbyterian.ca/covid-19/

Resource on Re-Opening Church Buildings

There’s been much news of late around how Canada, its provinces and municipalities are planning for the next phase in the public health response to COVID-19—to gradually lift restrictions and responsibly re-open businesses, services and public spaces.

In preparation for the gradual re-opening of church buildings, the PCC has put together a resource to provide support for Sessions and worship leaders as they reflect and act upon their pastoral duties to make responsible, faithful, thoughtful and lawful decisions about public worship and gatherings.

Read More: presbyterian.ca/2020/05/29/session-resource-on-re-opening-church-buildings/

These decisions must be suited to the public health directives of provincial and territorial jurisdictions. Links to up-to-date directives from Provincial Health authorities have been added to the COVID-19 resources web page.

Access Information: presbyterian.ca/covid-19/

Talk, Walk and Pray with the Moderator

The Rev. Amanda Currie, Moderator of the General Assembly, has introduced new initiatives that will allow congregations and ministries across Canada to join her in prayer and conversation this summer.

Walk with the Moderator

You are invited to join the Moderator on a pilgrimage of prayer as she walks 1 km—praying with every step—for each congregation and ministry of our denomination, and ecumenical partner in the Canadian Council of Churches. Follow along this month using the June prayer schedule (presbyterian.ca/downloads/70608/).

Talk with the Moderator

Presbyterians in a variety of ministries will be invited to join the Moderator by video conference over the coming weeks in short conversations, sharing challenges and successes in these difficult times. The first conversation with the Rev. Jennifer Cameron of St. Columba Presbyterian Church in Belleville, Ont., is available to watch online

Learn More: presbyterian.ca/gao/moderator/

Interim Reports of General Assembly Standing Committees Available Online

Due to the cancellation of the 2020 General Assembly, interim reports have been made available on the PCC website for the information of the church. Proposed recommendations have been omitted in order to be clear that these decisions cannot be formally considered without the consent of a General Assembly.

Read the Reports: presbyterian.ca/gao/ga2020/

Five Years of the TRC’s Calls to Action

This spring marks the five-year anniversary of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission issuing the 94 Calls to Action (presbyterian.ca/healing/trc-calls-to-action/) in an effort to provide a well-rounded pathway for Canada to redress the legacy of the Indian Residential School System, and work to ensure the dignity and well-being of Indigenous Peoples well into the future.

In honour of this important milestone, Justice Ministries has written a special reflection highlighting the significant work that still needs to be done to make meaningful change to the lives and rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Read More: presbyterian.ca/2020/05/25/five-years-of-the-trcs-calls-to-action/

PCC Writes to Federal Government on Guaranteed Basic Income and Israel-Palestine

Letter to the Government of Canada re. Guaranteed Basic Income presbyterian.ca/downloads/70025/

The impact of COVID-19 has widened the extent of economic insecurity in Canada, with those most economically disadvantaged experiencing the greatest instability as a result. In an effort to bring the needs of people disproportionately impacted by the pandemic to the forefront of the national agenda, the PCC has issued a letter to the Government of Canada calling for action on socioeconomic inequity and advocating for a national Guaranteed Basic Income.

Letter to the Government of Canada re. Israel-Palestine

presbyterian.ca/downloads/70463/

The PCC recently wrote to the Minister of Foreign Affairs regarding concerns over Canada’s silence on the proposal of Israel’s current coalition government to vote on annexing a significant part of the occupied Palestinian territories. The letter is also signed by the Anglican Church of Canada, KAIROS Canada, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, Mennonite Central Committee, Catholics for Justice and Peace in the Holy Land, the United Church of Canada, and United Network for a Just Peace in Palestine & Israel.

Congregations and members of the church are encouraged to bring increased awareness to these matters by writing to their elected officials. The PCC letter may be used as a resource or template if desired.

