“Yet, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8)
Greetings, all! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
Happy new year, everyone! Or, I should clarify, happy Christian new year. This weekend kicks off the season of Advent, the beginning of our church calendar year. It is an interesting season; a season of anticipation and preparation, many folks really enjoy the journey through the hallmarks of the season. Others are so excited for Christmas, they rush through Advent in a flurry of energy. But this really is a season of patience, of taking stock of our lives and our world, and how greatly we need God’s presence in our lives.
There’s the four “feelings” of Advent that we symbolize with our Advent wreaths: hope, peace, joy, and love. And we come to recognize in Advent that it is through God alone that these feelings and experiences can be felt in their fullest. It is God who is the Potter, the ones who creates and reshapes. As the clay, the work of God’s hands, our role is to be open to being shaped and reshaped by God this season, so that we better embody these qualities, and are better able to appreciate the sheer gift that is Jesus Christ.
That doesn’t mean we sit around and do nothing, of course. It is a season of preparation. Our work is an extension of God’s work when we work in God’s ways of hope, peace, joy, and love. Trust me, our congregations are hard at work to offer meaningful worship and supportive outreach to those struggling this season. But it means that our work must be malleable, must be shaped by God depending on circumstance. These are different times, so our work and praise looks different than past Advents. Yet I hope it is still a meaningful season for you all!
- Both churches are taking orders for fruit pies for the holidays. Please contact Jean Davidson for pies from Brussels (519-887-9318), and Sharon Bromley for pies at Blyth (519-523-9421).
- Previous lesson and craft packages of our Youth Ministry from the past several weeks are still available for families to pick up or get delivered to them. Reach out to Alex for more details.
- We are currently determining a lay pastoral/visitation team to help make phone calls, deliver worship materials, and other pastoral needs for congregants going into the winter, ensuring that those who are more isolated are still connected to their church community. If you want to learn more about pastoral care, or if you are wanting to live out your discipleship in this way, reach out to Alex for more information!
- Brussels United Church will be putting on a static Live Nativity as part of the village’s Christmas Experience. This display will take place at the Mill in town from 6-8 p.m. For any questions, or if you want to help participate or set up, please contact Beth Earl (519-887-6401), or Alex.
Friday November 27th – Sunday November 29th – Camp Menesetung is hosting an online fundraising concert for their 2021 season. Those who donate to the Camp will be given a Youtube link to their concert, which will be available to watch at any point over the weekend. For more information, visit their website at www.campmenesetung.ca.
Friday November 27th – Outdoor Advent decoration service outside of Brussels United at 7 p.m. Service will last approx. 25 minutes. Physical distancing and masks required.
Saturday November 28th – Outdoor Advent decoration service outside of Blyth United at 7 p.m. Service will last approx. 25 minutes. Physical distancing and masks required.
Sunday November 29th – First Sunday of Advent available on Youtube.
Sunday November 29th – In-person Children’s Advent Craft session at Brussels United Church, from 3:30-4:45 p.m. To sign up, contact Alex. Families from both congregations are invited to attend.
Saturday December 5th – Drive-by Live Nativity at the Old Mill in Brussels from 6-8 p.m., as part of the Brussels Christmas Experience.
Wednesday December 9th – Blyth Official Board meeting at Blyth United at 7 p.m. For those who wish to attend remotely, contact Alex for more information.
Blessings and Christ’s Peace be with you all!
Student Minister – Blyth and Brussels United Churches
Blyth Office Number: 519-523-4224
Brussels Office Number: 519-887-6259
Emergency Pastoral Number: call/text 705-344-3385
Feature Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash