Frigid temperatures ... icy sideways!! I had a thought the other day that animals that hibernate are on to something!! Prayers especially for those in our society who don't have a warm place to be either during the day and especially at night. And for those with mobility issues who have difficulty maneuvering the slippery walk ways and fear falling and injuring themselves.
As well, prayers for those who keep our streets safe and clear of ice and snow, emergency workers who respond to accidents and doctors and nurses in emergencies who attend to those who are injured in any way.
Be safe and be warm!!
On Sunday, Bishop Andrew Asbil was installed
as the 12th Diocesan Bishop of the Diocese of Toronto,
as he knocked on the door seeking entrance to the Cathedral
and as he was seated in his cathedra, the bishop's chair.
We pray for + Andrew as he enters this ministry
and for our diocese as together
we share in living our faith across our diocese.
Gracious God, in these trying times
when the there are challenges
to living our faith and hope in the gospel,
give to our diocesan Bishop, Andrew,
guidance, wisdom, discernment,
a sense of humor and faithfulness
as he offers support, and direction
to the various parishes and ministries in our diocese
so that we may grow in your love
and in our commitment to serving you..
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
January 20 to 27 is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
We pray for the other congregations here in Uxbridge
and our shared calling as the body of Christ.
And for all church leaders in various denominations,
for the desire to work together to promote the gospel
and inspire hope in the midst of our chaotic world.
Gracious God, as we pray specifically this week
for the unity of all followers and disciples of Jesus Christ,
may God embrace us with love
and make kindness flow out from us;
may God ignite courage within us
and transform us into agents of his justice and peace;
may God grant us humility
and give us perseverance to nurture our unity
as the body of Christ. Amen.
Let's support our local Uxbridge Foodbank
as part of our outreach ministry at St. Paul's.
The last Sunday of each month will be
Bring in donations of canned goods, pasta,
rice, or cereal
and place them in the shopping cart
in the entrance to the church
The shopping cart will be
wheeled up the aisle with the offertory
and blessed as we share our abundance
with those in need in our community.
The first Foodbank Sunday
will be Sun January 27.
Thanks to Eileen for getting us a shopping cart
and to Vinces for donating it to us!!
Do you feel weighted down with worry? Does the uncertainty and chaos of life keep you up at night? Are irrational fears your constant companion? Could you use some calm?
In this five-session video Bible study, bestselling author Max Lucado explores God's treatment plan for anxiety found in Philippians 4:4-8. As you follow this prescription - celebrating God's goodness, asking for his help, leaving your concerns with him, and meditation on good things - you will experience God's peace. This is a peace that "transcends all understanding" and will help you reframe the way you look at your fears.
While anxiety is a part of life, it doesn't have to dominate your life. With God as your helper and his promises at your side, you can sleep better tonight and smile more tomorrow. You can talk yourself off the ledge and view bad news through the lens of God's sovereignty. You can discover a life of calm and develop tools for combating the onslaught of anxiety.
Rejoice in the Lord Always
Let Your Gentleness Be Evident to All
Present Your Requests to God
The Peace of God Will Guard Your Heart
Meditate on These Things
Beginning on Wednesday January 30 at 7 pm
in the lounge.
Please let me know if you're planning on coming
to assist with preparation and any copying.
I hope you'll consider taking this time
for you and for God and your
emotional and spiritual well being.
*** Note ... there is no "Lunch & Learn" in January and returning on a new date, the 1st Thurs of the month, February 7 at noon as usual. Pass this along to your friends who join you for lunch, fellowship and learning.
