O Come let us adore Him
Christmas celebrates God coming to us in the person of Jesus. Jesus is God-with-us. We want to delve once again into that wonderful Christmas story. Each Sunday starting on November 27th, we will spend time looking at what the advent of Jesus means for our world by looking at what Luke, Matthew, and other authors of the Bible reveal about that first Christmas.
We want you to see each Sunday of the Christmas season as an opportunity to invite friends and neighbours in person or online.
Dec. 24 | 3PM
We are planning a candle lit Christmas Eve service at 3PM with Christmas songs and a short message centered on the wonder of Christ’s coming. We will also be live-streaming our Christmas Eve Service.
We are taking a special offering to support church’s in Ukraine providing care, relief and support to people seeking shelter, food, clothes, and more as people flee war. The UN estimates nearly 1/3 of Ukraine’s population has been displaced as a result of this war. All of the monies received for this special offering will go to the Refugee & Aid Fund created by the Humanitarian Aid and Response Team (HART).
HART has been in operation since 1996. They are dedicated to alleviating poverty and injustice in Eastern Europe by working in partnership with local churches – giving them the tools to build a better world for themselves, their communities and their countries.focus on providing relief, development, and peace in the name of Jesus.
You can give via Tithe.ly by selecting “Christmas Eve Offering” under designations.
You can also give in-person with cash or cheque simply stipulate your gift is for the Christmas Eve Offering.
Sunday Service (Advent begins) – November 27th, 10AM
Sunday Service – December 4th, 10AM
Sunday Service – December 11th, 10AM
Christmas Banquet – December 14th, 6PM
Sunday Service – December 18th, 10AM
Christmas Eve Service – December 24th, 3PM
Christmas at Home (No In-Person Service) – December 25th
Church Office Closed – December 26-31
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year—A season of wonder and adoration. Yet for the average person Christmas is more often filled with exhaustion, grief, consumerism, and stress.
How we might we put ourselves in places where we can genuinely and faithfully express adoration towards Jesus at Christmas? More specifically, what are practices we can engage in during this season so that we can live in the wonder of Christmas?
We’ve highlighted four practices for the Christmas season to help us do this: Scripture, Sabbath, Gratitude, and Generosity.
We need practices that draw us back into the real and wondrous story of God becoming one of us.
So this season we invite you to read use one the three Advent reading plans offered.
The Digital Reading Plan includes animated videos, short summaries, and reflective questions to help participants explore how Jesus brings hope, peace, joy, and love. It starts on November 27th and can be accessed through the YouVersion Bible app.
This Christmas reading plan a pdf version of the one above, but without the videos and discussion questions. It’s best for those who prefer to use a printed guide.
If you have the Storybook Bible there’s a plan for you to go through with your kids!
We need practices that help us resist the hurried frantic pace of life and draw us into the rest of God.
Sabbath is a practice urgently needed in a culture where exhaustion and hurry are the norm. Sabbath is a 24-hour time period of restful worship, by which we cultivate a restful spirit in all of our life. While it isn’t a command in the New Testament, Sabbath is a life-giving and may be the most counter-cultural practice of these four.
A helpful way to think about Sabbath is through the lens of four ideas: Resting, Remembering, Resisting, and Rejoicing.
Sabbath is a day we cease from all working and choose to rest. We give our bodies and minds and spirits time to stop. We embrace our limits.
Sabbath is a day we remember that our primary identity is rooted in being a child of God. It is rooted in who God is rather than what we do. It is not our work nor our responsibilities that primarily define us, but our relationship with God.
Sabbath is a day we resist the ‘addictive drug of doing’ (Scazzero). According to Walter Brueggemann Sabbath is an act of spiritual defiance. We are not human doers. On this day we resist the idea that we not simply consumers or producers. On this day we embrace a posture of surrender and acknowledge we are not in control.
Sabbath is a day we rejoice. We rejoice in God’s creation and His goodness. This can be done over a meal with family and friends sharing stories and laughs or a walk in the park. The goal here is to rejoice and revel in what God has made possible in our world. These little joys are a foretaste of the future and everlasting joy that is to come when Jesus makes all things new.
4 Steps for Practicing Sabbath
1. Pick a 24 hour period to rest and worship. (Tell others, choose a ritual to define start and end of it like lighting a candle.)
2. Decide on a “Prep day’. This is a separate day from sabbath for taking care of errands and creating loose plans for Sabbath.
3. Aim for a Digital Detox. Consider avoiding news altogether for this day. (Keep Phone out of sight, schedule when you’ll check it, make plans ahead of time so you don’t feel the need to use phone.)
4. Aim to Connect with God 3 times in the day.
3 Ways to Connect:
1. Reflect on your week, jot down the good things you encountered, give thanks to God for each item.
2. Go for a walk in silence practice being present to God.
3. Spend 30 minutes reading your Bible. Invite God to speak to you through His Word.
A Prayer for Rest
““God of rest, I’m so busy. The demands of life are piled high, and my schedule is a tyrant. Help me catch my breath and enter the gift of your Sabbath once more. Free me to enjoy the goodness of your favor and this life. Forgive me for all the ways I try to justify myself by my accomplishments. Help me to rest every day in your grace. Amen.” – Philip F. Reinders, Seeking God’s Face
We need practices that enable us to recognize the good that God is working around us.
We live in a time of forgetfulness. It’s easy for us to give thanks in the moment and forget about what God has done just a few minutes later. Practicing gratitude regularly develops in us a life-giving rhythm of remembering who Jesus is and what He is like. Suzy Silk notes, “Gratitude has a way of buoying you. It returns you the rock of salvation. It draws you back into relationship with Jesus. It helps you to acknowledge that God is still working and cares for you, even if you don’t see the full picture yet. And as we do it for everything, we’ll soon find that gratitude becomes our operating system in all circumstances.”
This season we challenge you to do practice giving thanks to God for three things each day. Look for signs of His goodness and call them out.
You might consider trying this at dinner with your family or writing them in your journal.
We need practices that push us out of our consumerism and into the generosity of God.
God is so generous that He gave Himself in the person of Jesus. A heart transformed by the gift of Jesus will seek for ways to love people.
Apart from our Christmas Eve offering to help in Ukraine, we spent the month of November shining a light on organizations doing important work in our city.
Through their work refugees coming to our city are given material, spiritual, and social support; the poor and marginalized are provided shelter; and churches are equipped to cultivate cultures of prayer, mission and justice in our city.
If you have not already done so, we encourage you to prayerfully consider how you can practice generosity in ways that go beyond your normal giving in this season.