Mark's Midweek Musings & Updates

Wednesday December 18, 2019
"The season of generosity ..."

Dear Friends,

It's getting closer to our celebrations of the Christmas season and the gift of the Incarnation. May each of us be blessed by God as we enter into this holy and sacred time. What ever you may be doing for the holidays, and whoever you may be with, I pray that you experience something of the joy and hope that the Christ child brings into our hearts, our lives and our world.

There will likely not be a midweek musings published next week although I will try to get pictures out of the various services.
The wardens and I are pleased to announce that
Jenny Cheong
has accepted the position
as our Director of Music Ministry.

She will begin at St. Paul's on January 1
This past Sunday it was Beth's and my pleasure
to welcome so many from the parish
to our home for the 3rd Annual
Christmas Parish Open House at the rectory.

It was a joy to see so many of you.
We understand too that at this busy time
some couldn't come. We missed you.
Sunday afternoon, we had over 30 people
at our 3rd Annual Community Old Tyme Carol Sing.

We enjoyed singing many of the old favorites
and hearsing some seasonal stories
as well as Stuart on the piano with a rendition of "O Christmas Tree"

Thank you Stuart and to Gail & Judy who read.
This week, the gifts and other items
donated for our Christmas families
were sorted and packed up to be delivered to the drop off location.

Above are photos of Gail and Joy
with their cars full and ready to go.
Siobhan Browne also had her car full too.

Thank you to them, the Outreach Committee
and to everyone who made donations.

The co-ordinators at Sacred Heart
told me that there were hampers for
over 70 families this year.

This goes to show the need
and the level of poverty in our community.
A note from Joy ... 

Thanks to the generosity of everyone at St. Paul's we were able to provide three families with meals for Christmas day and each family member with at least one present. One generous donor gave us sufficient money that we were able to purchase all the perishables we had asked for Zehrs; gift cards to cover. This meant we were able to give the families those cards too. It is amazing just how generous everyone is every year and we are very grateful to be part of this endeavor every year. May you all enjoy a holy and happy Christmas time.

The Outreach Committee
A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who contributed and purchased items and tickets to the TAB/ACW Bake Sale and Raffle.

Raffle winners - Congratulations!

Katharine Gebhardt - socks ... Aidan Carroll - gloves 
Sharon Houston- gloves ... Beth Crook - dishes 
Tammy Meyers - chocolate ... Delfina - food spiralizer 
Peter Noble - Afghan 
Wednesday Dec 18 ... 7:00 pm; Advent Candlelight Communion ... a quiet, contemplative communion service in the dark of the church lit by candles with meditative music ... a moment to spiritually renew amidst the hectic and busyness of preparing for the season
Thursday Dec 19 ... 10 am; Communion followed by bible study at Mae's
Thursday Dec 19 ... noon; TAB Christmas Lunch at Scrambles
Thursday Dec 19 ... 7:30 pm; Choir practice
Saturday Dec 21 ... 7 pm; Longest Night Service
Sunday Dec 22 ... 8:15 quiet communion service & 10:30 am (note time change) Choir Cantata "Emmanuel"
Tuesday Dec 24 ... 10:30 am; Douglas Crossing Christmas Communion ... please note time change
Tuesday Dec 24 ... 4:30 pm Family Christmas Communion service ... 10:30 pm Carol Singing ... 11:00 pm "Almost Midnight Communion"
Wednesday Dec 25 ... 10:00 am; Christmas Day Communion
Sunday Dec 29 ... 8:15 quiet communion service & 10:30 am Communion with Carol singing
This week, the St. Paul's NCD working group  and I
met with our Diocesan coach Michael Peterson
to go through the results of our survey in the fall.

There is much good news to celebrate and give thanks for!!!

Here is a snap shot of the results
with a few highlights from the report ....
  • people believe there is a strong hope for the future of St. Paul's and what God can do in the years to come;
  • we appreciate and value the way we structure ourselves and how that facilitates ministry;
  • people felt their gifts were recognized and the contributions are appreciated;
  • worship is inspiring and engaging;
  • we are creative in how we approach ministry opportunities;
  • we value assistance that is available from outside the parish including from the Diocese;
  • we collaborate in the ministry that happens at St. Paul's
  • people indicated that it is difficult to recognize God's work in their daily lives;
  • we don't generally feel comfortable telling others, even members of our parish family when we have experienced something from God;
  • we don't know that others pray for us and often don't feel comfortable asking someone to pray with us or for us.
The most important thing I take away from these results
is we affirm that we have hope for the future of St. Paul's.

Our challenge to work on is how to translate that faith and hope
into our everyday experience of life 
and an ability to share that with others.

I am excited about the potential these results open up for us
as we discern and move into the future.

Sunday January 19th at 9:30 & 10:45 am
our coach, Michael Peterson
will present a fuller explanation of the results
and how we can interpret them. 

Following the service
we will gather in the parish hall over lunch
and some time together
to discuss what we see and hear in the results
and how we can address the areas where we can grow.
Everyone is welcome and encouraged to come out!!!

We have much to celebrate and give thanks for
here at St. Paul's and in what God is up to through us!!!
"The season of generosity ..."

Isn't it amazing and wonderful the overwhelming response there is at this time of year for people in need. As I said above, we contributed to three of over 70 Christmas hampers that were distributed out of Sacred Heart. And there are other hampers being distributed out of the Salvation Army as well. What an outstanding response from our community to those in need so that they too can enjoy the Christmas season with gifts and food for a meal together.

Generosity comes alive in so many ways. People are very generous with the gift of their time which is often as valuable as any financial contribution they might make. I know we appreciate and value every person and what they are able to do in giving up time to ministries here at St. Paul's. We rely on that in order to do so much of what we do. And it is important to acknowledge our appreciation and say thank you. I hope that each of you knows how significant your contribution is to St. Paul's in all you do and in the time you offer. Thank you!!

As well, it is important to recognize financial contributions too which support the ministry of St. Paul's and the wider church. The wardens and I so appreciate every donation that comes in no matter the value. It represents support and affirmation of the work we are venturing into as disciples of Jesus and ministers of the good news of the gospel.

By way of an update ... last Sunday we reported that we still needed approximately $15000 to make out budgeted donations for 2019. I am pleased to share with you that last Sunday our offering was around $7000, almost half of what we need to meet the budget. That is wonderful news and encourages us to believe that we will make our anticipated budget income for 2019 over the Christmas season.

I have seen and as a result believe that when it comes to any of the resources we need in the parish, both in terms of people's time, talent and treasure, if we are doing what God wants us to do the resources are generously given. We are seeing the results of that here at St. Paul's which is indeed a blessing.

As we approach the end of the year, thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Together we make St. Paul's what it is and contribute to the faithfulness of our life and ministry. May we continue to trust in God who always equips us with what we need to venture into the opportunities to serve Him, each other and the community around us.
I offer us this prayer for a generous spirit ... 
Lord Jesus, may your generosity of spirit
so inhabit our minds and actions
that it becomes second nature for us to be generous too
today, in this Christmas season and all the days of our life. 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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