Blues Christmas

We used to have an annual celebration for those whose hearts were heavy and for whom absences were keenly felt during the holidays: a Blues Christmas. It let light shine into those deep places of grief and aloneness.

We haven't done it in a few years but this Christmas Eve at 10h00 we will name those we carry with love in our hearts. At this Blues gathering I will put on the Christmas tree a small paper ornament with the name of my brother Joe, for his one year anniversary of death. There will be enough for you to use/place as well. We need light to shine in our sadness before it can be shared with others.

Memorial lights on the tree in front of the church; a take out meal offered to seniors or shut ins on the 26th; a particular prayer for grieving families: there are many lovely ways to be illuminated by light this holiday season. Join us as you can; invite someone for the Candlelight/Chantons Noël musical Celebration, Christmas Eve or to the community turkey meal.

Maybe at home you can read one of the scriptures below and listen to the song: "I'll have a Blue Christmas without you".

We hold each other in our hearts and prayers.

We let light shine through the cracks. (thanks Leonard Cohen for that line)

 

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.

Scriptures:

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 the 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.

 

Rev. David 

 

Advent 3

ADVENT 3 – THE CANDLE OF JOY

This Sunday we light the candle that symbolizes JOY.

The joy that we talk about when we think of Jesus is not merely the feeling of happiness, rather it is the experience of falling deeper in love with this world.

Let us look for the joy that comes from knowing that Jesus loves and cares for us and offers us hope for better things to come in this world. Notice the joy.

 

3e DIMANCHE DE L’AVENT – LA BOUGIE DE LA JOIE

Ce dimanche, nous allumons la bougie qui symbolise la JOIE. La joie que nous apporte la venue de Jésus n’est pas simplement un sentiment de bonheur, elle est l’expérience de tomber profondément en amour avec le monde.

Recherchons cette joie qui nous vient du fait que Jésus nous aime et nous offre l’espoir d’un monde meilleur. Prêtons attention à cette joie.

 

Shepherds  --  Shepherds, what gift do you bring to us this Advent?

We bring the gift of acceptance, acceptance as we are, for who we are, acceptance found in a child born to change the world.

The third candle is lit.

Prayer: “Jesus, help your light to shine in us as joy.”

 

Les bergers  --  Vous, les bergers, quel cadeau nous offrez-vous en ce temps de l’Avent ? Nous vous apportons le don de l’acceptation de soi, l’acceptation de qui nous sommes. Cette acceptation, nous la trouvons dans cet enfant né pour changer le monde.

La troisième bougie est allumée.

Prière : « Jésus, que ta lumière fasse briller la joie en nous. »

 

Scriptures: December 17

Isaiah 61 : 1-4, 8-11 (p. 724)
Psalm 126 (VU 850)
John 1 :6-8, 19-28 (p. 118)

Écritures: 17 décembre

Ésaïe 61.1-4, 8-11 (p. 933)
Psaume 126 (VU 850)
Jean 1.6-8, 19-28 (p. 124)

En cuisine en ce beau décembre!

Nowelle, amis des cuisines, Nowelle !

Trop occupée à préparer… Noël (bah oui !), j’en ai négligé de vous donner des nouvelles des Cuisines du Sud-Ouest.

SUPER EXTRAORDINAIRE TIRAGE DE CADEAUX DE LA CUISINE !

IMG_1397 (1).jpg

Laissez-moi vous parler d’un extraordinaire panier de produits de notre belle cuisine qui attend le grand gagnant de ce tirage spécial, qui aura lieu durant le repas communautaire du mercredi 20 décembre :

-       une moussaka de compétition pour 15 personnes
-       deux magnifiques pâtés : le premier au poulet, le second aux légumes et légumineuses
-       de la soupe : betteraves et gingembre, poireaux, céleri, poulet et légumes… On fait bien ça, la soupe, dans notre belle cuisine !
-       de la marmelade de lime et des oignons caramélisés à l’érable|
-       du granola maison|
-       et probablement autre chose, en fonction de mon inspiration d’ici la semaine prochaine !

