Wine & Cheese and Christmas Carol Singing Party – Dec. 2, 2023

Xmas carol party 2018
Christmas carol party 2018

The annual Wine & Cheese and Carol Singing Party is Saturday, December 2, 2023, at 7:30 PM at 177 Greyabbey Trail. This will be the 30th such party (not counting a 2-year COVID absence). All adult members of the congregation are welcome. A freewill donation and some goodies or squares to share would be appreciated. We will sing all your favourite carols. As a special treat this year, JoAnn Vanderyagt will be playing the piano. There is a sign-up sheet in the church hall. Please sign up there (or contact the church office) so we know how many will be coming (but if you forget to sign up, come anyway!).

Advent and Christmas Season 2023

“Happy Christmas” (1891) by Danish painter Viggo Johansen (1851–1935); from the Hirschsprung Collection, Copenhagen; taken from the Wikimedia Commons.

Christmas and Advent is a special time at GCPC and we look forward to reflecting the festive spirit. Please join us for one of the many services and events taking place.

Date & TimeEvent / Service
Dec 2 7:30 PMWine & Cheese and Carol Singing Party
Dec 3 11 AMAdvent I (Hope) & Communion Sunday
Singing Christmas card orders due
Dec 10 11 AMAdvent II (Peace) & Amnesty International Write for Rights Sunday
Gift cards donations for Holiday Gift Bag due; Smoked Salmon orders due
Dec 15 1 PMRead and Pray Faith and Prayer study group
Dec 16 7 PMThe Light of the World Concert featuring Jr./Sr. Choirs, Bells of Guildwood, Special Guests
Dec 17 11 AMAdvent III (Joy); Read and Discuss, Virtual Book Club follows
Care Team cookie donations due
Dec 21 7:30 PMThe Longest Night (led by Rev. Dr. Laura Alary) – Service of quiet prayer & healing
Dec 24 11 AMAdvent IV (Love)
Dec 24 7 PMChristmas Eve Lessons & Carols (Bells of Guildwood & Choir)

Rev. Moon’s Message for November 26, 2023

I’ve been reading the work of Rev. Dr. Angela N. Parker, a highly regarded womanist theologian and assistant professor at McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University. Her book, “If God still breathes, why can’t I? (Black Lives Matter and Biblical Authority),” and a public lecture at United Theological Seminary have profoundly impacted me. As a person of color, her experiences as an African American womanist theologian have been instrumental in expanding my understanding of who I am as a person. Through her writings, I’ve been challenged to think deeply about the essence of preaching and reading the Bible.

One powerful statement from her lecture resonated with me: “As long as we are alive, we have hope.” This message was a timely reminder that, regardless of the challenges we face, there is always hope as long as we are alive. It’s a sentiment that I believe everyone can benefit from incorporating into their daily lives. Despite the darkness that may surround us, the fact that we are alive signifies an enduring wellspring of hope. We each serve as ambassadors of God’s love and hope, capable of making a positive impact every day, no matter how small it may seem.


“Christ before Pilate” by Hungarian painter Mihály Munkácsy (1844–1900); from the collection of the Déri Museum, Debrecen, Hungary; taken from the Wikimedia Commons.

Rev. Helen Smith and Christmas tree decorating – this Sunday, November 26

This Sunday, November 26, we are very blessed to have Rev. Helen Smith leading the worship service. Her sermon is titled “A different kind of king” and is based on John 18: 33–37. Following the service, we will come together to decorate the Christmas tree. (We apologize in advance that the livestreaming of the service on November 26 will not be available.)

Quiet Prayer and Communion Service – Wednesday, November 29

On Wednesday, November 29 at 7:30 PM, we will host a quiet prayer and communion service in the sanctuary. In the midst of our often busy and hectic lives, finding moments for prayer and listening to God can be challenging. Our communal silence and prayer provide a space to enhance our connection with God. Please, come and pray with us.

Monthly or Biweekly Evening Bible Study

I’m currently in talks with a few of you about initiating a monthly or biweekly evening Bible study (or Lectio Divina: Divine Reading) in the upcoming year. Please let me know if you’re interested in joining a monthly or biweekly evening Bible study.


—Rev. Chuck Moon

Rev. Moon’s Message for November 19, 2023

19th century stained-glass window by German glass artist Ludwig Mittermaier (1827–1864), after a work by German painter Gustav König (1808–1869), with the words of Psalm 133:1 in German; in the Evangelische Stadtkirche (“Protestant City Church”), Ravensburg, Germany; taken from the Wikimedia Commons.

