Monday, November 29, 2010

A CIA Random Act of Kindness - Moving Christine's family belongings

Christine helps us with our youth praise team.  She prepares song lists, selects new songs for us to sing, and works with the liturgists to ensure we have songs for our services.  She and her family are also going to be moving in the new year.  Their new home is presently being gutted and redone inside.  She needed to move some items to that new home, and asked if the YP could help out.  I asked, and they obliged.  So here are some pics and comments about our Saturday morning of November 27th.  

 We began by getting warm and cozy in the hallway while we waited for Christine to arrive home.  She dropped off her children at my home so they would be out of the way.  We arrived to find Christine's parents waiting for her too.  Here are some of the gang waiting.  

I discovered that Stuart played the smart role of being out of town for the weekend, so he avoided this move altogether.  Very crafty if you ask me!!  : )  

 Our moving vehicle for the day.  It runs on vegetable oil.  

 William wasted no time getting moving with the move.  

 Hannah and Fontana got right to work too.  

 Christine helped us as well.  Lots of bed frames left their old home.  Sleeping on mattresses only for a couple of months.  

 Chris and David working hard too.  

There were some larger boxes to carry.  This one was full of stuffed bears, so not too heavy.  

 Oh, I almost forgot.  Rosy was there too and worked very hard.  

 And then there was Megan.  She showed up JUST as the van was loaded up.  The funny part is Christine's new home is right around the corner from Megan, so she was just going straight back home again.....  : ).  It doesn't pay to be fashionably late all the time,  eh Megan!  : )

 The bus loaded and ready to go.  

My van with some of th YP in there.  They sure can be loud.  As you can see, Hannah is commenting on something David said, I think.  

 We arrived at the new home and began to unload.  

 William started things off.  Hmmmm, the house doesn't look like move in material yet eh!  

 The insulation sure is pretty......sure glad it's not the drywall.  

 Hey Megan, nice of you to join in the work.  Better late than never I always say.  

 Rosy and William bring in the biggest doll house I've ever seen.  1230 square centimeters, as David liked to say.  

We loaded all the stuff in the unfinished basement.  

 Chris tried on a new hat.  

 Hmmmmm, and there's that David name again.  Remember the post from the youth room. His name was up in paint there.  I think he's beginning to think a bit much of himself.  

 After unloading, we took a small load of dressers to the BFM store.  I think the car ride must have been too much for Chris b/c he's got a good strangle hold on Fontana.   She probably had it coming, but I broke it up before it got lethal....  : )  

 Yes, now, back to work and everyone getting these last items into the store.  

 Andy, someone who works at the BFM store, and goes to Calvin, took this opportunity to utilize some of the guys in our group to help him unload some larger items that had been donated.  Timing is everything.  

 One mistake we made was letting the ladies of the group have time to do some shopping.  Never should have let that happen.....never!!!!!

Hannah and Megan found a couple of dresses they wanted to try on.  Here you see Fontana and Rosy making sure the curtains on the change rooms don't allow for any of us to see something we shouldn't.  

Let me tell you something about these 4 girls  (no Megan, you aren't one of them, and well, Rosy is about 1/2 of the issue).   Whenever Fontana and Hannah get together, the decibel level increase 10 fold.  It happened in the BFM store.  The volunteers were telling them to hush up.  They say that I can be embarrassing sometimes!!!!  It works the other way around as well.    

 While waiting I saw this mirror standing there, so I snapped a picture of myself, since I don't get in too many on this blog. I notice that Chris was right behind me.  I didn't notice that until just now.  : )  

 Once out of the store, it was back to Christine's home for some pizza.  As we were waiting for it to arrive a bunch of the group began playing music on the piano and keyboard.  Noise, Noise, Noise!!! 

Eventually the pizza's arrived.  Sorry Fontana, we forgot to get you the gluten free pizza's........really sorry about that.  They tasted good though.  How was your apple Fontana?  

There they are eating and relaxing.  Quiet b/c they have food in their mouths.  : ) 

We had a fun morning, and were able to help out Christine's family.  Thanks a bunch Chris, Rosy, Hannah, Fontana, William, Megan and David for helping out and sharing God's love to others.  

Below are a couple of video clips for your enjoyment.  

Enjoy some video of our YP working hard and enjoying their work to the fullest.  

Here's a short clip of Christine explaining how they ended up gutting their new home.....

