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December 18, 2019

In this Newsletter...

•  Creating space for Christmas' transformation: A message from Executive Minister Treena Duncan
•  Thankful for where and who we are: A message from Chinook Winds Region Presiding Officer Helen Reed
•  Central United Church's Aaron's Journey

•  Chinook Winds Executive: In Their Own Words
•  Bethlehem comes to Oyen, AB
•  And more news!
  Creating space for the hope and transformation of Christmas
By Treena Duncan, Executive Minister,
Chinook Winds & Pacific Mountain Regions

“Are you ready for Christmas?”

Next to, “How do you like your new job?” (I am really enjoying it), this seems to be the question I’m asked most frequently right now. My mind immediately runs through the list of the usual Christmas preparations. The house has to be prepared to receive the decorations. Furniture might need to be moved, things put away to make room for the trimmings of the season. This on top of the shopping, baking, lights, wrapping… it’s an endless list and a lot of work to make room for Christmas.

      However, being truly ready for the hope and transformation that is offered through this season is a different question entirely; it’s spiritual work. Just as we make room in the house, so must we also make room for Christmas within ourselves.   Read  Treena's message HERE
Thankful for where and who we are
By Rev. Helen Reed, Presiding Officer, Chinook Winds Regional Council
"In the words of Philippians 4:4-7,  I see a reminder to all of us to be thankful for where and who we are and to be deliberate in connecting with the Holy in all of our moments. So, in the midst of searching for a desk (that I know will emerge in January), I wanted to give thanks for the privilege of being in ministry with you in Chinook Winds Region."
Read Helen's Full Message HERE
 The Bethlehem of Jesus' Birth
descends on Oyen, Alberta
 The Churches of Oyen, AB and surrounding areas -- including the United Churches of Oyen, Cereal, Acadia Valley and Alsask -- come together every second year for Oyen Night in Bethlehem.  Photo Gallery and full story HERE
Meet the Chinook Winds Region Executive
Over the next few weeks, the Chinook Winds newsletter will include a short autobiography by each of the Region's Executive. The Chinook Winds Executive was elected at the Regional Gathering in Lethbridge in June 2019. Today's issue features Regional Executive Member Alwin Maben.
Rev. Alwin Maben is originally from Bangalore, India, where he served the Church of South India (CSI) Karnataka Central Diocese as Presbyter (1988-2010).
   From June 2010 –October 2015, he served Woodland Pastoral Charge in Whitecourt and Mayerthorpe and now serves Coronation Pastoral Charge in Coronation and Veteran, Alberta.
  After achieving a Bachelors degree in Commerce, he received a Bachelor of Divinity (B.D)
and Masters in Theology (M.Th.) at United Theological College, Bangalore.  At present, Alwin serves as Chair of Intercultural Ministry Network of the Northern Spirit and Chinook Winds Regional councils.  Ecumenism, Interfaith and Intercultural ministry is of great importance to Alwin.
Central United Church, Calgary
 Aaron’s Journey assists
homeless and at-risk youth
Each year in December, Central United Church in Calgary's "Aaron’s Journey" program distributes some 400 backpacks to people who are homeless and also to at-risk youth. Aaron’s Journey was initiated and is organised by AnnaMay and Clayton LaPointe, long-time attendees of Central, in memory of their 23-year-old son who lost his life to addiction.
        While the program culminates each December, making the backpacks possible is work that starts much earlier in the year. In August a Charity Golf Tournament and Steak Dinner is held in Sundre to raise money to purchase items for the backpacks. Hand-knitted scarves and toques are made by volunteers. Backpack items also can include socks, gloves, notebooks, puzzle books, pens, toiletries such as toothbrush, etc, and a New Testament.
       In late November all of the goods are brought to Central and a group of 40 church volunteers stuff the backpacks. The task takes about 90 minutes in assembly-line precision. In mid-December, the 400 bags are distributed to addiction counselling agencies including Alcove (women), Oxford House, Fresh Start, Sunrise. About 40% remain to be distributed by volunteers who walk through the downtown streets, between Central United Church and the Drop-in Centre, personally handing out the bags. Any remaining are then left at the Drop-In Centre for Distribution.
Interested in more information? Contact Bill Moore at Central United Church, Calgary.
Gifts that Continue to Give
Stewardship and Gifts Officer Jane Harding reminds us of two ways to give this Advent and Christmas Season:
1. Mission and Service Fund:
At this time of year, your Mission and Service donations are urgently needed. Please consider making a gift to Mission & Service so that together, we can continue to support God's mission in Canada and around the world.
2. Gifts with Vision Catalogue is now also available for your Christmas shopping. The United Church developed Gifts with Vision in response to member requests to be able to give gifts to relatives, friends, and loved ones that are in direct support of the church's Mission & Service partners. Check out the catalogue HERE
 Other News
Chinook Winds Regional Office will be closed from Monday, December 23 and will reopen on Thursday, January 2, 2020.

