Dorchester United Church

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DORCHESTER UNITED CHURCH NEWSLETTER

March 2017

"Jesus said to her, 'Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.'"

John 3: 13, 14 (This passage is the focus of the sermon on March 19)

Greetings and blessing to you all, my friends,

As we continue our walk through Lent, we realize in this season of contemplation that we all truly thirst for many things in our lives. Some of the most important things for which we thirst are love, a sense of belonging and community, forgiveness, healing and peace. In the passage above, Jesus is in conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well, and he provides comfort and grace to her in all of these ways as he recounts for her the sense of being apart which dominates her life. Jesus' keen insight into her heart and soul cause her to become an revitalized believer, one who shares her story with all who will listen.

We too yearn for such comfort and grace, and in a community of believers many of these things are provided, but the essence of such comfort and peace come from the spark of the Spirit which is in each of us, which comes from Jesus. It is when we open our hearts, minds and eyes to truly see, and then feel compelled to truly be Jesus' hands and feet in the world by reaching out to others that we fill this void, that we quench our thirst, or perhaps more properly, we invite Jesus into our very core, trusting in his love and forgiveness.

There are many exciting and energizing ways in which our congregation is reaching out to others, near and far, and these are detailed elsewhere in this newsletter - our visioning to make a true difference in our community by extending a loving 'wrap-around' embrace to those in need in our community, within our church family, and to the Rajeh family, refugees whose arrival we have been eagerly anticipating for many months. We will have several opportunities to meet them, offering a sincere and heart-felt welcome to their new homeland.

The Holy Week services listed in this newsletter, I hope, will provide a profoundly moving experience as Jesus moves to the cross, and beyond. Please join us for our Maundy Thursday service, where, if you choose, you may have your feet washed (this is entirely optional, and there is certainly no pressure to participate in this part of the service), an experience that can be deeply powerful. The joys of Easter are so much more poignant and meaningful if we have also walked with Jesus to the cross on Good Friday, and I sincerely hope that you will all consider attending this service at 11 a.m. on April 14.

We are currently recording and sharing on CD all of our church services, so if there is anyone who would like a copy, or if you know of anyone who would appreciate receiving one, please let me or the Worship Committee know.

May God bless you all in the coming weeks, and as our bulletin reads each week, "Wherever you are, whoever you are, join us in our journey!" Rev. Larry

CHAIRPERSON'S MESSAGE

As I'm writing this, Spring is supposed to be just around the corner, but Mother Nature has other ideas. As the new chairman of the Church Board I am looking forward to a great year for Dorchester United Church. Our Refugee family has safely arrived, the proposals from the Initiatives Work Group are being implemented, and we're going to have a Ham and Oyster Supper! Reverend Larry faithfully continues to lead us at Sunday Services, and spends much time doing pastoral care during the week. For this we are truly thankful. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on Sundays and at events during the week.

Glenn Baskerville

Welcome to the Rajeh Family

Our refugee family arrived in Toronto on Thursday, March 9th. They were welcomed to Canada by relatives who presently reside in London. The Rajeh family are settling in temporarily with close relatives- Ahmed and Suzanne-and should have their own apartment or townhouse in London near Hyde Park and Oxford St. (Fiddlers Green) in April. Please keep Fateh, Wafaa, Mohamad and Douha in your thoughts and prayers as they settle into their new home in Canada.

Visioning Working Group

Our congregation is very supportive of the 4 initiatives introduced at the Annual Meeting in February - supporting the Food Bank in Dorchester, Messages/Words of Encouragement; the Good Neighbour Project and the Holy Diner. At this time, we ask that you prayerfully consider participating, as you are able, in the 3 initiatives mentioned below:

1. Food Bank Donations are welcome on any Sunday. Items of particular needed at this time are school snacks (granola bars, pudding and fruit cups) as well as gift cards and cash donations used to purchase fresh produce, dairy and meat. Please find envelopes for monetary donations at the back of the sanctuary. These gifts may be placed on the offertory plates. Foodland cash register receipts are also welcome.

2. Rides to Church : We encourage congregation members to think about those needing a ride to and from church. The Visioning Working Group is open to suggestions that address this need. Please see Cathy Baskerville or Rev. Larry with your ideas.

3. Good Neighbour Project: This is a local initiative linked with the Canadian Food Grains Bank. You are invited to support this project by attending the Blessing of the Seeds Service on Sunday, April 23 at the Anglican Church on King St. in Thorndale. There will be a short service at 2 p.m. with music by the Thames Centre Community Choir.

Calendar of Events

  • March 19th - 3rd Sunday of Lent
  • March 22nd - Lenten Book Study - Book "He Set His Face to Jerusalem" 2 pm
  • March 24th - Ham & Oyster Supper 6 pm Dorchester United Church.
  • March 26th - 4th Sunday of Lent
  • March 29th - Lenten Book Study - 2 pm
  • April 2nd - 5th Sunday of Lent
  • April 5 th - Lenten Book Study - 2 pm
  • April 9th - Palm Sunday Service
  • April 12th
    • Lenten Book Study - 2 pm
    • Belmont U.C. Lenten service lead by Rev. Larry (dinner at 6 p.m. [donation] and service begins at 6:45)
  • April 13th - Maundy Thursday Service - 7 pm
  • April 14th - Good Friday Church Service - 11 am
  • April 16th
    • Church Breakfast - 8:15 am
    • - Easter Church Service & Communion
  • April 23rd - Earth Sunday
  • April 30th - Regular Church Service
  • May 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th - Regular Church Services
  • June 4th - Regular Church Service
  • June 11th - Church Picnic - Worship in the Parking lot and the picnic is in the basement. Bring your lawn chair, 1 main course, 1 dessert and your dishes.
  • June 18th - Father's Day Service
  • June 25th - Church Service and Communion

Reminders:

  • July 1st to July 31st - Church is CLOSED
  • Keep collecting those pop cans - They can be dropped off at the church or at Ernie Reid's in the car port (4356 Hamilton Road, - green bin)
  • Thank you for saving the plastic sleeves from your "junk mail". They are put to good use at the London Food Bank and may be placed in a small basket on the window ledge at the back of the sanctuary or you may give them to any church member.
  • Food Bank items are welcome any Sunday.
  • Friday, March 24th, 2017 Dorchester United Church 6 p.m. Adults $20; Child 6 - 12 $10; 5 & under Free Tickets at 519-268-0983 Check the ad in the Signpost for any upcoming events or call the church at 519-268-3154 and someone will get back to you.