From Jim’s Desk:
Keep Christ in Christmas! This is a familiar saying this time of year; whether it’s someone objecting to the latest design on a takeout coffee cup or the outrage when a store puts up a banner that says “Happy Holidays!” I’ve heard this statement from frustrated grandparents after being at their grandchild’s school “winter concert.” I myself get frustrated this time of year at how little the birth of a child is accounted for as we travel through December. There really is a “reason for the season.” I too want to keep Christ in Christmas but I think maybe we’re often going about this the wrong way.
If we want to keep Christ in Christmas, let’s think about what Jesus wanted to mean for the world. Would he care that people are saying “happy holidays?” I can’t be sure but in the Gospels, this kind of thing drove him into a tizzy. The scribes and pharisees were always going on about strict adherence to this rule or that but time and time again, Jesus would remind them that it’s love of neighbour and compassion for those in need that are central to God’s law. Maybe then, the next time someone wishes you a happy holiday, instead of seeing this as a snub of Jesus, see Jesus in the kindness of someone greeting you in a way in which they feel comfortable. Besides this, the word holiday means holy day and isn’t this what Christmas is?
The reality of our city and world is that there are many religions, traditions and ethnicities and we’re all going to have to learn to get along. If Jesus can assert that even a Samaritan can be our neighbour and deserve our love, we too should be ready to offer compassion, respect and love to our diverse Moose Jaw community.
Still, I too feel the need to find Christ in a holiday that has been turned into a tinseled greed fest. How do we do this? How do we put our Christian gift tag on the present to the world this holiday should be? If we remember what Jesus did and taught, we might get some ideas:
Be on the lookout for someone who may be alone or need some extra help.
Remember that not everyone finds this holiday joyous – maybe it’s a reminder of what they’ve lost, or maybe they feel something is wrong simply because they don’t feel the joy they’re “supposed to.” Maybe there’s someone you know who could use your compassion.
Maybe instead of another toy under the tree, you could give a child some money, then spend some time with them deciding what charity they’re going to give that money to. This is a gift of your presence as well as a way of teaching generosity.
There are many ways we can bring Christ into this season but rarely do they involve feeling offended or angry. Welcoming Christ never involves dividing us and them. In a few weeks, we’ll be celebrating the birth of God’s love – let’s live, speak, pray and love and then you might just find Christ.
Rev. Jim Tenford
Worship, Music and Faith Formation Committee
– I want to thank my committee for all their assistance while I have been away due to illness.
– Worship in St. Andrew’s continues to be a blessing under the leadership of Rev. Jim Tenford. The choir continues to lead us in music. Thank you to Karen and Hannah for their music and Tom Coward for the drums, which add much to the music.
– Advent and Christmas are fast approaching and special services will be held each Sunday to prepare us for the celebration of the birth of Jesus.
– Thank you to Christina Ritchie for taking over leadership of the Sunday School. It is a joy to have the young enthusiastic children share our worship time.
– A special service was held for Remembrance Sunday. Thanks to all who participated.
– We were pleased to welcome Susan Dokken as leader of our worship while Jim was away on a well-deserved holiday.
– Please make note of the Advent services and the Christmas Eve Service which will be at 9:00 pm on December 24th, 2016.
November 27th, 2016 . Sandwich Sunday
December 4th, 2016
December 11th, 2016. Food Bank, Sandwich Sunday. Christmas Concert after Lunch
December 18th, 2016
Christmas Eve – December 24th, 2016. Worship Service 9:00 p.m. Communion & Candle lighting
A Sunday school teacher was telling her class the story of the Good Samaritan. She asked the class, “If you saw a person lying on the roadside, wounded and bleeding, what would you do?” A thoughtful little girl broke the hushed silence, “I think I’d throw up..”
– The projects and activities we did throughout the year were:
– Movie & Social throughout the year
– Spring Tea & Bake Sale on April 16th.
– Family Day on May 8th … Carnations were distributed.
– New Members Supper on June 9th
– Mitten Tree – set up on October 16th
– Trade Fair show on November 5th
– Church Christmas Concert on December 11th.
