Fourth Sunday of Advent, Sunday, December 19th at 10am
Theme: Seeking Sanctuary (LOVE)
Featuring the Sunday School Christmas Pageant: Angels Inc.
This week we explore how Sanctuary is anywhere God’s love dwells freely and abundantly. After receiving the angel’s extraordinary news, Mary retreats to Elizabeth and Zechariah’s home to digest her new calling. She seeks refuge—physical safety and emotional protection. She receives a safe haven, a home for her heart to soon sing praise. Sanctuary and safe space is so crucial for everyone, especially the mother of Christ while she prepares to become a home for God.
The service will feature the Sunday School Christmas Pageant entitled “Angels Incorporated” and will highlight the angels roles surrounding the birth narratives in the Gospels of Matthew & Luke. The service will also feature a worship arts presentation put together by the Sr. HighLOGOS group of their Advent visual art.
COVID Health & Safety Requirements & Masking Reminders
Knox Waterloo requires proof of full vaccination for those wishing to attend worship and programs at Knox. Individuals who cannot be fully vaccinated or are not able to provide proof of full vaccination may be admitted access to Sunday worship only provided a negative result of an on-site rapid test which will be administered by a volunteer. Tests require 15 minutes to complete.Other important information:
Masks will be required to be worn at all times by congregants.
Social distancing in the building will be maintained.
Seating reservation procedures will continue.
A reminder and encouragement about proper masking:
A reminder that masks are required to be worn for the duration of your attendance in worship and participation in Knox programs. Proper masking means that your mask be worn covering your nose, mouth and chin. As COVID cases in Ontario rise, we encourage you to wear triple layer masks, medical masks, KN95 or N95 masks. Masks help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
These measures will permit congregational singing during services.
The Session of Knox Waterloo believes these measures reflect our call to be both a safe and inclusive community.
Knox Contribution Deadline & Notices
IMPORTANT DEADLINE: December 31st, 2021 at NOON is the deadline for us to receive contributions to Knox for the 2021 tax year.
Some of you have requested envelopes for contributions. They are ready for you to pick up. Please note that your contribution # is not tied to an envelope. Knox will accept your contributions in any way you choose to give. E-Transfer has fast become the most popular way of giving and we are grateful to those who continue to give despite the pandemic.
Advent Conversations through zoom; 2 options weekly throughout Advent: Tuesdays at 10:30 am OR Wednesdays at 7:30 pm Join us throughout Advent for our conversations using the art and poetry of Sanctified Art paired with the scriptures of each week of the Advent season. Hugh and Courtney will offer an opportunity to engage in study, reflection, and conversation about the weekly themes of Advent. You can join in each week or a week at a time. The accompanying Advent devotional, with the artwork and poetry, will be emailed out next week; contact the office if you need a printed copy. Choose one of the two time options that works best with your availability.
Click HERE to download the daily devotional.
Click HERE to register for the online Advent Conversations.
Longest Night Worship Service – Tuesday, December 21st at 7 pm For those who have experienced loss, the holidays can be a particularly painful time, stirring up grief in acute ways. The Longest Night service provides a candle-lit space for prayer, reflection, and remembrance amidst the holiday hustle and bustle for all of us. In the midst of these pandemic days there is a collective grief too and gathering together for this focused time of worship brings hope and healing for us all.
Together we will hear personal stories of grief, journeys toward healing, and finding hope, from members of our community: Sharon Feldmann, Heather Purdy & Jarvis and Susan Sheridan, about the loss of a loved one, the loss of employment, struggles related to health. Together, may we find home in God’s healing presence.
Lighting of Candles
Candles will be lit and placed on the communion table during the Longest Night service. If you would like to have a candle lit on your behalf during the service, drop Charlene an email. There is no need to explain what your candle symbolizes, and names will not be said publicly during the lighting. May it bring you some comfort and peace simply to know that one of the candles will be yours.
Registration to join us in person is now open HERE or watch on livestream or listen on 98.5 CKWR radio.
Christmas Eve Services, Theme: Invited Home
Intergenerational Worship Service, Friday, Dec 24th at 5 pm
A Service of Readings and Carols, Friday, Dec 24th at 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm
Mary and Joseph are displaced from their home, journeying to fulfill their civic requirements to be counted in the census. And yet, the time comes to give birth, so a humble home is found. Perhaps we might imagine the story of Christmas as God’s invitation to be welcomed home despite all barriers. How will we respond?
Registration to join us in person is now open HERE or watch on livestream.
