December offers many opportunities for generosity and sharing with those under financial strain and other limitations in our city. Please consider how you are already supporting those in need, and how you might offer support in this season. HOPE Mission (https://hopemission.com/), The Mustard Seed (https://theseed.ca/), the Food Bank (https://www.edmontonsfoodbank.com/) and other agencies are all working hard to look after the needs of many at this time and throughout the year. No gift is too small, and all donations are put to good use.
Christmas lights are up around town! Join the Grovenor Walking Group at 6:30 pm this Monday, December 6 outside ch cafeteria (NW corner of Stony Plain Rd and 148 St) as we head down Candy Cane Lane to enjoy the lights before it officially opens December 10. We will finish off our walk with hot chocolate for everyone. Can’t join us? Candy Cane Lane is open for vehicles and pedestrian traffic until New Year’s Day. https://yegcandycanelane.com
What’s going on in Edmonton this week? A great resource to add to your bookmarks is Explore Edmonton https://exploreedmonton.com/. This website offers all sorts of listings for events, attractions and highlights of Edmonton. Curious what’s up in December? See the list of events at https://exploreedmonton.com/event-calendar?term=&date=2021-12-02+to+2021-12-31&location=&category
During Advent, St Paul's Community Outreach and Focus on Missions are partnering to raise financial support for Rev. Lori Calkins.
Earlier this year, Rev. Lori Calkins spoke to our congregation regarding her work as an Indigenous cultural birth helper to Indigenous families here in Edmonton, across Treaty 6 territory and beyond. This work plays an essential role in healing, breaking intergenerational cycles of trauma, and cultural reawakening for Indigenous families of many nations. It also provides direct, tangible, multi-generational redress for the harms done by our church’s role in running Residential Schools.The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action include: "We call upon church parties to the Settlement Agreement, in collaboration with Survivors and representatives of Aboriginal organizations, to establish permanent funding to Aboriginal people for: Community-controlled healing and reconciliation projects. (61:i)”. Financial support for this ministry directly responds to this call to action. The first year of this ministry was funded by the Diocese, but it has since become necessary for Lori to search out her own funding, which has included grants; individual and family donations; and foundation and endowment funds. Lori has shared with us that she is very grateful to know this Advent project is taking place. Funding is close to depleted so this contribution will help her essential work to continue. Please hold her, her colleagues and the families they support in prayer. Our goal during Advent is to raise $15,000 towards her salary, which is roughly two months worth of work. Only together can we ensure the spirit and goals of the TRC Calls to Action are met and exceeded.When you donate, please write "Advent Fundraiser" in the memo line of your cheque or e-transfer. For more information please speak with Michelle Schurek or one of the members of Focus on Missions. For an update on how far along we are, please see the Fundraiser Thermometer posted in the side foyer.
Layette Activity: On December 19 after the service, you are invited to join in the creation of several small layettes for clients of Indigenous Birth of Alberta. New or gently used items can be donated to this activity on December 5 and 12, and a box for those donations will be set up in the foyer. Items that will go into the layettes include:
• receiving blankets,Please keep in mind that newborn sizes typically only fit smaller babies so both newborn and the next size up would be helpful. The same for diapers. Sizes newborn and size one would be helpful. Gender neutral clothing is best where possible. To help with assembly on December 19, please add your name and phone number to the sign up sheet in the side foyer.
• sleepers, onesies,
• a bigger blanket,
• pads (for the birthing person),
• baby socks and
REACH Grant Presentation: Marian Centre: Marian Centre Edmonton is located just north of the CN Tower. Services are provided by the members of the Madonna House Order who live there and the volunteers who come to help them. Marian Centre Edmonton is primarily known for their service to the poor. In their dining room, the homeless and needy are welcomed five days a week for hearty stews, and sandwich bags are distributed at other times. Once a week the clothing room is opened.
In their own words, "The poor are Christ to us, and serving them, we receive much more than we give. They teach us to suspend judgements, to acknowledge our own wounds, to stand before suffering and lift it to God. We learn to see individuals, not categories. Personal recognition is a balm for all of us, but especially for those rejected by society. A smile or a "thank you" in return becomes a precious gift." Donations through www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/
Advent Reflection Stations: Each week of Advent there will be a different station set up at the back of the church as a point of reflection for our Advent theme of active waiting. You are invited to stop at the station and consider the material offered there.
Daily Morning Prayer
Myron and a few parishioners have begun meeting for daily morning prayer gatherings on Zoom at 8am during the season of Advent. Every Thursday we will meet at St. Paul’s in person for morning prayer and to discuss Joan Chittister’s book Wisdom Distilled from the Daily. If you would like to join, please talk to Myron or Asher, or email the office for the link.
Advent 4 Choir – December 19
RJ is putting together a choir to sing two songs at the December 19 service. If you would like to participate, please join us for rehearsals following the services on December 5 and December 12. Each rehearsal will only be about 45 minutes in length.
Advent and Christmas Services at St. Paul’s
Sunday, December 19, 10:00am: Advent 4 – Lessons and Carols
Friday, December 24, 7:00pm: Christmas Eve Service
Saturday, December 25, 9:00am: Christmas morning service
Kid’s Club is In-Session: Kids Club is for kids in Kindergarten to Grade 6. We get together every Sunday morning during the service to talk together, learn stories from the Bible, and do crafts and activities. We also have a few fun events together throughout the year.
Youth is In-Session: Youth Group is for those in Grades 7 to 12. Led by our Youth Director, Abbi Harding, the youth meet most Sunday mornings during the service. There is a calendar already available for other activities that are planned for the upcoming year.