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A Different Kind of Christmas
We finally made tearful phone calls to our parents letting them know won’t be coming home for Christmas this year. We’ve been holding out on this decision for weeks now. We thought that maybe at some point, restrictions would open up and we could still gather. We have had Christmases far away from home in the past. Christmas looked very different then but we still found so many special ways to celebrate. While we grieve the loss of a “normal” Christmas this year, we also find ourselves sitting with anticipation and open hands to receive what God has for us in this hard season of waiting.
The First Christmas
In some ways, this Christmas makes us feel closer to the first Christmas than ever before. With all that this year has held, we feel more tangibly the weight of the difficulty, sacrifice, hope, and joy intermingled in the Christmas story. The weeks leading up to Jesus’ birth weren’t necessarily filled with joy and fun and celebration. They were filled with long, arduous days of travel, the discomfort of late pregnancy, the uncertainty of not knowing where their child would be born. Far away from family and loved ones. And yet it must have been with such anticipation that Mary and Joseph awaited the birth of Jesus.
The birth of a child is always a cause for celebration but imagine anticipating the birth of the Saviour! Mary and Joseph knew that this child would not only change the course of their own lives but alter the fate of all humanity. We invite you to take some time this Christmas season to sit in the reality of all that you have sacrificed this past year, while also holding on to the joy and awe of the most beautiful Gift. God-made-flesh. A bright light born into the darkness of our humanity. What a reason to celebrate.
The Bob Ross of Cookies
Ruth and Abbie have been exploring the art of sugar cookie painting for a couple year now. This week Ruth was able to share this with an online cookie painting night for the women of our church. When the women’s ministry team came up with the idea and asked Ruth if she would be up for leading a tutorial, she jumped on board.
There were 44 women that signed on for Ruth to take them through the water colour style of painting on some sugar cookies. Ruth worked for a couple weeks prior perfecting a few designs for the cookies and then putting royal icing on 258 cookies to prepare for the event. Each of the women received a package of cookies, a paint brush and gel food colour. Ruth then demonstrated in a step-by-step way how to create these beautiful cookie masterpieces.
I was able to watch from behind the camera as Ruth did the demonstrations. We were both so touched as many of the comments included how meaningful this was and how it was a great way to connect in this difficult season. One of the ladies who is a nurse mentioned how in the chaos of work this was something that she had really been able to look forward to and really enjoyed her time with all the other women. I love the way Ruth uses her gifts to bless those around her.
As a TREK community, we continue to meet on Mondays to socialize, worship together and listen to different teachers. This has been an added bonus to having everyone local even though we have been hosting these all online for the last couple months. It is great continuing to connect with the TREK community weekly. They are really engaging their ministries and learning. Even with the restrictions, they are able to find safe ways to support the Winnipeg North End Ministries.
We had a 6 hour online SOAR meeting a couple weekends ago. Who sits and engages in a 6 hour fully online meeting? Well, I have been so blessed by an amazing group of people passionate about seeing lives transformed by encountering Jesus. They came with a lot of creative ideas for SOAR Heartland this year. By the way, we did part of our meeting in gather.town which is a really fun platform for meeting with people online.
We are now looking at a 5 day SOAR program that can be modified based on current restrictions. It will have a multi site option and a fully online option. We are looking forward to seeing the church engaged on local mission especially in a season where hope is needed.
Before the Throne
- May we be impacted by the magnitude of what Christ did for us coming as a baby.
- As we continue to plan programs and discipleship in this season may we be in pace with Jesus.
- Please pray that we find creative ways to rest and spend time together as a family this Christmas season.
Ministry Financial Needs
We are blessed in this COVID season to have some grant money to help cover our monthly shortfall of donations. However, once the grants are finished we will need to raise about $400 / month more so if you are interested in partnering with us financially please click this link.