Autumn may be my favourite season, but today it just looks like fall to me. Sure there’s a bit of blue in the sky, but it’s cold not crisp, it’s windy not breezy, it’s not “happy-cloudy”, and the leaves aren’t crunchy to walk through. Maybe it’s just me, but it’s a bleah and dreary day. And yet . . . the sun does shine through the clouds occasionally, and the wind is not howling mad, and the temperature is still well above 0.
So why complain? I’m going to enjoy the day. I’m going to enjoy every day and every moment . . . especially today, knowing that God has something in it to bring me closer to Him.
I have asked the members of our worship team to help choose the music for our Sunday services. Yesterday’s pre- and post- service selections were courtesy of David and Pamela. Joelle and Janae will help in our song selection this coming Sunday. I continue to thank God for the younger people in our congregation who are willing to lead us . . . not just in worship services but in our vision as a church as well.
In our service yesterday we continued our fall series – Keys to Kingdom Living – and looked at something that is difficult these COVID days – hospitality. From the beginning the Christian church has been known for caring about and for one another, and hospitality has been key. We are known for welcoming both strangers and friends, feeding the masses (potlucks are biblical!), and extending help as and when we can.
Yesterday’s “key” was inclusive hospitality. We looked at Martha and Mary (primarily at Martha) to discover that hospitality might not be hospitable. Martha definitely had a problem, in that she was so busy trying to be a good host that she missed the blessings of her guest. And while Jesus will not visit us “in person”, He might visit us through the presence of others. And even if He doesn’t, we need to be careful that our “service to others” is actually service, and not a means of self-promotion.
As it is every week, our service has been posted on our Facebook page (click here) and on our YouTube channel (click here). You can download the message from our web page (click here).
Our questions for reflection included these thoughts based on Martha’s “hospitality” and on Jesus’ response to her:
- How can you find a balance between quiet contemplation and active service?
- How can you avoid tension between giving yourself (time and effort) for others and feeling that you’ve been “taken” or are being used?
- Should if matter if you are being used?
And a challenge to gracious living and giving – on being known as a Christian/follower of Jesus:
- Be generous this Hallowe’en as children and young adults come to your door.
- Be generous with tipping in restaurants (when you finally feel comfortable at a restaurant!) – especially if you are out on a Sunday!
Next Sunday morning we will meet again for our congregational worship time (in person and on line) at 11:00. Provincial guidelines still restrict attendance at “religious services” to 30% of building capacity. For those who are wondering about joining those attend service in the building . . . there is room for you if you feel comfortable meeting with others. Our COVID protocols are still in place: you will have to answer “the questions” and wear a face covering during the service . . . but you will be able to “keep your social distance” as we gather. Those who do not feel comfortable can worship with us through Facebook (click here) or YouTube (click here). Drop a note to email@example.com and let us know that you are with us! Thus far a certificate of vaccination is not needed, but may be in the future.
We will continue our look at the Keys to Kingdom Living in our message . . . the call of Jesus to more than mouth our concern for others. This is a call based on Old Testament principles. This is a call echoed throughout the New Testament. This is a call to the church yesterday and today . . . a call that cannot be ignored. Our theme: compassionate action.
One last reminder: on Thanksgiving Sunday we received a special offering to help support those who have gone into an uncomfortable world to share the good news of Jesus. Our “thank offering” (which we give on top of our regular tithes and offerings) goes to support our mission of sharing the Good News of Jesus – to make Christlike disciples in the world. We are near to our goal – thank you for supporting your church’s work to make a difference for Jesus in the world.
Our October book study leads us to Brant Hansen’s Blessed are the Misfits. Hansen reminds us that God is for and with us all . . . not just with the spiritually perfect (what great news!) but for all those who struggle, who question, who doubt, and who wonder. Join us for a great evening of discussion Tuesday evening -- e-mail the church office for log-in information.
Our District SDMI (Sunday School and Discipleship Ministries International) has given our church a subscription to Right Now Media – said to be the world’s largest library of video-driven Bible study resources (click here to go to the web site and explore). This resource can be used for your personal devotional time . . . and we will be using it in some of our studies in the days ahead. E-mail me at the church if you would like full access to the studies.
We continue to meet Wednesday evenings for a time of prayer together, though ZOOM -- e-mail the church office for log-in information.Please feel free to join us as we unite our hearts to meet with God (and He with us).
An Introductory Conversation on Caring for Creation
On Saturday October 30, Nazarene Compassionate Ministries Canada will host a Zoom webinar titled An Introductory Conversation on Caring for Creation, beginning at 11:00 am. Speakers are:
- Keasha Green, a graduate of Tyndale Seminary, who was contracted by NCM Canada to research the Biblical and theological foundation for creation care and to work with NCM Canada to incorporate care for creation as a theme across our ministry.
- Milon Patwary, a long-time partner of NCM Canada in Bangladesh, who will share how caring for creation is a component of projects (funded by NCM Canada) initiated and implemented by local churches as they serve needs in their communities.
- Yara Cristales, who will share resources created for supporters of NCM Canada and for local churches, missions groups, youth groups or other small groups that will inform, challenge, and motivate to action – to care for creation.
- Trinity Church has been asked to share how our church cares for creation and lives out love for our neighbours in the communities surrounding the church through our community garden. It has fallen to me to speak.
All are welcome to “attend” the webinar. Click here to register in advance for this meeting.
The annual Ottawa Civic Prayer Breakfast will be held Friday October 29 (click here to register). The program will be streamed live at 7:30 am. In-person tickets are sold out.
This year’s guest speaker is Garth Steele (recently diagnosed with ALS), speaking on living a life of faith over fear as he answers the question “who is my neighbour?” (click here to access his blog).
Mark December 5 and (tentatively) January 9 on your calendar:
- December 5 is a Christmas Carol sing – or, if we can’t “legally sing”, a Night of Christmas Music, with special song – and (of course!) carols.
- January 9 JCL is “in concert”, sharing in music and leading in worship.
Our music celebrations will begin at 7:00 both evenings.
The theme of Nazarene Compassionate Ministries is Compassion as a Lifestyle. Jesus said whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me [Matthew 25:40, NIV]. Nazarene Compassionate Ministries Canada gives many opportunities to compassionate involvement, including providing a “compassionate giving catalogue” for Christmas.
Print copies are available; an on-line catalogue can be found by clicking here; giving designated “International Compassionate Ministries” through Trinity Church is sent to NCMC. This year’s compassionate ministries offering is designated to the relief work in Haiti.
- Oct 24 Keys to Kingdom Living: compassionate action
- Oct 31 Keys to Kingdom Living: selfless service
- Nov 7 Keys to Kingdom Living: creative non-violence
- Nov 14 Keys to Kingdom Living: simple living
- Nov 21 Interlude: Matt sharing
- Advent: Lost and Found
- Nov 28 Direction – Gabriel
- Dec 5 Lost – the Not-so-Wise Men
- Dec 12 Surprise Find – the Shepherds
- Dec 19 Visited – our District Superintendent shares
- Dec 24 Christmas Eve: Found – by Jesus
- Dec 26 Reflections . . . the year past