Hello folks and Happy Tuesday….we have Advent 1 under our belt and we are onto Advent 2. The Sunday of Peace and we get re-acquainted with one of my favourite characters – John the Baptist as he prepares the way…
This week the Ted Talk is by Chris Hadfield – What I learned from going blind in space.
🌲 Please note that Sunday December 12th is White Gift Sunday. There are envelops as you enter the sanctuary for making a donation by cheque or cash. A monetary donation is really helpful this year so that the folks from WAES can purchase additional supplies needed to make a complete holiday package for our neighbourhood friends. We will be using the story A Charlie Brown Christmas with wonderful music dispersed throughout, to tell our ancient story of Jesus’ birth (and there might even be a real baby with us!).
🌲 Christmas Blooms – just as we have in other years, we are collecting donations of $10 for flowers that will be sent to our folks who aren’t able to get out to regular services. Please consider doing this in memory of loved ones. Envelopes will be available at the welcome desk in the front foyer and please write on the envelop who the donation is in memory of. We plan to distribute the Christmas Blooms the week of December 20th – thank you for helping to brighten the day of our folks! For any further information, please contact Joan Fulford @ 416-248-4339 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
🌲 Sunday December 19th – Advent 4, the Sunday of Love will be a service of well loved Christmas hymns sung by our amazing musicians.
🌲 Christmas Eve – 7:30pm – A family friendly service with communion for those who wish to participate.
🌲 Advent Study with Brad… you are welcome to join our Advent Study at any point this season. Come to one or come to all three sessions. In person, we will gather in the Upper Room (behind the sanctuary) Thursdays at 1pm. For those wishing to participate online, we will meet Thursday evenings at 7pm using Zoom (link posted below). Here are the Thursdays we will meet and what we will cover.December 2nd (Hope), December 9th (Peace) and December 16th (Love and Joy)
Brad Inglis is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Advent sessions…
Time: This is a recurring meeting Thursdays at 7pm
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 848 3582 0445
How is the season for you? For many, we love the holiday season. But for some, it is a challenge and can be different every year. Some just crave a little bit of quiet in the midst of the sparkles and glitter. Perhaps you have lost someone in the last year or a relationship has ended, employment isn’t easy or covid has just left you cold. The Longest Night Service is just about taking a pause in the season for a little quiet and knowing that on the Longest Day of the year – just when we think we can’t take another moment of the darkness, the light returns and the days start to get longer and we are reminded that there is always hope.
Folks come to the Longest Night Service for a variety of reasons. Some come to remember those loved ones whom they especially miss at the holidays. Others come, just to breathe and enjoy the candles and quiet prayer and gentle music that can help to centre us in the midst of the hustle and bustle. Some come as an opportunity for quiet reflection, maybe light a candle for a loved one and just be. All are welcome to join in this short but meaningful service of the season. Let your friends and neighbours know, anyone you think who could use a pause…
📌 Here is an article from my mother’s Doctor, Anne-Marie Zajdlik who posts regularly on Facebook. She shares her wisdom, passion and a little bit of herself in all of her articles and this one is especially timely. If you are a Facebook user, you can sign up for her regular posts.
