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Week of December 11

When I think of celebrating Christmas I think of lights and music. We have an abundance of both at the Cathedral, starting with the Sing-Along Messiah this Saturday at 4:30. Come to sing or come to listen while Patrick Wedd conducts well-known soloists, a skilled orchestra of McGill music students and the many people who join in singing the well-known choruses. Nothing says Christmas better than reaching for the top notes of the Hallelujah Chorus as it steps joyfully higher with each Hallelujah. There will be a limited number of scores available, but bring your own if possible.

The following Saturday, Dec 20, Patrick will play La nativité du Seigneur by Olivier Messiaen, an organ recital which is fast becoming a cherished annual tradition.

Then on Sunday evening, the 21st, there will be the beautiful service of lessons and carols for Christmas in the candlelit Cathedral. There will be Christmas readings, carols, music from medieval times to modern and the Laudate dancers. Please make a big effort to support our choirs this evening – the congregation at the advent carol service was disappointingly small. The singers work so hard and perform so brilliantly they deserve a large and appreciative audience. As they say on Facebook; I’m going!

This Friday you are invited to join the last session reflecting on the experiences of the Cathedral pilgrims. The presentation will be about Bethlehem and Nazareth, where Christmas started. The leaders will also look at the huge problems facing the people who live in modern Palestine and some of the wonderful outreach work being done in Bethlehem. We were told that if the Holy Family were to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem today they would have to pass through 30 checkpoints.

In the spirit of Christmas, the Social Service Society helps many poor and hungry people at this season by handing out grocery vouchers. There will be a bake sale this Sunday selling goodies for the holidays made with fair trade products. The proceeds will go towards the vouchers.

Forum will meet on Tuesday, Dec 16 at 6 for 6:30 in St Anselm’s Chapel, Fulford Hall. This will be a relaxed meeting with time for socialising over a glass of wine followed by the tabling of the usual reports, including Jane’s financial update of the year to November. After the business part of the meeting we will watch a fascinating movie made by John Geeza during the restoration of the late 1970s. Some of us look very young!

Thanks to Vallum Poetry there will be a poetry-writing workshop Thursday, Dec. 18 at 2 pm in the Chapter House, facilitated by Jan Jorgensen, a local poet as well as a member of our congregation.  Jan says that the workshop is suitable for all – from published poets to those who haven’t written a poem since they left school.

Rob Wells and George Deare will be decorating the Cathedral on Saturday Dec 20th, starting at 9 am. They would love some help. Please let Rob know if you can join the crew.

There was a very happy service in the Cathedral last Sunday when Bishop Barry baptised Natasha and Erica, confirmed Tyson and Masaa and received Marie-Andrée, Marie-Claire, Marian, Joseph and Jean-Jacques into the Anglican Communion. He also blessed the new vestments for Gaudete Sunday (this Sunday) and in a very emotional, crowd-pleasing moment conferred this year’s Bishop’s Award on George Deare who has been a server at the cathedral for 50 years. Several past servers were there to applaud him and Verna Peris presented him with a memory box. If anybody has a photograph or other memento of serving at the cathedral, or anything related to George’s many other activities please give your contribution to the memory box to Rhonda or to Bob King.

A message from the Social Justice Action Group : Starting in 2015, the CCC Social Justice Action Group (SJAG) will have a steering committee responsible for coordinating the work of SJAG. The committee will be made up of 6-8 persons. If you are passionate about social justice and like doing planning and coordinating, please consider putting your name forward. Write to Jonathan at jonathanpbailey@hotmail.com by December 20 to express interest (or to ask for a copy of the terms of reference).
The Steering Committee will work to promote broad participation of members of the Cathedral as a whole in the activities of SJAG, so they hope to see you involved in one way or another in 2015!

The Cathedral book group will meet on January 11 to discuss The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West. All book lovers are welcome. Please speak to Ann, Donna, Diana, Helen or Jane for more information.

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