On Sunday the 4th, following communion, around 100 people gathered in the lower hall for our first Christmas meal together in three years. It was a good time with friends, family, and a few guests and visitors. Thank you so much to all those who planned and prepared it.
Our concert season is upon us with concerts on December 9th, 10th and 11th. Our church also recently hosted the University of Regina’s choir. Musicians and singers have been here every night of the week practicing. By caring for our building and relationships, we have been able to support the people who keep music alive and growing in our city.
We continue to host the Saturday lunch program where free bag lunches are given out to folks in need. Churches of all kinds are already signing up to help through next June. There is a real joy and sense of camaraderie in working together to prepare and serve the lunch. I think the Holy Spirit rejoices in churches working together to take care of folks. Many of the people who come are believers themselves and they share their blessing with us.
Also, I think people from across the city are looking for any way to respond to the homelessness that has rapidly increased in our city in the past few years. As we walk outside into the bitter wind, it is shocking to think that some of our neighbours are sleeping outside overnight.
This week, our city council is debating if there is more they can do. The cost for the proposed project, as presented publicly, was very high, although still less than the cost of other past and future capital projects, such as Mosaic Stadium. However, charities, other municipalities, and the city’s own budget all publicly report that the actual costs for the very programs proposed are much lower than what has been reported, and therefore, would not result in the enormous tax increase suggested in the news. It is hard to understand why there is such a difference. I’m happy to discuss this with anyone who wants to know more or wants to share what they’ve learned. There’s time to call or write your city councilor with your concerns either way.
Please remember our city councilors in prayer this week as they debate the budget. Unfortunately, their discussions have been presented publicly as bitter disagreements, which can’t make this time any easier.
Even more, remember those living among us who are homeless and hungry. Thank you for being such warm and hospitable people. As scripture says, remember that by welcoming strangers, some have entertained angels without knowing it.
God bless you this Christmas.
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