November 28th, 2021 · OMICRON…..should we worry?When I was 8 years old my father gave me advice that I have continued to follow for the last 50 years. I have an anxiety disorder. I constantly fight to stay calm and not worry. Constantly. I started worrying at the dawn of my self-awareness which was around the age of eight. My father pulled me into scripture and although he was not a religious man, more of a philosopher he was, he knew scripture. The verse he read to me goes like this: Matt 6:26 “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”. I will never forget the moment when my father gave me a reason not to worry. That did not stop me from having a major breakdown in my 30’s after the death of my mother but, with constant work, I did not breakdown when my father died in the midst of a run of deaths and losses in 2013. I know, this page is politically and religiously neutral……most of the time. But there are more verses in the Christian Bible about anxiety than any other topic. And right now, more of us are suffering from mental health problems than ever before.So, from a woman of faith who has worked on anxiety and depression all her life, here is my take on our present situation: Don’t fret. There is a new COVID-19 variant out there. It is called Omicron. It was discovered by some smart scientists in South Africa. It did not come from South Africa, it was discovered there. The South African government did the right thing by sounding the alarm and now all of Southern Africa will pay a price; not a political post so I will stop there but the only light that should be shone on Africa is the light that reveals the inequity in the world and the fact that only 10 % of the population in Africa is fully vaccinated while countries like Canada reach 80 % vaccinated. We are working on it with millions of doses being donated to various African countries but it is not enough and until the entire human population is vaccinated, variants like Omicron will continue to evolve as the virus continues to be given opportunities to replicate among populations that do not have the resources to vaccinate. We as ordinary people have the power to change this.Omicron is a variant of the COVID-19 virus that has 30 more mutations than the delta variant. Will these mutations make it more transmissible? Probably. More deadly? Maybe not. All of this remains to be seen as scientists scramble to learn as much as they can about this variant. I try to imagine teams of scientists working day and night on this thing since it was discovered on November 24/21. Day and night. And, they will find the answers. When people shrug off science and vaccines, it shows a total lack of knowledge about how hard these brilliant people work and how they are working together globally. Minimizing their credibility and the power of this virus is nonsense.But, the experts are there. Working tirelessly. So far the countries where cases are spreading are countries that are under-vaccinated ( 60 % or less) which makes sense. The unvaccinated remain a large group of hosts that have no defence against any variant of COVID-19. It remains to be seen whether or not our tremendous work to crush the delta variant will protect us from Omicron. I like the words of Dr. Isaac Bogoch. He tweets: “I hope we can approach the Omicron variant of concern with empiricism, caution, and humility, rather than some of the wild speculation we’ve seen over the past few days.” Ah….a man of great wisdom. My father was a man of great wisdom too. So here is our job as we watch and wait to see what Omicron will do: Stay calm. Do not be anxious. Get vaccinated. Wear a good quality mask in public even when those around you are vaccinated (hey, Guelph Storm fans, a small minority of you are not wearing masks during the games, get them on). Wear a mask and keep your distance in public spaces where the vaccination status of those around you is not known. Limit indoor gathering to < 25. Keep a window open a crack to make the ventilation in the room in which you are gathering a place where the COVID-19 virus has difficulty landing in your nostrils. Make sure the vulnerable who are eligible have a third dose. Third doses are crushing COVID-19 in eligible groups. Should we all have access to third doses? I think so and I think we will. Let’s get those kids vaccinated first. Will two or three doses protect against Omicron? Maybe. That remains to be seen but Canada is in good shape. There is a wall of protective vaccines around us. Almost 80 % of Ontario and Canada are fully vaccinated. That needs to be closer to 90 % but it is a great number.So sit back and keep doing what you have been doing. We may have been a bit lax in the last several months. The threat of Omicron, whether serious or not, should remind us to get back on track. We have got this…..too. But lets get vaccines to the world and stop the threat of variants.
Final call for Sell Your Talents! You can use this link to see what is left in our Online Market and make your last minute purchases…Saturday December 4th is pick-up day at noon.…many, many thanks to our contributors, our shoppers and Kathy Steiner or organizing the market!
Our location on the historic Carrying Place Trail (Weston Road) reminds us that we meet on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Petun, Seneca and, most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit. We hope this ancient path will be a symbol of our desire to walk with Indigenous peoples in a spirit of reconciliation and respect.
Central United Church, 1 King Street, Weston, ON M9N 1K8 | Phone: (416) 241-7544
Rev. Brad can be reached by leaving a message at the church office or by his cell phone (416) 268-7592 and by email at email@example.com. Please don’t hesitate to contact him if you would like to set up a visit or for urgent matters.