Friday, December 11, 2009

Trip to Montreal - Seafarer Centre

This is my 7th year here at Calvin CRC.
Some years ago I started taking the Christmas Parcels prepared for the Seafarers who stop over in Montreal. I didn't just take the parcels, I asked the youth of our church if they wanted to come along and join me to learn more about this great ministry sponsored by our Classis. They took me up on the offer.
We've now been doing this for many years, and I always find it a good thing to do. Parents have begun to come too, which is nice to see. The 2 hour drive is always fun (at least in my van it was interesting). The time spent learning about this ministry plants seeds of remembering as these YP get older. The adults who come have a better understanding/ appreciation of this ministry as well. All good stuff.
Below are some pictures of our trip. Enjoy!
All in all, we gave 80 parcels this year. Here is the group who went, surrounding the parcels.
We set up a line to get them into the vans. Saskia is working REALLY hard.
Mary Jane, you shouldn't be taking so many parcels you know!
There they go, into the back of my van.
Hannah and Rosalynn. Too cool.
Nice smile Michael.
Hey Hannah. WHAT are you doing touching my son's greasy hair....
We stopped for a pee break and some food.
Once we got to Montreal (I didn't get lost this time...) we unloaded the parcels in a line. Here is Saskia working hard AGAIN. : )
This is the way we unload the van, unload the van, unload the van.....
Once unloaded, we settled down in the Seafarer chapel to listen to Chaplain Dave (I think that was his name?). Michelle, whom we regularly talk with, and is the CRC chaplain there, was sick, so Dave covered for her.
We spent a good 40 minutes listening to what goes on at the Centre, and asking questions. I was quite impressed with this group.
Don't they look attentive : )
Mary Jane was full of questions. Dave took her to the map so she could know where everything was. She SOOOO wanted to go on a ship. Maybe next year Mary Jane.
Each year that we come, it's never certain if we will interact with any of the Seafarers. This day was a slow day, so we interacted with the games instead.
Chad, Janine and Ethan having dinner.
I think Rosalynn thinks Chris is cheating or something. He doesn't even know how to play pool, let alone cheat at it!
A sampling of the gifts that they give away each year.
Dinner time for these folk too.
Wherever you find a piano, you will find Hannah playing. It could just be me, but it doesn't look like Rosalynn is having much fun.
Dave took the group in the BIG bus/van for a tour around the port. They also got to drive on the Formula 1 track. I think they liked it.
Here is some video coverage of the weird things our YP do on trips....I do love them though......

And so ends our trip to Montreal for another year. We hope to do it again next year and continue to learn more about ministries that happen way beyond our 4 walls here at Calvin CRC. Blessings.

Peru Fundraiser - Cornwall

Cornwall is also coming along with us to Peru in March Break 2010. Below you will find some entries they have been using for their Bulletin to get people to know what they are up to, and a bit about the culture of Peru. It has been wonderful to see this group of 7 latch on to what we are going to be doing and why.

On December 5th they held a movie night, and the pictures below are from that night. Enjoy.

Advent Sunday #1
Advent and The Peru Mission Trip
How far and deep does the meaning of Advent go?
Waiting and working, groaning and growing, yearning and yielding to God’s Spirit on the move... this is what Advent is all about.This year, the worship committee is celebrating our Church’s involvement in the Peru mission trip. You’ll notice the windows of the north side of the sanctuary have the English version of each Sunday of Advent and the windows to the south the Spanish version. The Christmas tree in the foyer is decorated as it would be in Peru. Each week throughout Advent during children's’ message, we will learn a little more about the roles that Gerry, Marsha, Sarah, Dianne, Julia and Blake will have when they go to Peru in March. They among other things, will be running a VBS program while they are there. Our congregation will be asked to help donate items for this program for them to take with them to Peru. This trip is something to celebrate! It’s time to get excited! Let’s show our support and pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ as they prepare for this amazing trip.This Advent season, we encourage you to truly live in Advent so that the amazing gift of Christmas may shine that much brighter...Yours in Christ...The Worship Committee.
Second Sunday of Advent December 6, 2009 King ~ Rey Peru Mission Trip
March - 2009Peru is located on the west coast of South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean, with Ecuador to the north and Chile to the south. 27.2 million people live in Peru.Christmas is the most important celebration of the year in Peru. It is celebrated as "Nocha Buena", which means "Good Night" in Spanish. It is when Santa comes to fill the stockings that have been placed near the manger scene. When the family returns from Midnight Mass, the figure of Baby Jesus is placed in the manger and then the children open their gifts while fireworks boom in the sky. Christmas in Peru is celebrated on December 24th with much excitement. In the evening, there is a family get together to celebrate which is also called "Christmas for Children". There is preparation of pavo (turkey) as well as applesauce in most of the houses of those who can afford it.The people of Peru decorate their churches and homes with Nativity scenes. They buy the pieces of nativity from the market of Santurantikuy or ‘the buying of saints’. The market is held in the Plaza de Armas on December 24th. The scenes are on display until the La Bjeda de los Reyes which is ‘the arrival of the three wise men’ on January 6.While their celebrations sound like a wonderful thing in Peru, it is important to remember that 54% of Peruvians live in poverty. The wonderful truth about the gospel message is that in the midst of the pain and struggles we have hope...We live in an Advent time of upheaval, of unknowns, of earthquakes and tornado's, famine and sickness, wars and threats of wars, hatred and abuse. We need to name our pain, our fears, and our troubles so that the Advent message of hope may ring loud and clear for us.