Le grand gagnant, donc, aura l’unique chance de ne pas avoir à cuisiner pendant les fêtes ! Ah, vous vous sentez concerné.e, bien sûr ! Achetez/réservez vos tickets : 1 pour 1$, 6 pour 5$, en vente à la porte le 20 décembre. Les profits serviront à financer le futur nouveau comptoir de la cuisine.

REPAS DES FÊTES

Mercredi 20 décembre : on rafraîchit un peu notre classique du mercredi avec un spécial de Noël, un buffet avec plein de petites bouchées – un joli travail créatif pour ceux d’entre vous qui se sentent l’imagination culinaire en fête : portez-vous bénévole, c’est le temps ! Nous bénéficions d’un garde-manger rafraîchi grâce à Moisson Montréal et à plusieurs dons très généreux. Mes prières pour des cans de tomates ont été exaucées : elles sont apparues ! Bref, il y a de quoi faire quelque chose de bon et de beau : amis, lâchons-nous ! Le service est à 12 h 30, tout le monde est évidemment le bienvenu, et nous sommes heureux d’accepter vos dons généreux. Rappel du paragraphe précédent (pour ceux qui l’auraient volontairement omis) : pendant le repas, tirage spécial d’un panier de cadeaux de notre cuisine !

Mardi 26 décembre : c’est le traditionnel repas du lendemain de Noël à la Mission, qui accueille tous les ans plus de 200 personnes. Au menu, de la dinde avec tous les accompagnements qui vont si bien avec : farce, patates rôties, carottes, navets, gravy, mmmmm… Le repas est coordonné et préparé par Dorothy Brown et sa nombreuse équipe. Pour donner un coup de main ou réserver votre place (deux services : 12 h 30 et 14 h), contactez le bureau : southwestunited@gmail.com ou 514 768-6231.

LES ATELIERS DU JEUDI SOIR

On cherche encore la bonne formule pour ces ateliers, que l’on souhaite destinés à un public adulte. Grand Potager en a organisé quelques-uns à la suite d’Un plant de tomate, mais l’horaire, parfait en été, s’accommode mal des contraintes de l’hiver et de la vie active. Les ateliers que je vous avais annoncés pour ce mois de décembre n’auront donc finalement pas lieu – mais promis, on vous revient l’année prochaine avec de nouvelles propositions et une énergie renouvelée (une cuisinière a besoin de vacances).

YO LE JEUNE !

Les inscriptions pour la session d’hiver sont en cours.

Pour les 10-12 ans : Les recettes vite faites, tous les mardis d’école, 17 h à 18 h 15
Les places partent très vite. Très très vite. Il en reste quelques-unes : 8 cours à partir du 9 janvier, 40$
Pour les 13 ans et plus : TeenCuisine, tous les mercredis d’école, 17 h à 19 h

Les places partent très très lentement. Enrôler un adolescent est un parcours du combattant. Votre défi de parent : convaincre le vôtre de s’inscrire. Écrivez-moi pour un argumentaire détaillé.

Joyeux temps des fêtes !

Et pour une immersion dans l’esprit de Nowelle, venez au concert Christmas by Candlelight ce dimanche 17 décembre à 16 h à l’église du 1445, rue Clémenceau. Ça va être beau !

 

Léonore Pion
Cuisinière communautaire
Coordonnatrice des activités de cuisine, Mission du Sud-Ouest
leonore.pion@gmail.com 
Facebook: Les cuisines du Sud-Ouest

In Memoriam

On December 12, 2017 our friend Betty (Clark) Watson passed away peacefully at the Montreal General Hospital, while her son Iain held her hand at her bedside. 

Betty was predeceased by her husband David Cockburn Watson (2009). Besides her son Iain, Betty is survived by son David "Sandy" and a grandson Nicholas, her close American cousin Lillian and of course her SouthWest United family.

A celebration of her life will be held at a later date.

 

December news from SouthWest Kitchens

Nowelle, dear kitchen friends, Nowelle !

So busy preparing Christmas, I forgot to send out news from SouthWest Kitchens. Never too late, so they say…

SUPER EXTRAORDINARY RAFFLE! PRIZES FROM THE KITCHEN !

