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IMPORTANT NOTICE: Christmas Eve 2021 – Worshiping Only Online

Moving to Livestream Only
In light of rapidly increasing daily case counts of COVID-19 and after much thoughtful discussion, session has decided to suspend in-person worship starting this week. Session is grateful for your prayers as the decision was a difficult one to make. Please continue to pray that God’s compassionate wisdom will guide us during these difficult days.

Services will continue to be livestreamed. Please click onto the underlined word worship to access the church’s YouTube channel.

Kindly contact your elder if you have any questions and if there is a pastoral need, please contact me.

With deep hope in the One who brings peace and good news,
Rev. Janet

ANNOUCEMENTS

TIME AWAY
Using my last bit of holidays along with Christmas and Boxing Day, I will be away from December 27th to January 2nd. If in need of emergency pastoral care, please contact elder Trish Gerrie at .

Thank you,
Rev. Janet

CHRISTMAS EVE OFFERING — ARMAGH

A distressing reality of the pandemic has been the increase of domestic violence. This year, therefore, the Christmas Eve offering will go to Armagh, “a second stage, transitional supportive housing programme. Unlike a first stage or crisis shelter (which responds to short-term emergencies)”, Armagh offers “secure and affordable housing to abused women, with or without children, for extended periods of time.”

Some information on violence against women from the Armagh website…

Violence against women is the intentional use of tactics that give a person power and control over a woman by creating fear and/or dependency.
Women often remain in abusive environments because they have minimal family support, financial means or housing alternatives.

– 7 in 10 people who experience family violence are women and girls
– 70% of partner violence is not reported to police
– 1 in 3 victims of assault is blamed or made to feel responsible for their own victimization
– LGBTQ2+ women and women with a physical or mental disability were more likely than other women to have been victims of sexual assault in their lifetime

​Credit for 2021 Tax Year — Final offerings

Please note that the last date for e-transfers and tithe.ly donations is Tuesday, December 28th AND the last date to drop off cheques and cash is 10 a.m. on Friday, December 31st. Thank you!

Advent Outreach 2021 = BHM or ehm or… BOTH!?

BOARDING HOMES MINISTRY (BHM) is a ministry that “co-creates communities of welcome and inclusion with people who live with mental illness, addictions, and poverty.” Through meaningful connection and spiritual care, BHM tries to “reduce social isolation wrought by stigma”.

This year, the Christian Education Team has partnered with BHM to provide Christmas gifts for residents living in BHM homes. Christmas gift bags filled with the 14 items listed below and delivered to the church in time for worship on Sunday, December 12th will be dedicated and then delivered to BHM. The church office is also open on Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. if you would like to drop off your gift bag. Please call Laurel at the church before coming to the church (416.766.4765).

If you would like to join our church school families in this Advent outreach, please purchase the items listed below. All items can be purchased at Shoppers Drug Mart.

Items for Residents
1. pocket-sized hand sanitizer
2. hand lotion
3. lip balm
4. cough drops
5. a hat/toque
6. mittens or gloves
7. box of tissue
8. popcorn/trail mix/beef jerky
9. chocolates (nut free)
10. box of cookies (nut free)
11. box of individually packaged hot chocolate powder
12. crossword puzzle or word scramble or sudoku
13. pencil/pen
14. gift card to Shoppers Drug Mart ($20)

AND/OR…

…purchase a $20 gift card or two from Loblaws for residents living at Evangel Hall. There are some 107 tenants.
Why Loblaws gift cards?

It empowers families who don’t often have choices, to buy the things they want to give to their loved ones.
It allows tenants to buy festive and higher priced seasonal food items to help them celebrate with a Christmas dinner.
Loblaws cards are versatile, they can also be used at Joe Fresh and Joe Fresh Kids for clothing and accessories – both are located two blocks from EHM.
Gift cards will be dedicated on Sunday, December 12th during worship. If you are unable to come to worship, the church office is open on Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. if you would like to drop off the cards earlier. Please call Laurel before coming to the church (416.766.4765).

For more information, please contact Rev. Janet by replying to this email.

Blessings of Advent joy on behalf of the Christian Education Team and the Mission & Outreach Team,
Rev. Janet

SOME VACCINATION INFO FROM THE CITY OF TORONTO

Other places to get vaccinated
Given the threat posed by the Omicron variant, there is a critical need for all eligible Toronto residents to get their first, second and third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. In addition to City-run clinics, residents can book an appointment at one of over 500 pharmacies, hospitals, doctors’ offices and Team Toronto community clinics offering COVID-19 vaccines across Toronto. Some community clinics offer walk-in options. Clinic details are online.

Pharmacy clinics for children 5-11
Many pharmacies in the city are offering paediatric Pfizer to vaccinate children aged five to 11. The number of participating pharmacies will increase over the next few weeks, and will be updated on the map found on this page: COVID-19 pharmacy vaccine locations (ontario.ca). Note that paediatric Pfizer can be selected as a filter.

Vaccination Text Line — Clinic Search
By texting VACCINE to 1-833-750-0888 and inputting their postal code, residents can receive a list of City-run clinics and a selection of the over 500 pharmacies in the city offering vaccinations nearest to them.

Advent Calendar 2021

To access the calendar, please click onto the picture above. Starting tomorrow, open the door corresponding with the corresponding date and be taken on an interactive journey that prepares us for the coming of the Christ child, Jesus the Prince of Peace.

A wonderful Advent tradition is the Advent calendar. This year, our very own Tori Smit has created a new kind of Advent calendar for our families to enjoy. It includes significant stories of scripture, some contemporary stories that connect with the important themes of Advent along with simple crafts, new songs, outdoor adventures, special ways of caring for others, and fun games.

With prayers for a meaningful Advent,
Rev. Janet

SESSION & BOARD HIGHLIGHTS (November)
-highlights were given on the workshop with Heather Malnick and congregations coming together to explore different ways of working together for viable mission and ministry (highlights: much learning, lots of communication, dedicated leadership from elders and other members, deep sorrows, cooperative spirit, prayer)
-the Christmas Eve offerings to be donated to Armagh this year
-a session representative is still needed on the Worship Team
-a cleaning service has been hired to clean the church
-all 15 smoke detectors need to be replaced and a quote has been arranged
-repairs are needed to the toilets in the women’s washroom
-Peter Cronin continues to bleed the valves in the boiler room every week
-snow removal was discussed

FFERING ENVELOPES ARE HERE!
Offering envelopes are on the table by the Solar TV, just outside the anteroom to the library. They are in alphabetical order and will remain on that table until the end of 2021. Please contact Laurel in the church office if you would like offering envelopes or would like to pick up offering envelopes in 2022.

Thank you for supporting the ministry of the church through your generosity!

p.s. Please note that envelope numbers may be different from last year.

A church fundraiser that makes a lovely gift…
especially with Christmas not that far away…

In addition to making wonderful gifts, Gerrie soups, jams and jellies are a delightful treat to consume. This year, as a thank you to neighbourhood volunteers who have helped with our community garden, jars of jam and jelly have been purchased. To peruse the fabulous list of tasty delights for yourself, family and friends, please click onto the underlined word “goodies” (updated list). For 2021, this is our only fundraiser for our church thus far and monies raised help to enhance our worship at MHP. On a personal note, I have already put in my order for soup because it pairs so well with a grilled cheese or egg salad sandwich!

For more information, please contact Blair or Trish at .

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Our YouTube channel can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHxWdqNkr2uU04qUZHtZM5Q