“How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!”

Psalm 133:1

Dear Friends,

“The Psalmist reminds us that one of the best ways to live out faith and to praise God is to live together in unity with our brothers and sisters.”

This Sunday, November 19, immediately following the church service, we will hold a congregational meeting to discuss and initiate a motion/motions on the future direction committee’s report and recommendations.

The congregational meeting is not just an opportunity to make a motion but also to worship God by listening to one another. The unity we seek starts with listening and celebrating the diverse thoughts and perspectives our community members carry. We believe that differences in our thoughts can strengthen our collective decisions.

May we openly share our thoughts and actively listen to one another, seeking to perceive God’s voice within each of us, for we firmly believe that God speaks through each of God’s children, not just a few leaders. We are committed to supporting whatever decision the congregation makes. Our strength lies in our ability to come together, make informed choices to honor God and each other, and stand united behind the outcomes of our collective decisions. May our discussions and decisions at the meeting glorify God. We humbly ask for your prayers and support for the meeting.


Rev. Helen Smith and Christmas tree decorating – Sunday, November 26

On Sunday, November 26, we are very blessed to have Rev. Helen Smith leading the worship service. Following the service, we will come together to decorate the Christmas tree.

Quiet Prayer and Communion Service – Wednesday, November 29

On Wednesday, November 29 at 7:30 PM, we will host a quiet prayer and communion service in the sanctuary. In the midst of our often busy and hectic lives, finding moments for prayer and listening to God can be challenging. Our communal silence and prayer provide a space to enhance our connection with God. Please, come and pray with us.

Monthly or Biweekly Evening Bible Study

I’m currently in talks with a few of you about initiating a monthly or biweekly evening Bible study (or Lectio Divina: Divine Reading) in the upcoming year. Please let me know if you’re interested in joining a monthly or biweekly evening Bible study.


—Rev. Chuck Moon

Rev. Moon’s Message for November 12, 2023

L’Arche Daybreak in Richmond Hill, ON; taken from the Wikimedia Commons.

Dear Friends,

Join us for our virtual book club gathering this Sunday, November 12, at 1 PM, and every third Sunday of the month thereafter. We extend a warm invitation to those eager to engage in thoughtful discussions. This month’s focus is on Henri Nouwen’s “Bringing Solitude into our lives.” Nouwen, a beloved author, played a significant role in shaping my perspective during the initial decade of my ministry. It might pique your interest to know that Henri Nouwen spent his final years — from 1986 until his passing — at the L’Arche home in Richmond Hills, Ontario. Contact the church office for the Zoom link to the meeting.

I’m currently in talks with a few of you about initiating a monthly or biweekly evening Bible study (or Lectio Divina: Divine Reading) in the upcoming year. Please let me know if you’re interested in joining a monthly or biweekly evening Bible study.


Monthly Prayer and Reflection group – Friday, November 17

On Friday, November 17, at 1 PM, we will hold the gathering of our monthly prayer and reflection group in the lounge. We will be reading from and reflecting on Joan Chittister’s “The Breath of the Soul” together. Everyone interested in deepening their understanding and experience of prayer is warmly invited to join us.

Congregational Meeting – Sunday, November 19

On Sunday, November 19, immediately following the church service, we will hold a congregational meeting to discuss and initiating a motion/motions on the future direction committee’s report and recommendations.

We extend an invitation to each of you, encouraging not only prayerful reflection upon your own individual desires for our church but also the discernment of how best to serve God collectively through our congregation. May we openly share our thoughts and actively listen to one another, seeking to perceive God’s voice within each of us, for we firmly believe that God speaks through each of God’s children. We are committed to supporting whatever choice the congregation makes. We believe in the collective wisdom and unity of our community, and we trust that the congregation’s decision will be in the best interest of all. Our strength lies in our ability to come together, make informed choices, and stand united behind the outcomes of our collective decisions.

Rev. Helen Smith and Christmas tree decorating – Sunday, November 26

On Sunday, November 26, we are very blessed to have Rev. Helen Smith leading the worship service. Following the service, we will come together to decorate the Christmas tree.

