Mark's Midweek Musings & Updates

Wednesday December 19, 2018
"Joy ... the music of Christmas!"

Dear Friends,

Wow, it's hard to believe that it's less than a week until Christmas. Where has December gone? I hope your preparations are going well and not full of stress. We can get so caught up in the hectic list of things to do that we lose sight of what and who we are preparing for. Remember to take a moment or even better moments throughout the day to reflect on the blessing God is offering you as you get ready and especially as you celebrate the gift of Jesus. 

Thank you to everyone at St. Paul's who are contributing to our upcoming Christmas celebrations ...
  • Dora, the choir and musicians for your offering of music that enhances our celebration in so many ways;
  • the altar guild for the beautiful decorations in and around the church
  • those who read, lead intercessions, administer the chalice, and sidespeople
  • Evelyn for the extra work in the office
  • the narrators for the spontaneous Christmas pageant and those who help in the organization
  • the children of the Sunday School for making beautiful decorations to be given as gifts to those who attend services
There won't be a musings published next week, returning in January. My prayer for you is that you may have a joy filled Christmas and many blessings in 2019!!
Message from your Wardens
A financial update. 
With two Sundays and the Christmas services
our offerings for 2018 are $84552.65!

We are in good shape
and on track based on 2018
to make our budget of  $95,600.00 

Our current shortfall is $11047.35
Thank you again for your much needed support.
God bless.
Last Sunday's Contemporary service
was so full of joy!

Thank you to all our musicians and singers
and especially Robin & Susan
who contributed their musical gifts to our worship.
Thank you to everyone who came out
to our 2nd Christmas Open House at the rectory.
We missed those who couldn't be there.
We had more than a trunk full
of donations for our Christmas families.

Thank you to the Outreach Committee
for organizing this important ministry. 

Thank you also to everyone who made contributions.
We have made a difference for our families
in their celebration of Christmas.

And isn't that what the true 
Spirit of Christmas is about!
Tonight is the last Candlelight Communion.
They will return during the season of Lent.

The choir is looking forward
to sharing this Christmas gift
to you as we begin our
Christmas celebrations at St. Paul's.

Hope to see you there.
Invite your family and friends
to join you!!

On Tuesday January 1, 2019
Joan Doodchenko & Beth Kinghan
will be receiving the
Order of the Diocese of Toronto
at St. Jame's Cathedral
at Evensong starting at 3:30

If any parishioners planing to attend
can provide rides for others
please let Mark or the office know.

If you would like to attend 
and need a ride
please also let Mark or the office know.
Wed 19 … 7:00 pm Advent Candlelight Communion
Thurs 20 … 10:00 am Communion & Bible Study
Fri 21 … 7:00 pm Longest Night Service
Sun 23 … Advent 4 ... 10:30 am Jazzy Christmas with special music presented by St. Paul's Choir and "Add Water & Stir"
Sun 23 ... 1:30pm Communion at Douglas Crossing
Mon 24 … 4:30 pm Family Christmas Eve Communion with Spontaneous Pageant; 10:30 pm Carol Singing; 11:00 pm Festive Almost Midnight Communion
Tues 25 … 10:00 am Quiet Christmas Day Communion
              PREVIOUS MUSINGS!! ***

Sun 30 … 9:30 am Communion with favorite Christmas Carols

With the support of a number of parishioners
we are planning to add
a 9:30 Sunday morning worship service
into our weekly schedule.

This will begin one year pilot project
after which we will reflect on our experience.

The service will be contemporary, informal,
45 minutes long, geared to young families,
seekers, the de-churched and un-churched.

Will we attract individuals and families ...
we hope and pray that we will.
As many have indicated,
"how will we know unless we try?"

This will mean service times moving to
8:15 am, 9:30 am & 10:45 am

Watch for more information.

This is exciting and an opportunity to grow!!
And pray that indeed we will reach 
and attract more of our community to St. Paul's!!

*** Note ... there is no "Lunch & Learn" in January

Tues Jan 1 ... 3:30 pm, Joan & Beth receive the "Order of the Diocese of Toronto", St. Jame's Cathedral, Toronto
Thurs Jan 3 ... 10:00 am, Communion followed by bible study
Sat Jan 5 ... 8:30 am, Men's Breakfast
Sun Jan 6 ... 8:30 & 10:30 am, Feast of Epiphany, Communion Services
Mon Jan 7 ... 1:00 pm, Coffee & Chat, Tin Cup
Thurs Jan 10 ... 10:00 am, Communion followed by bible study
Sun Jan 13 ... 8:30 & 10:30 am, Feast of Baptism of Jesus, Communion services
Mon Jan 14 ... 1:00 pm, Coffee & Chat, Tin Cup
Tues Jan 15 ... 7:00 pm, Advisory Board
Thurs Jan 17 ... 10:00 am, Communion followed by bible study
Sat Jan 19 ... 2 to 4 pm ... Gay Straight Alliance
Thurs Jan 24 ... 10:00 am, Communion followed by bible study
Sun Jan 27 ... 1:30 pm, Communion at Douglas Crossing
Mon Jan 28 ... 7:00 pm, "holy spirits: faith conversations over a pint" at Wixan's Bridge
Wed Jan 30 ... 7:00 pm, Spiritual/Faith discussion and reflection group begins
Thurs Jan 31 ... 10:00 am, Communion followed by bible study

"Joy ... the music of Christmas!"