Léonore and team hard at work preparing Welcome Wednesday lunch

Léonore and team hard at work preparing Welcome Wednesday lunch

For those of you who want to REST and not cook during the holiday season, this is for you. To win, an amazing prize of home baked goods that will allow you (well, the lucky winner) to do less over Christmas. Let yourselves be tempted by : 

-       a competition moussaka for 15 guests
-       two beautiful pies, one chicken and another vegetarian
-       soup : beet, leek, celery, chicken and veg… We like soup at SouthWest Kitchens and we know how to make a good one !
-       lime marmalade and caramelized onions
-       homemade granola
-       and probably other delicacies, depending on my inspiration in the coming days.

Be ready to buy/reserve your tickets ! 1 for $1, 6 for $5. The raffle will take place during the next community meal, Wednesday Dec. 20th. The profits will go towards a new and much needed kitchen counter.

HOLIDAY COMMUNITY MEALS

Wednesday Dec. 20th: Welcome Wednesday Christmas special as we will be bringing you a festive buffet. Volunteer cooks, this is the time to be creative. Thanks to many generous donations, our pantry is now full again – I had a dream of canned tomatoes : the cans appeared ! We have more than enough wonderful ingredients to work with, so let’s make the most of it. The service will start at 12 :30, all are welcome. Reminder : during the meal, we will be raffling a special food basket from the kitchen.

Tuesday, Dec. 26th: it’s the Mission’s Turkey Dinner, that attracts approximately 200 people every year. The menu couldn’t be more traditional : turkey with stuffing, gravy, and all the usual trimmings. The meal is coordinated and prepared by Dorothy Brown and her army of volunteers. If you want to join the team of helpers, or reserve your spot for the meal, please contact Amy at southwestunited@gmail.com or 514 768-6231.

THURSDAY EVENING COOKING WORKSHOPS

We are still working on an appropriate formula for this cooking workshop. Grand Potager organized a few once Un plant de tomate’s season was over ; the evening schedule however doesn’t work so well in the cold season, and the participants seem to be short on time and energy. The workshops I had announced for December have been cancelled – but that doesn’t mean they won’t come back in the New Year : we will be back with new ideas and a renewed post-vacation energy !

YOUNGSTERS YO!

Registration is currently in process for the Winter session (8 workshops as of Jan. 9th, $40) :

10-12-yr-olds : Easy Peasy Recipes, every Tuesday, 5-6:15 pm
Be quick, the workshop is filling up very very quickly!

13+: TeenCuisine, every Wednesday, 5-7 pm
Parents who have a teenager, this is for you : try and convince yours to come ! Go, parents, go ! It is amazingly difficult to recruit a teenager, I need all the help I can get !

Have a great holiday season !

And if you want to be immersed in the spirit of Christmas, join us this Sunday, Dec. 17th at 4:00 pm at SouthWest United Church (1445, Clémenceau) for a Christmas concert.

 

Léonore Pion
Community cook
Kitchen coordinator, SouthWest Mission
leonore.pion@gmail.com 
Facebook: SouthWest Kitchens

 

Advent 2

ADVENT 2 – THE CANDLE OF PEACE 

Today we are lighting the candle of PEACE. We remember that Jesus brings the promise of peace: peace in our hearts, peace between family and friends, peace between nations and human beings, and all of creation. Let us quiet our hearts and minds. Notice your  breathing... As you breathe in, say to yourself, “Jesus.”
As you breathe out, say, “Send your peace.”

2e DIMANCHE DE L’AVENT – LA BOUGIE DE LA PAIX

Aujourd’hui, nous allumons la bougie de la PAIX. Nous nous rappelons que Jésus apporte la promesse de la paix : dans nos cœurs, dans nos familles, parmi nos amis, entre les nations et tous les humains, et dans toute la création. Apaisons nos cœurs et nos esprits. Prêtons attention à notre respiration….En inspirant dites : “Jésus”.
En expirant, dites : “Donne-nous ta paix.”

Angels  --  Angels, what gift do you bring to us this Advent season? 
We bring the gift of a message, a message of peace and joy, a message of a child born to change the world.

The second candle is lit.

Prayer: “Jesus, help your light to shine in us as peace”

 

Les anges  --  Vous, les anges, quel cadeau nous offrez vous en ce temps de l’Avent ? Nous vous apportons un message, un message de paix et de joie, le message qu’un enfant est né pour changer le monde.