Way to go, First United and Japanese United Churches in Lethbridge! The two congregations  came together on Sunday, December 15 for a a Christmas Choral Concert that benefits the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. They raised nearly $2,000 and the money will be matched federally.

Calling all Regional Representatives and Ministry Personnel in Southern Alberta. You are invited to a potluck supper at McKIllop United Church on Friday, January 10, 5 to 7:30 pm. Rev. Austin Fennell and Rev. Terry Shillington write: "It occurred to us that the fellowship we enjoyed in  South Alberta Presbytery is now seldom available and that is something that we miss." A guest speaker is also planned. RSVP to Austin Fennell or Terry Shillington

Carstairs Bancroft United Church welcomes new minister. Carstairs Bancroft United invites you to join them on January 5, 2020 at 10am to meet their new minster, Rev. Maria Szabo, newly arrived from Killarney, MB.

Video License Available for Communities of Faith. Previously offered through the former Conference Office, EDGE in Etobicoke now offers communities of faith the opportunity to obtain a Public Performance Video License. Public Performance Licenses enable your community of faith to show full-length or clips from movies or TV shows for public viewing as a part of things like worship, fundraisers, family nights, youth group events, or educational programs. Edge has contacted communities of faith who purchased licenses last year. You’ll find more information here:
The application deadline for a 2020 license is December 31st, 2019. For any additional questions, contact Alexandra Belaskie

Church Office Administrators Retreat - Save the Date. Retreat will take place from Monday, October 19 to Wednesday, October 21, 2020 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. More details will be coming in the new year. Contact Brandy Emmerich, St. Martin’s United Church Saskatoon
Waterton United Church's Christmas Candlelight Service takes place Saturday, December 21 at 5 pm with Rev. Pauline Bell. Guest musicians welcome. Potluck feast to follow. Please join us in nurturing the earth by bringing dishes and cutlery. All faiths welcome. Waterton Church is available year round for weddings, retreats, etc.  More information HERE:
 How to submit news items to
Chinook Winds E-Newsletter

This is the last Chinook Winds newsletter for 2019! We'll be back in your inbox for Wednesday, January 8, 2020. The deadline for submissions is Monday, January 6  by noon.

Submission guidelines are at the bottom of this newsletter.

Your event, news or announcement can be included in the Chinook Winds E-News.  For best promotion, it is advisable to submit material four weeks/one month in advance of your event's date or submission deadline. Events will be promoted for two newsletters and if you would like further promotion, please re-submit your item.
Please send the following information in the body of an email to Shelley Den Haan via (Please note new email address):
   • Your name and e-mail as the contact
   • Short title
   • 30-60 word description (Tip: Include a compelling reason why the reader should click to find out more.)
   • The URL or website where readers can visit for more information (If you do not
           have a URL or website, you can attach a pdf flyer or poster.)
   • Date
   • Location
Attach to the e-mail:
      • An image (JPG or PNG) with little or no text that
               represents your event, campaign, etc.
       • PDF poster or flyer, if applicable
       (No image? That's fine. It will be placed in the "Other News" section.)
Chinook Winds Region
Copyright © 2019 Chinook Winds Region of The United Church of Canada, All rights reserved.

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