East Zorra Mennonite Church
Volume 66 Sunday December 17, 2023 No. 51
Sunday December 17, 2023 – Sunday Morning Worship – 10 a.m.
How will we know…why me? Why not me?
We might just as well ask “Why not me?
Prelude: Bethany Zehr Accompanist: Bethany Zehr
Worship Leader: Bevin Witmer Song Leader: Lindsay Zehr
Greeters: Ashley & Jon Witzel Offering: Leadership
Audio/Visual: Dathan Bender/Larry Kropf Message: Pastor Ray
Coffee Hosts: Michelle & Brad Brenneman
Welcome & Announcements
Call to Worship
Leader: God sent the angel Gabriel to a young woman in Nazareth named Mary.
He said to her, “Greetings, favored one! God is with you.”
People: But Mary was perplexed by Gabriel’s words,
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Leader: The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, for you have found favor with God.”
People: Like Mary, we’re also ordinary. Will God really work through us?
All: Together we ponder.
Songs of Gathering & Praise
VT 217 “Hark! The Glad Sound!”
VT 215 “Oh, How Shall I Receive Thee”
Offering – Leadership
Time with the Children – Naomi Witzel
Drama: Alexis Leis and Leah Ruby
Scripture Readings: Luke 1:26-38; Luke 1:46b-55
Message: Pastor Ray
Song of Response: VT 221 “The Angel Gabriel Called Mary Blessed”
Sharing & Prayer of the Church Pastor Mike
Sending Song: VT 223 “Bless’d Be the God of Israel”
Advent Candle / Benediction
During the Advent Season this year, East Zorra Mennonite will be collecting a special offering of socks. Tavistock Assistance Program (T.A.P.) has identified a need for new pairs of socks for both adults and children. The offering will run until December 24. Socks can be placed in the basket or manger by the tree at the entrance to the sanctuary.
Coffeetime in the basement immediately following worship. Everyone is welcome. We would ask that everyone provides their own mug to help simplify the preparation and clean up time. We will provide mugs for those who forget theirs or who come as guests on a Sunday morning.
11 a.m. Junior Sunday School Christmas Program Rehearsal in the sanctuary. Grades 1-8, please meet in the assembly room. Nursery/Preschool and JK/SK will meet in their classrooms.
Adult Sunday school follows coffee time in the basement.
12 p.m. Private Party
This Coming Week
Tuesday December 19th
8:30 – 9 a.m. “Sing for a Ceasefire” in front of Tavistock Post Office.
Tavistock Mennonite Church invites you to join with Mennonite Action events across Canada and the U.S. to call for a ceasefire in Gaza, a release of hostages and a lasting peace. Please bring a Voices Together hymnal if you have one.
Wednesday December 20th
- 7 p.m. E Z Play Group set-up
Thursday December 21st
- 9:30 – 11 a.m. E Z Play Group
Next Sunday – December 24, 2023
10 a.m. Morning Service
Junior Sunday School will present their Christmas Program.
Prelude: Junior Sunday School Accompanist: Heidi Wagler
Worship Leader: Song Leader: Connie Yantzi
Greeters: Jessica & Tyler Yantzi Offering: Where needed most
Audio/Visual: Todd Bender/Brian Wagler Message: Junior Sunday School Coffee Hosts: Janet & Marv Yantzi
7 p.m. Christmas Eve Service
Prelude: Heidi Wagler Accompanist: Heidi Wagler
Worship Leader: Pastor Ray Song Leader: Caleb Leis
Offering: TAP & Operation Sharing Message: Pastor Mike
Audio/Visual: Greg Pye/Larry Kropf
Financial Information as of December 12, 2023
Estimated funds needed to meet our 2023 commitments
Offering Schedule Designations – approximately $98,600
2023 Refugee Fund Commitment – $23,600
We are grateful for your generosity and we prayerfully ask for your continued financial support as you are able. We trust that God will provide so we can fully meet our commitments for 2023.
Donations can be placed in the offering each Sunday (ushers have blank offering envelopes available), mailed to the church or Dawn Zehr or placed in one of two mailboxes at her house. E-transfers or questions about donating can be sent to email@example.com.
Please also submit any 2023 expenses you may have as soon as you can.
Do you have a guitar that you haven’t played in awhile? If so, it’s time to dust it off or get it out of the case and tune it up! Maybe you play guitar often, or maybe you are just learning. We are inviting anyone who plays an acoustic guitar to join us on Christmas Eve to play along while we sing Silent Night. If you would be willing to add your guitar to the singing of this beautiful classic hymn, that was first sung on Christmas Eve in 1818 accompanied by guitar when the church organ was broken down, please let Connie know (firstname.lastname@example.org or 519-503-4969). Thanks so much!
A sincere thank you to the Food Committee, Pastor Ray and all involved with the High Noon Luncheon on Thursday, December 14th, 2023. A delicious lunch prepared by the Food Committee was enjoyed by all.