Quiet Prayer and Communion Service – Wednesday, November 29

On Wednesday, November 29 at 7:30 PM, we will host a quiet prayer and communion service in the sanctuary. In the midst of our often busy and hectic lives, finding moments for prayer and listening to God can be challenging. Our communal silence and prayer provide a space to enhance our connection with God. Please, come and pray with us.


—Rev. Chuck Moon

Rev. Moon’s Message for November 5, 2023

Dear friends,

The session has put in place a search committee to initiate the quest for our congregation’s next music director. This dedicated committee is composed of the following individuals: Kunle Akingbola, Christianne James, Sandra O’Brien, Carol Ritchie, Cindy Similas, and Steven Szeto. Your prayers and support for the search committee and their important task are greatly appreciated.

Brooks Gorst has graciously accepted the role of interim music director, for which we are deeply appreciative. Brooks’ generosity and dedication are truly commendable. While Brooks will lead us on numerous Sundays, we will also extend a warm welcome to guest musicians who will serve as accompanists during this interim period.

John McCrae Memorial “book” with his poem “In Flanders Fields” (1915) at the McCrae House, Guelph, Ontario. By Lx 121. CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported. See full image credit below.

Remembrance Sunday – This Sunday, November 5

This Sunday, November 5, is Remembrance Sunday. We gather to remember the importance of peace and those whose lives are changed forever. The purpose of our worship is not to glorify a war, but to remember the stories of people whose lives were forever changed by a war and remind each other, “Please, never again.” We thank Al Harris for helping us to deepen our remembrance.

Rev. Beaton and Virtual Book Study Session – Sunday, November 12

On Sunday, November 12, Rev. Gordon Beaton will co-lead the worship service. After the service at 1 PM, there will be a virtual book study session. Please note that the virtual book study has been rescheduled to November 12 due to a congregational meeting planned for November 19 (see below). Right after the Nov. 12 service, the Nurture and Education Committee will convene a meeting to discuss the women’s retreat. We extend an invitation to anyone interested in participating in future retreats to join the meeting.

Congregational Meeting – Sunday, November 19

On Sunday, November 19, immediately following the church service, we will hold a congregational meeting to discuss and initiating a motion/motions on the future direction committee’s report and recommendations.

We extend an invitation to each of you, encouraging not only prayerful reflection upon your own individual desires for our church but also the discernment of how best to serve God collectively through our congregation. May we openly share our thoughts and actively listen to one another, seeking to perceive God’s voice within each of us, for we firmly believe that God speaks through each of God’s children. We are committed to supporting whatever choice the congregation makes. We believe in the collective wisdom and unity of our community, and we trust that the congregation’s decision will be in the best interest of all. Our strength lies in our ability to come together, make informed choices, and stand united behind the outcomes of our collective decisions.

Rev. Helen Smith and Christmas tree decorating – Sunday, November 26

On Sunday, November 26, we are very blessed to have Rev. Helen Smith leading the worship service. Following the service, we will come together to decorate the Christmas tree.

Quiet Prayer and Communion Service – Wednesday, November 29

On Wednesday, November 29 at 7:30 PM, we will host a quiet prayer and communion service in the sanctuary. In the midst of our often busy and hectic lives, finding moments for prayer and listening to God can be challenging. Our communal silence and prayer provide a space to enhance our connection with God. Please, come and pray with us.


—Rev. Chuck Moon

Image credit: “Johnmccraememorialbookcloseup02.JPG” by Lx 121.  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Taken from the Wikimedia Commons.

A version of this message appeared in the Friday, November 3, 2023 edition of Tidbits.

Rev. Moon’s Message for October 29, 2023

Dear Friends,

Sunday, October 29 is a day of appreciation and recognition for our beloved music director, Rachelle Risling, and her dedicated ministry among us. This Sunday will also mark Rachelle’s final service with us before she embarks on her new role at Clarkson Road Presbyterian Church in Mississauga, starting on November 5. We extend a warm invitation to all to partake in our celebration of Rachelle’s time with us and to congratulate her on her new journey. Additionally, the Bells of Guildwood will grace us with their performance.

I’m sure many of you are pondering about what lies ahead for us. Session has put in place a search committee to initiate the quest for our congregation’s next Music Director. This dedicated committee is composed of the following individuals: Kunle Akingbola, Christianne James, Sandra O’Brien, Carol Ritchie, Cindy Similas, and Steven Szeto. While we embark on this search, we’ll welcome guest musicians each week, possibly even some familiar faces. Your prayers and support for the search committee and their important task are greatly appreciated.


