Dorchester United Church

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DORCHESTER UNITED CHURCH NEWSLETTER

DECEMBER 2017





A CHRISTMAS GREETING FROM REV. KEITH

The year 2017 will be remembered as one of the most violent of the twenty first century. From domestic violence to societal to country wide to international, we have had to deal with a plethora of bloody massacres which have taken their toll on us both emotionally and mentally. We may have felt that we were being pushed to the limit of our ability to endure the sights and sounds of the news at ground zero.

We long for a better world, a world at peace. One of the themes in the season of Advent is precisely the one for which the world yearns. The 'Pax Romana' of Ancient Rome was a sign that the Empire had come to terms with the longing for peace in what was essentially a violent world. But the question remained, peace at what cost? Rome had to convince the world that it was in control. But the system of slavery and the bloody suppression of uprisings wherever it surfaced led to even more violence.

The Roman Governor Pilate is remembered for his slaughter of 2,000 Judeans who were protesting the Empire's draconian laws. And of course we cannot forget Herod's massacre of the boy babies two years and under. Such a dastardly deed was perpetrated in the hope that the baby Jesus, seen as a threat to Herod's rule, would thus be eliminated. History is replete with violence and our age is no exception. We yearn for a lasting peace, one that 'Pax Americana' cannot guarantee. With a President not unlike Herod in the White House, one who reacts to his every whim and fancy, one who lacks any control over his actions, we may still be wondering about the source of real peace.

We have named Jesus, the Prince of Peace, in the hope that somehow, in some wonderful way, He may be the source of a genuine and lasting peace. The Middle East remains the source of that longing. The artificial truce on Christmas day every year, a day when open hostilities cease for twenty four hours, is a sobering reminder that Bethlehem remains a place of potential violence. But as the hymn writer puts it, 'yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light.' Christians everywhere will be singing carols this year, and the sights and sounds of peace will echo throughout the Churches from Jerusalem to Dorchester.

Lydia and I and our extended family wish you above all peace in your homes and in our world. May the New Year 2018 find us all at prayer that the rich themes of Advent, of hope, peace, love and joy become the reality we have so longed for.

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.

Rev. Keith



"SOX IN THE BOX"
A Visioning Working Group Outreach Project

'Tis the time of year where many are thinking about filling Christmas stockings hung by the fire…….

In our church family, we are all privileged to wear clean, dry, warm socks throughout the whole year. New socks mean so much - warmth, comfort, better health and self-esteem, the list goes on. Socks are the most requested, and yet least donated item to those in need.

Please put a pair or two of new, warm socks, any size, any colour, any style in your Christmas shopping basket.

Place them in the "Sox in the Box" collection boxes beside the Food Bank containers in the back of the sanctuary or at the back entrance of the church.



CALENDAR OF EVENTS

November 29th Advent Book Study "All Earth is Waiting" will begin at 2 pm at Dorchester UC.
This is led by Mary Dillon from Reynolds Creek UC. We alternate between 3 churches.
For more information/rides, call Carol Reid 519-268-3129.
December 3rd 1st Advent Sunday
Carol singing will start at 9:50 am each Advent Sunday
UCW Dedication for Ruth Lewis & Betty Hunter
December 3rd Annual Ecumenical Service of Carols and Readings 2pm at St. Peter's Anglican Church (Dorchester)
December 6th UCW Christmas Dinner - 6:30 pm at the home of Lenore Broomfield
December 10th 2nd Advent Sunday
December 17th 3rd Advent Sunday
December 24th/td> 4th Advent Sunday
December 24th 7:00 pm Christmas Eve Service of the congregation.
December 31st Regular Service
January 2018 Regular Services
February 4, 2018 Regular Service & Annual Meeting

CHAIRMAN'S MESSAGE

As December approaches, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and blessed Advent and Christmas season. Lighting the Advent Candles, singing Christmas Carols, hearing the Christmas Story, these are some of the things that make our Advent Services special. I look forward to seeing you all as we celebrate the birth of Jesus together!

At this time I wish to inform you that Reverend Larry's Medical Leave has now been extended to the end of March 2018. We continue to keep Larry, Gwen and their family in our thoughts and prayers. Reverend Keith Rameshwar has graciously agreed to continue as our Pulpit Supply.

Blessings to you all. Glenn Baskerville

Planning for our Future

The Visioning Working Group was implemented in January 2017. We developed Guiding Principles and completed a List of Outreach Initiatives including the Holy Diner and Messages of Encouragement. Our next area of focus led to a discussion about Visioning and Planning for our Future. We started discussing the following topics, listed in no particular order of importance, and the current status of Dorchester United Church.

  • United Church of Canada Organization restructure
  • Community Outreach needs
  • Volunteer resources and capacity, roles & competing societal demands
  • Congregation demographics
  • Leadership - Ministry Personnel, Church Board positions
  • Finances - giving patterns & budget needs
  • Christian Education & Development

We brainstormed some possible actions, but these discussions led us to short term solutions that have a potentially finite duration. We must anticipate the future and do our best to put plans in place to prepare for it. Successful organizations know the importance of planning for the future. We want to be proactive rather than reactive, so it's time to ask some difficult, and emotionally charged questions.

If you are interested in sharing your vision of our future church, you are invited to join in our discussions to help us to work together to create a common vision. Contact Glenn Baskerville or Joyce Holland for more information.

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Pulpit Supply - Rev. Keith Rameshwar
For Pastoral Care: Rev. Lewis Snow 519-202-0312, Rev. Bruce Scott 519-268-7890
Coffee Time: Wednesdays, 10:00 - 11:30 am
Admin Assistant: Dianne Timms Residence: (519) 202-0106 Church office: (519) 268-3154
E-mail: dorchesterUC@bellnet.ca Website: www.dorchesterunitedchurch.ca