December 13, 2018

Many thanks to everyone who made a White Gift on Sunday. We received numerous bags of groceries, and $1,130 in donations for WAES.

This week! Sunday, December 16 is our annual Christmas Cantata. The Senior Choir will perform "Canticles in Candlelight, A Cantata for Christmas" by Martin.

Do you receive the United Church Observer? Under our congregational plan, we pick up the cost and gently encourage subscribers to make a $25 donation. See Sue for more details, or to add yourself to the Observer list.

Christmas Blooms! This Sunday (December 16) our Christmas Blooms will appear, and enhance the sanctuary as the choir sings and we mark Advent III. If you are available to deliver a bloom to someone who is homebound, please speak to Joan or Kerri after the service.

Mark your calendar! Christmas Eve includes two services, 7 and 11 pm. The first service includes a sermon and a wee chancel drama, and the late service includes communion and Silent Night. Please plan to attend.

Passionate about gingerbread.

Worship at Central

We call it traditional worship with a twist. The service unfolds with the usual scripture-sermon-prayer format, but the added dimension of congregational participation and lots of interaction. We honour the children with their own place in the service, and prepare them for Church School. We have both Junior and Senior Choirs, an occasional Jazz ensemble and regular solo performances.

We follow the Revised Common Lectionary, which is available here.

This Sunday's Readings:

Luke 1.47-55: "For you have looked with favour on your lowly servant."

Read last week's sermon


Join the Weston King Neighbourhood Centre! The most obvious reason is to vote at the annual meeting, but the underlying reason is to show your support for all the programs at WKNC: drop-in services, housing support, harm reduction, learning kitchen, community gardens, and a social enterprise hub in Mount Dennis. See Wendy to join.

We are delighted to report on our Anniversary Appeal: eleven people responded by adjusting their PAR, and around $1,500 was received in extra funds. We know that some of our envelope friends are also pondering an adjustment to their givings. Thank you for answering our appeal, and supporting our work and worship! We can also report that we have received a generous donation from the Jack Thomas Fund, and have expressed our thanks to the family through the Toronto Foundation.

Do you have photos or mementos for Central's yesteryear? We have a dedicated team of historically-minded people who are gathering and copying material from the past, and will be sharing in the lead up to our 200th anniversary. All items will be returned. Speak to Barb Putnam or Mary Louise Ashbourne.

Three photos of the back of the sanctuary: 1938, 1970, and 2018.

Minute for Mission

Gifts With Vision is back! Each year, the United Church creates a giving catalog that provides an additional way to support the work of our Mission and Service partners around the world. An example:

Your Gift of $75 enables a farmer living with a disability to improve food production with tools, seeds, and training. The Cuban Council of Churches united two goals: encouraging sustainable farming, and creating churches that are more inclusive of people with disabilities. Now, 20 families in four provinces in Cuba receive farming support and pastoral care. Farmers diversify their skills, gain more autonomy, and improve their families’ resilience.

Visit giftswithvision.ca or pick up a catalog at the church.

Being Kind in the Midst of Rage

We have come to yet another time of shopping frenzy, packed shopping mall parking lots, crowded roads and traffic jams. There are long line ups for buses which are crammed with backpacks, weighty shopping bags, strollers and walkers. People are on edge because their credit cards are maxed out and they still feel the need to have all the trimmings of the holidays.

In these dark, cold days there are many around us who are fuelled with rage at their circumstances, and in addition, they are angry about what the media is telling them about starving children, abused women, people leaving their homes seeking economic security while the top ten percent of earners are making even more this year. Many times, the rage is a response to violence committed against vulnerable people. It’s grounded in personal experiences of abuse of power, denial of dignity, manipulation, coercion and harm. Sometimes, it’s a response to a gradual erosion of trust between people.

There are times when rage is justified, but at the same time we want to check ourselves to be sure we still love our neighbours—being kind even while we are angry. When we feel overwhelmed and it might be the time to withdraw to a place where we can breathe deeply and let our kindness come back to the forefront. My Buddhist friend has a place in her home set aside where she rhythmically chants, and I often think that brings her a calmness and positivity that I feel when with her.

As we are praying for our own kindness to show through our actions, remember the vulnerable people who gather below our sanctuary and the staff who are often the target for their rage. You do not need a credit card, a car and too many parties to go to during the holidays to feel frustrated. You can feel frustrated because someone took the best panhandling spot from you, or that no family members invited you for Christmas Day. Or because the packets of cookies ran out before they reached your place in the line, or because you are worn down with being cold all the time.

Barbara Bisgrove

Community Announcements

All events are free unless otherwise noted.

Anonymous Art Show, Art Square Gallery, 334 Dundas West, from December 5 to 16. Art for Cancer Foundation benefit sale with the artist behind each piece remaining a mystery until the painting is sold. Dec 5-16. Opening 6-9 pm, Dec 5. Free admission.

There will be a Holiday Pop-Up Market at 1016 Weston Road and Dennis Avenue, next to the Nyctophilia light display, organized by Mount Dennis BIA. Open weekends December 15-16 and 22-23. Several artisans selling crafts, art, jewellery, Penguin Books and macarons.

"A Child's Christmas in Wales" at Humber Valley United Church, 76 Anglesey Blvd, on Saturday, December 15 at 3 pm. Dylan Thomas' Yuletide favourite read by Don Evans, with seasonal music by the band, ALEX. Refreshments. Free will of donation.

Join the Winter Solstice Celebration, Friday December 21 from 6 to 8 pm under the lights of the Nyctophilia at Weston Road and Dennis Avenue. Fun for the whole family. Photos with Santa, entertainment, fire dancers, giveaways and hot chocolate

In the Library

The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature by David Suzuki.

The economy and global competitiveness are the bottom line for society and governments, or so says conventional wisdom. But what are the real needs that must be satisfied to live rich, fulfilling lives? This is the question David Suzuki explores in this wide-ranging study. Suzuki begins by presenting the concept of people as creatures of the Earth who depend on its gifts of air, water, soil, and sun energy.

Worth a Look

NORAD has been tracking Santa since 1955. Learn the surprising way the tradition began.

2018-19 at Central

See what's coming up in the 2018-19 church year.

About this Blast

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Various kings visit.