Malmo News

Gathering to prepare for Advent.

We live by several calendars. There’s the regular calendar, based on our movement around the sun and the phases of the moon. There are a variety of sports calendars: whenever the hockey or football season starts. There’s the school calendar, running from September to June. There’s the holiday calendar: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, summer holidays. Our lives are shaped by these calendars; we make plans around them and in both large and small ways, they shape who we are.

There’s another calendar that we don’t often think about: the calendar of the church. The church has historically had its own rhythms based on God’s time: rhythms of rest and activity, of fasting and feasting, and always of reflection on the story of God’s work in the world and in our lives. It can be difficult to reconcile the church calendar with all the other calendars that draw our attention.

Advent is just around the corner. It’s the start of the new year for the church and a chance to start again, to reorient ourselves towards God’s time. But the Christmas rush is around the corner, too: school programs, parties, shopping, and all the other busy-ness of the season. Every year I intend to make Advent a quieter time of reflection, of slowing down, of focusing on what the season is really about, and every year I still get caught up in the seasonal rush. It’s probably the same for you.

Why not start this year’s Advent with your heart and mind focused on the coming of Jesus? Join us on Saturday, November 29, as we explore what it means to wait in expectation for Jesus, who will bring in God’s Kingdom, where God’s time will forever be our time as well. There will be eating, group activities, and reflection on Advent scripture readings.

We’re gathering on Saturday, November 29, from 11:30 to about 2:00 at Malmo. A catered lunch will be served. Come expecting fellowship, fun, and to have your heart focused on the coming of Jesus. If you’d like to join us, let us know on Sunday (so we know approximate numbers for the caterer).

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One Church, Many Parts

I sit here trying to warm my hands on a cup of hot tea as the snow slowly falls outside the office window. And I wait for the final bit of bulletin information to come in via email. Somewhere, just a Pacific Ocean away, the real church admin assistant is undoubtedly enjoying a tall, cold drink as she walks barefoot on the sandy beaches of Maui, the wind gently blowing through her hair, the warmth making her cheeks just a bit more sun-kissed each day.

You see, this is Dixie typing these words. I have been filling in for Delora for the past two weeks as she and her family are on a much-deserved holiday in one of the most beautiful places in the world — the dry side of Maui!

And what I’ve been realizing, as I attempt to do a portion of what Delora does here each week, is that there is a lot involved in maintaining church life. You see this when you stop to think about all that goes into making those few hours happen each Sunday morning, and especially when you have the opportunity to be involved of some of these areas.

There’s the order of service to prepare. The kids’ bulletin and clipboard to stock with a snack and sharpened coloured pencils. There is music to distribute to musicians and scriptures to be chosen and Sunday school lessons to be studied and power points to prepare and drafts of sermons to reshape. The church gets cleaned once a week. And there are the brave souls who set (and empty) the mouse traps. The display at the altar to focus our eye is carefully arranged. Bulletins are printed, perforated (did you know Delora hand-perforates the tear-away prayer section of each bulletin!), and waiting at the back for our ushers to give out as they greet people at the door. Food is gathered and prepared for all of us to share after the service each week and the dishes of 100+ people to be washed and put away when the visiting is done. And, most importantly, the prayer through it all that what we do will be pleasing to God and further His kingdom.

I’m sure there is so much more that I’m missing about what goes into our Sunday mornings, let alone all that is involved in the work and ministry of the church in the other days of the week.

So, today I’m thankful for all of those who are a part of the work God is doing at Malmo, in all the many forms that can take. From the most obvious to those things that go unseen, you are all a part of God’s good work in this Field of ours, and I am grateful.

— Dixie (standing in for Delora for just a few more days)

 

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Remembrance Day

Take a moment today to reflect on those who have fought for our freedom, and to pray for those in our armed forces.

remembrance-day-quotes-2

 

In Flanders Field,  by Canadian John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

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Pastoral Review Survey Time

In November of each year, the church goes through an annual ‘Pastoral Review’ of both of our pastors. This process is not only helpful for the Pastors, but for the congregation as well. We encourage EVERYONE to fill out a survey – youth included. We ask that you sign your name to the survey – however the Pastors never see those names – only the comments. If you’ve forgotten to pick up a copy of the survey at church, click on the Survey link below.  Completed forms can be deposited into the black box on the Malmo Info Table in the church foyer, by November 30th.

If you’d like to speak to anyone on the Pastoral Review Committee, the members are Jeff R., Corey N., Rick V. & Lorne N.

Annual Pastoral Review Survey

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Fall Time Change

Remember folks!!  Tonight we turn our clocks BACK one hour.  Enjoy your extra hour of sleep & we’ll see you tomorrow morning at church!

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Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes

Christmas is right around the corner – and that means as a church, we’ll be participating again in “Operation Christmas Child”.  This is a program, operated by ‘Samaritan’s Purse’, that sends shoeboxes filled with hygiene items, toys, books, etc., to hurting children in countries around the world.