La deuxième bougie est allumée.

Prière : « Jésus, que ta lumière fasse briller la paix en nous.»

 

Scriptures Advent 2
Isaiah 40 : 1-11 (p. 700)
Psalm 85 (VU 802)
Mark 1 :1-8 (p. 45)                   Page numbers indicated are from the Good News Bible

Écritures, 2e dimanche de l'Avent
Ésaïe 40.1-11 (p. 903)
Psaume 85 (VU 802)
Marc 1.1-8 (p. 49)        Les pages indiqués viennent de la bible Bonne nouvelle pour toi!

The Candlelight Service at SouthWest

Once a year, the choir rallies around the preparation of what is our highlight of the season: The Candlelight Service, held one or two weeks before Christmas. Extra rehearsals are called, work schedules altered, and the weather predictions are examined very carefully. Twice, since I have been at SouthWest, the Candlelight Service has been cancelled because of snow storms – once moved to a modified Christmas Eve Service, and the other time postponed to Epiphany Sunday, a week after Christmas.
The choir has been large, it has been small. We’ve had children playing instruments for the Christmas carols, and we’ve had the kids from the Alleluia choir singing their Christmas songs.
Who will ever forget the Candlelight with bagpipes? With Donald in full Scottish dress, drum strapped to his middle, beating the entrance.
Or the year we had Stephany, Lexy and Georgia leading the service.
Three girls then, three young women now.
I was going through old photos this summer, and found a picture taken in the basement before the first Candlelight I was part of. In the centre: Linda Dixon standing beside Roman… and Roman was shorter! A slight ten-year-old then, he’s now six feet four and twenty-two years old, and he’s played his violin at every Candlelight since. Linda moved to Toronto last spring, but she’s coming in on the train today – for a visit with friends to be sure, but most of all to sing with the choir for the Candlelight.
Octavio will be back this year, and I don’t think anyone can really remember when he came for the first time. Arielle will return for her second Candlelight, though everyone was reminded of her beautiful voice on November 5, just a month ago. Justin, our resident tuba player will be back to sing, and Katherine – who usually has Percy strapped to her middle! –  will sing with us as well.
There are so many memories attached to this service, and so many more waiting to be added.
Come and join us for this year’s edition: December 17 at 4 pm.
Enjoy the music, feel the warmth of our welcome, and enter into the gentle spirit of Christmas.

Sarah

Thank You AAA PeeWee Lions!

Meloche.jpg

Mr. David Meloche, from the Lester B. Pearson School Board (Director of Schools, Region 3), arrived at the Mission on Tuesday with a large donation of non-perishable items for our food pantry. His son Lucas’ hockey team, the AAA PeeWee Lions (Lac St-Louis region) do a collection each November for a community organization and this year they decided to bless SouthWest. The kids left a simple letter in neighbours’ mailboxes asking them to put donations out on their front porches one Saturday morning and the players would collect them. 
Mr. Meloche is pictured with our faithful volunteer Frank who came in to help sort through the food, and Mary Anne Fyckes, spiritual life and community animator, who helped make the connection. Not pictured: Principal Luther and Miss Sarah Davey who helped unload everything from the car in the rain. Merci a tous!

Minister's Christmas Letter

“Mary gave birth to her first son, wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger--there was no room for them to stay in the inn.” Luke 2: 7

The simplicity of the Christmas story still fills with awe. For Christians, Mary’s first born is the Son of God, a child born in humble circumstances and a gift of generous love, God clothed in our humanness. The “no room” continues to resonate: will there be room in our celebrations and gatherings for this gift?

One of my favourite carols is a gentle one by an unknown writer: “Away in a manger, no crib for a bed, the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head. The stars in the bright sky look down where he lay, the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.” May our Christmas season be filled with the essence of this message: God’s face is in the wonder of new birth. God among us puts a new perspective on my celebrating Christmas. Relationships are what it is about, the gift of self, incarnated in my words and deeds in the simplicity of the first Christmas.

May we make room for the birth of Life in our hearts, families and community.

In hope, joy, peace and love,

Rev. David Lefneski

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