Remembrance Sunday – Sunday, November 5

Sunday, November 5th is the Remembrance Sunday. We gather to remember the importance of peace and those whose lives are changed forever. The purpose of our worship is not to glorify a war, but to remember the stories of people whose lives were forever changed by a war and remind each other, “Please, never again.”

Please, send us a photo of a loved one, ie. parent, grandparent or other family member that was part of the Armed Forces during WWI, WWII, Korea, Afghanistan or during peacekeeping times. The name and where the loved one served should also be included to go along with the photo. For example:

Walter Harris, Late Father of Al Harris
Lance Corporal
Royal Canadian Army Service Corps
86th Bridge Company
WWII

Rev. Beaton and Virtual Book Study Session – Sunday, November 12

On Sunday, November 12, Rev. Gordon Beaton will co-lead the worship service. After the service at 1 PM, there will be a virtual book study session. Please note that the virtual book study has been rescheduled to November 12 due to a congregational meeting planned for November 19 (see below). Right after the Nov. 12 service, the Nurture and Education Committee will convene a meeting to discuss the women’s retreat. We extend an invitation to anyone interested in participating in future retreats to join the meeting.

Congregational Meeting – Sunday, November 19

On Sunday, November 19 immediately following the church service, we will hold a congregational meeting to discuss and initiate a motion/motions on the Future Directions Committee’s report and recommendations.

Rev. Helen Smith and Christmas tree decorating – Sunday, November 26

On Sunday, November 26, we are very blessed to have Rev. Helen Smith leading the worship service. Following the service, we will come together to decorate the Christmas tree.

Quiet Prayer and Communion Service – Wednesday, November 29

On Wednesday, November 29 at 7:30 PM, we will host a quiet prayer and communion service in the sanctuary. In the midst of our often busy and hectic lives, finding moments for prayer and listening to God can be challenging. Our communal silence and prayer provide a space to enhance our connection with God. Please, come and pray with us.


—Rev. Chuck Moon

A version of this message appeared in the Friday, October 27, 2023 edition of Tidbits.

Rev. Moon’s Message for October 22, 2023

Reconciliation” by English sculptor Josefina de Vasconcellos (1904– 2005). Originally created in 1977, this subsequent casting is at Coventry Cathedral; other castings at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Stormont Estate (Belfast), and at the Chapel of Reconciliation (Berlin). Image by Martinvl. Full image credit below.

Dear friends,

Describing our thoughts and emotions while we witness the events in Israel and Palestine is a challenging, if not insurmountable task. Words elude me, rendering me speechless in my attempts at prayer. The past several days all I could do was to offer silence to God. I’m at a loss for words to articulate my prayers for the suffering and oppressed people in Palestine and Israel. During the recent Sunday worship services, I had intended to offer a prayer for the conflict, but I failed to find the words. I found some prayers written by others but could not say those words. I humbly ask your forgiveness for my silence. Yet, my silence is not denial or ignoring or approval of what we witness, but acknowledging my inadequacy, grieving the unbearable suffering of the oppressed and soul-searching for what is that I can do to fix our eyes on Christ not on hatred and darkness. I will continue searching for the words and carrying those unknown words in my soul, and as I do, I would like to humbly request your prayers for the afflicted people in Palestine and Israel. Praying that peace will prevail, and the humanity will not be consumed by hatred or violence.

God of truth, mercy and peace, God of life and of reconciliation,
we mourn the suffering and murder of your people
and we pray a just peace and reconciliation for the people of Palestine and Israel
who have endured the burden of violence and conflict for so long.

Console those who grieve, heal the injured,
comfort those who are alone and afraid, protect those who held hostage, and
restrain those who would cause more violence or act cynically for political gain and power.

Let wisdom settle on your churches and on the governments and leaders of this world
so that justice is sought, reconciliation found, peace established and security provided for all.
In the name of Jesus we pray.

Prayer courtesy the PCC

Virtual Book Study – This Sunday

This Sunday, October 22, at 1 PM, a virtual book study will be held. This month we will be studying Julian of Norwich’s Spirituality (who famously prayed, “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”)

Quiet Prayer and Communion Service – Wednesday, October 25

On Wednesday, October 25 at 7:30 PM, we will host a quiet prayer and communion service in the sanctuary. In the midst of our often busy and hectic lives, finding moments for prayer and listening to God can be challenging. Our communal silence and prayer provide a space to enhance our connection with God. Please come and pray with us.

