Keeping In Touch  -  December 20, 2014
At Rosedale United Church This Week :   Sunday December 21 - Advent 4 - Doug preaching : 'Houses of Davids'.   He was supposed to be the 'new King David'.  Who are we supposed to be like ?  How is it going?  See the readings

Did you miss recent Sundays? If so, we missed you.   
Hear or read the messages, and the prayers..
Among Our People

 Congratulations to Gordon Lightfoot and Kim Hasse, married this week at Rosedale United.

We welcome back all students who are home for the holidays, hope the exams went very well, and that you have some fine time now on your break.  
Weekly Reflection
Let us build a house where love can dwell and all can safely live,
a place where saints and children tell how hearts learn to forgive.
Built of hopes and dreams and visions, rock of faith and vault of grace;
here the love of Christ shall end divisions:
All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place.
(from hymn 'All Are Welcome', by Marty Haugen)

I have been watching as part of a house gets built near us, these past weeks.  I always enjoy this. Watching it, and doing it.  One week there's a hole in the ground, mud and ice, then a footing is poured, cement and steel bars, and it's level and solid (if the workers are sober and skilled) so that everything above it will be level and solid.  And as the days pass a thing takes shape, and one day soon people will move around inside it - make a coffee, greet a friend, dream a dream, embrace a lover.  The prophet Isaiah understood rightly when he spoke a word of comfort to the exiles : 'You will build houses and live in them...' 

The messages this week in the readings are a bit of a riff on this.  I'm still mulling it over, and one way or another I'll have some observations tomorrow morning, but Luke the gospel writer was pretty sure that Jesus was going to be a member of the 'House of David', and this would be part of the intention of God to get the world back to 'level and solid'.  Just and compassionate.  Peaceful and joyous. 

As is sometimes the case, this past week has not been entirely level, solid, just, compassionate, peaceful and joyous.  Unfathomable murder in Pakistan and it's another Christmas and we again have soldiers in far off places, and while we've fed the good people at CRC again we still haven't made a big dent in poverty.  Maybe all of this amounts not only to homelessness, but to 'Houselessness'.   And the perennial message of the birth of Jesus is in front of us again, it is an invitation :  Come into my house.   In fact, BE my house.  Walk with me, and we will raise up the valleys, make the rough places smooth, and be a House where love may dwell. 

It really is our only story.  Let's come together and tell it again. Merry Christmas, and either here, or wherever you are, a joyous Christmas, and peace to you all.


(photo courtesy Habitat For Humanity International. Kathy Norris in Haiti, 2011)
Christmas Week Services

Sunday Dec 21 10:30am  -  Advent 4, Doug leading :  'Houses of Davids' - on how we choose which kings to follow...

Wednesday Dec 25, Christmas Eve:

     7pm - a service especially for children and their families.
     10 pm - traditional service of carols, readings, choir, candle lighting.

Thursday Dec 25, Christmas Day 10:30 am - Doug leading, a less formal gathering for song, prayer, companionship with hot cider and cookies!  Come as you are!

Sunday Dec 28 - 10:30am - Doug leading

(the art above is a textile hanging by December artist Stephanie Schirm, and this, with her other work, can be seen on the main floor of the church)
Calling all Cookie Lovers!
Please keep the cookies coming for our Tuesday lunches feeding the folks at the CRC in Regent Park!  Thank you to all those who are currently baking.  For those who would like to participate, we have cookie dough on hand, ready to cook, no muss, no fuss!   Please contact Marg Walker to get your dough! Empty tins are at the back of the Sanctuary.  Please drop off cookies Tuesday mornings by 9am

Sunday School
A celebration of the season of Advent - Learning the Christmas Story      December  21

**Note: There will be no Sunday School during the school holidays, Sunday School resumes January 11**

Kristin's blog looks at family life as a kind of spiritual practice. 
Read about it here:

Podcasts for Parents, with new episodes.
To listen to past episodes
click here
Upcoming Services

December 21 - Advent 4 - Doug leading
      December 24 - Christmas Eve
        7pm - a service geared to children and families
        10pm - a traditional time for carols, readings, choral work and candle-lighting
       December 25 - Christmas Day - 10:30am - Doug leading.
December 28 - Doug leading
January 4 - Communion, Karen leading
January 11 - Doug leading

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