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.

Today             Please take a moment to peruse the bulletin board in the narthex for details of events happening in the community.

May 28            Plant sale in support of Ottawa Lutheran Refugee Sponsorship Committee at 505 Percy St., 7:30am-2:30pm; part of the annual Great Glebe Garage Sale.

May 28-29      Ottawa Race Weekend –check road closure info in our area for next Sunday.

June 2            The ladies’ social circle group meets in Ebinger Memorial Hall, 10:15am, to pack boxes for Canadian Lutheran World Relief.

June 5            ‘Bread Sunday’ for Partage Vanier.  Special ‘youth focus Sunday’ at St. John.

June 7            The Bible study group will meet to discuss/plan the next course, at the home of Bob Pierce, 331 Gardner St., 6:00pm.

June 10-11     ‘Summer clothing shopping’ for refugee families hosted by the OLRSC, to be held here in Ebinger Memorial Hall.  Donations can be dropped off on Fri., 6-8pm; shopping will be from 1-4pm on Saturday.

June 15          Church Council meets in Ebinger Memorial Hall, 7:30pm.

June 19          Fathers’ Day Sunday ~ ‘food cart Sunday’ for Partage Vanier.      

June 23-26     Eastern Synod Assembly 2016 in Toronto. Remember, we will worship at St. Peter’s on that Sunday, 10:00am, along with other Ottawa churches. No service here at St. John on June 26th.

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Wisdom Is Often Left Standing at the Gate

 

UnknownThis week, we were all treated to an act in the House of Commons that Green Party leader Elizabeth May accurately deemed to be “unwise.” Irritated by voting delays in the house around the country’s controversial and landmark assisted dying legislation, our Prime Minister marched across the floor, where a group of NDP MPs were crowding around the Opposition Whip, reached his arm past them to grab the Whip and pull him through. In the process, he jostled – or elbowed – depending, it seems on your politics, a female NDP MP, who left the house and missed the vote. Shouting ensued. Angry debate followed. The Prime Minister apologized but was told, sternly, by the Speaker that “manhandling” fellow members of the House was not allowed. It was unprecedented. Continue reading

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It Is Miraculous!

This week the villagers of Galai are putting on the roof of a school that St John has been financing.  For over 5 years we have been working towards this goal.  it is wonderful to see the people so excited about this new beginning for their people.  It is their school.  Their land.  Their future.  We are grateful to be a part of their journey to freedom and new life.
eric visit galai 4eric visit galai 5

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We are ready for the Roof!

For 5 years St John has been working on a project in the County of Bong, Liberia.  The project is to be completed before the rainy season.  That is only two months away.  Things are progressing nicely.  The roof is almost ready to go on.  The people are excited.  Both in the Village of Galai and here in Ottawa.

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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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