Why should we get involved in this ministry? “Operation Christmas Child provides an opportunity for people of all ages to be involved in a simple, hands-on project of Samaritan’s Purse that focuses on the true meaning of Christmas – Jesus Christ – God’s greatest gift.” – Samaritans Purse.  That’s the best reason of all.

If you’d like more information about the ‘Operation Christmas Child’ program, or about Samaritans Purse, please click here.

 

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Feeding the Hungry

We’ve been made aware of an ongoing need in our nearby Maskwacis community.  There are some folks – every day – every week – that don’t have enough food for their table.  This is something that we can help out with.

We’ll be setting up a ‘Food Pantry’, full of non-perishable food, that will be passed on to those who are in need.    (The food will not be distributed directly from Malmo.  We have plans already in place, to give the food to an Elder in the Maskwacis Community, who will then be delivering it to those who have legitimate needs.)

Would YOU be willing to be a part of this new ministry at Malmo?  We are in need of healthy, non-perishable food items.  (ie. peanut butter, pasta, canned soups, etc.)  We’re also looking for solid boxes to put the food in for delivering.  (small apple size boxes like those from Davison Orchards).

Please drop off your food donations in the box in the foyer.

Deuteronomy 15:11 “There will always be some in the land who are poor. That is why I am commanding you to share freely with the poor.”

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Youth Worship & Celebration Night

Last night was our first ‘Worship & Celebration Night’ at youth this year.  Worshipping God is part of learning how to be a disciple of Jesus – and that’s what our main focus is at youth this year.  Sometimes we think of worship as only praising God with music.  That’s part of it – but there’s truly an unlimited number of ways that we can worship our God.  We explored a few of them last night, as we gave the youth options of different ways to worship.  Some chose to sing, some painted posters, some wrote letters or poems, still others sat & listened to the music and the words of the songs.  These are just a few different ways that we can worship & express our adoration to God.  Lawrence (New Sweden Mission Church pastor), also shared his story about how & when Jesus became real to him.  This is a reality for all of us – as we all have to come to the place of deciding who Jesus is to us.

We’re looking forward to our next ‘Worship & Celebration Night’, which will be on December 3rd from 7:30 to 8:30pm, here at Malmo.  Parents, if you’d like to come and join us, we would love to share this evening with you!

Here’s a few of the pictures from last night:

Bert & Vivian - celebrating 65 year together!

Celebrating 70th Birthdays

Celebrating 70th Birthdays

Youth Worship & Celebration

Youth Worship & Celebration

Youth Worship & Celebration

Youth Worship & Celebration

Youth Worship & Celebration

Youth Worship & Celebration

 

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Pastor Appreciation Month

Did you know that October is Pastor Appreciation Month?  The bible encourages us to appreciate our Pastors & our teachers.  So often, the jobs and tasks that they do, go unnoticed & unappreciated.  1 Timothy 5:17 says:

“The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honour, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.”

Lets be a church that not only appreciates our Pastors, but SHOWS our Pastors how much we appreciate them.  An encouraging word is always important – whether it’s during ‘Pastor Appreciation Month’, or at anytime during the year.

Not sure where to begin?  Both Lifeway Christian Resources & Focus on the Family have some neat and creative ways for us to show our appreciation for our Pastors.  Click on the links below for ideas for all ages.

Pastor Appreciation Ideas, Lifeway Resources

Ideas for All Ages, Lifeway Resources

Clergy Appreciation Ideas, Focus on the Family – Thriving Pastor

 

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A Thanksgiving Song

Thanksgiving – a time to celebrate with your family & friends.  For the harvest and for the blessings & provisions that God has given – whether you’re a farmer or not – it IS a good thing to give thanks to God in all things.

The following is a hymn written back in 1865.  Take a moment to read the words and really ‘hear’ what they’re saying.  May this hymn be your prayer of thanksgiving this year.

Come, You Thankful People, Come
By: Henry Alford

Come, you thankful people, come;
Raise the song of harvest home.
All is safely gathered in
Ere the winter storms begin.
God, our maker, does provide
For our wants to be supplied.
Come to God’s own temple, come,
Raise the song of harvest home.

All the world is God’s own field,
Fruit unto his praise to yield.
Wheat and tares together sown,
Unto joy or sorrow grown.
First the blade and then the ear,
Then the full corn shall appear.
Lord of harvest, grant that we
Wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come
And shall take his harvest home,
From his field shall in that day
All offenses purge away.
Give his angels charge at last
In the fire the tares to cast
But the fruitful ears to store
In his garner evermore.

Even so, Lord quickly come
To your final harvest home.
Gather all your people in,
Free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified,
In your garner to abide.
Come, with all your angels, come,
Raise the glorious harvest home.

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