a welcoming, affirming, justice-seeking congregation

Advent Art: Several of you have requested the artist’s interpretation of the Advent banner that has graced the front of the sanctuary during this season. We have resisted providing that interpretation until the last Sunday of Advent, in order to elicit from you your own interpretations. Now, however, it seems appropriate to provide Ruth Campbell’s explanation of her thought process in creating the banner. She says: My vision for the banner was that the three gold strands were in recognition that there are many stories of how ”God’s love” came into the world, and a variety of religious traditions with very different understandings, many who are our neighbours. There are areas in the banner where the strands come together, other areas which show our diversity. In this banner, the central cord comes together in a circle near the bottom of the banner. For me, this was representing our understanding of how God is revealed in the birth of Jesus. It is in community, through fellowship, study and prayer that our understanding of this birth is revealed and understood. Our responsibility is to accept this gift of love, and share it with others. The ends of the cords which go off from the circle were to signify this. The black burlap of the banner shows the humbleness of this birth. Thank you, Ruth, for sharing this interpretation with us, for creating the banner and Advent wreath, and for so generously allowing us to use your mother and child sculpture in this holy season.

The Banners above the stairs in the main entrance of the building, and on the wall in the narthex as you come down the stairs to the sanctuary, are gifts from the former congregation of Oxford United Church–a congregation that was known for its beautiful quilted banners. Bob Haverluck served the Oxford congregation some years ago. We are grateful for this generous gift. A note of thanks has been sent to Verna Young, one of the Oxford quilters, who offered these quilts to Bob for Immanuel’s use.

Messages from the Pre-Advent Dinner: At this year`s Pre-Advent Dinner, table groups prepared messages for the Immanuel congregation based on each of the Advent sub-themes (Mystery, Longing, Promise, Anticipation). Each Sunday, the messages corresponding to the day`s theme are brought forward during the offering time. After worship, they are placed on the blue ribbons on the back wall of the sanctuary. You are invited to spend some time after worship reading the messages.

Christmas Flowers If you would like to contribute to Christmas flowers, please see Sharon Barbour or call her at 668-4571.

Choir Members There will be no choir practice on December 29th, will resume on Thursday, January 5th.

Observer Subscription Renewals If you would like to renew or start a new subscription, please call Sharon in the office or if paying by cheque, please make it payable to Immanuel United Church and mark “Observer” on your offering envelope. Deadline is Tuesday, December 20th. Note: The cost is $20.00 per subscription.

Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (C.P.R.) The Pastoral Care committee has recruited a Certified Instructor to teach this course here at Immanuel on Saturday, January 21st, 2012 from 9am to about 4pm. The course will include: certification, adult and child C.P.R. and choking, instruction on deliberators and a take home manual. There is no age limit for participation, a maximum of 20 people per class, a charge of $63.00 per participant. If this date works for you, please sign up on a new list in the Amen corner or leave your name at the church office. If you have any questions please call Muriel at 663-2504.

1Hope Winnipeg(Five communities, one hope) 1Hope Winnipeg is a group of non-profit organizations working together towards a brighter future by connecting with, supporting and empowering some of the most disenfranchised people in our city. The five outreach ministries are North End Stella, Oak Table, Rainbow Ministry, St. Matthew’s-Maryland and West Broadway. Please visit their website www.1hopewinnipeg.com for more information or call 954-2904. There are also brochures in the AMEN corner.

Tax Receipts will be run and mailed in January. Please check for accuracy and advise Arlene Gendre (661-4536) or Sharen Jost

(654-2670) of any discrepancies.

Flower Policy Anyone wishing to place flowers in the church, please sign Flower Calendar for a date of your choice. You are then invited to bring your own flowers. I am available to help with choices regarding colors or flowers. Either contact me or the church office to place an announcement in the church bulletin. Sharon Barbour 668-4571.

All 2011 donations must be received by December 31st. We are unable to backdate any givings received in January.

The Visioning Process continues……..We have looked at the Macro view during the Visioning Event in Oct and now we are continuing to discern our Vision looking at the Micro view. In the New Year we will be holding conversations with a number of different groups in the Congregation. The intention is to understand: Who we are as a Congregation? Who we are called to be? Where do we need to go in the future? Times and Dates for the discussions will be announced in the New Year. We have tried to provide a broad range of groups to give everyone the opportunity to participate, and our thinking is that individuals may choose the group that best fits their circumstances. If you have any questions please contact a member of the Visioning Committee……Bill Hickerson, Marg Smith, Karen Turk, Ian Donnelly or Lynda Endicott.

The following is a list of the various groups:

1. People who come from a distance

Remember our Red River

Co-op gas number is 193228.

2. People that are the only member of their family who come

3. Parents of school age children

4. Young adults (18-ish to 30-ish)

5. Children and youth

6. People who are retired.

Our website is up and running.

Please go to immanuelunitedchurch.net

7. People who are not-retired (working or unemployed)

8. Professional Ministers

9. People who are 80-plus-ish.

10. Tuesday Morning Study group.

11. Wed Night Study Group

12. Men’s Study Group

13. Thursday Morning Study Group

THIS WEEK AT IMMANUEL

Sunday, Dec 18th

2:00 – 6:00 pm Church Jehovah Nissi
Monday, Dec 19th

8:00-9:00 pm Church Jehovah Nissi
Tuesday, Dec 20th

9:30 am Study Group
Wednesday, Dec 21st

8:00 pm AA Group
Thursday, Dec 22nd

7:00 pm Choir Practice
8:00 pm Bettor’s Anonymous
Friday, Dec 23rd

8:00 pm Al-Anon & Alateen Group
8:00 – 10:00 pm Church Jehovah Nissi
Saturday, Dec 24th

6:30pm Jazz Carols by Scott and Paul Metcalfe
7:00 pm Worship Service for all ages with special music offered by the Choir
9:00 pm Quiet Christmas Communion Service
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