Archive for October 2010

Church welcomes Halloween guests

October 20, 2010

by C.D. Pelzer

On an evening when children and parents prowl Regina’s neighbourhoods seeking treats, a north-end church is marking an historical date by inviting everyone to visit.

A trail of jack o'lanterns leads to the front door of Mt. Olive Lutheran Church

October 31, 2010 marks the 493rd anniversary of the Protestant Reformation as measured from the date when a German monk, Martin Luther nailed 95 Theses (complaints against the church) to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Regina, is celebrating this anniversary in a way Luther would probably never have thought of, but very likely endorsed.

Mount Olive’s annual open house on October 31 sees the congregation make jack o’lanterns carved with friendly faces rather than the usual Halloween-style images and place them around the church building. When all the lanterns are alight, the congregation invites the neighbours in to visit and enjoy some treats.

Along with candies and goodies Mount Olive, at 2015- 4th Avenue North, offers everyone a place to warm-up, enjoy a drink and meet its members.

“When we started this event we expected that it might be a novel way to introduce ourselves and our faith. said Pastor Ted Giese, Associate Pastor at Mount Olive and the creative force behind many of the carved pumpkins. “We found this is a really great way for our neighbours to get to know us a bit better.”    

Congregation members donate treats and spend time at the church giving out the candies with a generous, neighbourly touch. People living near the church note the buzz of activity on Halloween night and remark how much they enjoy both the array of brightly lit pumpkins and the positive effect it has on them, too. Some have even brought candies and treats to the church to share with the little revellers .

“Mount Olive has a great and caring group of members,” adds Pastor Terry Defoe.  “An important feature people note when visiting us at our worship services is how friendly  and welcoming people are.”

The many services provided at Mount Olive are described on the congregation’s website at http://www.mountolive.ca/

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Share more than turkey at Thanksgiving

October 1, 2010

Genuine love is expressed not only in word but in deed. St. James writes, “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?’ In the same way, faith by itself, if not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:14-17)

Thanksgiving is a time for us to thank our Creator for His daily provision for all we need to support our body and life. It’s also a time for us to praise our Saviour for His sacrificial death on the cross and all the subsequent fruit that springs forth from the cross into our lives.

Thanksgiving provides us the opportunity to thank God for His bountiful gifts not only in word, song, and prayer, but also by sharing His gifts with those in need. How might we love not only in word but in deed?

  • Invite a lonely university student(s) to your home for Thanksgiving supper (and invite him/her to your Thanksgiving worship service!) and continue to foster a relationship with the student(s).
  • Volunteer to serve a Thanksgiving dinner at a local food shelter and continue to serve at the shelter throughout the year.
  • Visit a friend who is in hospital or have supper with a loved one confined to a nursing home and continue making weekly visits to that friend or loved one.
  • Working with a local public school, organize a clothing exchange; provide the school with “lunch” items (Mr. Noodles, juice boxes, granola bars) for students who “forget” their lunches; and discuss with the administration how you can partner with them throughout the year.

Ideas and opportunities for putting God’s love into action are endless! Share ways that you (and your congregation) are involved in God’s grace of giving to the community!

Rev. Dr. Glenn Schaeffer is the executive assistant to the president responsible for Outreach in the ABC District