Thurs Jan 17 ... 10:00 am, Communion followed by bible study
Thurs Jan 17 ... 1:30 pm TAB
Sat Jan 19 ... 2 to 4 pm ... Gay Straight Alliance
Sun Jan 20 ... 8:30 & 10:30 am Communion
Mon Jan 21 ... 1 pm Coffee & Chat at Tin Cup
Thurs Jan 24 ... 10:00 am, Communion followed by bible study
Fri Jan 25 ... Family Games Night sponsored by GSA
Sun Jan 27 ... 8:30 & 10:30 am Communion; Foodbank Sunday
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 ... 12 noon St Paul's offering Soup Luncheon at St. Andrews Chalmers
Wed Jan 30 ... 7:00 pm, "Be Anxious for Nothing" series begins
Thurs Jan 31 ... 10:00 am, Communion followed by bible study
We are pleased to be led by Dr. Lydia Pedersen (BA, Mus.Bac., M.Ed., D.Min.), a published hymn writer and workshop leader in the field of hymn writing. Throughout her dual career as music educator and church musician she has championed hymns as a primary source of the formation and expression of personal theology. She chaired the Tunes Subcommittee on the task force that produced the United Church hymnal Voices United (1996), and now teaches an annual seminar on hymn writing at Emmanuel College, Toronto.
The day will provide group and individual guidance and the opportunity to work with others or by yourselves to craft the text of your hymn.
No experience in hymn writing necessary!!!
Come out an explore this creative side
of your faith and spirituality!!!
"Our Spiritual Pantry ..."
As many of you know, I enjoy cooking. What you may not know so much is that I really enjoy creating when I cook. Sometimes it's good to start out with a recipe. But rarely do I stick to it, especially in terms of the ingredients I use. I often find myself using things that are compatible with the recipe that are in the fridge or cupboard. I like to refer to the creation as "kitchen sink" in terms of what's included in the dish.
This week I made a large batch of my pasta sauce which is different every time I cook it. It has the same basic ingredients each time. But it isn't written down anywhere. So, the measurements are what they are and even the what gets added may change depending on what's in the fridge. This time I added some ceasar salad dressing and salsa that certainly added to the flavor and taste.
Yesterday, I put together a fritatta. And, the recipe on the internet just didn't cut it. So I added cottage cheese, sauteed vegetables and salsa. As with the pasta sauce, each time I make my fritatta, it turns out somewhat different but always tasty!
Because of how I cook, I like to have a well stocked pantry and fridge of the basics. I can then pick and choose what to add in making each creation an adventure in the kitchen and at the dinner table.
I like that image too when it comes to our faith and spirituality. God has blessed us with a spiritual pantry that is abundantly stocked with all we need for the journeys of life we travel and the adventures of ministry we venture into. If we open the door and check out what's there ... we have the Word of God in scripture; the tradition of our faith passed from generation to generation; we have the gifts of our minds and the ability to reason; there are the sacraments of the church; we are part of a wide communion of believers close to home and abroad around the world; there are different ways we can pray alone or in community; and at the very center of course is none other than Jesus who empowers us and encourages us to be creative and to use the spiritual pantry God has blessed us with.
I wonder if we're aware of how much God can accomplish through us when we make use of all that is at our disposal in our spiritual pantry. What if we spent more time with God in prayer; or nurtured our faith through a study series; or attended a mid week communion; or if we read our bibles more and reflected on what God is saying to us today? I suspect we would become more faithful in our discipleship and we might well be surprised at the ministry created through the guiding of the Holy Spirit.
We are blessed with all we need to be the disciples and followers of Jesus Christ that we have promised in our baptisms we would be. Let's be attentive to the abundance of spiritual resources God has given to us; let's be intentional about using them. And what a creation God might cook up through you and me and us working together!!
I offer us this prayer as together we use our "spiritual pantry" to be faithful in our ministry as the body of Christ ...
Eternal God You have shown yourself to us as a God of steadfast love and fidelity. You gave us Jesus so that we might know that Your love is steadfast, relentless, and endless; that Your faithfulness is constant, honest, and true.
In the name of Jesus, we come to You as a community of disciples. May our hearts be consumed by Your marvelous love. May our minds be gripped by Your faithful presence. And in genuine response to Your fidelity and love may we in turn become faithful disciples of Jesus.
Send us forth in the Holy Spirit, dear God; send us forth as faithful disciples. In the way we think, talk and act may we bear witness to Christ. Thus may Your steadfast love and fidelity be made known to the whole world. 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!