It seems not to matter what one’s personal background is in terms of faith or culture or nationality: in our part of the world we all find a way to celebrate ‘The Holidays’.
There is much preparing of good things to eat, and purchasing of gifts to give, and planning for family gatherings even as we rush off to a surplus of musical concerts and a multitude of other social events. During the coldest, darkest part of the year in our northern hemisphere we set our neighbourhoods and houses ablaze with lights and symbols of cheer and warmth. And when it would be easiest to hibernate in isolation, we plan ways to get together and share ourselves and our gifts with others.
In some Christian circles there is a bemoaning of the fact that Christmas – the celebration of the birth of Jesus, the Christ – has become something other than what it should be. There is some validity to this concern, especially when the frantic nature of the ‘Holiday Season’ produces more anxiety, isolation and despair than it does hope, peace, joy and love.
However, the seasonal celebrations at the time of the winter solstice did not begin with Christianity, but have been practiced by those of all kinds of religions and cultures for millennia. These festivals underscore the human need to seek hope in darkness and healing from despair.
The Christian festival of Christmas has special, holy significance for us, and is the fulfilment of all that is longed for in our culture and our neighbours. That chaotic whirlwind of activity that takes over everything at this time is also where God is, the God who seeks to be integrated into every aspect of life – social, political, economic and psychological.
Let us have a blessed Christmas as we celebrate with others the light that comes into
darkness and the love which overcomes despair.
“I am the light of the world.
If you follow me,
you won’t have to walk in darkness,
because you will have the light that
leads to life.”
John 8 v. 12
Drawing by Gwen (done at a recent baptism)
Up and Coming…
Saturday Dec. 3rd
Manotick Christmas Parade – This is an inter-generational event!
Join our children and youth as we march down Main Street – let’s show Manotick that we are a crowd to be reckoned with! We will be meeting at the arena at 12:30 p.m. – or if you would
prefer, join us along the parade route. After the parade, we will be joining up back at the
church for the Christmas Tree lighting, hot chocolate, cookies and Christmas Carols led by
Sunday Dec. 4th
Christmas Outreach Gift Bags for Centre 454
Please bring in the gift bags for Centre 454’s Christmas Celebration being held on December 8th. There is a drop box located at the back of the
church. Please attach a gift tag (that can be found at the back of the church) to your gift bag and indicate if your gift is for a female or male and for what age group. Centre 454 provides hospitality, counselling, crisis intervention, practical supports and social recreational activities to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Gingerbread House Decorating & Hot Dog Lunch
FAITH Youth Group will holding a fundraising event for the entire parish on Sunday, December 4, 2011 after the 10:00 a.m. service. The cost for this event is $10 per house and lunch is $2 per person (hot dog, chips and a drink). Rumour has it that a SPECIAL visitor will be dropping by. Raffle tickets are also on sale from the Youth for a decorated Gingerbread House donated by the Gingerbread Man store in Manotick. Tickets are 1 for
$2.00 or 3 for $5.00. All funds raised will go to travel costs for the youth to attend the Aug.
2012 CLAY conference in Saskatoon. Come and support the future leaders of our church.
Sunday Dec. 11th Christmas Outreach for the family
If you signed up to donate items for the family we support at Christmas, please bring them to church so the items can be delivered to the family in time for Christmas.
Annual Christmas Visit to Carleton Lodge Church school children will be visiting the residents of Carleton Lodge and will also sing Christmas carols. The children will be leaving immediately following the Youth Chat
with Fr. Ross.
Lessons and Carols Service
This popular event will be held at the 10 a.m. service.
Wednesday, December 14th Parson’s Pub
Location and time will be posted in our Sunday bulletin announcements.
Sunday Dec. 18th Annual Christmas Pageant The pageant will be held during the 10 a.m. service. Come and join the children in celebrating what is usually an “unforgettable” presentation of the Christmas story.
Many thanks to the ladies of A.C.W. (Anglican Church Women) and their helpers for all their work in making the Christmas Fayre a huge success. Santa Claus and the St. James Choir made appearances. See more photos on our
website at Christmas Fayre.
Approximately $4,000 was raised and a great time was had by all.
Opportunities to Give…
If you are looking for Christmas gift ideas, why not consider purchasing one of the following items from the church:
Christmas puddings – on
sale after the 10 a.m. service or from Sam in the office. Small $5, large $10
Craft items, baby clothing,
Christmas decorations, etc – will be offered for sale on Sunday, Decembe 11th after the 10:00 a.m. service.
Grocery cards – great gift ideas for students living away from home,
newspaper delivery people, teachers, scout/brownie leaders, team coaches etc. Cards come in $25, 50,100 and $250 denominations and can be purchased after the 10 a.m. service or from Sam during office hours.
Anglican church calendars –
If you would like to receive your own offertory envelopes for weekly giving,
or you are currently signed up as a PAR (pre-authorized remittance) giver and would like to increase your monthly givings, please contact the
Envelope Secretary or Sam Hills in the office.
There are still quite a few boxes for 2012 that have not been picked up, please check in the church entrance to see if your envelopes are there.
As we approach the end of another
year, it is time once again for us to look
at the coming year for St. James. The
members of this parish have already been
asked to suggest which ministries will best
suit our communities in the years to come.
In 2012, we will be continuing with the work
that has already begun and will be coming up
with a concrete plan to capture our vision.
We, the Wardens, will be tasked with
managing this vision in terms of our
financial base. The daily cost to operate
our church is projected to be approximately
$780 for 2011, our daily receipts so far
this year have been $725 per day.
If you did not pick up a letter at
church on this past Sunday, you should
receive it in the mail this week. We ask
that you prayerfully consider your
contributions for the coming year and how
best you can help your church. We also
would like to suggest that you look at the
CRA Charitable Donations Tax Credit
Estimator to get an idea as to how much
tax credit you may receive for your 2011
donations. This will give you an idea as to
how much you are comfortable in giving going
We would like to thank you for all
the time, talent or treasure that you have
given to our church community this past
Shirley Hilchuk Wayne Whitney Janet Harris-Campbell Roger Soler