Calvin's Christmas Party - Nov 2010

Christmas is just around the corner and that means it's time for Calvin's annual Christmas get-together.  I always enjoy this time where Calvinite's get together for an evening of fellowship and fun.  

Most of the fun for me is preparing the fellowship hall for the guests who will be arriving in the evening.  It takes a bit of time, but it's fun to do, and this year I had allot of help.  I got the bright idea that those who helped Christine move could also help me set up the fellowship hall.  It ended up saving me about 2 hours worth of work.  The YP worked hard and fast, and I'm very grateful to them.  

 We began with getting the chairs around the tables and then setting up the plates, cups, utensils, candles, candy, and other items.  

 I put Megan on number duty.  She's getting something ready for the game we will be playing with the gifts that arrive.  

Rosy got candle duty.  

Seems Chris is into different kinds of hats today.  

 The group finished its hard work and were still smiling.  
I like that.  

 The finished product at the tables.  

 It's always nice as the sun sets and the room becomes dark. Then the candles can be lit, the Christmas music put on, and the ambiance begins.  

 By 6:15 some of the guests began to arrive and mingle.  
I noticed that Martin had a cast on his hand.  Apparently he had a fight with a Moped while on vacation and the Moped won.  : (  

 As the guests arrived they needed to place a number on their gifts and then take a piece of paper with the same number and write down something personal we might not know about them.  That paper went into a bucket and I would be reading them later on.  Most people understood the instructions.  

If you notice in this picture, there's paper near that candle by Megan (foreground).   Little did I know that this paper would catch on fire and Pastor Ken would come to save the day by putting it out.  Note to self, keep candles off this table next time.  

 The presents just waiting to be opened.  

 By about 6:50 we were ready to begin.  Before that people mingled and grabbed some cold punch, hot cider, or  coffee.  We opened with prayer, sang a couple of Christmas hymns, and then it was time to eat.  Several of our seniors came out this time around, so I let them go first.  

 Once again it was a wonderful spread of food for all to partake of.  

 Some took small portions .....

 Some did not  : ) 

 The entire group enjoying themselves.  You might think that not too many people showed up, but we had 40 this year.  About the same as last year.  This year, however, it seemed that everyone wanted to sit at the same tables.  Up to 9 were crammed around our round tables, so we had a few extra in the room. Note to self:  use square tables next year if possible!  

I guess it means we sure like to socialize, and I'm all for that!.  If you click on the picture you'll get a better idea of who was there.  I've allowed for it to be larger this time.  

 Our youth contingent.  They weren't on their best behavior for this meal  (right Fontana and Leah).  Maybe they worked too hard in the morning moving or something?  But I still love them!  

 After enjoying our meal together it was time for the gift giving portion of the evening.  We did it in-between dessert and coffee to give our stomachs time to settle.  Everyone gathered in a large circle and I read out the comments that people had made about each other.  

We all had to guess who the comment came from, and once you guessed, you received a gift and had to remain silent until the game was over. I think if forgot to let people select gifts from those who already had them from guessing, and that may have slowed things down a bit, but next year we'll try a new variation of the gift giving.  There are many different ways to do it.  

Like last year, we learned many new things about people, and they are listed below - in no preferred order:

