Advent 2019

For the first time, I managed to keep my advent photo-a-day almost every day. I missed one day when a combination of things kept me from even thinking about it. As an avid, if fair weather, photographer, I love these practices during the major church seasons.  I was following this one from #ReThinkChurch. Advent-A-Day_Calendar_FINAL

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AWAKE at the end of a long day.

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What do our sacred spaces PROCLAIM? 

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What do we need to shed to PREPARE us for the new life ahead?

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CONFESSING doesn’t have to be shame based. But it does leave you vulnerable. Are we brave enough to confess that we follow Jesus?

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Sign WORTHY 

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I so appreciate the POWERFUL bond between my grandchildren and me. This is our youngest, helping me decorate the tree once again.

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I didn’t BAPTIZE  Allison Trewin, but I’d like to think I had a hand in her faith formation during confirmation. As this note on a CD case states, I had many dinners with the Trewin family. 

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The Sunday School ‘TOLD’ the ancient story this morning.

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Great to have supper with the UCW and friends and HEAR some of their stories. A huge shoutout to Palladium Family Restaurant, who was donating half of their sales tonight to Feed Nova Scotia, along with some of the staff donating their time. There is always good news when we have ears to hear it.

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Not having any power and not being able to SEE very well didn’t stop our Food Bank volunteers from getting ready for tomorrow! (Photo credit: Shirley Hazen)

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Today’s advent word gives me trouble. I’ve had difficulties with term BLESSED for a number of years now; I think the Rev. Dr. Diane Tingley is to blame for that! It’s often used to indicate good fortune. ie. I’ve been blessed with good healthy or a happy marriage or financial means. And yet, is God any less present in those who do not have those things? So I’ve redefined it for myself, it means to be aware of God’s presence. This star, a community art project, which will hopefully be complete by Christmas Eve represents the awareness of God’s presence I have in ministry. There are dark and light places, there are colourful and drab, there are gaps, there are places where things are squished together, perhaps uncomfortably. But through it all, the star is visible and present and when I follow the star, I find Jesus, and am aware of God’s presence.

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Today’s Advent word is MESSENGER. Rev. Deborah Blood said something last May when she was a guest at the Annual Meetings of Regions 14 & 15 that has stuck in my head and has become the basis of my January/February sermon series.
She asked, “What would we do if we were brave?”

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Today I demonstrated that I thought my knowledge about baking and baking pans was GREATER than it is!

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Look who I FOUND at church today! Lynda has been away for the last few weeks due to surgery. She got the go ahead to drive short distances and so she came to church!

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The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines RIGHTEOUS as acting in accord with divine or moral law : free from guilt or sin. I confess that the word gets my back up and has a negative connotation for me. However, I do try and act in accordance with God’s law… the law of love.

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Yesterday I received a message through the church Facebook page from someone wondering if they and their same gender partner would be welcome at Stairs Memorial United Church. I said of course, that while not officially affirming, that we have openly gay members and sent back a picture of me in my rainbow clergy collar. The message I received back was this: “Oh my goodness. This picture almost made me cry. I literally have water in my eyes. Thank you so much. We so need to have the church in our lives. We bought a little house in the neighbourhood and have been together for 25 yrs! Thank you very much.”
I DREAM of a church and world where this question does not have to be asked.

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Waiting for Boney M!!!! The SPIRIT of Christmas.

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I didn’t get to NAME her, that privilege was her parents.  However, calling her ‘daughter-in-law’ is the best thing ever!

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Every year I SAVE my Christmas cards and then use these craft scissors to make gift tags.

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Family gatherings are such fun UNTIL someone gets bossy and opinionated.

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This was a gift from someone when I was on internship. Each Christmas the LIGHT reminds me of her kindness and support that year.

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My youngest sister stopped by with these this evening. Thanks Shelley, it’s a JOY to be your sister.

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 I love the opportunities that I have been given in ministry. We held a shorter interactive service at 4pm and there were a number of young families who came out who were new to Stairs!

 

 

 

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