Read Letters: presbyterian.ca/justice/letters-to-the-government/

Recent News & Resources

PWS&D International COVID-19 Appeal presbyterian.ca/pwsd/2020/04/03/covid-19/

Financial Relief for Churches presbyterian.ca/covid-19/financial-resources/

Zoom Online Meeting Support and Guidance presbyterian.ca/2020/05/19/online-meetings/

Daily Prayer & Mission Moment Calendar: June – September 2020 presbyterian.ca/worship/#pp

Worship and Ministry Resources presbyterian.ca/covid-19/worship-resources/

Pastoral Care and Wellness Resources presbyterian.ca/covid-19/pastoral-care-wellness-resources/

Stewardship & Planned Giving Information and Resources presbyterian.ca/covid-19/stewardship-resources/

Faith-at-Home Resources and Online Activities for Families presbyterian.ca/covid-19/resources-for-families/

Links you may need

Worship Web Page: presbyterian.ca/worship

Church Finder: presbyterian.ca/church-finder

PCC Resource Ordering Portal: presbyterian.ca/portal

Donate: presbyterian.ca/donate

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May 31 to June 6

We continue our pandemic-style worship for another week, as we wait for conditions to improve.  We will resume our regular services and activities as soon as the government determines that it is safe to do so.  The Communion service originally scheduled for Sunday, 7 June, has formally been canceled, as has our annual Outdoor Service and Barbecue on Sunday the 14th.  Our next regular Communion service is scheduled for Sunday, 4 October. John is producing an abbreviated service video, approximately 30 minutes in length, every Sunday.  Each Sunday morning, he sends out, by e-mail, the link that you need in order to access the video on YouTube, normally between 10:15 and 10:30.  Attached to that e-mail is a full script of the service, which can be printed for any relative or friend who doesn’t have access to the internet.  You can access the current Sunday’s service also through this website. It is usually posted here before 1:00 PM.

The Christian Year – Sunday May 31 is Pentecost, the fourth of the four landmark festivals that give the Christian Year its shape (the others being Christmas, Epiphany, and Easter).  Pentecost celebrates the giving of the Holy Spirit to the disciples and followers of Jesus, 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection (and 10 days after his ascension), as narrated in Acts 2.1-41.  The Holy Spirit was given to the community of Jesus’ disciples and followers to take Jesus’ place as their teacher and leader, and to empower them to continue his ministry in the world.  The Holy Spirit continues to be given today to everyone who believes in Jesus as his/her Savior and Lord.

 Pentecost is the Greek name for a Jewish festival which in the Old Testament is called the “Festival of Weeks”.  It celebrated the wheat harvest, and came fifty days after the Passover festival; in fact, “pentecost” is the Greek word for “fiftieth”.  On that day, offerings of the “first fruits” of the wheat harvest were presented to God.  By the First Century, it was also celebrated as the anniversary of God’s giving the Law to Israel at Mt. Sinai, during the Exodus.  Thousands of Jews from all over the Roman Empire and beyond traveled to Jerusalem for this festival every year.  It was in the midst of this international gathering that the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples of Jesus, and that they were enabled to speak in various languages — and were therefore understood by “Jews from every nation under heaven” (Acts 2.5).

The symbolic color for Pentecost is red, recalling the “tongues of fire” that appeared to Jesus’ disciples in the Pentecost event (Acts 2.3).

Day of Prayer – The Session has decided to designate this Thursday, 4 June, as another Congregational Day of Prayer.  Everyone is encouraged to spend time in prayer at 1:30 p.m. that day — or at some other time of the day.  You are encouraged to pray for concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as our congregation, family, and friends.  John will again send out a sheet of prayer suggestions by e-mail in advance.

Announcements May 24 – 30

Regular Sunday services and most congregational activities continue to be suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  We will resume our regular activities as soon as the government determines that it is safe to do so. John is producing an abbreviated service video every Sunday, approximately 30 minutes in length.  Each Sunday morning, he sends out, by e-mail, the link that you need in order to access the video on YouTube, normally between 10:15 and 10:30.  Attached to that e-mail is a full script of the service, which can be printed for any relative or friend who doesn’t have access to the internet.  You can access the current Sunday’s service also through this website

Sunday – Charlie Clifford is preaching the sermon in Sunday’s service.  We had decided last fall to give our lay preachers opportunities to preach more often; not just when John is away, but also on Sundays when he is here.  Charlie was therefore scheduled to preach on the 24th of May, and he and John have decided to stick with that date, even though our normal worship format is on hold due to the pandemic.  We thank Charlie for his major contribution to today’s service!

The Bible study group will meet by Zoom on Tuesday evening at 7:00.

The Session will meet by Zoom on Thursday evening at 7:00

Newsletter – The May issue of the Newsletter has been published and sent out.  Those who don’t have e-mail will receive their copies in the mail this time; the elders don’t need to worry about delivering them.  Many thanks again to Lisa Sneesby for putting the Newsletter together, to Gwen Henwood for printing the hard copies, and to Mardine Garnham for preparing the envelopes for mailing!

Full announcements here