Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Miscellaneous Events during the last part of the Calvin Year

Since September, there have been many things that have gone on at Calvin in the area of ministry. 
I was not able to get pictures of every event, but we have many ministries that go on here like:
Coffee Break
Men's Group
Quilting Group
A small women's group
Friendship Group
A genealogy Group
and many more.....
below are just a couple of groups I was able to get pictures for.  

25 - 35 ish gathering

We held an evening with several of our younger couples/singles to help them meet each other and find people within Calvin that they may have common interests with.  Any way we can find people to meet people we will try.  : ) I think this went over well for those who came, and we hope to offer this again in 2016. 

Soup and Buns and Games time with our 55+r's.

We also invited our 55+'rs out to mingle with our youth group and College/University group. 
We do that with Soup and buns and then a time of games and fellowship.  
Went over fact I had to wait and wait for one group to finish their game.  

Visits with our "Mature" Folk @ Calvin  

Back in November we travelled to the homes of some of our more mature folk at Calvin.  We divided our group up and went to 5 different homes.  
There we shared stories of faith and life together and prayed together too.  It was a great time of mixing the generations again here at Calvin.  

Calvin's Relationship with Gamaliel church in Peru

We have been on a journey with a church in Pachecutec, Peru, near Lima, since 2004.  This will be our 7th time going to see Pastor Sergio.  It's a fitting time to re-evaluate this relationship to ensure that it is still achieving the goals intended and being mutually beneficial for both churches.  

After our Peru Management team met with our Missions Advocate and Deacons, we decided that we would like to continue offering Cross cultural "Learning Opportunities" and since we have much invested with Gamaliel church, we'd like to continue that relationship.  

We acknowledge that Peru is not the only place that we could go, and other smaller options are being considered for future years, but at this time Peru will be our more consistent option (more information coming in the new year about all this).  

One thing that came out of our meeting was that we wished to enhance the times in-between our travels to Peru,  and are working on ways to make that happen. 

One way is/was to ask Pastor Sergio what he thought of the relationship as it has been progressing over the years. We don't want to assume things we should not be assuming. 
So we asked Erin and Pepe (who run Living Missions Peru and who assist us when we are in Peru) to ask Pastor Sergio for his opinion on the worthwhileness of continuing this relationship. 

He responds below.....and I am, at least, humbled by it.  

Pastor Ron,
My greetings to you and the great family of Calvin Church.
We remember all of you with fond affection, praying for all of you and asking the all-powerful God to give you spiritual strength; that your lives may be deeply rooted and founded in the love of Christ, that you may have the ability to plainly understand all spiritual things.

It was pleasing to God to make it part of His plan to link our two churches in a natural and sincere relationship, back in 2006. Since then this brotherly bond has grown and been strengthened. Peruvians and Canadians sharing the same faith in Christ, sharing common feelings, sharing of the coming hope. Peruvians and Canadians together as one body.

Gamaliel Church has been blessed by the Lord through Calvin Church over all of these years. We remember with fondness the many blessings and benefits we have received, including being part of the growth and development of Gamaliel’s ministry in all of its areas. You have been a living example of missionary work, and we have learned from you how to do missions. You have been part of the personal development of the youth at our church, and we have seen many benefits over all of these long years. You all have love for your neighbor in your hearts.

As Pastor of Gamaliel Church, I live every day with a heart that is thankful to God. I am thankful to God for all of you and for everything that has happened, recognizing and valuing that the author and creator of this relationship and of all of these blessings is God, and you have become instruments in His plan.
Today I write this small letter to you with the feelings that I have in my heart; I am very happy for everything we have lived through and experienced, and I hope that God will continue sustaining this relationship between our churches over the long-term, that it may be a blessing for generations to come.

Even though our church has not grown very much in numbers, we have experienced spiritual growth. I can see lives being planted firmly in Christ, there is a strong brotherly love among our members, and people are firm in their commitment to serve Christ. God is molding a strong nucleus of adults and youth. We will go on a mission trip soon.

The school has brought us pleasant experiences, and it is an open platform from which we we can share about Christ. Our short chapel services with the students, parents, and teachers are a blessing. In summary, it is a light for the community. They know us as a Christian school. We are already finishing the 2015 school year, and our closing ceremonies for the end of the year will be December 10. Then we will look forward to next year.
By the grace of God, my family is doing well. GĂ©nesis is growing, Felicitas is always working hard and sharing responsibilities. I am doing well, serving God with humility and conviction. We are a family who is grateful to God.

We thank God that you will be coming again in March of 2016. It will be a good time of mutual blessing.

My warm greetings to all of the brothers and sisters at Calvin Church and Cornwall Church.
His Servant,  Sergio

CIA/ETM Christmas Party and Singing at Stillwater Retirement Residence.

Christmas also brings the tradition of our youth group going out and singing Christmas Carols, somewhere. 
We couldn't get into Extendicare this year, so Miriam, one of our youth leaders, invited us to come to her place of work, StillWater Creek Retirement Residence.  

So, we went.  : )  
A nice place.  

And these residence don't get out much, so this was a real treat for them.  

They enjoyed our singing....

And we did a pretty good job of singing, at least I thought so.  : ) 

After about 20 minutes of singing, we took some time to have some snacks and then visit with the residents.  
That was a highlight for many of them.  

Janika and Shauna engrossed in conversation.  

as are Miranda 

and Elizabeth. 
We finished things off with a couple more songs. 
Miriam wrote this note to us (she had to stay back to help clean up the food) shortly after we left. 
I thought it would be nice for you to read it as well. 

