2022-12-24 Weekly E-News

Merry Christmas & New Year Wishes. Free Merry Christmas Images eCards | 123 Greetings

“May the Christmas Season bring only happiness and joy to you and your family.”

Elgin-Portland Pastoral Charge

Christmas Eve Service PUC 4 p.m. and EUC 7 p.m. Rev. Kathy Walton officiating.

Christmas Day Joint Service @ PUC 10 a.m. led by the French Family.

New Year’s Day Joint Service @ EUC 10 a.m. led by the Elgin United Church Choir and friends.

Elgin United Church

Thank you for your outpouring of love and support during this unexpected and difficult time of Sharon’s death. We are an amazing faith community.  Blessings, Clinton

EUC Council

Portland United Church

I think it’s safe to say Saturday’s “Christmas in the Village” was a huge success!  The wagon carolling ride was filled to over-flowing bringing everyone to the church for hot chocolate and gingerbread decorating.

The big guy (Santa) was welcomed with open arms (to almost everyone) and he gave them magnificent treat bags.

Residents were saying it was just what the village needed!

Thank you to everyone for your help.  It was so much fun!  We need to make it an annual event.

Rhonda Elliot is home from hospital.  We are delighted to report that she has received good news and we keep her in our prayers for a speedy and full recovery.

Many thanks to Sheila McKeage for hosting the UCW Christmas potluck dinner.  As always, she was the perfect host and we were all overfed and pampered.

The UCW delivered the Christmas family their gifts and food to celebrate the holiday season and received an emotional thank you from them.  They are from the Ukraine and have never had such bounty given to them at Christmas before.  Again, our thanks to all who contributed.

Portland United Church is streaming Sunday Services live on their YouTube Channel. Whether you are unable to attend in person, want to watch a Sunday service again mid-week or know someone who might want to check us out, simply click on the following address https://www.youtube.com/@portlandunitedchurch4900 to be taken directly to the Portland United Church YouTube Channel.

Please consider hitting the ‘Subscribe’ button (once you’ve navigated to the YouTube channel) as shown below. Note, only people with a Gmail account can easily subscribe by clicking this button. Clicking on the ‘Profile Picture’ (an example is shown below on the far left) for Portland United Church will provide you with other options such as viewing past recordings. Reach out to the EPPC office with any questions: office@eppc-ucc.com; 613-272-2002.

Thanks, Media Team at Portland United Church

PUC Council

Devotional Thought – December 24, 2022 – Christmas Eve

Can you believe it. Here we are on the cusp of another Christmas. Shopping completed (I hope), presents wrapped, greetings sent, and Christmas dinner well on the way to being a memory of the past.

Have you ever given thought to exactly how this scenario plays out? Every year the same. And yet different. Every year the promises made to yourself that next year will be different. And it isn’t! The rush, the frustration, the tears, the joys, the smiles – all those things that seem to involve the reality of Christmas, come and go, with the expectations forced on us by the traditions we have made.

When I was a young mother, and vowing to change things next year, I wanted a different kind of Christmas. I wanted one focused on the Christ Child and all that means to the world. Yet more than 50 years later, I’m still striving for that perfect Christmas, when all those around me see the real meaning shining through me. You think it would be simple.

I don’t consider myself a person who feels forced to conform to the world. Yet here I am, confessing to you, the struggle to find the true meaning of Christmas. I know, I know. I’m a grandmother who wants to share with her grandchildren, a mother who shares with her children, a friend who shares with other friends. But what if? Next year:

…… I spent valuable time in building my relationships with my grandchildren, that is their Christmas gift, my gift of time

…… I made a supper meal, once a month for my daughter and her family, my Christmas gift would be appreciated all year (and absolutely welcomed)

…… I really listened to my friends and shared my undivided attention over coffee or a meal. Or could help in some way, through shopping for them, or taking them for a ride, or… my gift of friendship was my Christmas gift

Wow! In sharing with you today, I just started my new tradition. Guess what my dear friends, I have some cards to write with my plan for making next Christmas the kind of Christmas I’ve always wanted. Next Christmas, my gift has been shared long before the rush of shopping even begins for some. And all who partake in my Christmas gifts will know the love I share comes from the true meaning of Christmas – Jesus is the reason.

My Christmas wish this year is that others will know the real meaning of Christmas – God’s gift is a ‘FOREVER’ gift. Christ came into the world, to give us everything, Eternal Life. This forever gift, is like one-stop shopping. It’s a great fit for everyone. All they need to do is try it on for size.

May this Christmas be all that you want. Please remember those who will not be sharing the same joys we have, those who are grieving, those who will be without, and those to whom God leads you to make the difference. Be open to changing your traditions, and adding new ones.

Blessing and peace to each of you.

Liz Church -Pastoral Care Director

Elgin/Portland Pastoral Charge