Mini-Market January 16, 2019

Here are the items that will be available from next week’s market at the Mission. Call ahead if you want to be sure to get your items. The market is from 10:30 to 3:30 on Wednesday. Consider joining us for community lunch at 12:30 the same day. Suggested donation of $5.

Voici les produits qui seront disponibles à notre marché la semaine prochaine. Pour être sur d’avoir les items que vous voulez, appelez à l’avance. Vous pouvez passer entre 10H30 et 15H30 pour faire vos achats. On vous invite également à partager notre repas communautaire à 12H30. Don suggéré de 5$.


Minister's Message: New Year's 2019

Dear Emmanuel and SouthWest,

As this year draws to a close we remember 2018 in which there have been joys, sorrows, growth, learnings and many challenges. There are memories we would rather forget and others we will treasure. We have lived a myriad of emotions, both tender and pain-filled, and journeyed through changes as brothers and sisters of Jesus.

In my youth there was a church tradition of a New Year’s Watchnight service organized so that at midnight we were gathered around the communion table. Prayer, hymns, testimonies and quiet time were always part of this service; I found it a precious experience.

It is my hope that you will find a quiet reflective moment at the beginning of 2019. One of your resolutions may be about the reading of the Bible. Personally I have grown in faith through the regular reading and meditation of the scriptures. Apart from our public worship there is a more personal worship experience that includes two essential daily disciplines:  prayer and Bible reading.

Some helpful scriptures for a New Year’s reflection are:

Psalm 23, 90, 126, Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8, Matthew 5: 3-12 (and the verses following that are the Sermon on the Mount.)

The Bible Society offers us a gift: readings from the Bible for everyday, based on the Sunday Lectionary Readings. They are available online in English and French
( or in paper version at the (Mission) Church.

I am on vacation from January 14 to February 14 and travelling in Peru. I will hold you everyday in my heart and prayers as you hold me in yours.

A blessed New Year,

Rev. David


Go into this New Year: dance, laugh, sing, and create,
risk, explore, discover, and love.
believe, hope, struggle, and remember:
We go with the assurance of your love, O God.
Thanks be to God!


New Year Prayers:

 Holy God, as we enter this new year,
we thank you for your presence with us
in all the years of our lives.
We have known joy, and also sorrow,
success and failure,
and through it all, you have been with us—
the companion of all our journeys.
Much of life is fleeting
and so we thank you for things that endure:
the love of faithful friends,
wisdom gained from experience,
the reliability of nature,
and your steadfast love.
We thank you for this new year which awaits us;
take us by the hand, and lead us on.



 O God,
presider over the affairs of persons and nations,
move us to thanksgiving,
not because of what we have, but because of whose we are;
not because of present blessing,
but because of your continuing providence;
not because of the moment,
but because of the eternity of salvation.
Let our thanksgiving be expressed
not only in feasting, but in sharing;
not only in passive enjoyment, but in active service;
not only in annual observance, but in daily attitude.
And because your concern for wholesome living
embraces every person upon the earth,
we pray for ourselves and for others  (our personal and world requests). . .

In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.


-          Taken from Celebrate God’s Presence, United Church of Canada


From our Kitchen/ de notre cuisine

Our Kitchen Coordinator and a team of volunteers have been busy in the kitchen this week transforming turkey leftovers into delight! As of now you can purchase delicious turkey pies from our community dépanneur at the modest price of $10. There are also (generous) individual frozen turkey dinners available at an unbelievable $3! Come by soon before they all disappear.

Notre coordonnatrice de cuisine et son équipe de bénévoles se sont occupés dans la cuisine cette semaine afin de préparer des délices pour vous. Dès maintenant vous pouvez acheter des pâtés de dinde appétissants de notre dépanneur communautaire au prix modique de 10$. Vous y trouverez aussi des repas congelés individuels au prix incroyable de 3$! Passez vite avant qu’ils ne disparaissent.


A Word from Darlene

Churches don’t run by themselves, and SouthWest is no exception! From our elders, chairs, team members, and mission volunteers and our congregation, we try to work together along with our part-time staff, including our minister, to plan, organize and execute every event and activity from within SouthWest for ourselves and our wider community. We live out and encompass our vision, ”providing a table where all are welcome, with food for body, mind and spirit.

Not easy. There’s so much more than is visible in the life of our church and mission: garden care, building repair, dishwashers, bill payments, snow removal, food pick up, preparation, lights on and lights off, buzzers and alarms going off—all the “behind the scenes” work that can so easily be taken for granted. I’m grateful to each and every one of you for all that you do and we do.

After our Boxing Day community turkey meal on December 26 where we are topping the 300 mark for meals prepared with donations, served and delivered by volunteers (no small feat), we then take the opportunity to personally recharge, restore, renew and reflect.

We work hard, we worship joyfully, and we support one another, in both good and hard times. Our worship is rich, varied, and contains elements that both honor tradition and challenge us to open our hearts and minds to a wider view of Christ and the world. I have hope and faith that we shall persevere and continue.

 Thank You with much Hope, Peace, Joy and Love!


Chair of Council

Minister's Message: The Journey to Bethlehem

One of Isaiah’s prophecies is reframed in Luke’s gospel and relates to the ministry of John the Baptist, the messenger of Messiah:

Get the road ready for the Lord, make a straight way for him to travel!
Every valley must be lifted up, every hill and mountain levelled off.
The winding roads must be made straight
and the rough roads must be made smooth
. (Luke 3: 4-5, Isaiah 40: 3-5).

