For all of the wonderful feelings of delight and nostalgia;
for all the beautiful music and over-the-top decorations;
for all the feasting and the phone calls to far-off family as we prepare to celebrate Christmas in a few days, the original version was actually more like a case study for Murphy’s Law.
(You know about Murphy’s Law, I’m sure:
“If anything can go wrong it will”.)
Luke’s story of the birth of Jesus, the Saviour of the World,
the long-awaited Messiah, the Son-of-God and Son-of-Mary was actually a long litany of things gone wrong…
The unwed couple expecting a baby;
The forced journey to another city by a violent political regime;
The lack of accommodation for this displaced couple;
The birth of their son in a barn surrounded by animals;
The fact that the only people who know or seem to care are the shepherds (the lowest members of that society)
It’s no wonder that Mary kept thinking about these things, wondering what they meant. I think she must have been in shock!
So why is the celebration of the Nativity – Christmas, as we commonly call it – why is it not just the longest running comedy at your local theatre? Because it is more than sentiment and candles; even more than a universal appeal for peace, safety and a little comfort and joy.
Whether you count yourself as particularly religious or not, there is something about this festival that connects. That something is hope. Hope that even if things do not go as planned, new life breaks forth; even in a Murphy’s Law kind of situation, God arrives.
We celebrate that God appears to the less than perfect and the less than powerful – by the angels’ appearance to the shepherds, we are reminded that God is willing to appear to any who will listen. In the least likely of places, at a moment when you are least expecting the Holy, there is the divine one embodied in a child, or your neighbour, or your parent.
Even though our experiences in life and our understanding of the world in which we live can lead us to cynicism or despair,
the message of the angel still calls to us: “Do not be afraid…this is good news of great joy.”
Jesus, the child whose birth we celebrate
comes with hope for new life, new horizons, new beginnings …
in ways we have yet to imagine, let alone ask for.
Here at St James we are the not-perfect who live this god-with-us hope from week to week in our worship experiences, in our care for others, when we have lunch together, or when we plan for a children’s event. We invite you to join us in our journey with the one who was born in a barn.
For our hope is in the living God, who is the saviour of all people and particularly of all believers.
Timothy 4: v. 10
Up and Coming…
Sat. Dec. 15th – 8 am Men’s Group Open TableBreakfast
Attendance will be open to other members (men, women and children) in the community, including food bank clients, those in need, and people who may live alone and would simply enjoy support and fellowship. If you know of someone who might enjoy attending this breakfast and singing some Christmas carols, feel free to let them know.
Monday Dec. 24th – Christmas Eve
4:00 pm Family Eucharist with Christmas Story and Carols
7:00 pm Candlelight Eucharist with Carols
11:00 pm Choral Eucharist with Choir
Carol Singing at 3:45 pm and 10:45 pm.
Tuesday Dec. 25th – Christmas Day
9:30 am Holy Eucharist with Carols
Our Gifts to the Community…
Update on collections
Kathy Pitcher reports receiving 16 glasses with cases, 16 glasses alone, 419 soup labels, 1/2 lb used stamps, 2 kg pull tabs and 462 labels. Thank you to all who have dropped off these donations!
“Jesus – the Reason for the Season”
The members of the F.A.I.T.H. youth group, some church school children, their parents, grandparents, some parishioners and Father Ross braved the cold and participated in the annual Manotick Christmas Parade on Saturday December 1st.
After the parade we joined some of the residents at
Hyfield Place for hot chocolate, coffee, tea and gingerbread cookies and sang Christmas carols.
(Our thanks to the youth for the cookies that had been made and baked by the them at our “make and bake” Christmas cookie day.)
Christmas Tree Dedication and Lighting
Our new tree outside of the church was decorated by the F.A.I.T.H. youth group on Wednesday evening and on Thursday the Christmas lights were switched on and Father Ross dedicated the new tree. Our choir, members of the F.A.I.T.H. youth group, some parishioners and a few of our neighbors joined in song around the tree in what may become an annual St James event.
Visit to Carleton Lodge
The children of St. James’ Church School had their annual Christmas visit to Carleton Lodge to visit the residents this past Sunday. After handing over 2 large banners from St. James, Caitlyn Hellard read a story and the group sang for the residents.
2nd annual Gingerbread Church decorating Advent Activity
Once again this event hosted by the F.A.I.T.H. youth group
was a resounding success. All 25 churches were purchased and decorated and 4 of the decorated churches were donated back
to be taken to some of our parishioners who are unable
to get out this Advent season. Fifty two people stayed after the 10:00 am service and decorated churches, ate pizza and had a visit from Father Christmas. Although this event was not a fundraiser, an additional $63.00 was collected and will be
donated to the Christmas Exchange.
Waupoos Family Farm
On a few December days, several men from the St James men’s group travelled out to Waupoos Farm, at Bowesville and Rideau Rd, to do some renovation and repair work to one of the cottages, which they have adopted.
The cottage, about 800 sq feet, is one of 6 in this Christian community offered for a weekend or week vacation to Ottawa and area families that would otherwise have no opportunity for a holiday.
We give thanks to Centura Flooring for their donation of flooring.
Please see Waupoos Family Farm if you are interested in learning more about them or wish to make a donation.
Thank you to everyone who so generously donated items for the family, to the Manotick Food Cupboard, and other activities during this Christmas season and the past year.
We wish you, and your families, all a Merry Christmas!
Opportunities to Give…
Altar Guild-Donations or Memorials
for the Christmas Services.
Donations to the glory of God for the plants and flowers are welcome. Please note your memorial request on the flower chart or contact Ann Coles, 613-692-0738 or the office by December 16th. Cheques made payable to St James (memo Flower Fund) may be put in an envelope from the pew & placed on the collection plate.
prayerfully made by ACW, are on sale in Tomkins’ Hall after the 10 am service or from Sam in the office. Small $5, Large $10.
Warm Their Hearts
Between now and Christmas help make our Christmas tree glow with the warmth of mittens, scarves and hats for adults and children which you use to decorate it. Donations of gently used adult winter coats and jackets will fit nicely under the tree with thanks!
Cornerstone Christmas Wish List
This year Cornerstone Housing for Women will provide supportive housing for 68 homeless women, and emergency shelter for over 400 women. If you would like to help them make Christmas special
for these ladies please take a look at their “wish list” below.
Gift Cards! For Tim Horton’s, Giant Tiger, Dollar Store, Subway, Shoppers, Metro ($3,5 or $10)
New undergarments, pajamas, slippers, hats and mitts
DVDs, puzzles and crafts
Donations may be placed in the white “laundry” basket in the entrance by Sunday, December 16.
Messy Church is Coming to St. James
Messy Church needs YOU! Messy Church is coming to St. James in Lent 2013. We are in need of 4 Team Leaders to get Messy Church off the ground. If you have an interest in planning art activities, meals, worship service, or advertising, Messy Church would love to have you on the team. For more information about joining the Messy Church team or if you want to know more about Messy Church, please contact