– Salvation Army Kettle’s Campaign on December 14th
Donations made by the Committee were:
– To the Phoenix Academy, $200.00 in April and $200.00 in October.
– To Hurricane Assistance for Haiti …. $200.00.
We wish to thank our St. Andrew’s Church Family for all their help and assistance throughout the year.
Merry Christmas to all and Happy New Year.
The UCW women are most often found in the kitchen cooking, voicing opinions on current events and enjoying great camaraderie.
Since our last communication and summer recess we
– held a salad lunch in June and hosted a luncheon for our octogenarians. We have catered to four funeral receptions, held a Peach Social, made forty pies for our Annual Beef Supper, held our annual beef supper and catered to a turkey supper for Beta Sigma Phi women.
– The chairlift has been installed and we are grateful to the Trustees for their donation to this project.
– We continue to give “welcoming loaves” to visitors and newcomers to our Sunday morning services. Coffee and cookies after Sunday service for a time of conversation and fellowship with the exception of the 3rd Sunday of each month which is known as “Sandwich Sunday”. Thanks to all who willingly make sandwiches.
– Each month we cater to a luncheon for our men’s group.
– This year we have donated $18,000.00 to St. Andrew’s Church as well as paying over $11,000.00 for the chair lift and necessary electrical wiring.
– As always we thank everyone for their support and assistance in all our activities.
1. December 3 – coffee and lunch for a Bridge Tournament
2. December 8 – Christmas lunch at Grant Hall.
3. December 15 – Banquet for Prairie Hearts Quilters.
The property committee has had a busy year with the day to day problems and a number of projects that were completed with the help of other church committees.
- Installed closet in main floor coat area, replaced second floor and main floor washroom floor coverings and painting of main floor washrooms, replaced bench for Garden of Memories, purchased a chair lift and painting of Athabasca street entrance and hall was completed.
- A CPR course was presented with 8 persons attending.
- Thank you to the volunteers that helped with the projects.
Bev Boyle, Property Committee
What is happening in Sunday School:
Christina Ritchie is the Sunday school teacher at St. Andrew’s and welcomes all children ages 18 months to 8 years. One requirement for the families is to fill out a Sunday school registration form so Christina can get to know the children and their parents and have their contact information so she can inform you of upcoming school events.
With the upcoming Christmas concert on December 11 she would like to have the children involved during the offering part of the service and have the children sing Deck the Halls. For the Christmas concert itself the children will be dancing with their hearts to the song Jingle Bell Rock and We Wish You A Merry Christmas. The children will walk among the audience and hand out a little Christmas treat.
This will be a wonderful time and would like to invite all children to join us at St. Andrew’s United Church.
WEDDINGS IN 2016
Names Wedding Date Officiated by
Neil Wallace Johnson &
Sarah Lynne Stewart June 18th, 2016 Rev. Helen Prior
Rory James Bax &
Vannessa Rae Jaeger August 13th, 2016 Rev. Jim Tenford
William J.A. Stevens &
Heather Lynette Milligan August 13th, 2016 Rev. Jim Tenford
(Wedding was held in Wakamow Valley Park)
Baptisms in 2016
Child’s name: Trent Patrick Christie
Parents: Patrick Christie and Chantel Bigoraj
Date of Baptism: March 13th, 2016
Child’s Name: Ava Mae Caplette-Tarrant
Parents: Dustin Allan Caplette-Tarrant &
Krysta Lyn (nee Wickenhauser)
Date of Baptism: August 28th, 2016
Funerals in 2016
Name of Deceased Date of Death Date of Funeral
Wadsworth, Emma March 1st, 2016 March 11th, 2016
Member/Adherents passed away in 2016
Name of Member/Adherent Date of Death
Ethel “Essie” Shiels January 7th, 2016
Vernetta Griffith February 29th, 2016
Emma, Wadsworth March 1st, 2016
Lyla Lindell March 15th, 2016
Fred Nash April 22nd, 2016
Shirley Kellington June 18th, 2016
Evelyn Gilmour June 19th, 2016
Doug Crosbie August 9th, 2016
December – Newsletter # 16