On the horizon: December 2015

Welcome to St. John, a small Lutheran Church that welcomes everybody. St. John has some exciting events planned for the next week. Read on to get the low-down, or check out our calendar.

Dec 16             Advent gathering at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, 6:00pm supper, 7:00pm Holden Evening Prayer service.

Dec 19            Practice for the Christmas pageant, 10:00am in Ebinger Hall.

Dec 20            Christmas Pageant with Sunday School children and youth during our worship service, 10am, in Ebinger Hall, followed by our annual pot-luck lunch. “Food Cart Sunday” for Partage Vanier.

Dec 23           Advent gathering at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, 6:00pm supper, 7:00pm Holden Evening Prayer Service.          

Dec 24            Christmas Eve Worship Service of lessons and carols with Holy Communion, 7:30pm.

Dec 25            Christmas Day worship service with residents, family and friends, at the Garry J. Armstrong Long Term Care Home, 200 Island Lodge Road, 10:30am. Pastor Keith Crouse will preach with Pastor Joel presiding. Everybody is welcome. Reminder: There is no service at St John that morning.

Dec 27           Service. No Sunday School this morning.

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Advent-A time of Preparation and Expectation

St John has been working on the Galai School project for five years.  Construction is underway.  The people of the village are fully involved and have been given a hand up by a group of people an ocean away.

charles visit to Galai.jpgcharles visit to Galai 3.jpg

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Conditions for Judgement

This week, Muslim parents in Toronto told their daughters not to walk home from school alone, for fear they would be harassed, or worse. A mosque was set on fire in images-1Peterborough, onehour after a group of families celebrating a birthday party had left. A woman in a Hijab was attacked on an Ottawa city street. The man believed to be the ringleader of the attacks in Paris was killed in a raid – his family greeted his death with relief. Across social media, there were calls to close the borders to the Syrian refugees. Some of that debate was reasoned, too much of it was undeniably racist.

What is the truth we hear in the midst of this action and reaction? Continue reading

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St John Finds a Partner


For five years St John has been working toward this project.  After careful consideration we have found the international NGO that can help us make this new school idea a reality.Proposed Junior High School Plan for Bong County,   Liberia

On October 29, 2015, a team of seven staff from Change Agent Network-Liberia pay an assessment visit to Galai for the construction of a modern Elementary and Junior High School. The team arrived along with two local committee members, Mr. Charles Puo and Ms. Bendu Gono. We were indeed thrilled to have received such a traditional welcome with kola nuts in a plate, an African way of welcoming someone with peace and an open heart – Alluding to an African proverb that said “he who brings kola brings life”.

The town people especially the women, youth and elders of the town were very excited to hear the team say “we bring you greetings from your son, Jesse Matthews” and that he sent us here to build the school that he being yearning for for more than five years to build for the community. In response, the community people were full of praise to Mr. Matthews for not forgetting about them as well as his Canadian Church people for the bring hope and pride to their community.

Dorbor, the head of the assessment team, encouraged them to take the project to be their own and that they should get involved in the construction work. They committed themselves to provide all the local materials and labor of which they will be compensated for as part of our community empowering strategy.

Their message to Mr. Matthews and his kind loving supporters was very short: Our prayers are with you, may God continue to bless your hands. Thank you so so much for giving us a future for our children!

This school construction project is made available through a Liberian humanitarian, Mr. Jesse Matthews and his Canadian partners and supporters. Mr. Matthews, during his last visit to Liberia was heartbroken to see school kids sitting in dusty makeshift hut called a school. Since then, he had had an uneasiness to help relieve his people and give them a reason for hope for the future.

Mr. Eric Wowoh, the Founder and Executive Director of Change Agent Network, the implementing partner, counts it as a help to our work when people are touched by what we do and partners with us as we continue to connect under-resourced Liberian communities with global partners to launch locally sustainable schools to break the cycle of poverty in Liberia.

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Reserve your tickets for a time of celebration!

120 Anniversary

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We might ask, “Why us?” Jesus would answer, “Who else?”

Unknown“In St. Petersburg, Russia there was a Lutheran church that was made out of wood—St. Mary’s church. During the siege of St. Petersburg
during the Second World War, in the midst of the winter, the eyes of desperate people turned to that church and its wood—enough to provide fire for thousands of people so they would not die because of cold. The church leaders allowed it: the church was dismantled, bit by bit, for neighbors to use its wood and light small fires to keep them alive. What a symbol and what a powerful story! It speaks to Continue reading

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Second Sunday in Lent—Mark 8: 31-38

Has there ever been a society so full of temptations and so well-designed to help us slip into them? Judging from the current debt load in Canada, we can see how consumerism has tempted us. Walk down any street, and there’s the temptation to buy something – and easy credit to buy it now and figure out how to pay later. We are easily tempted to work longer, to worry more about the wrong things. It feels as if at every step, temptations are thrown in our paths. Some temptations we recognize; some we fall prey to without even knowing it. Continue reading

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