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From the Elders - December 2016

Dear members and friends of Trinity,

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.’ [Matt 1:18-25]

Only the Lord could have put together the series of events that led up to the birth of Jesus. In fulfilment of numerous OT prophesies He orchestrated the lives of all the key individuals through both natural and supernatural means. His choice of unknown citizens such as Joseph and Mary, the humble circumstances of the birth itself and the testimony of lowly shepherds, is offset by the timely announcements and intervention of angels sent straight from Heaven. He gave specific instructions about the name and the purpose of the soon-to-be-born child, He called wise men from a far country through a star in the heavens and He guarded the young child from Herod’s cruelty. In all these events there was never any doubt that Jesus would be born as planned and live out His life in accordance with the will of His Father. Our God is a great God and greatly to be praised!

Please keep in mind the special events that come with the Christmas season. Our Annual Carol sing will be held after the evening service on the 18th and our Christmas Eve service starts at 7:00 pm. There will be both morning and evening services on the 25th and Jan 1st at the regular times, though there will be no Sunday School on those dates. We thank the Lord for the excellence of the Sunday School Christmas program; the gospel was presented with tremendous clarity and passion. Well done to everyone involved! Please pray that the hearts of unsaved family and friends in attendance will be moved to spiritual action.

Please be diligent in remembering our missionaries at this time of year. Most are far away from their families and are in situations where few, if any, celebrate the birth of Jesus. It can be very lonely and difficult; pray for the Lord of grace to cover them with an abundance of His love and to bring them peace and comfort and wonderful joy as they serve Him on the field.

We are thankful for the way in which the Lord blessed all those who attended the recent SGF General Assembly held at Bath Road in Kingston. Our hosts looked after us exceptionally well and there was a deep feeling of fellowship and corporate blessing. We have a new church in the Fellowship; The Gathering in Peterborough, pastored by Alex Kloosterman was accepted into membership and we are excited to be working with them. On the flip side, we were saddened to hear that Grace Trinity Community Church in Guelph, formerly pastored by Bob Penhearow, has decided to cease operation as their numbers had declined to a handful. We will miss their fellowship, but we are thankful that all the former members have relocated to solid churches.

In the New Year information will be distributed regarding requirements for all our church volunteers. This may involve the submission of Volunteer Forms, police background checks, the watching of an instructional video and the reading of applicable sections of the up-dated Policy to Protect. Volunteers will be contacted individually to clarify expectations and requirements. We would like to thank you in advance for your cooperation in this matter.

On behalf of the elders

Mark Hudson