There are so many parts of celebrating Christmas that bring me joy and delight ... from decorating, to shopping for gifts, to giving and receiving presents, to baking ... But what underscores all of that for me is the gift of music at this time of year. Whether it's religious and spiritual or secular, the music of Christmas inspires many emotions and memories that I cherish from years gone by.

On Monday night, Beth and I went to Toronto to see "The Tenors" at the Sony Center. What a wonderful performance they put on that was engaging and full of life as well as the spirit of Christmas. There were the old chestnuts of the season including "O Holy Night", "Joy to the World", "Feliz Navidad" and a most beautiful rendition of "O Come All Ye Faithful". One of my favorites was an original that they composed called, "Santa's Christmas List". Theses are the lyrics ...

One Christmas many years ago when I was just a boy
I walked along those snowy streets, the windows full of toys
My mom and dad both held my hands, a crowd was up ahead
They gathered 'round a man who sang, and this is what he said

I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony
I'd like to hold it in my arms and keep it company
I'd like to see the world for once all standing hand in hand
And hear them echo through the hills for peace throughout the land

Then all at once he disappeared within a flash of light
His tattered coat was left behind,
his sleigh was taking flight
And I still hear that melody that echoed through the night

I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony
I'd like to hold it in my arms and keep it company
I'd like to see the world for once all standing hand in hand
And hear them echo through the hills for peace throughout the land

As a child I asked the man in red
"Hey Santa, what's your Christmas wish?"
And this is what he said

I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony
I'd like to hold it in my arms and keep it company
I'd like to see the world for once all standing hand in hand
And hear them echo through the hills for peace throughout the land 

Here is a link if you'd like to listen ...

I remember well singing those same words to the coke commercial in the 1970's. The words themselves may go back some 40 years, but the hope is still the same. 

Isn't that true each year of our celebration of Christmas and the hope we long for in our lives and in our world because God was born and became fully human in Jesus. We long for the peace the angels proclaimed to the shepherds; we look for light shining brightly in the darkest time of the year; we seek out the community of family and friends when so many are isolated and alone. Most of all, though, we pray from our depths for that peace which only the Prince of Peace can give us in our lives and in the world. 

Last night, Beth and I went to hear Handel's Messiah. What a wonderful tradition that it is performed as an offering to the people of Uxbridge. I personally have enjoyed singing in choirs where we sang the Messiah too as part of our repertoire. All the individual choruses and solos are so inspiring and they lift my soul. Of course, the pinacle and climax is the "Hallelujah Chorus".

What I always appreciate is how Handel used specifically the words of scripture to tell the whole story of God's redemption through the Old Testament prophets right to Revelation and the acclamation of the Messiah with a grand "Amen" at the end that proclaims, "may it indeed be so!!"  

Handel's Messiah is timeless as many of the carols of Christmas are. May you find yourself touched again this year by the music you hear and the carols you sing; may you be renewed in the mystery of God coming among us, the gift of Emmanuel, the child lying in a manger.
I offer us this prayer for the gift of music that brings us joy and delight as we praise God ...
God, we ask you to bless
all the 
music of this Christmas season
that it might glorify your name. 

May our carols be a witness to your majesty and love,
and remind us that you came among us
in the child of Bethlehem

May your presence and beauty
be found in every note and chord,
and may the words that are sung
reach the hearts of your people
so they will draw closer to you.

May your Spirit guide us through every measure
so that we might be the instruments of your peace,
and proclaim your glory with glad voices.  Amen


Remember, if you have a question, I encourage you to send it to me in an email and I will do my best to answer it either in a weekly update or in a sermon.

As always, my inbox is open, and so is my office door if you'd like to chat. I'm usually in my office most mornings Monday through Thursday unless otherwise announced due to a meeting. Stop by or make an appointment!

Take care and have a blessed day and week!

Mark +

The Rev. Canon Mark Kinghan
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St. Paul's Anglican Church, Uxbridge · 59 Toronto Street · Uxbridge, On L9P1H1 · Canada

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