December 1, 2016

Yes, you read that right. December 1st. Time seems to be accelerating as we speed toward Christmas and 2017. But before we get there, we need to prepare, pause, and rejoice during the following: December 11, White Gift and decorating gingerbread houses; December 18, Choir Cantata; December 24, Christmas Eve worship at 7 and 11 pm; December 25, Christmas Day service, 11 am.

We had a great weekend! The Christmas Concert was lovely, and we are grateful to Taye for organizing. Thanks too to everyone who helped out: singers, servers, and the rest. Thanks to our West Park Hospital volunteers, led by the Church Council Executive. We lit the first Advent candle in worship, and then we sold our talents! I've had Gerry's Red Pepper Jelly on my toast every day since! By the way, between the concert and the sale, we raised over $2,500.

This Sunday (Dec. 4) is our monthly luncheon. Enjoy some food and fellowship before you return to the rest of your Sunday.

Also this Sunday, another chance to contribute to Christmas Blooms, our annual sanctuary decoration program. Flowers are distributed after the service on the 18th to people we know will appreciate a bloom.

Plan ahead for White Gift (Dec. 11): During the service we receive money and non-perishable food items for the Weston Area Emergency Support (WAES) food bank. Money helps WAES buy food in bulk, which is generally cheaper, and also targets a specific need. If you plan to bring food (or food in addition), go for the high-protein items like canned fish, meat, or beans.

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:

Psalm 72: "May your anointed live as long as the sun endures."

Matthew 3.1-12: "Bear fruit worthy of repentance."


Weston King Neighbourhood Centre membership drive has begun. New memberships, renewals—show your support for WKNC and the organization's mission. See Wendy Whiteley for more information.

Move over Dan Brown!

Focus on Giving

Focus on Giving is a new section designed to highlight stewardship within the life of Central: to inspire generosity and give thanks to God for the gifts we have to share. We will be using the resource Called to Be the Church—Salt and Light from United Church, and adapting it to this context. As we share elements of the program, we would appreciate your feedback. Speak to Michael or Kathy Steiner.

This week: Last summer I was invited to join a roundtable discussion for leaders of 'flourishing congregations,' as identified by Ambrose University in Calgary. It was a great discussion, as we were invited to comment on the five marks of flourishing congregations as identified by their initial research. After a series of roundtables across Canada, the group has settled on eight marks: Active spiritual life, sense of belonging, inspiring mission, quantitative growth, empowering leadership, outreach and service, and an active community presence. I think we do fairly well on all eight, retaining our spot as a 'flourishing congregation.'

A Minute for Mission

Gifts With Vision has arrived! The United Church's annual Christmas gift catalog, is a great way to make a difference while you give a thoughtful gift. We have copies at the church, or you can purchase a gift by going to giftswithvision.ca

For the next few weeks we will highlights gifts from the catalog: For $50 you can enroll one student in Bullwinkles's Eatery and Culinary Training Centre's 10-week program. This Woodstock, Ontario program helps trainees develop valuble food skills.

Marking Time

It’s that time of year when I am finding myself going into the 2017 pages of my electronic calendar. I have never done it, but I suppose I could click my way back for years and find what I was doing this time five years ago still saved somewhere in that place where computer stuff lingers.

Over the years, I’ve had different systems for keeping track of appointments; pocket diaries, wall calendars and printouts from electronic calendars. Right now, fortunately, a message comes into my email telling me where I’m supposed to be that day—providing, of course, I’ve entered it when the appointment was made!

I no longer use a wall calendar—however much I enjoy the Canadian scenes, animals or meals depicted in the pictures. But free calendars abound in banks, supermarkets and they come in the mail, often along with some cards and an appeal for you to send money to a charity. Whether we pay for them or not, I think we all hate to thrown them out.

So, I have a solution for you, that my faithful friends are already using. Bring the unwanted cards and calendars to church and give them to me. I, in turn, will pass them along to the drop-in. We all enjoy giving and receiving greeting cards but they are very expensive, so a free supply is most welcomed by the low-income people using the drop-in services. Wall calendars not only brighten a wall in a rooming house, but they offer a way to keep track of appointments. So your unwanted calendars will be scooped up and given homes.

Barbara Bisgrove

Community Announcements

Weston Presbyterian Church Bazaar will be held on Saturday, December 3 beginning at 12 pm. Luncheon, bake sale, raffle, crafts and treasure-white elephant tables.

Cookie Walk at Richview United Church on Saturday, December 3 from 9.30 to 11 am, 149 Wellesworth Drive. Bring your own container, cookies are $5/dozen.

Winter Craft Event at Royal York Rd United Church on Saturday, December 3 from 10 am to 3 pm. Handmade Crafts for all ages. More than 50 made-by-hand vendors, bake sale and cafe.

St. Philip's Jazz Vespers at All Saints Kingsway Anglican Church, 2850 Bloor St. West on Sunday, December at 4 pm. Free.

Knitting & Crochet Circle at the Weston Public Library, December 5 and 12, 1 to 2.30 pm. Join an informal knitting and crochet circle. All skill levels welcome. Please bring your own items/supplies.

The Annual General Meeting of the Weston Village BIA will be held on Thursday, December 8 at 6.30 pm, 2097 Weston Road (Eggsmart). The Weston Village BIA holds its annual general meeting to approve the BIA's budget and general program for 2017.

The Cathedral of St. James presents Creches from Across the World, December 11-22 from 12.30 to 4 pm, Sundays to Thursdays, in the Nancy Mallett Archives & Museum of the Cathedral Centre, 65 Church Street (Adelaide and Church). Different every year from the one before, the annual exhibit features scenes from the Cathedral’s collection. Special activities are available for children and admission is free!

Weston Historical Society will be hosting the 36th Annual old-fashioned Christmas Carol and Hymn Sing on Wednesday, December 7 at 7.30 pm at Weston Presbyterian Church, 11 Cross Street. Donations of non-perishable foods will be accepted at the church for WAES (Weston Area Emergency Support).

In the Library

This United Church of Ours by Ralph Milton.

Except for Bibles and Hymnbooks, no other book has been read and appreciated by as many United Church people. From what to wear and where to sit in church to theology and ethics, Ralph Milton covers it all with his signature easygoing style. Updated with new information, and expanded to reflect a church that is reconciling the past and celebrating the future, this third edition is both informative and revealing.

Worth a Look

Sure, we're a temperance church, but it turns out beer can save bees!

Photo by Cathy Leask

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