DECEMBER 2020 NEWSLETTER
10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” Luke 2
Many of our Christmas decorations include angels and stars. Both remind us of God’s light and guidance. At the same time, they include an invitation into times and experiences of uncertainty. Angels appeared to Mary and Joseph inviting them to have a special child. Angels appeared to shepherds and asked them to believe an unusual message. Wise ones followed a star to an unknown land and unknown king. In each experience, the angels assured their listeners not to be afraid; there was good news in the midst of the challenges ahead.
This past year has led us through very uncertain times. As we approach Christmas, we are facing the challenge of rising Covid-19 cases. For some, fear is close at hand and it is difficult to find peace or joy. Mary shows us how to say yes to God’s hope even when we are afraid. Joseph teaches us the peace of accepting what cannot be changed and lovingly doing what we can. Shepherds find joy in an ordinary manger and in sharing a hopeful message. Wise ones encourage us to take steps forward, even if we do not yet clearly see the way ahead.
I am so thankful for volunteers within our congregation who said yes to positions of leadership when we didn’t know how things would unfold back in March. I am grateful for pastoral visitors who shifted to phone visits and kept us all connected in care. Joy was shared through our Facebook page in poetry and photos and worship. Jack’s dedication to saving past services was a huge gift that enabled us to keep music a joyous part of our online experiences. The generosity of your offerings and support of fundraisers, even when there was no in-person worship, provided stability to our congregation’s ministry.
With hope we are planning numerous special Advent and Christmas services as outlined on the back of this letter. With hope we have arranged short term coverage from Jan-March as the Search Committee continues its search for a new minister. With sadness and joy we will say good-bye to the covenant of ministry we have shared for 13 ½ years. My work with you as an ordained minister will end as of Dec. 31st, 2020. I will enter retirement and spend time away from the congregation for a while to allow new ministry to unfold. Do not be afraid, for I trust the Holy One who leads us to goodness and joy.
With a grateful heart, and with love, I commend you to God’s ever-present care
Nov.29 10:30 First of Advent
Dec.6 10:30 Second of Advent
Dec. 13 10:30 Third of Advent
Dec. 13 2:30 Service of Compassion and Hope – to light a candle
in memory of a loved one please pre-register by
calling the office 902-658-2863
Dec. 20 10:30 Fourth of Advent – Service of Communion
Dec.22 6:30 Barn Service – at the Francis Family Farm, Lady Fane
Dec. 24 4:00 Christmas Eve – with a focus on young children
Dec. 24 7:00 Christmas Eve – musical service
Dec. 27 10:30 Service to Mark the Ending of a Pastoral Relationship
Dec. 27 2-3:30 Drive by Best Wishes to Celebrate with Rev. Karen her retirement,
at the SSUC parking lot. Note Storm Date: Jan. 3 2-3:30
Please register for all services (Except Compassion and Hope) through Richard Boulter, 902-658-2062. If there is sufficient demand, an additional 9:00p.m. Christmas Eve service will be offered. If health restrictions require church closures, online services will be offered through our South Shore United Church Facebook group or on YouTube; simply search South Shore United Church PEI.
Fruit Sale – South Shore United Church Annual Fruit Sale is here. Order forms were attached to emails or available in the foyer and at the church office. Orders must be in by December 8 and fruit will be available for pick up December 12.
Opportunities to Give
Giving Tree – Christian Friends will be accepting donations under the Giving Tree. Money raised will go to support local families this Christmas through Englewood School and the Crapaud Food Bank. Food Bank items, such as pasta sauce, canned meat, crackers, granola bars, juice boxes, toilet paper, etc, and monetary donations may be placed in the basket or offering plate (envelopes provided) under the tree or you may use your offering envelope, specify Giving Tree and which charity.
Gifts with Vision Catalogue – Keeping mission at the center of Christmas, The United Church of Canada developed Gifts with Vision in response to member requests to be able to give gifts to relatives, friends, and loved ones that are in direct support of the church's Mission & Service partners. Catalogues available at the back of the church, or search online “Gifts with Vision”.