When something catches on, it really catches on, doesn’t it? Who knew that a picture of Bernie Sanders “and his mittens and scowl behind his facemask” (how can you tell there’s a scowl other than that is his "trademark"?) would become the sensation that it has? Not only is the meme everywhere, Mr. Sanders has taken the opportunity to use the picture for something good: his campaign store is selling sweatshirts featuring the photo, and all of the proceeds are going to Meals on Wheels programs in Sanders' home state of Vermont. The black crewneck sweatshirt is expected to raise “a couple of million dollars” and is already sold out – and there is an eight week back-log!
That was on Inauguration Day. Today is launch day . . . the launching of our new web site. Sometime today we will be transitioning from one web host to another. You will still find all of our information on the site; it just looks a bit different with the update. A couple of the differences . . . a link to the YouTube video of our previous service will be on our front page and we’ll have a picture of the week on the front page as well (soon, hopefully a “current” picture; for the next while it’ll be a picture from our archives). Check it out at ottawatrinity.ca.
Once it is updated, the church directory will be available from the web site, but only to registered users (those from our congregation who ask for it).
I am old enough to remember the TV show Hymn Sing, which was broadcast Sunday afternoons on CBC. It was (if I remember correctly) a half hour show. A choir sang . . . hymns (interspersed, I imagine, with commercials). I don’t remember there being a message during the show – really, it’s amazing that I remember anything about it at all: at 10 or 11 years old I probably turned the channel (that’s something that people ‘of a certain age” can’t even imagine) because I was looking for cartoons (though only 2 channels were available!).
In some ways our services are like Hymn Sing: our service is broadcast/streamed, our worship team sings hymns and worship songs, the words are shown on screen (and sent to everyone) so that “the folks at home” can sing along (interspersed with announcements – our commercials). The difference is that those in the sanctuary are not trying to entertain but to lead in worship. We are anxiously awaiting the opportunity to return to a gathered community in worship . . . a return from exile of sorts, although we are aware that “the new norm” will include the community gathered and the community at home worshipping.
Our sermon series on the Christian virtues continued yesterday as we looked at abstinence against gluttony. While the idea of abstinence seems to be about giving up rather than giving in, on not doing rather than doing (Wikipedia defines abstinence as a self-enforced restraint from indulging in bodily activities that are widely experienced as giving pleasure – the emphasis, I think, on self-enforced) I prefer Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s thought that Being a Christian is less about cautiously avoiding sin (self-enforced denial) than about courageously and actively doing God's will (deliberately seeking to do good). And I do believe that we can eat, drink, and be merry when we do (as THE MESSAGE translates 1 Corinthians 10:31) everything . . . heartily and freely to God’s glory. We aren’t living for ourselves because all we are trying to do is make it through life until we die; we are living for God, so we have joy in everything that we do. Abstaining from evil isn’t a chore – it isn’t even on “our radar” – because we filling our lives with good.
Click here to download a copy of yesterday’s message. You can watch yesterday’s service on our Facebook page (click here) and on our YouTube page (click here); you can also link from our web site (click here).
Thanks to those who “checked in” during our service yesterday. We do want to know if you joined us, either live or delayed (the feeds are saved so that anyone can go back to them later). Please use firstname.lastname@example.org to check in rather than the church e-mail address.
Thank you for your feedback on our services. The live stream is a work in progress (at least I hope that we are progressing!). We know that there are some small problems still with the audio . . . some of it is learning and under-standing the sound board and some of it getting the equipment to work properly (the last couple of weeks, for example, we’ve had problems with the microphone that amplifies Emmanuelle’s violin, although I think that David and Glenn have discovered why the piano was either too loud or could not be heard. We will be getting together with Cesar (from the Spanish church) soon to work on the microphone problem.
I think that everyone would agree that prayer is important . . . both corporate prayer (when we are together) and private prayer (when we are alone). I understand that not everyone is comfortable in a gathered prayer meeting. I recently invited and encouraged people to join us Wednesdays for a check-in time before we pray; however, I have come to realize that some might feel obligated to stay for the prayer time and even to pray out loud during it if they join us, and so instead just “stay home”. It was not my intent to get people to attend our Wednesday prayer time through a sneaky back door . . . so we’ll make a change: starting tomorrow I invite you to drop in on one another via ZOOM for a Tuesday Check-In (Tuesday Touch?).
I also think that it is important that we keep in touch with one another. This goes beyond the discussion about whether or not the January Blues (or the holiday blues) are real and whether or not January 24 is the most depressing day of the year, and beyond the lack of sunlight that affects many people, and even beyond the fact that many suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), and even further beyond the discouragement, depression, dismay, and despair that many people feel (and Bell is to be commended for their emphasis on #BellLetsTalk day) . . . we need each other! We have not been all together on a Sunday for over ten months (and who knows how much longer it will be?). We have not seen each other (one of the downsides of having an on-line service rather than a ZOOM service) for five months. So let’s “get together” Tuesdays.
I’ve set up a ZOOM meeting for Tuesdays at 7:00 pm. I realize that the time isn’t good for everyone, and I apologize for that. But if you can join us . . . pop in, say hi, let us know how you are doing . . . we miss your . . . I was going to say smiling face but may be you just can’t hold or fake a smile these days . . . we miss you! E-mail me for the log on information – see you Tuesday evening!
And then join us for our prayer time at 7:00 Wednesday evening in our virtual prayer room as we gather to pray for one another and for others . . . audibly or silently. E-mail me for the log on information.
This coming Sunday we will have our own hymn sing as we meet at 11:00 . . . worshipping the King (a bit of a hint to our theme for the day). We will continue to look at the Christian Virtues . . . this week at a very real challenge for many people: Patience against Anger. And for the record, clenching your teeth and biting your tongue and seething inside is not showing patience – it’s showing restraint. Patience is . . . waiting for Sunday would be a good start at understanding what it is, I think.
Of course, there wouldn’t be anything wrong with looking through your Bible and reading up on what it has to say about the topic either. Click here to join us on our Facebook feed, click here to link to our YouTube feed, or to link from our web site click here.
We continue to receive our tithes and offerings through e-transfer (email@example.com) and through the Canada Helps web site (click here). You can also drop your tithe envelopes through the mail slot at the church or mail them to the church. This coming year’s envelopes are now available – e-mail me and I will drop them off to you or you can come to the church office and pick them up.
Our Current Series . . . Christian Virtues
- Jan 31 patience against anger
- Feb 7 kindness against envy
- Feb 14 heart: a message for Lent
- Feb 21 chastity against lust
- Feb 28 diligence against sloth
Thoughts on Joseph
- Mar 14 Favoured
- Mar 21 Unfavoured
Looking to Easter
- Mar 28 The Rise and Fall of Jesus
- Apr 4 The Fall and Rise of Jesus