CARING KITCHEN – A NEW Knox Initiative! Homelessness in Waterloo Region has skyrocketed in recent years. A regional report states that 1,085 people are experiencing homelessness in Waterloo region, up from 333 people in 2018.
Last Sunday, The Working Centre, in partnership with the Region of Waterloo and St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Kitchener, launched an overnight shelter at St. Andrew’s which can accommodate up to 50 people, 7 nights a week. Here is an article on the initiative.
Hot meals are being provided by The Working Centre on weekdays, which leaves a need for local congregations and supporters to provide dinner on weekends.
The minister of St. Andrew’s, the Rev. Marty Molengraaf, reached out to Knox Waterloo asking for help with this ministry. On Tuesday, December 7, the Session of Knox Waterloo expressed support for this initiative. Knox has committed to provide hot food, one day per weekend, for the duration of the project. Enthusiastic Knox volunteers got to work and provided the first meal last Sunday evening, on the opening night of the centre.
How can you help?
Volunteer to be a part of the Caring Kitchen at Knox by shopping for, preparing, or delivering meals. Email Vaughn if you are interested.
Volunteer to work on-site at St. Andrew’s for the 6-9 AM or 6-9 PM shifts. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Sponsor a meal! Donate $100 to Knox, marking your donation Caring Kitchen. But any donation amount will be accepted gratefully.
“Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.” ― Teresa of Avila (16th cent.)
Knox Community Prayer, Care & Stories of Celebration
We are hoping to foster connections amidst our Knox community through prayer, supporting one another, and sharing our celebration stories. Below are some opportunities for connection.
We pray together…
Did you know that Knox has a prayer line – a small group of staff and congregational members who pray for those who need support and prayer in our congregation or community? If you have a prayer request for yourself or someone in your family or community, and you would like the prayer line to pray for this person or situation, please email your prayer request to Charlene.
If you would like your prayer request to be shared with the Knox congregation through our new prayer section in This Week @ Knox, please let Charlene know and it will be included in the following week’s congregational email. This is a way that the whole congregation can participate in prayer for and with one another.
Stories of Celebration…
Especially in these Covid times, we all need to hear hopeful stories of healing and celebration. Do you have a good news story that you would like to share with the congregation? Maybe a clear cancer scan, a youth that has won an award or received an achievement, an act of kindness you want to share, or a note of thanksgiving. Please send them to Charlene to include in the next This Week @ Knox.
Meal Train Ministry
For the past year Knox has had an active meal train ministry. Through using an online website app, people in the congregation have been signing up to provide meals for those in our congregation or community that need support because of bereavement, illness, injury, etc. If you are willing to be on the email list of those who are available to provide meals, OR if you know of someone who might benefit from this ministry on a short term basis, please let Charlene/Courtney know.
Food for the Residents of A Better Tent City
We continue to join other churches in KW to provide food for the 50 residents of A Better Tent City. A Better Tent City is a no-barrier alternative to shelters. Every other week Knox Waterloo will be taking responsibility for providing breakfast for the 50 residents of A Better Tent City. We are so grateful for all those who have offered to help with this ministry! We are asking you to sign up to bake two dozen (24) portions of healthy baked goods: muffins, scones or protein bars/balls. We need 3 portions each time. Details are provided at the links below. Baked goods need to be dropped off to Femmy Birks on the Thursday or Friday of the week you register for. If you have any questions please contact Femmy.
Personal protective equipment (masks, gloves, shields, sanitizer)
Snacks, treats, and small activity packs for kids
Sanitary products for menstruation
Advent and Christmas books are available for borrowing in the Knox Library. Follow the links for a list of suggested titles.
Alternative Gifts – This year, give gifts with meaning. By making a donation in honour of a friend, teacher, or loved one, you can help to make a difference in the world through the PWS&D Gifts of Change catalogue. Giving a gift through these options is a unique way to carry out life-changing programs that are responding to needs both here at home and worlds away. Complete your online donation and fill out the ‘In Tribute’ section and a card will be sent on your behalf.
We do our best to ensure that TW@K goes out on Thursday.
If you would like to make an announcement, please send your submissions to Charlene.
Deadline for announcements: Wednesday @ 11:00 am.
We reserve the right to edit!
Knox In-Person Worship
Knox is open for in-person worship! You will need to reserve your seat online and follow health and safety protocols. Once again, if you have difficulties with the online registration system, give the office a call.
FINAL THOUGHT… “ The function of art is to do more than tell it like it is – it’s to imagine what is possible.”
— bell hooks