May 19, 2013
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. We are pleased to have the Rev. Dr. Jim Cooper leading us in worship again this morning. 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.
Please remember to include the following in your daily prayers throughout the coming week.
Sunday, May 19 - Pentecost
Pray that the Holy Spirit will awaken within our congregations a yearning for peace and justice for all in this land.
Monday, May 20 - Victoria Day
Give thanks for times of celebration when we step back from daily labour to enjoy times with friends and family in God’s beautiful world.
Tuesday, May 21
Pray for enthusiasm and creativity as camp staff work towards this summer’s camping season.
Wednesday, May 22
Pray for the Canadian Council of Churches as it meets in Ottawa and engages with members of Parliament on issues of importance to all people of faith.
Thursday, May 23
Pray for The Rev. Eloi Agbanou and the French-speaking African congregation at La Communauté chrétienne Siloé in Montreal, QC. Pray for guidance in this new church development, and that the people will feel welcome and hopeful in a new country.
Friday, May 24
Pray for the General Assembly commissioners as they prepare their hearts and minds for this vital gathering.
Saturday, May 25
Pray for women starting up small businesses in remote communities in Mozambique, supported by Presbyterian World Service & Development. May these businesses help them break free from cycles of poverty.
If a man is proud of his wealth, he should not be praised until it is known how he employs it.
Limitless possibilities: Fati’s story
Fati can’t walk, but this hasn’t stopped her from achieving a remarkable level of success in her life. Her story begins at the Garu Community Based Rehabilitation Centre in Ghana, where she first learned to sew through a vocational training program supported by Presbyterian World Service & Development. She became so good that, although she was once considered an outcast in her community, she is now a sought- after seamstress and operates her own very successful business. Renowned for her talents, Fati even has six apprentices working in her store, all of whom are excited to work with and learn from someone so talented. Stories like these are made possible by the generous support of Presbyterians in Canada. Together we can build brighter futures for the most vulnerable.
General Assembly – 2013
That All May Be One: Many Peoples, One Church
The 139th General Assembly of The Presbyterian Church in Canada will be held Friday, May 31 to Monday, June 3, 2013, at the Newnham Campus of Seneca College in Toronto. The Assembly will be jointly hosted by the Presbyteries of Eastern Han-Ca and Oak Ridges. The theme this year is “That all may be one: Many peoples, one church.”
A Time Called … PENTECOST DAY
Today, Christ’s body, the Church, is born by the power of the Holy Spirit and equipped for service and witness. Today is the story of a spiritual presence so powerful that ordinary people see and do things beyond their own abilities.
Historical Roots of Pentecost
Pentecost is a Greek word meaning Fiftieth Day. It was applied to a Hebrew Festival that happened 50 days after Passover. Christians used the term Pentecost for the celebration of the gift of the Holy Spirit, 50 days after the Resurrection. The earliest records of this feast date back to the 4th century, although Acts 20:16 shows that Paul considered it an important day. It became the alternative date for baptism, after Easter. The British term for Pentecost – Whit Sunday – is taken from an association with the white robes worn for baptism. The account of Pentecost is recorded in Acts 2. Pentecost crowns the Great Fifty Days of Easter.
Finding Meaning in the Tradition
The Bible story is dramatic – full of sound, wind, fire, and extraordinary speech. The result was witness, in word and deed, to the Risen Christ, a new looking outward. Yet, even the author of Acts chooses words carefully, saying there was something like tongues of fire. In the story, we see that the Spirit first chose a community setting to manifest its presence and gifts. The Spirit-filled life is one lived in community, where we hear and live out the call to love one another. We do so by the sustaining presence of the Spirit and the Spirit’s gifts. By the Spirit, we prepare the way for the Lord’s return. By the Spirit, the ministry of Word and Sacraments receives power and authority. By the Spirit, the priesthood of all believers hears God’s call to mission and is equipped.