Hi Ron,
I can’t tell you how many of our residents asked me to thank you and the youth group again for coming tonight.  They had a lovely time talking to such “interesting”, “smart” and “lovely” young people.  The comment I heard most was wasn’t it so wonderful to see young people in such a good light; that the press always gives so much air time to what is “wrong” with teenagers … and tonight was such a wonderful example of what is right with youth and why the future is in good hands.  Many spoke of the importance of church - especially for young people - and they all felt uplifted by the songs and good conversation.

Personally - it was a wonderful night for me - to bring youth, my faith, God and my relationships with other youth leaders into my work world; reminding me again of the universality of Christ and how blessed I am to be part of this residence and also part of such a cool youth group too : ) .

We then drove back to the church for some fun.  
We began with a Christmas get to know you game. Getting signatures from people who were supposed to have done things related to Christmas....

Like who's been to Bethlehem?  
Apparently Lucy has been....right....  : ) 

Thanks Janika.  : )  

Everyone got into it.  

We then did the same game that we did at the Calvin Christmas Party. 
(see that entry for explanation :) ) 
Enjoy the pictures.  

Lots of fun!  

We did the LEFT/RIGHT game too.  
I think some people cheated...sigh...  : ) 

And we ended the evening with FOOD. 

Looks like it tasted good. 
And how was the Eggnog Ben? 
He LOVES eggnog apparently.  

That brought our CIA/ETM gatherings for 2015 to a close. 

We have had a blessed 2015, and to each one of our youth and youth leaders, have a blessed holiday time and New Year's celebration.  See you soon.  

CIA/ETM - Serving at Ottawa Food Bank Dec 2015

On December 1st CIA/ETM once again travelled to the Ottawa Food Bank to help sort food.  

We gathered in the waiting area.

Once everyone arrived Travis corralled us into the staging area and explained how things were going to work.  

OFB has a new system now using plastic bins.  
Makes for a cleaner and less crowded way of packaging the food.  

The banner at the right lists all the food banks that the OFB serves in the Ottawa area. 
Lots, and Lots, and Lots.  
The demand is always increasing.  

Travis explained what goes into these boxes.  

After sorting the food, the bins are pushed over to this side and people pack the boxes.  

Travis explains how this is supposed to work as well...

and then he lets them loose.  : ) 

At first things are always a bit unorganized.  

People need to get used to what to put where, right Janika?  

hmmmm,  why is that bin on the table Ella......

It's ok's only a picture.  : ) 

Ben leading this group that takes the food and sorts in into the bins.   : )  

lots of thinking happens here......good thing Rosy is still in university. Thinking comes natural to her.  : )  

These bins all need to be emptied on to the table.  

Heather and Victor sorting.  

Hey Lucy.  Enjoying yourself? I don't know if Tobie is.  : ) Is she ever.........??????

Humming like a well oiled machine.  

Daniel is having fun!

Nicolette, what's the problem?  

Yep, just grab the cans....

...and fill the box.  : )  

Maddi figuring out what goes where.  

Katrina having fun too. 

The food just keeps coming.  

Three siblings....all look confused....hmmmm  : ) 

Rosy had a hard time getting this box apart.  

A REALLY hard time.  : ) 

Madaliene and Elizabeth figuring out where that can of food should go. : ) 

Yep, those are rice cakes Jeannine.  

Marc loves this job.  : ) 

More sorting.  

And stacking completed boxes in the appropriate place.  

Great Job Miriam.  

Miranda helped put the boxes together.  

Still smiling Heather.  
Nice to see.  

Katrina still hard at work.  

Zoe is really concentrating here.  

That's better.  

Taping those boxes shut can be tricky. 
 Eh Miriam.  :) 

Stop reading the packages Lucy. 
Just put them in the box......

Ben, getting ready to close another box full of food destined for a smaller community food bank.  

Look out.......coming through. 

A full crate to sort through. 
We do it pretty fast. 
In fact we had to stop early because we ran out of food to sort.  

Victor is a hard worker.  

As is Madeleine.  

Rosy told me all about the benefits of this box of Butter and Herb mashed potatoes.  : ) or maybe it was the not so good things about it....hmmmmm

Hey Nicolette....why the scowl ?  : ) 

Having issues with that tape dispenser Janika?  

Yes, lots of stuff ends up in the garbage.  
Too bad eh Christina.  

uh oh...and injury.  Paper cuts...they are the worst.  I wonder who this pinky belongs too.  

Ella took over for a while making boxes.  

But Miranda got jealous and took the job back....  : ) 

and the sorting continues.  

Oh, it was LUCY who hurt her pinky....oh bother  :) 

and the sorting continues......

Apparently Nicolette AND Lucy hurt their fingers while sorting food.  

Looks like Lucy is about to faint....MEDIC  ???  : ) 

awe...amazing the things you find that people donate. 
I'm pretty sure this Olaf is not edible....., but he sure is cute eh Ben and Jeannine.  NO you can't take him home with you either.......

All the cardboard and garbage needed to go outside. 
It was not the nicest weather out there. 
Cold and freezing rain (I'd never know so far this winter).  

Daniel and Zoe.....

...and Heather volunteered to go out and empty the garbage and cardboard.  

Nice work.  

and Marc got to play with the toys.  : ) 

Time to wash the hands...right Pheonix.... 

We had some time to kill, so we took a short tour of the vegetable freezer.  It was cold in there..and smelled like sour milk...yuck.  

Pulling on this cord opened that freezer door.  

We also went into the back storage area to see more food. 

The food in this location is usually purchased, to help supplement the donations that come in. 
Cash donations actually go further for the FB, but they are grateful for anything that comes in. 

A final hand washing, and then it was back to church. 
THANKS again CIA/ETM 'rs for coming out and helping out. 
The FB couldn't function without volunteers like you/us.  : )  
And it was fun too.............   
Till next time.