O God, who is present in every place: we pray for you to protect us with your loving care.
Let your fatherly hand direct us; prosper us in your way; grant us daily strength for our needs;
and inspire us in unwavering faith in you, that we may live always to your honour and glory,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
adapted from Prayers in Large Print, ed. Sr. Constance, SSJD
Our New Year resolutions may have come and gone already, but we ought to remind ourselves that
every day, week, and every season is a chance at a new beginning. We can reestablish our goals and dreams everyday as we continue to blossom and grow.
Sometimes when a person grows into a new attitude or behavior, other people become uncomfortable
with the result. They frown on the new freedom because it doesn't meet their expectations of how
they've known that person. They are often unable to accept the unsettling changes.
As God continues to work in and through our lives, we will experience changes in ourselves and we
will see changes in others. We ought to celebrate growth, maturation and transformation everywhere
we can see it. Change and growth is a fundamental part of the human experience. To remain stagnant
in our physical, mental and emotional selves can only lead to complacency and depression.
Allow your hearts to be transformed by the love of God and enjoy the new beginnings this brings.
With Spring around the corner, let us open our hearts to new beginnings
and fresh starts and may we encourage one another in The Lord.
Christmas and the Christ Child
In our Christmas celebrations
of merriment and mirth,
Let us not forget the miracle of
the holy Christ Child's birth.
For in our festivities
it is easy to lose sight
Of the baby in the manger
and that holy, silent night.
God's Perfect Gift
Put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. Psalm 130:7
Every year it's the same; we rush around getting ready, preparing for one day when all our hopes and dreams will be realized. What did you wish for this year, dear friend? What special gift were you hoping to find under the tree? Was it there?
Once the gifts are unwrapped and the family has dispersed, many people fell disillusioned and depressed. Even when they've received what they thought they wanted, the good feeling rarely lingers. No earthly gift can really change your life - only God's gift can do that.
When God gave His Son, wrapped Him in flesh and laid Him in a humble manger, He gave us the hope of eternal life and much more. Along with Jesus came a bright future in God's holy presence and the promise of love and peace that will never end. Now that's a gift with staying power, a fight that will never disappoint or leave us feeling empty.
Christmas truly is a day to be celebrated - a day when we should break forth in song like the angel who announced Christ's birth - a day when we should feel joyful and excited and expectant - a day we should prepare for with great enthusiasm. But it should not be in anticipation of what we have yet to receive. Rather it should be in appreciation for what we have already been given - God's perfect fit, a Redeemer whose name is Jesus Christ.
p18&19 Living Christmas Everyday - Helen Steiner Rice.
Lisa Naumann B.A. MDiv.Minister of Countryside United Church7 Robert St.Thornton, ON L0L 2N0705 458 9701
Ministers Summer Message
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8
The summer that we have all waited for now has come to pass, and the fall season is now upon us. As much as we value the warm summer months and the vacations with loved ones, many of us express a longing for the school year to begin because we thrive on routine and predictability in our day.
The school year is often looked upon as the “true new year” a “new beginning” because this is a time when we return to routine and begin to set goals and agendas for the following nine-ten months. Much like our new year resolutions, we plan and prepare our goals and activities for the upcoming months. So, I ask you…what are your goals for the year? What priorities have you set aside for your time and energy? What does your weekly schedule look like?
It is often stated that where your money and time is….there in lies your heart…. May I suggest that this season we become intentional with our time with God. Carving out some time in our schedule to meet with God, will prove to be nurturing to our spiritual growth and maturity. You see, we schedule and plan for social gatherings, we plan our budgets, we structure our physical fitness and we also schedule our time stringently…but do we include within our personal schedules our spiritual development and time with God?
This is a new beginning for Countryside United Church and we invite you to encounter God in fresh new ways this season.
Programs include: United Church Women * Summer Vacation Bible School * choir * Bible study * confirmation classes and outreach to local community * offer periodic community Church dinners, call the church office for details * meeting space capacity 150 (sanctuary) 100 (church hall) with kitchen facilities.
Countryside United Church Walking Group
Come Walk with us every Wednesday! During the winter moths, we will meet at Door # 5 at the Tanger Outlet Mall at 10:00am each Wednesday morning. Starting in May the walking group will be meeting on Wednesdays at 10:00 at the former United Church in Cookstown. From there, they will be walking North or South on the trail, ending with coffee etc. at Tim Horton's. If it is really raining, the walk will be in the Tanger Mall, meeting at door 5.
Anyone is welcome to join for conversation and exercise.
Countryside United Church Choir will be meeting Thursday nights at the church for practice at 7:00 PM
If you are a member of the congregation, who enjoys singing, we encourage you to come on out and join the choir.
Loving God, we are called to be your colours in the world,
to walk with each other, to share in love
through our gifts for
Mission & Service. Guide us to shine brightly
in the world.
Mission & Service 101
Have you ever wondered what Mission & Service really is? Where did it come from? Well, I am going to tell you!
Mission & Service is how we live out the call of the church to do God’s mission.
Mission & Service wasn’t always called Mission & Service. Before 1925, the three original denominations that joined to create The United Church of Canada—Presbyterians, Methodists, and Congregationalists—saw mission as an important part of church life and supported it in many ways.
Since church union, the name for the way we support the mission and service of the church has gone through many changes: first came the Woman’s Missionary Society along with the Home and Global Mission Boards, then the Missionary and Maintenance Fund, and later the Mission and Service Fund. Now, it is simply the Mission & Service of The United Church of Canada.
Mission & Service is not a separate fund within the church. It is the foundation of how we offer healing and hope in a hurting world. Mission & Service supports education programs; women’s empowerment; food, housing support, and advocacy to alleviate poverty; assistance for theological students, lay leaders, and camping; congregational support; healing the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people; youth programming like Rendez-vous, and much more!
Mission & Service is the heart and soul of The United Church of Canada. If you already give, thank you so much. If you do not give, please join me in making Mission & Service a regular part of your life of faith! Loving our neighbour is at the heart of our Mission & Service.