Questions for Personal Meditation
1. What words would you use to describe the account found in Acts 2?
2. Does this account affect your idea of God?
3. What do you look for as signs of the Spirit’s presence?
Sunday May 26th
Monthly month-end potluck lunch and continuing church visioning meeting.
Sunday, June 30th
Our annual church family potluck picnic and worship service at the Clarkson Farm.
2013 Youth in Mission trip – Malawi
A blog entry from one of our new Malawian Friends
We received our friends from Canada on 4th May 2013 and on 6th May we had a joint tour to Mulanje Likhubula youth centre where we had the following activities. On 6th May we had our friends from different
presbyteries who joined us in team building games. The following day we went to Apasta school where we had a good time with the kids. It was so nice to have activities at Apasta because most of the kids at Apasta are orphans and they need our love and care. On the third day we had time to visit Mulanje Mission Hospital where we had manual work. We maintained the road which was in bad shape. The fourth day is the day I enjoyed the most because we had time to hike the trails at Mulanje Mountain. It was a great day because we spent the whole day at the mountain. It was very exciting to have our friends from Canada because each and
every day we were having a bible study together. We were one family in Christ Jesus, to say the truth. This is an unforgettable event. The friends from Canada were very friendly. We are going to miss them. Hope one day we shall meet again. ---Joseph
First Day of BSHDC
Hello everyone, the only male youth on the trip Jamie MacKinnon writing this blog. I am a 20 year old student from London Ontario and I attend South Nissouri Presbyterian Church in Thorndale Ontario. Today is Monday May 13th and today was the first day with the Blantyre Synod Health and Development Commission (BSHDC). The day started off by attending an orientation with several members of the BSHDC, where the members presented to the youth and leaders from Canada a power point presentation describing all the great work that the BSHDC does. There are four main categories that the BSHDC focus on: Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC), Livelihoods, Health and HIV and AIDS, and Governance and Gender. After the power point presentation, members of the BSHDC and the Canadians traveled to 1 of 18 schools that are funded by the BSHDC for children, which are mostly orphans. There are 70 children that attend the school, with 7 volunteer helpers. There are 38 boys, and 32 girls that make up the population of the youth that attend the school. Out of the 70 children, roughly 35 of the children are orphans. As a group, we split up into three groups to play games and sings songs with the children. Together such games that were played were follow the leader, hot potato and London bridge is falling down, just to name a few. Following this, the whole class came together as one to sing songs and dance as a group. The smiles that were on the faces of the children was enough to warm your heart and make you want to help them anyway possible. Seeing the reaction of the children was enough to make you realize every penny donated for the youth is worth it a thousand times over. Sadly, at 11 45 our time with the young Malawians was up and it was time to go back to Annie’s Lodge for lunch. Following lunch at Annie’s Lodge, the bus left at 2:00 to travel to a Children’s Corner Program where we were greeted with the biggest smiles on the faces of not only the children, but also the teachers, along with loud cheers and singing. Needless to say, the events and games that transpired are memories I will remember for the rest of my life. Playing such games as tug of war against my youth leader, as well as going up against him in a sack race, are just two of the many games/poems/songs that took place. Other games were high jump and jump rope (resulting in minor injuries of some of the youth! but nothing a few band aids can’t fix). There are 90 youth enrolled in the program that gives the children a place to go to before and/or after school. Just because there are 90 youth enrolled doesn’t mean that only 90 show up, today there was an astounding 200 Malawians that showed up to give their thanks and praises to their fellow brothers and sisters from Canada. The kind hearted and selfless teachers (about 7 of them) refuse to turn away a child because they are enrolled. As the day wore on and laughs and cheers were heard for miles around, again it was sadly time for the Canadians to head back to Annie’s Lodge for supper. Leaving all the youth was probably the hardest part of the day, as all the children would come to shake our hand and kneel down before us out of respect. Because each youth wanted to shake the hand of all the Canadians, handshakes quickly turned to high fives so we