DH Update 7, Epiphany Week 1 Wed. January 11, 2023
Wednesday Meditation (John 1:29)
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, "Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
In Latin, many Christians recite, “Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis. (Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.” During the Mediaeval times, this short phrase was chanted as prayer. This prayer served two purposes. First, as in line with what John the Baptist did, when we say it we are witnessing to the world that Jesus is the lamb of God and through him our sins are forgiven. Second, as a prayer of the faithful, it is an acknowledgment that only through Christ our sins are forgiven. This prayer is the expression of our faith in Christ.
Roman Catholics still say this prayer as part of their liturgy. Presbyterians do say it here and there, but not as regularly and not as often. Yet, we hear this phrase sung everywhere in classical and non-classical music. Today, I hear it as the confession of the sins of this world before God. Let me explain. The secular world no longer is concerned about sins. Sins are blatant and openly committed. No one worries over the consequences of sins. Liars lie openly and without shame. Killing is part of life everywhere. Theft is happening in every corner of our economic life. The world, in other words, is incapable of knowing how deeply humanity is broken and damaged. It no longer has language or soul to express this brokenness. In this world of sin, this short phrase points a way to life for this death filled world. By these simple words, people are reminded that there is a world where life is real without sin. Yes, this sentence, uttered by John the Baptist, points to God’s world where peace means fullness of life in love.
There are millions of stories where a person chooses to be kind and gentle to another person in terrible circumstances. A nurse who has been walking streets to search for a homeless addict to offer medical assistance, a social worker who comes home exhausted everyday after working to find a room or an apartment for the poor, a doctor who goes above and beyond her hours of practice to treat the street people, a volunteer who drives to bring sandwiches and hot soup for hungry people…
As Christians we join these wonderful people as we recite, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” because we are called through this Jesus to receive and share his love with the world, bringing hope and peace.
Correction:Last week we listed those who belong to the group that has been working on a plan for our facilities. Mr. Brian McKeown was omitted. His contribution has been essential to the group.
2023 Annual Meeting
Our Financial Annual Meeting will take place on Sunday, January 29th, following the service and refreshments. Please make sure you are able to come. If you are not able to attend, but have any comments or views to express, send us an email and we will share it with the congregation at the appropriate time during the meeting.
The financial report will be sent out by the end of this week and a printed copy will be available at the church.
Some items of importance:
- Membership: we began the year with 109 members and ended with 102.
Please remember that membership does not include adherents. Adherents are those who participate in all church activities, but have not joined as members for personal reasons. Usually we ask adherents to join as members after they have attended and participated fully for a year.
- Each year we ask the congregation to accept the goal for Presbyterians Sharing. This is our portion of being part of The Presbyterian Church in Canada. In 2022, we accepted a goal of $10,000 and was able to send slightly over $10,000. This amount is not included in our regular budget. The session will recommend to the congregation that we also approve the goal of sending $10,000 to the national church.
The Presbyterian Church in Canada funds both national and internal missions as well as paying for national staff and funding colleges. It is a vital mission that we participate in as we support various mission projects and staff around the world.
- Love Your Church fundraising we had in November and December with the goal of $20,000 came at just above $8000. Thank you to everyone who contributed.
- Christmas Turkey Dinner Take-out raised $950. Once again thank you to Deanna and her friends for carrying out this fundraiser.
Again, we will be sending out a complete financial report by the end of this week in order to prepare for the Annual Meeting on Sunday, January 29.
Heat is back on for all parts of the church. We are glad that we can resume our regular activities.
Facilities Currently our hall and rooms are used for many purposes.
Kids Kastle uses the basement of the sanctuary building during the week.
Narcotics Anonymous meets in the hall every Tuesday evening.
St. John Ambulance often carries out the workshops in the West Hall downstairs occasionally.
Alzheimer’s Caregivers’ Support Group meets monthly in the Cafe.
Scotty’s Dog Training is using the hall evenings on Mondays and Thursdays and on Saturday mornings.
Every Friday evening our African Friends gather in the kitchen to cook and share meals together.
Debra McCracken is resuming her duty as our secretary. She is in on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at this time. One of her tasks is to make phone calls to those who are at home. If you would like to receive church news through the phone, please let us know.
Online Worship Services The session has decided to continue our online worship services. Currently, rather than recording Sunday worship services and uploading them, we have been providing worship services so that you can participate in the service without streaming. As it has been explained, due to the way that Bell provides their internet service to us, the speed is too low for us to stream the service as we wish. Also recording the service will require different equipment and set up.
We will share with you the new activities for 2023 in our next update.