  1. I'm a part-time fitness instructor  - Louise
  2. I was born in Roggle the Netherlands - no name
  3. I worked in the board of Education - Adrian
  4. I lived in Colorado Springs for one year - Margaret W.
  5. I have at least 45  1st and 2nd cousins - Megan D
  6. My dad is the former Pastor at Williamsburg CRC - Melanie
  7. I used to figureskate - Hannah 
  8. I was born with a birth mark on my head  (not hand like I first read) - Gus
  9. My cousins dogs are cousins - Fontana  (that figures)
  10. I have a spot on the inside of my eye - Ron  (which is why I couldn't read Gus' hand vs head comment  : ) )
  11. I make a business trip to Brazil  - Andy
  12. My brother is the Dutch Consult in Manitoba - Judy
  13. I was named "Rookie of the Month" When I worked at McDonald's - Joycegina
  14. I grew up on a dairy farm in the prairies - Doug
  15. I went to Florida to work for Wycliffe -- Mary
  16. I worked above the Arctic cirle - Bill L
  17. I travelled to Honduras to visit friends - Dianne B
  18. I was born in Den Haan, Holland, and came to Canada at Nova Scotia in 1952 and came to Ottawa to live in 1954 - Dina.  (She knew my grandfather too)
  19. I have a Bachelor of Education degree, a degree in History, Studio Art, and Missions and World Christianity.  - Jeannine (makes me look very unintellingent  : ) )
  20. I spent a night in a prairie dog colony - Sharon (I asked her how that was and she said it was great.  They all go to sleep early at night so things were very quiet.  If only I could get the YP to do that for a sleep over: ) ) 
  21. While trying to climb out of the crib, finally made it out, but fell and got knocked out - Our very own Pastor Ken.  Better watch out for your grand children now eh Ken ?
  22. I have jumped off a 45 foot cliff - Chris H  (I have it on video)
  23. I just discovered it's fun to set fires - Wilma M  (It was written on one of the burnt pieces of paper that was lit up by the candle.  I guess we know who put the paper there now, eh Wilma?  Especially since she JUST happens to be IN the picture as well : ) )
  24. I almost drowned at the age of three - to ask him about that one.  
  25. I was a farmer's daughter - Bonnie L
  26. I used to raise pigs - Martin M
  27. I was on a plane while 8 months pregnant - Annet D
  28. When I was in high school, I won third prize in a speaking contest for our Regional District - Yvonne W
  29. I've never broken a bone - Leah  (yet  !)
  30. I have done a week long bicycle and camping trip through the Florida Keys - Sonja V 
  31. I am learning American Sign language - Linda d  (there must be Canadian sign language then too?)
  32. I lived in St. Catherine's before I moved to Ottawa - Thea
  33. I went on an ultralight plane over Wasaga beach - Wilma B
  34. I have no middle name - Margaret S
  35. I have seven brothers - Reike
  36. I grew up in the province of Quebec (n ow everyone shouted out Louise's name, but in fact it was)  - Lorraine V
  37. Here's an Epistle ----- At age 5 or 6, I put my life at great risk.  A number of neighbourhood boys were tourmenting some wasps by throwing rocks at the wall the nest was on.  I showed them how to really do it by taking a baseball bat and hitting the wall three times.  I've never seen such a huge could of wasps, ever!  My father later said I'd probably be dead if they'd reached me.  - Eric V
  38. As a little girl, I had a bad fall from a bicycle (because I didn't know how to coast downhill)  - Joanne H  --(so Joanne, does that mean you knew how to coast UP hill?  - tee hee).
  39. I can count by two's and tie my shoe's.  -  Rosalynn B
  40. When I was three, my favourite toy was a pink shovel - David M  (do you still have that pink shovel David).  

 When everyone had a gift we all opened ours up and mingled around to see if we could exchange our gift  for  something else, provided we didn't like what we received in the first place.  There was some comical horse trading that went on.  

We gathered back together and had our just desserts (the lemon meringue pie was amazing Bonnie), and then ended with some more Christmas hymns.  Our final one was the Dutch Christmas hymn "Ere Zij God" in honor of our seniors who were present this evening.  Most people in the room knew the song, but some didn't.  Either way, it was nice to hear our seniors singing from their hearts to this beloved song from their past.


Pastor Ken and Sharon received some great gifts.  I like the one in the middle.  A set of reindeer antlers for the windows of their vehicle and a bright red nose for the front grille.  I hope to see them next week on their vehicle when Ken comes to work.   

Once complete, we all set to work cleaning up the fellowship hall. Thanks to all who helped, and thank you all for coming out and making this time special once again.  We hope to host another party next year, with a twist on the presents, and who knows what else......may we see you there too?  

Oh, and take a look at this awesome save by Hannah as we were setting up for the party.......

Great Save eh!  

Tomorrow it's off to Montreal with a larger group of our youth to deliver Seafarer parcels once again.  That will bring to an end our busy youth schedule for a while.  We have been busy for sure, but as Hannah and Fontana say, "we are having a BLAST," and that's ok with me too. 

So, stay tuned for more blog entries as we go to Montreal, celebrate Christmas as a youth group and who knows, maybe sing some Christmas Carols in the community if Hannah gets her way....and she usually does  : )......

Friday, November 26, 2010

Youth Service in Williamsburg

After our soup and buns time CIA headed out to Williamsburg. Our Youth Praise Team was going to be playing for the youth service, and others of our group tagged along.  

 We began by loading up some of Calvin's equipment that we needed to take along.  John's big bass with amp is being carried by Jacob and Chris.  

 It was a nice sunny drive to Williamsburg.  Everyone seems to be having fun, except Chris....oh, he's just selecting songs off his iPod.  

