Virtual Service, January 17

Reverend Kerry Stover
“Hello, You Called?”  Part 1

Scripture Readings:
1 Samuel 3: 1-20    God Calls Samuel
John 1: 43-51    Jesus calls Philip and Nathanael

Music by Dr. Deborah Henry and Eran Rozen, M.Mus.

You are welcome to add your comment about this service below.

Maple Grove UC Sunday School January 17th, 9:30am via Zoom

All are welcome!

Storyteller Pat Thompson will teach us about Jesus in the Temple.
Natasha Lim will lead in the craft of making beautiful Scratch Crosses and
Eran Rozen will lead in the music. 

Craft materials are located on the table in the accessible entrance Friday afternoon from 2-4pm and on Saturday from 10am-2pm.  

If you would like your young ones to be included please email Rev. Kerry, revkerrymguc@gmail.com,  and he will send you the Zoom link.   

We look forward to welcoming you to Sunday School on the 17th at 9:30am. 

Peace,Rev. Kerry Stover (pronouns: he/him)

Update from Our Most Recent Refugee Families

Our most recent refugee families arrived in Canada on December 8th and were able to successfully quarantine in a home in Brampton that their sponsor, Abdul Wahid, a relative here in Mississauga, rented for them.  They are all relatives of Abdul, one being a family of 6 and the other a single man.  They arrived from Afghanistan via Turkey and are quickly becoming accustomed to their new home in Canada.  These families were thrilled to join their brother / brother-in-law as well as their other relatives (family of 3) who had also been sponsored by Abdul only a few months earlier with Maple Grove’s assistance as well. 

We were able to provide them with some games, Lego and a GingerBread house kit to assist with passing the time which they took to very eagerly as the pictures above show.  The top picture is of the reunited families enjoying a meal once the quarantine period had passed.

Here is a note of thanks from the families:
  ”We found Canada a very beautiful and nice country, found ourselves very safe & comfortable by being part of the so nice and kind people of Canada, we don’t feel like we are in a strange country we have got so much love and kindness in last few weeks and feel very happy and lucky by being part of the community. Our kids are full of joy and so much excited living in such a peaceful and lovable country like Canada, for sometime when we newly arrived we were not believing that we are really in Canada. We all will be trying our level best to be as good as we can to our new home country Canada and be part of the community for our whole life where we can share values.

And we all are really very thankful to Katy, Sandra, Hugh, Gordon, Adam & Khawaka from the United Church of Canada, and all who were involved to change our lives and bring us here to Canada. You all will be in our prayers.

Kind regards,
Mohammad Nasim and Family & Mohsin Shirzad”

Virtual Service, January 10, 2021

Sunday, January 10th’s Pre-recorded Virtual Service

– Baptism of Jesus –
Message:  A Beautiful Name
Scripture:  Psalm 29 and Mark 1: 4-11
Join Rev. Kerry for the renewal of Baptismal Vows
(have a small bowl of water available as well)

Music by Dr. Deborah Henry and Eran Rozen, M.Mus

Messy Church by Zoom

Everyone is invited to join the Messy Church Zoom gathering Saturday Jan. 9th at 4:30 pm.  This is a collaborative event between St. Paul’s, St. John’s and Maple Grove. 
  
For this Messy Church we will be together, this time virtually, in order to sing, worship, do theme based crafts and have a relaxed time of conversation as we snack before our families then prepare for dinner/supper and carry on the discussion that started during Messy Church. 

Participants will need to register, see the following link, in order to receive the Zoom link on Friday afternoon.  Messy Church (from the safety of our homes) via Zoom Saturday, January 9, 2021, from 4:30 – 5:15 PM (pre-register by January 7th)   

THEME:    “Let There Be Light” Worship and Music, Craft Time and Sharing with others
Register at:   https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSerV4R9dniBSZFQbHAUYKunp1kPBjYDMb2f5CtE4LZeMRkpjA/viewform

Questions, please contact Ilana Green at   craddy25@hotmail
or Rev. Kerry at    revkerrymguc@gmail.com
Blessings for a wonder-filled New Year!

A shout out to all mgY (Maple Grove Youth) and friends

What:  What’s going on in this new year (mix of faith and fun)
When: This Friday, January 8th from 7-8:15 pm
How:   via Zoom
To attend:  email Rev. Kerry at  revkerrymguc@gmail.com  to get the Zoom link
Ages:   High School, College, University
Co-hosted by:  Elisabeth Contini (formerly a mgY’r)
Rev. Kerry and Elisabeth are looking forward to seeing the mgY online Friday. 

Bible Study/Reflection, January 8, 11:00 am

The Bible on Stained Glass

All are Welcome!!!
This week the discussion/reflection is based on:  1 Samuel 3: 1-10 and if interested continue to read verses 11-20. Then read for the discussion, John 1: 43-51.  

Please email Rev. Kerry prior to Friday morning if you would like to join in the reflection on these readings – revkerrymguc@gmail.com – and he will send you the Zoom link.   

Looking forward to seeing you on Zoom for the inspiring conversation and reflection on being called by God.  

