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.
Oct. 30 Sunday morning worship at 10:00am. At 4:00pm there will be a special joint Lutheran Reformation service held at St Peter’s Lutheran Church, 400 Sparks St., Ottawa. Everyone welcome.
Nov. 6 Bread Sunday for Partage Vanier. Don’t forget that your clocks go back 1 hour Saturday night.
Looking ahead for the Sunday School program at St. John:
Starting on October 23, we will begin practicing for our Christmas play, during Sunday school and for half an hour after church. The title of this year’s play is Christmas Counts for Everyone, a message of inclusion and acceptance that felt especially appropriate this year. In addition to rehearsing some simple, but very catchy songs with Noah, we will also be regularly discussing how our faith teaches us that the generosity and love we celebrate at Christmas is a posture we should have toward all people, no matter where they come from, what religion they follow, or what they look like. Once again, we will be looking for some of our younger members to fill the key nativity roles – so send us a note if your child has a part they would love to play – with our older youth providing a modern message to accompany the play.
We are also planning to sing the song we have been practicing on Reformation Sunday, October 30th, so we will continue practicing this Sunday. Anyone can join. It is starting to sound really great.
If you want to practice at home (or preview the Christmas songs) you can check them out at the same website as before. Please email us for the password to get onto the site.
Many years ago, two young, educated Syrians in Paris were discussing the plight of their country, and the spate of vandalism that was making headlines in France, perpetrated mostly by young men whose roots were not unlike theirs. Why does this happen, one of them, an artist, asked. The other quoted back this line: “I cannot live on the bank of the river and wash my hands with spittle.” Continue reading
This 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
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.
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.
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.
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 Peterborough, 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