 For us city folk, seeing cows next to the church building proved quite a novelty for some.....  : )  

 Once we arrived at the church we set up our sound equipment and set to work getting used to the acoustics.  

 Every place is different, yet we seemed to adapt ok once again.  

 After about 1 hour's practice, I let the praise group go have some fun  playing games with the rest of the group.  

 David and Jacob were our sound guys for the night.  Very nice of the church to let them run things. Not so sure if we'd be that accommodating  : ).   

 Hannah was stuck in sort of a sunken place where the piano's and organ were.  She didn't seem to mind. In fact, she discovered that the keyboard she was playing had some funky sounds on  it and she used them during the service.  

 Alex, one of the participants at our past three SERVES in Ottawa, goes to this church.  He enjoyed listening to us practice.  

 We needed some fine tuning of our song slides, so I asked Jeannine if she'd help me out.  She was very kind and did just that.  I discovered during this time that she's pretty much a perfectionist.  That, and me being a control freak, seemed to work well.  : )  

 Here's the larger group enjoying some game time.  There were about 60 yp there that evening.  

 Before dinner started Chris and David played other games, complete with cups.  

 Now you should know, that the desire of our youth leaders during these youth services, and other classis wide events, is to get our youth mingling with youth from other churches.  As you can see, our group can be quite cliquish.  

 Megan and Rosy actually stepped out of their comfort zone for a bit.  I had to help them by simply going up to people and saying hi, and then introducing them to my kids.  Boy were they uptight about doing that!   Practice makes perfect I always say.  Hopefully they'll get better at it.  

 Eventually it was time for supper.  The menu for tonight....soup and buns..............oh, and thankfully one crock pot full of chili.  There was even vegetarian soup for our guitarist.....I wonder who that was.....?  : )   I think I'm souped out for a while................

 Look chairs......really, they are all supporting each other, no chairs...quite amazing actually!

 Soon it was time for the service to begin.  Youth in the front, and Williamsburg Cong. in the back.  Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.....for sure the youth were having lots of fun.  

 When it was all over, David and Jacob take a breather and relax.  Being a sound tech can be very stressful!

I'm not sure why this picture is in here, suffice to say that I think there's some sort of joke happening here. Janine (left) looks like she's going to pee herself she was laughing so hard.  

All in all we had a wonderful time.  Pastor John had a creative sermon, our group played well and the games and fellowship were wonderful.  A great, but busy, Sunday was had by our CIA group.  Thanks for all your work today  (I forgot to mention that the youth praise team also played for our AM service) and allowing others to worship God via your gifts and talents.  

As a post script, let me get a little bold as I ponder the dynamics of having a youth praise team in our church.  I continue to be amazed at how people react to different ways to praise God.  

Our youth just love the praise and worship songs that we sing in our AM and PM youth service, but honestly, that can't be said for all those who came to worship that day (or didn't), in either service.  

For some, things can get a bit loud, the words don't seem to be as meaningful as the hymns of yesteryear, or the actions of some of the songs may seem sacrilegious to some. For some, their hearing just can't take the drums, and I get that.  

I understand that it's not easy to gain balance, especially when you are dealing with youth who don't always understand (or want to understand) that there is more than one volume - loud.  It takes education on everyone's part.  

Education for our youth to understand better what worship is and is not, and we are trying to do that  (right John? : )) .  

Education of some of our members who need to understand that we are trying to keep our youth in the church that they [the not so youthful any more] have come to love so dearly.

With young adults leaving the church in droves, I'm so happy that this group of youth is excited about being in youth group, is busy using their gifts  (and believe me, they've been busy the last couple of weekends and will be again next weekend) and is learning about the love of God for them in the process.  

I only hope that they will stay in church as they become young adults because of the memories, teaching, loving, and fellowship that they have experienced from our entire congregation.  

I'm reminded of a book I read some time ago...."Who Stole My Church".  Google it and buy it online, or in your favourite Christian book store.  Humor me and give it a read  (John V, you still have my copy you know  : )  ).  

If you want the Cole's notes, then go to my January 2009 entry and you will find the book summarized there.  I just re-read it myself and realized this stuff is hard work.  

It explains better than I ever could how the different generations can handle issues like this one in a Godly way.  

Feel free to come talk to me or email me about that book once you've read it, or my synopsis.  I'd love to dialogue.  

Oh, and we'll end with a short video of some great talent from 3 of our youth group.....just some good clean entertainment.