The lockdown is not an attack on religious freedom in Ontario

Michael Coren is an author, columnist, radio and TV broadcaster, and Anglican clergyman. This is his opinion piece and is linked here for your information.

https://www.tvo.org/article/the-lockdown-is-not-an-attack-on-religious-freedom-in-ontario?amp

OPINION: Churches defying public-health measures aren’t examples of courage in the face of tyranny. Religious leaders may be about saving souls — but they should also be about saving lives – By Michael Coren – Published on Jan 04, 2021

It’s not the first time it’s happened, and I fear it won’t be the last. But the punishment of six members of Trinity Bible Chapel in Waterloo for breaching Ontario’s lockdown restrictions is causing quite the reaction. Regional police monitored a church gathering on December 27, saw a congregation that was larger than the 10 indoors/10 outdoors allowed, and brought charges under the Reopening Ontario Act.

“For years, we have taught our children to respect police, and now our children and grandchildren are witness to their fathers and grandfathers receiving charges from police for worshipping Christ with our church,” responded the church in a press release. “It is a dark day for Waterloo Region and Ontario.” It added that the lockdown was “an unconstitutional and unlawful restriction of religious freedom.”

Predictably, this conservative church has been championed by a number of right-wing websites and blogs and held up as an example of courage in the face of tyranny. Which would be amusing if it were not so dangerous and tragic. Because as flawed and difficult as the lockdown is, it’s a central tool in the fight against the COVID-19 plague and will remain essential until vaccinations become readily available.

And this in no way constitutes an attack on religious freedom: it’s a science-based defence of the general population, especially the most vulnerable. Freedom of worship has not been limited: restrictions have been placed on the right to assemble in churches and thereby increase the likelihood of the spread of infection. Such a spread doesn’t endanger only the person who decides to attend church, but also the innocent other parties whom the worshipper then meets. Remember the central teaching of Jesus: “This is the first and the great commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself.”

Canadian churches have, in fact, been overwhelmingly supportive of these painful but necessary measures, and most have never demanded regular attendance, though it’s advised and appreciated. The largest one that does insist — Roman Catholicism — has been highly responsive regarding the pandemic, even though, in theory, Rome demands that adherents receive the Eucharist at least every Sunday, and believers are in a state of sin if they miss without valid reason. The Catholic Church in Canada has given a general dispensation during the crisis and also airs services online.

It’s safe to say that the more fundamentalist the church, whatever its denomination, the more likely it is to embrace conspiracy theories about the virus, to see the evil hand of secular government behind the lockdown, and to regard resistance as some form of Christian duty. It’s worse south of the border, where a number of churches have exposed their members to potentially fatal infection. Difficult to forget the CNN coverage of a woman leaving such a church in Ohio and explaining that she wasn’t worried because, she said, “I’m covered in Jesus’s blood.”

On a personal level, I’m the pastoral associate, an ordained cleric, at a large Anglican church in Burlington. We hold Zoom services each Sunday morning and regular weekly morning prayer. I lead or participate in church men’s group, mental-health groups, prayer shawl groups, and groups that don’t even have a name. I give my phone number to congregants, they call me whenever they need to, and we chat, laugh, cry, pray. We help one another and share our faith. I spend time with people who have lost parents and loved ones, with those who grieve and weep. I listen because people need to be listened to. It’s what I signed up for, and it’s a privilege and an honour.

And I am one of many, all across the province, the country, the world. Of course we would sometimes like to be physically present with people, but, in truth, there are times when the imposed distance is liberating and helpful for the situation. But the point is that we are living in a plague year, and business is simply not as usual. We are about saving souls but also about saving lives — and certainly not putting them in greater danger.

It’s difficult not to conclude that there is an element of soft martyrdom at play in the “resisting” churches, a certain self-righteousness and paranoia. Those who organize and lead prohibited services are given a relatively small fine or penalty and then parade themselves as if they were part of a genuinely persecuted church. As someone who has seen the persecuted church, stood with people in regions of the Middle East whose loved ones have been slaughtered because of their faith, the comparison is downright insulting.

Like all people of conscience and a sense of communal solidarity, Christians have a duty right now to listen to informed wisdom, keep people safe, and not be selfish. It’s ethical and vital, and it’s what Jesus would have done.

Sad News – Jeanne Craig

With heavy hearts we share the news that Jeanne Craig passed away on December 31, 2020 in her 101st year. 
Jeanne was a long-time member of Maple Grove United Church and started attending when we met in the Maple Grove Public School prior the completion of the new church building. She is remembered for her love of family, a keen sense of duty and as a compassionate friend and neighbour. Jeanne was a passionate curler and loved to entertain as often as possible with her husband Walter. Jeanne is remembered as “A tough act to follow”.

Jeanne was predeceased by her husband Walter in 2008 and recently by their oldest child, Kathryn, who passed away on December 23, 2020. Please keep Bruce, Dave, Cindy (Cyd) and Kathryn’s families in your thoughts and prayers.  

Keeping with the Provincial lockdown rules, the funeral will be live-streamed from the sanctuary of Maple Grove UC on Friday, January 8 at 2 p.m. with immediate family only. No visitation and the internment of ashes will take place at a later date. For further details, please refer to the Kopriva-Taylor website or this url: https://www.koprivataylor.com/obituary/jeanne-craig

“Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.”   Matthew 5:4

Virtual Service, January 3, 2021

January 3rd’s pre-recorded worship service with communion
Message: “A New Beginning”
based on Isaiah 60: 1-6 and Matthew 2: 1-12

“O Come All Ye Faithful” played by the Memorial Handbell Choir
directed by Gaye Gemmell

There will be no Zoom Coffee Chat time at 11 a.m.
Coffee Chat time will resume via Zoom on January 10th at 11 a.m.

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