High Noon Luncheon Committee
JCET is looking for some volunteers to make cupcakes for the Children’s Christmas Service on Sunday December 24. If you are interested in helping in this way please speak to Jess, Sue, Holly or Erin.
Vulnerable Sector Check (VSC) and Volunteer Commitment Form reminder. If you are volunteering with children, youth, seniors, or refugees our Safe Church Policy requires these on file. Those who still need to do this were given reminders in their church mailbox recently. Please remember to save and then send your completed VSC to the church office at email@example.com, as soon as you receive it, because the link that is sent from your local police service expires within days. Your completed Volunteer Commitment form can be put into Lisa’s church mailbox. If you have a VSC that was done within the last 6 months (because you volunteered with another organization ie. school or sports team) you can submit it to update your EZMC file. Thanks so much.
A photo album of the Green Space development, from the very beginning until now, has been placed in the library.
Help build a future of peace in Mindanao: Malipayon Peace Hub
On Friday November 24 our weekly email included an attachment of the monthly newsletter from Dann and Joji Pantoja, witness workers in the Philippines who we support. This newsletter highlights the Malipayon Peace Hub Project which we heard about last month when our guests from the Philippians were here. Mennonite Church Canada is supporting this project and has a fundraising goal of $230,000. They hope to reach this goal March 2024. If you would like to donate to this project please use the link provided below or send a cheque to Mennonite Church Canada 600 Shaftesbury Blvd. Winnipeg, Man. R3P 0M4. Your support for this project will be a blessing.
Donation Link: https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/philippines-transition
Wilmot Family Resource Centre is preparing for their Holiday Hamper Program. You can support this program in various ways: donate funds, sponsor a family, help prepare or deliver hampers. See poster on the bulletin board for more information.
JCET is still in need of Volunteers.
January to June sign up sheets are up on the bulletin board, downstairs across from the desk. Whether you sign up once or weekly your time spent volunteering is greatly appreciated.
Mark your calendars for VBS 2024 – July 8-12 at EZMC. We can’t wait to see you there!
Beyond Our Church Community
Thursday December 21st 7 p.m. Blue Christmas Service at Grace United Church in Tavistock. A service for those who have suffered loss or are feeling those losses at Christmas. Service will be led by Rev Marg Smith and Pastor Harold Schlegel. Music by Marilyne Nystrom.
Tuesday January 23rd 12 – 1 p.m. Lunch and Listen with Sara Wyngaarden at 50 Kent Ave, Kitchener or online. Join us online or in-person at the MCC office in Kitchener as we hear from Sara Wyngaarden, Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator in Guatemala. Sara will be sharing stories from Guatemala. Go to mcc.org/events for more information.
Friday January 26th & Saturday January 27th Becoming Good Relatives Retreat at Jericho House, 10845 Rathfon Rd, Port Colborne. In this one-and-a-half-day retreat, author and speaker Patty Krawec will use Anishinaabe teachings to help participants reflect on their social and individual histories in order to improve their capacity to have difficult conversations with others about Canadian history and current impacts on Indigenous people. To learn more and to register, go to mcc.org/events.
Saturday January 27th 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Great Winter Warm-up at New Hamburg Material Resources Centre, 65 Heritage Dr, New Hamburg.
This winter, compassionate people like you are giving the gift of warm comforters to those in need around the world. Each comforter provides not only warmth but also a tangible reminder to people in vulnerable situations that their needs are not forgotten. Help us meet our goal to collect 7,000 comforters by holding or attending comforter-knotting blitzes during January and February. On January 27, you’re invited to participate in a comforter-knotting blitz. Knotters of all skills are welcome, and snacks and drinks will be provided. Learn more at mcc.org/events.
We’re looking for a Cannery Manager!
Things are moving along with the stationary meat canner and we need a Cannery Manger. The manager, based out of New Hamburg, will be responsible for the organization of all canning activities and volunteers who participate in the processing of canned meat. Learn more about this position at www.mcc.org/careers.
Shop Niska for Christmas
This Christmas, give fairly-traded one of a kind gifts that support Indigenous Artisans in First Nations and communities living in Northeastern Ontario. Choose from a variety of items, including moccasins, mittens, jewellery and more. Niska products are made with traditional techniques, quality materials, and dedication. Head to niskaartisans.ca to shop today!
Christmas gifts that change lives
This Christmas, we invite you to explore all the ways that you can share gifts of comfort and joy for the world. Delight your loved ones with wells, goats, emergency food and more. Go to mcc.org/christmas to discover all of the options!
NHMRS Food Convener
The New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale committee is looking for a new food convener. If this is something you’re interested in, contact John Reimer at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Mennonite Central Committee Ontario – Current Openings
Are you passionate about making a real difference in the lives of others? If so, we’d love to have you join our team. We have an opening for an Ontario Program Administrative Assistant in the Kitchener office, as well as a Volunteer Coordinator and Associate – Home Pick Up at Thrift on Kent. Learn more about these positions at www.mcc.org/careers