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or use the Meeting ID: 935 7268 3852
Passcode: unity

or to join by telephone call 1-587-328-1099
Meeting ID: 935 7268 3852
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The meeting opens at 9:45
SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT
December 6, 2020
John calls people to repent, to clear the decks, to completely reorder their lives so that nothing gets in the way of the Lord’s coming. The reading from Isaiah gives the context for this radical call: the assurance of forgiveness that encourages us to repent; the promise that the coming one will be gentle with the little ones. Isaiah calls us all to be heralds with John, to lift up our voices fearlessly and say, “See, your God is coming!” We say it to one another in worship, in order to say it with our lives in a world in need of justice and peace.
Prayer of the Day

Stir up our hearts, Lord God, to prepare the way of your only Son. By his coming strengthen us to serve you with purified lives; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Amen.
 

First Reading
Isaiah 40:1-11


In grand, flowing, poetic lines, the prophet announces that the exile of God’s people in Babylon is over. God will deliver Israel and will care for her as a shepherd cares for the sheep. This word can be trusted, because the only enduring reality in life is the word of God.

 1Comfort, O comfort my people,
  says your God.
 2Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
  and cry to her
 that she has served her term,
  that her penalty is paid,
 that she has received from the Lord’s hand
  double for all her sins.

 3A voice cries out:
 “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
  make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
 4Every valley shall be lifted up,
  and every mountain and hill be made low;
 the uneven ground shall become level,
  and the rough places a plain.
 5Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
  and all people shall see it together,
  for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

 6A voice says, “Cry out!”
  And I said, “What shall I cry?”
 All people are grass,
  their constancy is like the flower of the field.
 7The grass withers, the flower fades,
  when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
  surely the people are grass.
 8The grass withers, the flower fades;
  but the word of our God will stand forever.
 9Get you up to a high mountain,
  O Zion, herald of good tidings;
 lift up your voice with strength,
  O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
  lift it up, do not fear;
 say to the cities of Judah,
  “Here is your God!”
 10See, the Lord God comes with might,
  and his arm rules for him;
 his reward is with him,
  and his recompense before him.
 11He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
  he will gather the lambs in his arms,
 and carry them in his bosom,
  and gently lead the mother sheep.

 

Gospel Reading
Mark 1:1-8

The Gospel of Mark does not begin with a story of Jesus’ birth but with the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord.

1The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
  2As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, 
 “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
  who will prepare your way;
 3the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
  ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
  make his paths straight,’ ”
4John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
Unity Weekly Zoom Events

Mondays

4:30 pm  Junior Confirmation 

(Grade 5 and below)
5:00 pm Confirmation 
(Grade 6 and up)

Tuesdays
7 pm  Inspired Book Study

(use the Sunday worship link)


Wednesdays
1 pm  Coffee Corner Fellowship
It is Gifts From the Heart Season again from Canadian Lutheran World Relief.

You can give online by going to https://clwr.donorshops.com or by giving through your Unity offering with "Gifts from the Heart" marked in the memo.

Tiny Hearts gifts include goats ($35); bees ($5), garden tools ($12), and a water jug ($8), or a whole garden for $75.
This week's

colouring page

and

children's bulletin.
We need bell ringers for the Salvation Army kettle at Northlands Co-Op Saturday, December 19th.
You can sign up here
Please help us help the Salvation Army. If you can do a double shift that would be fabulous. As you are aware our help will help others.
Invite your friends and family to Zoom worship with us.

There's nothing private about our zoom worship, so please invite your friends and family. You can forward this newsletter along with the link at the top, or you can direct folks to our website www.unitymh.com: there's a login button right on the homepage.
Churches Beyond Borders - Advent Call to Address Racism and White Supremacy from Lutheran and Anglican National Leaders


John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Mark 1:4).
 
In the wilderness and in the river, on the margins of society, John the Baptizer offered faithful witness to the ongoing work of God. People went beyond the borders of their familiar lives to hear the words of a prophet, to seek renewed faith, to begin new journeys and to be transformed through baptism.   
 
What does it mean to offer faithful witness today? As we ponder this question together as national church leaders, we experience shared challenges, new insights, mutual encouragement, deeper faith and common callings. Our common witness is bound not by ecclesiastical or national borders but by our common baptism. As leaders of four churches on a shared continent, and with shared complicity in the legacies of the Doctrine of Discovery, the enslavement of Black people and the mistreatment of all people of color, we hear the prophets and the Spirit speaking clearly when we listen together.  
 
This Advent, we feel called to name the truth that the sin of racism and white supremacy is ongoing. People continue to be subjected to and oppressed by these systemic evils, even within our own churches and the ecumenical movement.     
 
For the sake of our common mission and witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ, we share a commitment to dismantling racism and combating white supremacy, and we actively seek opportunities to engage more deeply. We bind ourselves together in this work, even as we are bound together by a common history of complicity with evil. We look forward to meeting with members from the Black, Indigenous and other communities of color with and beyond our churches to help us develop specific goals and actions. We know this will not be easy, but it is essential. It happens only by moving beyond the borders of the familiar, encountering the truth, trusting God’s grace and being transformed. We have much to learn from and with each other.   
 
The birth of Christ to dwell among us holds the hope for our own rebirth. Our faith is in God’s ongoing work that establishes God’s kin-dom of equity, equality, justice and liberty for all. Our calling is to prepare the way of the Lord by embracing truth, promoting healing and acting in love.  
 
As you make your Advent preparation this year, what do you need most? Forgiveness, repentance, healing, renewal of baptismal vocation, time in the wilderness or a word from a prophet? We are confident that God will grant us all that we need to be transformed for faithful witness.  
 
Let us pray 
 
God of all, form us into churches beyond borders.  
When we feel stuck, amplify the prophet’s word. 
When we are distracted by privilege, put us in the wilderness. 
When we need a new way, dunk us in the river.  
When we are wrong, move us down the path of truth-telling and repentance.  
When we need healing, sustain us with your love and hope.  
When we cannot see beyond ourselves, move us beyond arbitrary borders.  
Bless us with the Holy Spirit, that the good news may be for us a beginning.  
Amen.  


Archbishop and Primate Linda Nicholls
Anglican Church of Canada 
 
Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry
The Episcopal Church 
 
National Bishop Susan C. Johnson
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada 
 
Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Unity Council Notes for November 2020
  • We will be looking for new council members beginning February 2021. Please consider serving the church in this way.
 
  • We won't be decorating the church Christmas tree this year, so instead each household will get a Unity Christmas ornament to place on your trees at home (thanks Louise!) (please take a picture of the ornament on your tree to share with Pastor Jeff). If you haven't received an ornament and would like one please contact Pastor Jeff.
 
  • Forums will be held in January after worship to think through the shifting ministry questions together
    • How has God been at work at Unity in these last months?
    • What seemed so important before COVID that we might give less attention to or let go of altogether?  
    • How do we engage people in this new virtual way of ministry?
    • How do we creatively fund our ministry?
Upcoming Worship Assistants
If you are unable to make your scheduled day, please exchange with someone else on the list.
Our offering for October was $7,870.
Thank you for your faithful giving to Unity's ministry.

You can give by joining PAR (your offering is debited automatically on the 20th of each month);

by  e-transfer, using the church's email unitymh@yahoo.com
(it's an automatic deposit without a security question)

by mail or by dropping it off at the church
599 - 12 Street NW, T1A 6R3
Copyright © 2020 Unity Lutheran Church, All rights reserved.


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