Peru Mission Trip March - 2010

3rd Sunday of Advent

Advent is a time of celebration of God’s love for us and our response in faith. Each week we have been learning a little more about what Gerry, Marsha, Sarah, Blake, Brenda, Dianne and Julia will be doing in Peru during children’s message. We’ve also been sharing facts about Peru each week in the bulletin.We are blessed with all the riches God has bestowed on us in our country, many in Peru are not so fortunate. Millions of Peruvians - more than half the country’s people - struggle to survive. Close to one fourth of them live in extreme poverty.A distinct aspect of Christmas in Peru, is the "chocolatada" where churches, businesses and those who are better off provide a bit of Christmas cheer to the poorer children and their families. These parties each December are a special treat for villagers. Panetones, which are fruit filled breads and everything needed to make hot chocolate - chocolate bars, sugar, evaporated milk and cinnamon are gathered. Open fires are made and big pots of water are put on to boil - the ingredients are added to make the hot chocolate and the panetones are cut into big wedges and spread with butter. Tables and chairs are set up and people gather for the fun. Children are served first and may also receive a small gift.We serve a God who walked among us, who befriended sinners, the rich and the poor and he healed the sick. His light shines most brightly in the darker places of life. Remember...we are a people of advent. We are a people of hope.

Peru Fundraiser - Oakville

In addition to Cornwall, 23 people from Oakville (Cedarview) will be coming with us Peru. This group has been participating in the orientation sessions we are doing from afar and getting fundraising moving too. Below is their event that was also held on Dec 5th. Enjoy.
We just had our bazaar on Saturday and it was a great event! I believe that we raised $6500.00 profit. Here is a brief description of the day: All 18 youths, lots of leaders and even more parents all pulled together to put on a great bazaar. From the time that the idea was conceived to the day it was executed, it was about 8 weeks. The result of this intense planning were the following rooms: Plants, Cookie Decorating, Groceries, Kids Shopping Only, Gifts, Games, Popcorn and Movies, T-shirts and International Cafe. Many church members contributed baked goods, dishes, time and money in support of this event. Preparations began the day before where "all hands on deck" was ordered by our youth pastor, John.
We started the day off with a pancake breakfast then opened the doors to the great buys and fun that awaited. The bazaar went from 10:00 to 2:00 with the last hour being a "market place" in the church foyer. Emerging from the rooms, vendors took all the remaining goods to the main area and slashed their prices. It was probably just as much fun watching the exchanges near the end! All in all, it really was a fun day -- an exhausting one, but a great one. We all worked together!
Our sign in the front of the church letting the Clearview neighbourhoodknow that we are having a bazaar. Two weeks earlier we delievered as a youthgroup 700 flyers to also let them know.
This is Esther making the signs for the doors
This is Esther and Samantha working hard making all the sign for in the church. Everyone that is going to Peru got a t-shirt that says I love... (fill in the blank, could be Peru, My leaders, God, Dutch food) Here is two guys getting theres Jonathon is behind the table and James is in front.
This is a picture of Jordan and hannah in the Plant room. All our plants in this room were donated, so what we sold was profit. Jordan was the head of this room. Hannah worked in the game room and just "jumped" in for the picture.
Approx. 60 baskets for the silent auction were made from things that we collected from home. These baskets made over $1000.
This is Stephanie, she was a floater and whenever we needed something she would help us out. Along side of her is Rachel a youth leader from the gradeschool kids
This is a line emptying out a van filled with croquettes which were part of our preorder forms. Parents and youth along side.
This is Corrine pricing gifts in the "Specialty Gift Room" with one of the moms (Ingrid Cooper) from 2 kids going. Great deals on belts, wallets, sunglasses and much more.
A happy family coming from the international café with all there food. We had borenkoel, nasi, pizza, french fries, croquettes, pea soup and much more. Lots of desserts also.
Esther again selling popcorn for the movie "Up" that was playing in thesancuary so the parents could sit down and eat peacefully or shop.
This is Corrine selling our red "I Love" shirts
Daniel and Ellie in the red shirts doing dishes with a dishwasher, thank goodness. Also helping is one of the moms Maryann.
Patty's family getting lunch.
Nearing the end of the day and selling the remainder of the the baked goods!