This text makes me think of the incredible travels that people in Israel must have experienced as everyone had to return to their hometown for the population census demanded by Rome. Taxes would be based on its recorded numbers. Winding roads made straight would greatly alleviate travel times. So many more travelers than just Mary and Joseph were flooding the roads. No wonder there was no room for them in the small village of Bethlehem.

The journey from Mary’s hometown of Nazareth to Joseph’s birthplace in Bethlehem is some 157 km and could have taken 8-10 long days of walking. And although the Christian church celebrates the birth in December it is more likely that this journey occurred in the oppressive heat of July or August for a birth in September. A scary journey for a young pregnant woman and her betrothed.

They say you can never really go back home once you leave. I experience this when visiting my Mother and siblings in Ontario. The neighbourhood of my youth has changed so much. In fact life reminds us that change is like a river flowing and constantly moving.

The journey to Bethlehem, that of the shepherds, the magi, traveling to the Temple in Jerusalem, to Egypt as refugees and later to Nazareth: there is much movement behind the stories of Christmas.

My home of 23 years has sold. Despite my impatience it has happened at a good time.

There is much to do before I leave on vacation January 14. And much reorganization, packing as well as confirming a purchase and an eventual move. I enter into this Christmas differently as it will be my last in this house. Many have moved before me and many will in this new year 2019. Change is the constant and resistance is not helpful. When it is time, it is the time.

It was the time for Jesus’ birth, and everything aligned for this Miracle Child, even the stars.

Thank you for your prayers and support these last weeks. The sale of my house opens up new possibilities: a different kind of journey and different future, a new garden and home. I live this change with gratitude and trust that everything works together for the best.

May the God who watched over Mary and Joseph on their journey and who aligned the time and season perfectly, lead each of us to Bethlehem and new birth.

And this blessing:

May the eagerness of the shepherds
the joy of the angels,
the perseverance of the Magi,
the faithfulness of Joseph and Mary,
and the peace of the Christ child,
be yours this Christmas! (Celebrate God’s Presence)

Que ce Noël soit pour chacun de nous, 
un occasion d’aller
au-delà de la simple raison et de nous émerveiller;
de laisser notre äme accepter le miracle, même sans le comprendre,
et de nous abandonner totalement au pouvoir 
du Bébé de Bethléem!

A blessed Christmas, Un Noël béni.

Rev. David

Daily Bible Readings 2019 / Lectures bibliques quotidiennes 2019

Published by the Canadian Bible Society, here is the downloadable pamphlet (PDF format) of daily Bible readings for the whole of 2019. Copies will be available at church as of December 23rd. You can also find it at

Voici le pamphlet des lectures bibliques quotidiennes pour l'an 2019 issu du Canadian Bible Society. Des copies seront disponibles à l'église dès le 23 décembre. Vous pouvez également le télécharger au

Minister's Message: Blues Christmas

Sometimes the holidays are coloured in hues of blacks and greys. I remember the Blues Christmas remembrance that let my heart feel sadness at the loss of my siblings: Rebecca, Ruth, Joe, and my father Ernest. Those annual times of remembering around the holidays held me in times of personal grieving.

It is helpful in this starlit season to pause and look at empty stockings, feel favorite memories, and have a gentle cry as you hear a favourite rendition of: I’ll have a Blue Christmas without you. We need light and warmth penetrating our heavy and sad hearts this time of year.

Over the next two Sundays I will pause at both SouthWest and Emmanuel to add an ornament to the Christmas tree with names written on the back. There will be enough for you to use and place as well.

I need light to shine into my grief and aloneness, to acknowledge feeling vulnerable, fragile and sometimes broken. I love these words:

There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in. (Thanks, Leonard Cohen, for those lines.)

We each cope the best way possible. Community of faith means that we are not alone. In both congregations we experience the lighting of the Advent wreath. Some may place memorial lights on the tree in front of the church, offer a takeout turkey meal for seniors or shut-ins on December 26th at SouthWest Mission. Cards are sent to friends and those far from us, and we can invite someone alone at Christmas to our home or to Christmas Eve services. We can simply read the prayer below in a quiet time of remembering and celebrating love.

Maybe you can light a candle and say:

I remember...(loved one)
I hold you...(brother and sister in faith) and you hold me, in our hearts and prayers.
Together we are light, even when it is but a flickering candle.

God of comfort and compassion,
hear us as we pray for ourselves
and for all who live with loss and loneliness,
pain and grief, hurt and isolation.
We ask for strength for today,
courage for tomorrow,
and peace for the past.
We ask these things in the name of Christ
who shares our life in joy and sorrow,
in death and new birth,
despair and promise. Amen.

Some Bible texts:

Psalm 121, Unto the hills

Isaiah 40:1-8 Comfort, O comfort my people

Matthew 1:18-23 Angel appears to Joseph in a dream

Luke 1:8-13 Angel announces birth of John the Baptist

Luke 1:26-30 The angel Gabriel visits Mary

Luke 2:6-10 An angel announces Jesus birth

Luke 6:20-23 Blessed are you who weep

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who knows our pain and struggle,
the peace of God, which passes all understanding,
and the strength of the Holy Spirit,
be with you this day/night and always. Amen.

(Prayers from Celebrate God’s Presence, UCC)

Rev. David