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the Earth Week edition

April 19, 2021

Why is it that commercials have such a hold on us (or maybe it’s just on me)? I remember commercials from my childhood . . . on things that weren’t directed at me and on things that were. I remember you’re soaking in it [click here] and be a good cook mother said; you’ll get a man . . . what did I get . . . ? [click here] and two all beef patties . . . [click here] – although to be honest I don’t like sauce on my burgers. Sometimes it is the mini-drama of the commercial that catches our attention; sometimes it is the comical effects of the commercial that grabs us; and sometimes it is rote repetition in and of the commercial that holds us. Regardless of how it is done, the purpose of an advertisement/commercial is to make us remember what is being sold (and ultimately to have us buy it).

Aside: for a great show about the advertising industry listen to Under the Influence with Terry O’Reilly [click here for the web page; click here for the podcast page].

We can hear things over and over and what we hear remains on our minds. The advertisements that we see and hear affect us and make an imprint on us. However, sometimes an ad is so obscure that we either don’t remember it or it doesn’t impact us. And sometimes we just tune those ads out and they don’t move us at all.

All that to say: a pastor’s worst nightmare is that the messages shared each Sunday make no difference in the listener’s life . . . that it is a twenty-minute to half hour “speech” that is quickly forgotten – especially if it is not entertaining or relevant (or personal) enough. Week to week it is my hope and prayer that this does not happen here at Trinity Church . . . with this past Sunday’s message as well.

In our message we looked forward, to Thursday’s Earth Day. Yes, it is a “made-up” day, carved out for a singular purpose (I don’t think the purpose is to make us feel guilty about how we live . . . I don’t think that’s the purpose, but then again, we probably should feel guilty about some of the things that we do to this world!). Earth Day: one day a year to focus on and to think about how we treat this small piece of rock we are hurtling through space on. One day. Though every day should be an Earth Day (just like every day is Children’s Day – download the message [click here] to see the cartoon).

The earth is the Lord’s. We are responsible to God for how we treat it/take care of it; at the same time we are responsible to others for how we treat it/take care of it. Earth Day may be a secular construct, but it is still something that we in the church should embrace – in fact, we should take the lead in Creation Care! If, as I suggested Sunday, creation care is primarily about how we respond and relate to God as his servants, the question is not do you care? but what will you do because you care? Again, click here to download the message . . . not just to see the cartoon, but to once again see the challenge to Creation Care so you can think about how to act. Let’s have no more oops moments.

Yesterday’s service can be found 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, whether live or delayed (the feeds are saved so that anyone can go back to them later). Please use trinityconnects@rogers.com to check in rather than the church e-mail address.


Tuesday evening we’ll meet at 7:00 for Talk Together Tuesday . . . a time to discuss this past Sunday’s message together.  It may be that the message has confirmed in you something that you held to strongly. It may be that the message has challenged you to think in a new way. It may even be that the message has caused you to ask pastor, are you out of your mind? What were you thinking? Please bring your insights to the table.


We’ll talk about themes and ideas and . . . and whatever else has been brought to mind on Sunday, including what we can do as Christians to lead in Creation Care. Remember: if all we do is critique and speak against climate change “zealots” or “deniers” then nothing will get done. We need an action plan of some kind – a plan for the church as well as a personal plan. Click here to download a copy of the message, then join us at 7:00 Tuesday evening. E-mail the church for log-in information.


If you can, join us Wednesday evening as we meet to pray with and for one another in our “virtual” (ZOOM) prayer room. God hears our prayers, whether they are audible or silent . . . in fact, He wants to hear them! E-mail the church for log-in information.


Yining Chiu has written that There is still a clear need for the Church and for individual believers to expose wrongdoing, especially when other voices are silent. Hosea spent time enumerating the errors that Israel was called to repent for, and I believe that part of exercising our prophetic voice requires talking about our nation’s most persistent sins. We cannot be afraid of naming misogyny, white supremacy, racist immigration policy, the killing of the unborn, endemic poverty, the military industrial complex, for-profit prisons, our exploitation of the environment (there’s a series study right there  . . . and it is not an exhaustive list!). This coming Sunday we’ll look at the difficult (to say the least) topic(s) of racism/anti-racism, justice/injustice, and equality as we study God’s word together:  

Some people think that too much is made of the race divide and by talking about it we encourage division. Other people think that racism is so pervasive in our society that we can no longer ignore it but that it should be constantly brought to the forefront of our discussions. It is an issue that cannot be ignored by the people of God, as we claim that mercy and justice are not just biblical themes but are attributes of God and of His people.  Our message: Red and Yellow, Black and White.

Our worship team will lead this week’s service from the sanctuary. While we look forward to another great time of celebration and praise through song with them, new provincial COVID regulations and limits mean that only the worship team will be allowed in the building. Please join us from home:  click here to join us on Facebook or click here to join us on YouTube. If there are problems with one feed or the other someone will post a cross-link once the problem is known.

Pastor Bill Sunberg of our Toronto Emmanuel Church is leading a number of Anti-Racism Workshops on-line [click here to see a list of the books that will be discussed]. These discussions are interesting        . . . and challenging! The next workshop (beginning May 5) looks at Canadian author Desmond Cole’s book The Skin We’re In – a difficult book to read, but a good introduction to the Canadian context


Thank you for your faithful and generous giving in support of our ministry at Trinity Church. We continue to receive our tithes and offerings through e-transfer (ottawatrinity@rogers.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. Thank you!


Upcoming Services

  • Apr   25   Red and Yellow, Black and White
  • May    2   Waiting for the Dove: our Annual Meeting
  • May    9   Ah, Yes . . . a Mother’s Day message
  • May  16   UN-chained
  • May  23   Pentecost
  • May  30   Invasion
  • Jun      6   District Assembly Service
  • Jun    13   a service of music and celebration


We were anticipating . . . but . . . we just don’t know how to plan. Some of our Sunday themes will stay as announced while others will change. That’s OK . . . we’ll just “roll”.


Staying the same: Misfit Motorcycle Rally Day, May 30

We hope to host the third annual (although the second actual) Misfit Motorcycle Rally Day the last Sunday of May. When we began this outreach to those in the Ottawa Misfits group we had a full day, starting with breakfast, followed by a service and a “blessing of the bikes”. Breakfast is not “on the menu” this year; however, we will invite our “misfit friends” to our service for a blessing (personal as well as bike) if provincial COVID protocol changes.


Staying the same: District Assembly Service, June 6

This year’s District Assembly will be a condensed virtual gathering on Zoom and will be live streamed on the District YouTube Channel Saturday, June 5th between 9:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Local churches will elect delegates to the Assembly. A District Online “Family Reunion” service to be held the following day; this will take the place of our local worship service. It will be streamed to the District YouTube channel.


Date change: Service of Music and Celebration, now June 13

We invite everyone to participate by sharing one song or reading or musical performance in our yearly spring service of music and celebration! Barb will share a song story (I’m looking forward to knowing more of the background of the song she has chosen – you’ll have to wait to find out what it is). Others have indicated they’ll participate. Let me know if you want to be part of this great day.

Because of the number of participants, please chose one song and let me know what it is. Matt and I will work on a “program order”. 


Congratulations, Pamela . . . graduating from Algonquin College with her Advanced Diploma in Child and Youth Care degree.