General Assembly: Good news stories
This Sunday Presbyterians from across Canada are gathering in Waterloo, Ontario for our General Assembly. Every year, Presbyterians Sharing helps bring together commissioners – ministers, diaconal ministers and ruling elders – to participate in the highest decision-making body of The Presbyterian Church in Canada. This year, under the theme Light of the World, in addition to discussing policy, approving budgets and dreaming for the future, commissioners will continue the practice of sharing good news stories from their ministries and discussing practical ways to help re-energize and re-imagine our common ministry. Celebrating our good news stories is one way that we share Christ’s light with one another.
Presbyterians Sharing celebrates good news
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 in many other places in the New Testament also, often very briefly, such as in today’s reading from the Letters (1 Peter 3.21b-22).
According to the account in Acts, the ascension took place 40 days after Jesus’ resurrection. For this reason, the 40th day of the Easter Season is designated “Ascension Day”. It always falls on the Thursday following the 6th Sunday of Easter. Since it falls during the week, 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 come to his followers to take his place. According to the book of Acts, the coming of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus’ disciples took place at Pentecost, 10 days after Jesus’ ascension.
The symbolic color for Ascension Day is white, signifying joy and celebration.
Empowered to Prosper
We frequently hear about poverty in the developing world—the billions of people who do not have access to clean water or health care or enough nutritious food to eat. It is difficult to imagine what their lives must be like, or why they are so drastically different from our own lives in Canada. PWS&D’s new youth game “Empowered to Prosper” aims to help young people understand the causes of poverty and how they can make a difference. Representing families living in developing countries, players will experience the everyday realities of poverty, while moving across the game board. Order your copy today by contacting The Book Room (1-800-619-7301).
Changing lives through Youth in Mission
In 2013 a Youth in Mission team of nine young people travelled to Malawi where they spent three weeks visiting PCC and PWS&D partners and projects in Mulanje and Blantyre. Participant Katie Hubley from New Glasgow, NS, shares, “This trip was easily the most life-changing event I have ever experienced and I thank God every day for the opportunity to serve Him. I am so thankful for what I’ve learned from our brothers and sisters in Malawi – their warm welcome, their love of worship, their contentment, and their willingness to praise God and experience true joy in less than perfect circumstances.” Presbyterians Sharing supports the Youth in Mission program, enabling young people to learn first-hand about The Presbyterian Church in Canada’s mission and ministry around the world.
The crisis in Syria has resulted in one of the largest refugee movements in modern times – over two million Syrians have sought refuge outside their borders. The Canadian government announced in 2013 it would resettle 1,300 Syrian refugees from Jordan and Lebanon with the assistance of official sponsorship agreement holders. The Presbyterian Church in Canada, with the assistance of Presbyterian congregations, is able to help sponsor ten people to resettle in Canada. Meanwhile, Action Réfugiés Montréal (with support from PWS&D, Canadian Ministries and the Anglican Diocese of Montreal) is helping the Syrian community in Quebec to sponsor those in greatest need
From the Guild
– Dogs and Dainties plus Garage Sale is set for May 31st. Please save up your gently used items and bring them to the church the week of May 26th. They probably can be stored in the previous Nursery area
– Meal in a Bowl Supper: May 8th. Mark it on your calendar! Tell your friends! You don’t want to miss this one!