Peru Dinner Fundraiser - Calvin

As many of you might know, we have been going to Pachacutec, Peru to minister with Gamaliel Church. We've gone twice, and will be returning this March Break. Part of our planning involves some fundraising. Though many in this group are paying a good portion of their trip on their own, we did want our congregation to have the opportunity to rally around the team and support them.
On December 5th we held a chili dinner and concert event. We supplied the chili, desserts and flavoured coffee's. Fred, from our church, provided our guests with a 1.5 hour piano concert. It was loved by all who attended.
Below are many pictures that describe the evening. I've included the order of our evening as seen on the powerpoint presentation, as well as some video of the group, just to give you a better idea of what we were up to behind the scenes. .
We had a wonderful time together, and thank you to all who helped us raise just over $4,500.00. Blessings.
The day began at 9:00 am. Even before that, however, Janine had been doing lots of shopping for the chili ingredients needed to make our 3 great chili's. Thanks Chad and Janine for your help. You are the chili guru's. Here you can see she organized things very well for us.
Here is Chris getting the meat ready for the chili. More of the group cooking and cutting away. Notice Nancy on the left there. Quiet, but working hard. Watch for more of that in the following pictures. We needed to peal LOTS of onions. Here is can't see the tears, but there were many! Ben and Chris helped to get the sanctuary ready for the piano concert. We cover the floor with tarps provided by Redeemer High so we don't spill any coffee or goodies on the church carpet.
Yes, that's blood on the fridge door.
No, this is not a crime scene investigation.
Yes, we cleaned and sanitized afterwards.
Mom and daughter....crying together!
Our "rowdy" section cooking away.... : )
Ah, Annette....what can I say about Annette....she's a sly one. Devious, but worked hard all day...even if she DID try to circumvent my orders several times....I think she gets that from her husband.....hmmmm
Oh, here's Nancy again. She's been moved quietly out of the way, and is quietly opening LOTS of cans.
Preparations in the sanctuary continue.
Well, Nancy AGAIN. AGAIN she's been moved, but she continues steadily on. Cutting now.
Here's Mina rinsing the beans in preparation for the chili.
Hey, Nancy AGAIN.........still cutting quietly.
Grandma's Chili. No Meat. Lots of OTHER stuff.
Bet you didn't want to see that picture.
Good thing we didn't show you until AFTER you'd eaten.
Yes, they all washed their hands.....oh, before handling the food.
Chris and Ben cutting the MANY buns supplied to assist with chili consumption.
Jeannine setting up tables, etc.
Here she is AGAIN. Different colour pepper, same idea.
Quietly cutting away. What a saint!
Here is the slacker group. Just hanging, not really.
They worked very hard all day.
At noon we were done cooking and we let the chili stew in 10 different crock pots for about 6 hours. I ensured they were stirred regularly.
The church smelled so good!
We all arrived back at 4:30 pm to get the final preparations ready. Some of us wore our Peru soccer shirts from our last trip. Seeing as how Annette hasn't gone yet, I'd say she stole this one from someone......
Sorry about the picture Annette.
Here are our guests gathered together and ready to start eating.
Leah and Hannah. Always a joker or two in the deck.
Once I opened with prayer, we listened to the national anthem of Peru, and sang the Canadian National Anthem; then we ate.
The chili was VERY good. Nothing but complements.
The "mature" table.
Here is Peter REALLY enjoying is Grandma's Chili.
Pastor Ken, don't look so serious...oh, I caught you in mid buttering of the bun...sorry about that!
Serving the chili to our guests. A matching set.
Not everyone ate in the fellowship hall. The team ate in the kitchen for the most part. Here Margaret and Wilma take a well deserved rest.
After dinner we took some time to instruct the group about Peru. This group shared what they had learned in their research. At the end of this entry you will find the powerpoint presentation that I did. Worth taking a look at.
Then it was time to share with the group how they could invest in the lives of the team and those in Peru, and we ended with dessert, flavoured coffee's and the concert.
Fred did a wonderful job of sharing his gift of music with us. He is sooooo talented. I didn't get to hear him much, but he's always appreciated. The setting was intimate, cozy, and up close.
People sat back, relaxed, and enjoyed Fred's playing. I see Christine really enjoyed it. Just relaxed and drinking in Fred's gift and talents.
While Fred played, we cleaned up.
Marg did a great job, and also wanted to complement me on my great job for the day. Reg, on the other hand, didn't seem to agree with her assessment. I can just hear him saying, "What, that Ron gotta be kidding!" : )
Below is a short video clip of our work behind the scenes.

Here is the powerpoint presentation that was given to the group present. It's about 4 minutes long, but worth taking a look at if you want to know more about what we are going to be doing.