Day of Appreciation and Recognition for Rachelle Risling – Sunday, October 29

Sunday, October 29 is a day of appreciation and recognition for our beloved music director, Rachelle Risling, and her dedicated ministry among us. October 29 also marks Rachelle’s final service with us before she embarks on a new role at Clarkson Road Presbyterian Church in Mississauga starting on November 5th. We extend a warm invitation to all to partake in our celebration of Rachelle’s time with us and to congratulate her new journey. Additionally, the Bells of Guildwood will grace us with their performance.

Remembrance Sunday – Sunday, November 5

Sunday, November 5th is the Remembrance Sunday. We gather to remember the importance of peace and those whose lives are changed forever. The purpose of our worship is not to glorify a war, but to remember the stories of people whose lives were forever changed by a war and remind each other, “Please, never again.”

Please, send us a photo of a loved one, ie. parent, grandparent or other family member that was part of the Armed Forces during WWI, WWII, Korea, Afghanistan or during peacekeeping times. The name and where the loved one served should also be included to go along with the photo. For example:

Walter Harris, Late Father of Al Harris
Lance Corporal
Royal Canadian Army Service Corps
86th Bridge Company
WWII


—Rev. Chuck Moon

Image credit: “Reconciliation by Vasconcellos, Coventry” (2011) by Martinvl. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Taken from the Wikimedia Commons.

A version of this message appeared in the Friday, October 20, 2023 edition of Tidbits.

Rev. Moon’s Message for October 15, 2023

Dear Friends,

This Sunday

Books of Remembrance in the Peace Tower Memorial Chamber, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. See image credit below.

This Sunday, we have scheduled a memorial service to honor and commemorate our cherished departed ones. At the start of the service, the Mission and Outreach committee will conduct a special moment of gratitude. Following the service, the committee will host a pierogi luncheon in dedication of our mission project and to offer prayers for the people of Ukraine.

Monthly Prayer Group – Friday, October 20

Friday, October 20 at 1 PM marks the gathering of our monthly prayer and reflection group in the lounge. Everyone interested in deepening their understanding and experience of prayer is warmly invited to join us.

Quiet Prayer and Communion Service – Wednesday, October 25

On Wednesday, October 25 at 7:30 PM, we will host a quiet prayer and communion service in the sanctuary. In the midst of our often busy and hectic lives, finding moments for prayer and listening to God can be challenging. Our communal silence and prayer provide a space to enhance our connection with God. Please come and pray with us.

Day of Appreciation and Recognition for Rachelle Risling – Sunday, October 29

Sunday, October 29 is a day of appreciation and recognition for our beloved music director, Rachelle Risling, and her dedicated ministry among us. October 29 also marks Rachelle’s final service with us before she embarks on a new role at Clarkson Road Presbyterian Church in Mississauga on November 5. We extend a warm invitation to all to partake in our celebration of Rachelle’s time with us and to congratulate her new journey. Additionally, the Bells of Guildwood will grace us with their performance.

—Rev. Chuck Moon

Image credit: “Book of remembrance.jpg” by MacGyver24; Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license; taken from the Wikimedia Commons.

A version of this message appeared in the Saturday, October 14, 2023 edition of Tidbits.

Rev. Moon’s Message for October 8, 2023

“Saying Grace” (circa 1720) by Flemish artist Joseph van Aken (c. 1699–1749); from the collection of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; taken from the Wikimedia Commons.

Dear Friends,

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:16–18

Beloved friends, as we approach the Thanksgiving weekend, let us remember that our capacity to express gratitude is indeed a divine gift bestowed upon us by God. It serves as a profound signpost directing us toward the divine. Let us come together in prayer to enrich our thanksgiving to God.

On Sunday, October 15, we will hold a memorial service to remember and celebrate our loved ones who are no longer with us. We will pay tribute to those who have passed away this past year. If you have experienced the loss of a cherished one during that time and would like us to commemorate their name in our service, please share both their name and a photograph with me at [email protected].

The Book Club originally planned for Sunday, October 15, is rescheduled for Sunday, October 22, as we have a pierogi lunch on the 15th organized by the Mission and Outreach Committee. We apologize for any inconvenience.

—Rev. Chuck Moon

A version of this message appeared in the Friday, October 6, 2023 edition of Tidbits.