Fourth Sunday of Advent
December 23, 2012
Welcome one and all to Claude Church
We welcome everyone here today. We hope that you feel comforted in our fellowship and inspired by our worship, and that you will leave here refreshed and inspired in your personal life.
Our guest Preacher this morning is Emma Duncan. Welcome to Claude, Emma and thank you for your leadership in worship.
If you are visiting us for the first time today, please sign our guest book in the front entrance vestibule. If you are looking for a church home, we invite you to return and consider worshipping with us on a regular basis.
Christmas Eve Service
Christmas Eve is a time to relax and slow down and focus on the real reason why we celebrate Christmas. It is been a tradition at Claude Church for many years for us to have a Christmas Eve worship service of special readings and Christmas Carols. This tradition continues this year. The service begins at 7:00 pm and we hope to see you here.
Claude Book Club
he next meeting of the Book Club will meet on Wednesday, January 9 at 7:00 pm at Harstones to discuss The Wayfinders by Wade Davis. If you enjoy reading, get yourself a copy of this book and then come and join in our discussion.
Offering Envelopes for 2013
e have a supply of unused offering envelopes left over from previous years and rather than discard them, we plan to use them for the
coming year. This means you will be issued a new envelope number other than the one you have had in previous years. Russ McGillivray has the envelopes so please see him and make sure he records your new number on his list.
Please remember to include the following in your daily prayers throughout the coming week.
Sunday, December 23 - 4th Sunday of Advent
Pray for those for whom Christmas is a season of unwelcome solitude or distressing memory. May they find good company and consolation.
Monday, December 24 - Christmas Eve
On this very special night, pray that the angelic words will ring in our hearts, "Do not be afraid; for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people."
Tuesday, December 25 - Christmas Day
Pray that the celebration of the birth of Jesus will bring joy, love and a renewed vision of justice for all people around the world.
Wednesday, December 26 - Boxing Day
In the midst of celebrations, pray that the table of friends and family will be extended to those who are sad and lonely.
Thursday, December 27
Pray for Lieutenant Commander Bonita Mason who is currently serving as a military chaplain in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and for her ministry with those under her care.
Friday, December 28
Thank God for financial and prayer support received from congregations for Presbyterians Sharing in 2012.
Saturday, December 29
Pray for differently-abled people in Ghana as they discover their abilities and are empowered through the vocational training and support they receive at Presbyterian World Service & Development’s Garu Centre.
Equipping future ministers in Malawi
Gifts to Presbyterians Sharing support The Rev. Dr. Todd Statham, his wife Annika and their children, Sophia, Mio and Aliko Beatrice in Malawi. Todd serves the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) as a lecturer at Zomba Theological College. As he negotiates and tries to bridge the considerable cultural differences between himself and his students, he welcomes the challenges and opportunities he faces in his ministry in Malawi. He shares, "Christianity here is exploding numerically. It is exuberant, energetic, colourful and chaotic – and my students reflect all this newness, wonder, passion and excess in their questions, comments and class discussion." Pray for Todd as he helps the CCAP to equip these future ministers, so that they can serve people who are hungry for the gospel.
A society can be judged by the way it treats its most disadvantaged, its least beloved, its mad. As things now stand, we must be judged a poor lot, and it is time to mend our ways. Lewis Thomas, physician and poet
Help Fill Our Food Sharing Box
At this time of year, all of the local Food Banks struggle with an increased demand for help from their clients and their supplies of food run very low. We appeal to you to bring an item of food with you each Sunday and place it in our Food Sharing Box which will be located in the Sunday School Hall. Please help us fill our box each week.
Evangel Hall Mission in Toronto Celebrates 100 Years of Community Service at an Event on Jan. 6
For 100 years, Evangel Hall Mission has helped homeless and socially-isolated individuals find a safe haven from the streets. Every day, Evangel Hall feeds, clothes and finds shelter for up to 200 men and women, providing them with material, emotional and spiritual help that breaks the bonds of loneliness and despair.
On Sunday, January 6, 2013, at 10:00 a.m., at Knox Presbyterian Church, Agincourt, Evangel Hall will host an event to celebrate 100 years of community service. The Rev. Katherine McClusky of Evangel Hall will bring the message. Lunch will follow with a presentation by Walter Lindstone of The Bear That Stands Cultural Education and Resource Service. The presentation will focus on Aboriginal issues. There will be a free will offering, with donations of $10 or more receiving a tax receipt.
All are welcome to attend! For more information, email Alton Ellis or call 416-516-3842.