were all able to say thank you to all of the Malawians. As we trekked back to the bus, the Malawians did not stay behind and accept us leaving….they all followed us back to the bus, still wanting high fives. As the bus drove away, not one child stayed still while waving. It seemed like all 200 children were running after the bus, keeping up quite well and for quite a while. The joy, smiles and laughter of the children brought an even bigger smile to my face. The Malawians have no idea how much they are changing the lives of the Canadians with their faith and are an inspiration that the world should know. God bless all the great work done for these children and each and every one of them deserves the best, Amen. --- Jamie MacKinnon
My Host Family Weekend, from Elizabeth Robinson
Hello everyone! It’s Elizabeth Robinson. Just to introduce myself, I am 17 years old, the youngest person on this mission trip. I have never been so far away from home, and have never participated in such an experience as this before. I was so excited to learn that I would be able to participate in this tip, and I have learned so much in the 10 days that we’ve been here. This past weekend, we were able to each spend the weekend with a host family from some of the congregations within the Blantyre Synod. I was staying with Jack and Atupele Matuvula. (I really hope I spelled those names right!) Jack and Atupele live on the Blantyre Mission grounds, where the Blantyre Synod offices, the Blantyre Synod Health and Development Commission offices, and the main Blantyre Synod churches – St. Michael and All Angels – are situated. They have a two year old son, and three of their relatives live with them. I was extremely blessed to be staying with Jack and Atupele. I was welcomed with open arms as a part of their family, from the moment Jack picked me up at Annie’s Lodge on Friday afternoon, to the moment Atupele said goodbye to me on Sunday night. I will always treasure the time I spent with them. On Saturday, Jack and Atupele took me to meet Sasha and her host family (Jack’s brother and sister-in-law) at the Nyala Park, where we got to see zebras and water buffalo and giraffes and many more animals whose names I’m not entirely sure about. I got some amazing pictures. We also went on Saturday to the Limbe CCAP centre to meet with our whole Canadian youth group and the steering committee of the Blantyre Synod Youth Council. WE were able to discuss some of the issues youth face, both in Canada and in Malawi, and to see the Malawaian youth project for a youth recreation centre. The presentation was very impressive. On Sunday Atupele and Jack took me to a Sunday school nearby, where I got to participate in some songs and Bible verse recitation. The children of Malawi are so active! This particular Sunday school had 365 children who officially come every Sunday! I was amazed at their involvement and energy. Atupele and Jack then took me to meet up with some members of the St. Michael and All Angels congregation, as well as Sasha and Dana, and we went to a church service at the Kichere Rehabilitation Centre. The work being done there to help people recover from surgeries, physical disabilities, strokes and injuries is inspiring. After a wonderful lunch at the manse of St. Michael and All Angels, we were able to gather with the rest of our Canadian group and a huge number of Malawaian youth from four different congregations throughout Blantyre. We expanded on our Saturday discussion about challenges for youth in both Canada and Malawi, and sang and worshiped together. It was wonderful to be able to share these common topics and worship, despite coming from opposite sides of the world. We then participated in the 5 o’clock service at St. Michaels church, which was an informal English service. It was then time for me to collect my bags from Jack and Atupele’s house, and head back to Annie’s Lodge. Saying goodbye to Jack, Atupele, and their son was very difficult, and I hope to keep in close contact with them. That brings us to today . . .But I’ll let one of the others in our group talk about that. I feel like I’ve babbled on for long enough. The others in our group have so many great stories from their home stays. We all learned a lot about Malawi and the role of youth around the world over the weekend. We all look forward to learning even more over the next ten days. Love and prayers from myself and all of us here in Malawi, to you at home. We miss you, and can’t wait to share more of our stories when we get back! God Bless, Elizabeth
As you enter a new week, may you experience God’s presence. May you feel God pouring out the Holy Spirit over your heads and your thoughts and the words of your lips; over your hearts and your feelings and emotions and your compassion for all others; and over your hands and your feet as you put into action all that God commands you.