December 2020 Newsletter
*Property & Finance Report
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
From Redeemer Lutheran Ladies of course we all have been thinking about our Secret Sisters and Christmas potluck. We know it is not going to happen. We could reveal ourselves to our Secret Sisters by phone, card or in person. In January I will draw new names for you. Have you kept in contact with your Secret Sister? Your encouragement will mean so much to her. Keep marching to your "Left, Right Left"
At our last council meeting, we did talk about it and decided that people would or could do their own deliveries to Samaritan house and mention that this is on behalf of Redeemer.
Pastor's Newsletter - December 2020
Blessed Advent, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
On November 14th my next-door neighbour met up with me as we entered our building. He and his family were returning from celebrating Diwali [(or Divali) which is a festival of lights and one of the major festivals celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs. The festival usually lasts five days and is celebrated during the Hindu lunisolar month Kartika (between mid-October and mid-November). He and his wife had taken their children to an open area to lite some fireworks for the festival. He told me how difficult it was to celebrate when they couldn't gather with their family members as well as their faith community in Brandon to eat, dance and sing for this important festival. It was the same for his family in India and those who live around the world. Disheartening to say the least.
Recently CBC radio aired an interview with a gentleman who reminded us that no festivals have been celebrated in any faith these past 9 months. (ie. Easter-Christian; Ramadan-Islam; Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur-Jewish; Diwali-Hindu/Jain/Sikh; Hanukkah-Jewish; Christmas-Christian). As the world together is bound by our pandemic, so too are the faiths of the world in their breaking from traditions, culture and faith festivals.
In Manitoba, many of us have been hit hard by the realization that the isolation and current situation of COVID impacts not only our Christmas Eve/Christmas Day services but our gatherings of family/friends and community. The busy time of pre-Christmas (otherwise known as ADVENT) is not busy and packed with the usual....whatever we usually do. For me, it is a treat to be able to go to my sister's home for Boxing day through New Year's time together. Not this year. What, then, are we left with?
In the sense of the Church, we are left with what we have always had. The season of preparing for the birth of the Son of God, Emmanuel/God is with us. The season when we are intentionally hearing the cries of the Prophets foretelling of the birth of the Messiah; hearing God's chosen people to pray in lament, brokenness and hopelessness only to discover with them that they have never been alone in their trials; finding the hope, love and fulfillment of God's promises in the Gospels. The blessed good news that offers the story, with different elements, of Mary, Joseph, the angel Gabriel, the shepherds, the angels and later the Wiseman - all the major characters in Jesus' birth.
"Fear not...." says Gabriel to sweet Mary, the Mother of Jesus. "Fear not..." to Joseph the righteous man. "Fear not..." to you and I. God's promises of the Messiah, of Emmanuel, are fulfilled in the beautiful babe in the manger. In the midst of the darkness of the earthly season, the darkness of a broken world and the darkness of this pandemic, we respond by lighting candles. Bringing light into the world and defeating the darkness.
This Advent is unlike any we have known. It truly is an opportunity of preparedness... preparing our hearts and spirits in our journey to the celebration of Christmas - to spend time in the reflection of hope, joy, peace and love. A time to pray! A time with the Word! A time to listen for the still quiet voice of the Spirit. These are the gifts of the season that keep us strong.
So may these hymn titles tell us the story of Emmanuel's birth: "Joy to the World" "From Heaven Above" we "Hark the Herald Angels Sing". "Away in the Manger" "On Christmas Night",
"Angels from the Realms of Glory" sing over the "...Little town of Bethlehem" as the "Midnight Stars Make Bright the Skies". On that "Silent Night..Holy Night" "Peace Came to the Earth" inviting us, "O Come, All Ye Faithful". We turn from the glory of the manger as "Good Christian Friends, Rejoice" to "Go Tell it on the Mountain" that "Love Has Come". Though many might ask "What Child is This?" you and I will be happy to sing of "The First Noel" and of "Jesus, What a Wonderful Child".
There is no silence throughout Advent and Christmas. We have the most wonderful news to share with the world. JESUS CHRIST IS COMING! And we will celebrate in 2020 the same truth we always celebrate - God's Son is Born and Glory shines on all. Though it will be in an untraditional manner, it is still the glorious news from God to humanity.
May God's love, peace, joy and hope be your guide through these blessed seasons. May the light of Christ break through any darkness and heartbreak the pandemic brings into your life. And may that light shine in your heart, spirit and mind.
Finance Report: October 2020
Council met on-line on October 21st at 7 PM. Dorothy provided the financial statements for September 2020.
September Giving was $3710.00. Total Income from all sources was $5505.97.
September Expenses totalled $7505.68 leaving a deficit of $1999.71. The Year-to-date Net Income for 2020 is -$3177.11.
Last report Council urged everyone to contribute to the Fall Supper as we are not able to hold one this year. Contributions received in September totalled $515.00. There have been more monies received in October which will be reported in the next set of financial statements. October contributions, so far, are at $1610.00. Thank you to those who have contributed to this important fundraiser. The goal is $3000.00. We are within $900.00 of reaching the target. Anything less becomes a deficit.
Rick Norberg continues to check the mailbox daily and deposit the givings each Friday.
The Finance committee will meet in November to initially set the budget for 2021
Lawn mowing has finished for this year. Thanks to Marv Hollender Ed Podjan and Terry Paver for keeping the grounds looking nice. Soon we will be needing able-bodied souls to help keep the sidewalks and stairs cleared of snow.
We pray that God will provide us with an end to the Covid pandemic and we will once again be able to use our building for worship and fellowship.
Thanks be to God
Property Finance Committee
Rick Norberg Marv Hollender Don Wrobleski
Finance Report November 2020
Redeemer Council met on-line on November 18th. Dorothy provided the financial reports for October. Our Giving in October was $9235.00 which is $1865.00 above budget for the month. Our annual Giving is at $60551.10 and $4708.90 below budget. Council gives thanks to those who have faithfully given during our church lockdown.
The total income for the month of October is $12318.00 which is $3545.00 ahead of budget. There was $1813.00 donated to the Fall Supper fund in October. The total collected to date is $2328.00. Council thanks everyone who has donated to this appeal.
Our total income to the end of October is at $79981.86 which leaves us in a deficit of $5191.00 based on the budget, however, we have received from CEWS a total of $8575.97 in wage subsidy. This leaves our year to date budget income at a surplus of $3384.97. Thanks be to God.
The expenses for October came to $6357.70. This total includes the CEWS deducted from the wage expense. We received $1654.73 from CEWS. Our year to date expenses are at $77198.77 and the year to date expenses are reduced by $15168.38 due to the Covid lockdown.
Redeemer’s financial status is looking bright.
In God’s Service
Property Finance Committee
Rick Norberg Marv Hollender Don Wrobleski