Knox Presbyterian Church, Agincourt 4156 Sheppard Avenue East Toronto, ON
Where the homeless go on Christmas Day
The Toronto Star
There will be no shortage of volunteers for the two sittings of Christmas dinner at Evangel Hall Mission, a downtown housing centre for Torontonians in need. But when the cleanup is finished after the evening meal, it will still be a winter Tuesday. And on Tuesdays, Evangel Hall runs the only Out of the Cold program in the city.
"I think it is a sad indictment of the lack of affordable housing that people have to spend Christmas at an Out of the Cold location, nevertheless we will be offering a special meal and making the day as festive as possible," said Joseph Taylor, executive director of Evangel Hall.
But Taylor has a deeper worry. There are only 15 churches and shelters that open their doors to people who need a warm place to spend the night. When Out of the Cold began in the mid-1980s, there were 45. "Volunteers age or burn out or they help at Christmas and that’s not the answer," Taylor said.
"People have to demand that our political leaders treat housing as a priority. If they keep loading the burden on the charitable sector, they’re going to kill it."
He admits that he and other compassionate Canadians are partly to blame. "Every time there’s a vacuum, we run to fill it." But would it be better to let people die of hypothermia or hunger? Would it be better to close the food banks; wind down the Out of the Cold program; stop caring?
He can’t. Neither can any of the other overworked foot soldiers in the fight against poverty.
Evangel Hall is a gem in a city desperately short of affordable housing. The $14.5-million building with 84 rent-geared-to-income units opened six years ago, replacing a crowded three-storey storefront the Presbyterian Church had operated for 93 years. It is impeccably clean and well-designed with a dedicated medical clinic and rooms for work skills programs and confidential counselling. Although it was intended to give the homeless a chance to get back on their feet and move on, most of the original residents are still there.
They can’t find affordable housing. The supply of rooming houses — normally the cheapest option available — is dwindling as developers knock down old buildings to put up condominiums. In addition to that, they can’t offer a landlord the first and last month’s rent. That problem will worsen in January when the Ontario government cancels its community start-up and maintenance benefit, which provided social assistance recipients who met its qualifications with an $800 lump-sum payment once every 24 months, to provide the rent deposit on an apartment, replace furniture infested with bedbugs or pay overdue utility bills.
Taylor understands that these are straitened times. What he doesn’t understand is why people with the least — those who depend on food banks and homeless shelters and the charity of strangers — fall to the bottom of the priority list when money is tight.
He sees little prospect of more affordable housing being built. "Very few non-profit organizations can come up with the sort of money we raised — roughly $10 million — and we’re still drowning in debt."
At minimum, he would like to see more rent supplements. He would like to see more condominium developers designing a few units in their buildings as affordable housing, like Tridel is doing in its 62-storey tower at 10 York St. And he would like to see Toronto Community Housing get back into the business of building social housing.
Taylor will be tempted, as he is every Christmas, to ask the folks who show up for kitchen and dining room duty: "Could you help on Boxing Day? Or the day after that?"
But he’ll hold his tongue. He doesn’t want to be ungrateful or denigrate their contribution.
"It’s a band-aid," Taylor says. "But it’s better than watching a wound bleed."
Coming in January
Claude Salon Speaker
J. Randy Attwood Heritage Dark Sky Preservation and Light Pollution Abatement Sky glow and Scotobiology and the Practice of LPA
Sunday, January 13, 2013, 7:30 pm Tickets $5 online at www.ticketscene.ca or $10 at the door
Randy Attwood is a Senior Editor at SpaceRef Canada Inc and is Managing Editor of the magazine Space Quarterly. He is a resident of Mississauga and has been looking up at the night sky for over 40 years. He is the founder and Past-President of the Mississauga Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. He is a Past President of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada - Canada's national astronomy organization. He has appeared on CTV, CBC, GLOBAL and the Discovery Channel to provide background information for space and astronomy related stories. He has covered 12 space shuttle launches and landings as a journalist and photographer. He has travelled to various places around the world to observe and photograph total eclipses of the sun. Asteroid 260235 was renamed Asteroid Attwood in his honour.
Coming in February
Music Workshop – Genticorum
Sunday, February 10, 2013 - 2:30 pm
Tickets $20 online at www.ticketscene.ca or $25 at the door
Claude Parlour Concert – Genticorum
Sunday, February 10, 2013 - 7:30 pm (doors open at 6:30 pm)
Tickets $20 online at www.ticketscene.ca or $25 at the door
ow many lives shall I touch today? How many neighbours will pass my way? I can bless so many and help so much, If I meet each one with a Christ-like touch. —Jones