On Holy Thursday we gather for a meditative time of remembrance. Through song and scripture, we will remember Jesus’ last night with his followers. This time of reflection and prayer will include a ritual of hand washing, Holy Communion around the table, and a chance to prepare our hearts for the days to come.
This Sunday January 15 the Rev. Dr. Tom Sherwood will lead us in worship for our anniversary service.
Rev. Tom served as minister at OUC for 15 years (1984 to 1999). He was Ecumenical Chaplain at Carleton University until 2009. He volunteers with First United as well as Faith and Arts Ottawa, and teaches undergraduate and supervises graduate students in the Masters program in Religion and Public Life program at Carleton University. In 2009, Rev. Tom was appointed Senior Scholar and commissioned to work on the “Listening to The Echo” study. The National Church asked him to offer his work as a book, which was published last fall.
Rev. Tom will be talking about the issues raised in this new book Listening to The Echo – young adults talk about religion, spirituality, God, gods and their world. Rev. Tom will sign copies in the coffee hour after the service. Lorena Duncan, whom he met at OUC and married in 1990, will also be with us.
This year OUC is introducing a new Christmas tradition for our families. Drawing on the daily surprises of Advent calendars as we count down the days to Christmas, this year we are encouraging families to help our children learn the importance of helping others and seeing the bigger picture at Christmas using a Reverse Advent Calendar.
These calendars encourage families to place one item each day into a box that will help those who are less fortunate and are struggling at Christmas time. Using our daily suggestions, items will be collected for local foodbanks, shelters, clothing programs, and other outreach opportunities. You can get as creative as you like, making a box “calendar” with 24 smaller pockets, decorating one donation bin for your family, or going beyond the list to find more items to donate & activities to share God’s goodness.
Each Sunday there will be a table in the Narthex before & after worship, where someone will guide you which items can be dropped directly in the Food Bank and Centre 507 bins in the church entry way. There will also be a bin for gathering the other collected items which will be heading off in support of various programs across the city.
Week 1 Hope
Sunday Pray for our OUC family
Monday An item of warm clothing (scarf/hat/mitts)
Tuesday Food item – protein (beans, nuts, canned meat)
Wednesday Travel sized soap, shampoo, lotion (i.e. from a hotel)
Thursday Reusable grocery bags or paper gift bags
Friday Gently-loved stuffed animals
Saturday Say hello to a stranger
Week 2 Peace
Sunday Pray for our White Gift recipients
Thursday Dried up markers, broken crayons
Monday Dressy shirt or top
Friday Excess holiday decorations
Tuesday Non-perishable fruit or vegetable (lights, wreaths, ornaments)
Wednesday Dental hygiene sample (toothpaste, toothbrush)
Saturday Offer a sincere compliment
Week 3 Joy
Sunday Pray for the Angel Tree gift
Monday Accessory (jewelry, dress scarf, tie)
Tuesday Starch (pasta, crackers, rice)
Wednesday Open toiletry items (shampoo, recipients and their families body wash)
Thursday Empty tub with lid or egg carton
Friday Extra books
Saturday Thank someone for helping you
Week 4 Love
Sunday Pray for our United Church
Monday Jacket or boots
Tuesday Treats (cookies, candies, jam, chocolate)
Wednesday Feminine/Adult hygiene products global partners (package may be open)
Thursday Wrapping paper scraps
Friday Open tea packages, extra Keurig pods
Saturday Send a love note
Beginning a new church year is the perfect time to acknowledge the tremendous work that has taken place by many hands throughout the year to make Orleans United Church such a special and welcoming home.
First, our ministers have gone above and beyond to meet the needs of OUC’s members. As we begin to adapt to church life without Rev. Dr. Glen Stoudt, a special thank you must be sent out to Rev. Molly Bell for her stalwart, warm, and kind leadership through this transition. We have also been blessed to have Rev. Suzanne Sykes among us since September, and we look forward to the gifts that Rev. Caroline Penhale will share with us in the coming year and beyond. We offer deep thanks to both for answering our calls.
I also want to acknowledge and thank Kim and Scott, whose collaboration, organization, and many talents contribute to the rich experience that people have when coming to OUC, whether for the first or one hundredth time.
Finally, a special word must be reserved for the many volunteers that Orleans United is blessed to have had throughout the year. There are far too many to list here, and no matter how big or small commitments were, I want to thank each volunteer for making a difference and helping to strengthen our church family, our community, and our country.
Looking ahead to Advent and to the New Year, there will once again be numerous opportunities to lift up the life and ministry of our congregation. Please consider joining one of the many groups active in supporting our church, and I invite you to keep an eye on our social media sites to stay connected and informed:
May you be blessed and help to bless others this Advent season and always.
Watch the Junior Choir performance of “Never Forget to be Thankful” during the October 22 service.