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the “it’s a new year” edition

May 17, 2021


It may be a stretch to think this, but we celebrate three new years every year: the traditional New Year’s on January 1, the end-of-summer new school year the beginning of September, and a church new year after year-end reporting (which is also a time of looking back and looking ahead). Our church year ends April 30; yesterday we took time to review the year past (and a strange year it was) and to look ahead, using Ezekiel 37 as our scriptural launching point.

How do we assess the year past? It is difficult to report church attendance because we weren’t allowed to gather. It is difficult to measure connection and community for the same reason. This past year has been a bit of a “ministry pause”. I am looking forward to the end of the pandemic lockdown and to a restart of being active in our community.

One of the highlights of the year past was the way the worship team and the “tech team” gelled. We were slowly learning how to stream our services on-line for those people who could not join us in the building, but the pandemic pushed the learning curve. I think that David and Glenn (and Chloe and Lisa) have done an amazing job with the equipment that we have. Yes, there have been glitches along the way, but they have been fairly minor considering the computer that we use is far from powerful enough. The tech and worship teams arrive in the sanctuary between 9:00 and 9:30 Sunday mornings to set up and prepare for our services. I am thankful for their faithfulness and for their commitment.

Also faithful . . . also committed . . . also almost forgotten because they just “do the job” is our finance team: Pierre our treasurer, Anna our recorder, and Richelle involved in counting. I appreciate them – they invest their time to keep us on track financially. And I appreciate each one of you as well for your faithful giving of tithes and offerings to support the work that we are doing here through Trinity Church – work that includes support of two churches and one child in Cuba, the ongoing world missions work of our denomination, local compassion, and support of the local church. I pray that God will bless you for your faithfulness!

 

 Yesterday we looked at Ezekiel 37, and saw hope of life in the midst of dryness. Ezekiel looked over a valley of dry bones . . . bodies stripped to nothing . . . no skin . . . no sinew . . . no vitality . . . no life . . . a graveyard of what once had been. There he heard God’s promise to the people of Israel that He would restore them to life . . . even though they could only see a hopeless situation. I think that God is offering us the same promise: life and vitality and renewal, as we wait on Him for power and direction for the days ahead.

 

We’ll discuss Sunday’s message this coming Tuesday evening at our Talk Together time. We’ll talk about renewal and revival and hopes and dreams and God’s presence and challenges and . . . dry bones coming to life! E-mail the church office for a link to the discussion.

 

The transcript of yesterday’s message has been uploaded to this web site. 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 using the church e-mail address.

 

It seems that we can’t avoid technical glitches . . . or if we can we’re not sure how to do it. Yesterday’s problems were many: the Facebook feed streamed sideways for a least part of the service; the audio was not clear; the ZOOM meeting did not run on the computer we attempted to use; we did not vote through the SurveyMonkey link that was sent to members of the church. We can’t blame everything on our equipment – some of our problems were due to human error (some of the human error was presuming that all of the software was up to date). Somehow we survived, but it took at bit! Thank you for your patience.

 

We are trusting that this coming Sunday’s service flows smoothly, although there is no guarantee of that. I’m not referring to just the technological side of the service. When the church invites the Holy Spirit to move in power that means that the church is – we are – willing to forgo a clean and polished hour (or so). We pray “Spirit, come!” but when God invades with His presence the order that we set up can become a little (or a lot) chaotic. Are we willing to see that happen? I trust so!

I’m not sure that I’d say that there is more of a risk of a “Spirit invasion” this Sunday as opposed to other Sundays; on the other hand, it is Pentecost Sunday. . . a celebration of the day the Holy Spirit fell on the disciples with power as they prayed . . . and the church was born! Our celebration (not a birthday party) begins at 11:00 Sunday morning. Our worship team will again lead the service from the sanctuary (I long for the day the provincial COVID regulations are lifted and we can truly meet together again). Please join us: 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.

 

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 at 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!

Our financial statement (contact Pierre for a copy) includes a report on the amounts given to the various ministries we support including missions and Cuba. Again, you are amazing! Pierre wishes to remind everyone that tithes and offerings are used to fund the operation of the church (administration and building) and that special giving is directed specifically to the cause mentioned. We emphasize one special offering each month during the year, except through the summer months. We will receive an Alabaster Offering in September, a Thank Offering in October (for world evangelism), an offering for our sponsored child in November, and compassionate ministries offerings in December.

 

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! The “room” opens at 7:00; e-mail the church office for log on information.

 

We had hoped 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”. This year breakfast is not “on the menu”; however, our “misfit friends” are invited to gather (at a distance!) to our service for a blessing (personal as well as bike) May 30.

 

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 (let me know if you are interested). A District Online “Family Reunion” service to be held Sunday the 6th; this will take the place of our local worship service. It will be streamed to the District YouTube channel.

 

We are still planning for a spring (early summer?) service of music and celebration, to take place June 13. We invite everyone to participate by sharing a song or a reading or a musical performance. 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.

 

On Father’s Day we’ll look at just How Holy we are called to be as children of the Heavenly Father . . . and why holiness is (or perhaps, should be) such a big deal to us. Why is it that we live as we do? Are we under duress? Are we afraid of disappointing Him? Are we just wanting to please Him? Some interesting questions to look at . . .

 

 It’s a miracle! Or maybe, it’s about time! It appears that the problem with the lawn tractor – an ongoing problem since we got it – has been discovered and repaired. There was a frayed(?) wire in the circuit board and that led to the tractor shutting itself down at times (technology is finicky, as we know!). We are hoping that the machine will work through the season. Please sign up to cut the grass once or twice through the summer (a list will soon be created and available).

 

There are other needs in care of our building as well . . . some painting, some cleaning, some general maintenance. Contact Pierre if you’d like to help as we take care of the facility.