December 2012 Newsletter Letter

O come, thou Dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by thine advent here:
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”
Latin, c. 12th century

It is hard to imagine better words than this to begin the season of Advent.  Our hope is in the God who is here and who promises to come on the final day.  Our rejoicing this Advent and Christmas is tied to God’s whole story, from its beginning in the Messiah to end.

I rejoice this season for the ways I see Christ coming here in our midst:

for the life of Gladys Gaston, and her faithful witness to God’s love and grace for 93 years; for the new life of Alejandro and France’s new baby and the incredible miracle he is;  for the upcoming blended service this Sunday, with Communion and a meal together with everyone; for the Parents & Tots group sending care packages to students and those in prison; for the arrival and settling in of Danielle Pierre, our full-time Children and Youth Director; for the good news and affirmation of the lives of Virginia Bell and Jim Murray, being awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal; for Rob Pemberton, raised up by God to lead a third worship band for the 11:30 service;  for Eudora, the grader 5er who played Djembe there and Katie, Kim and Hannah too;  for the small group who meet weekly at the Heusers for prayer and study;  for the opportunity to give thanks for the strong ministry of Principal John Vissers, preaching December 16th; for the more than $24,000 we’ve given to mission already this year; for the blessing to parents and 26 children in the community of the PED Day Camp last week; for the worship and witness of this community; for the grace of God in Jesus.

May each of us know the presence of Jesus in our lives this season, and the hope of the world to come.

Grace and peace,


Sunday’s Coming 107

Greetings Friends,

Today at the church has been the PED Day Camp, held jointly with Westminster Presbyterian, with 25 kids aged 4-12 from the community.  See the picture below.  Than you Danielle Pierre for organizing this amazing event.

This Sunday at the 10 a.m. we recognize Briarwood’s two latest Ministers-in-Association, The Rev. Dr. Neil and The Rev. Dr. Klempa, and receive as a new member Dr. Lois Klempa.  It is our last Sunday looking at the book of Genesis (50: 15-21) for the Fall.  Between 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. services is the Singing your Faith Study and the Advent Children’s Choir practice.

Also see a photo of Grant Vissers, who was in town this week.  Grant is an elder at Briarwood, studying at Princeton Seminary for the ministry.  (Middle photo taken by my daughter Elise at Stewart Hall, water’s edge.)

This week please remember in prayer,

the Youth Group, meeting tonight for Games night;

the family of Gladys Gaston;

the small group at the Heusers’ Wednesday;

Helen M., Shelia S. and Heidi F.

With best wishes,

Greg Davidson

Sunday’s Coming 106

Greetings Friends,

This Sunday is Coats for Kids at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.  As able, you are invited to bring an item of winter clothing to church for the children at Verdun Elementary School (please keep items in your seats until collected as part of the worship services).  The text for Sunday is Genesis 37: 1-4, 12-28, the first part of the story of Joseph.

At the 11:30 a.m. service, we look forward to Patti Thomas, daughter of Dick Thomas, who will share part of her faith story with the congregation.

Children’s Advent Choir practice 11:05 a.m. in the West Room and Singing the Faith Study Series in the East Room.

This week we remember

the Youth Group, who meet at 7 p.m. tonight for a photo scavenger hunt and devotions;

the Meet and Greet Danielle event Saturday at 4 p.m. at the church, light supper;

those preparing for the PED Day Camp at Briarwood, next Friday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (neighbours, kids and grandkids invited);

the dinner at Fulford Hall on Thursday night, celebrating nearly 14 years of ministry of Principal John Vissers, one of Briarwood’s minister’s in association.

Many blessings,


Sunday’s Coming 105

Greetings Friends,

This week 53 grade three students from Kuper Academy came upon Briarwood with a wonderful flurry of questions, ideas, singing and discussion about what a Christian church is all about.  Thank you to Susan D. for including Briarwood in the classes’ religious destinations field-trip and to Danielle Pierre for her Bible Quiz contribution.  

As we speak, about 30 staff and volunteers from Tyndale St. Georges Community Center are here at Briarwood, using the church for a retreat.  

This Sunday we look at forgiveness and reconciliation in the story of Jacob and Esau (Genesis 33), with a Call to Remembrance at 10 a.m..  Nursery and Kids’ Faith Program at 10 a.m. (organ) and 11:30 a.m. (worship bands).

Please remember in prayer:

the Youth Group, on a “Mall Hunt” and food court devotions tonight at Fairview;

the Advent Children’s Choir practice 11:05 a.m. in the West Room on Sunday;

the Small Group study next Wednesday at the Heusers’, and C&C on Thursday at Jenn V.’s.

Next Sunday Nov. 18th:  Coats for Kids.  As possible, please bring a coat, scarf, toque or boots for children at Verdun Elementary School.  Both services.

Grace and Peace,


Children Events for November

Youth Events for November

Sunday’s Coming 104

Greetings Friends,

This weekend is as full as ever at the church.  Thank you for remembering people and events in prayer:

the Youth Group meets for Game Show Night tonight at 7;

the Funeral of Heino A., including an Estonian Hymn Sing, at 11 Saturday;

the Funeral of Pierre. D., son of Yvette N., at 2:30 Saturday;

two services on Sunday morning, with kids faith programs, Communion and Lunch at the 11:30;

the first appearance of Briarwood’s Canada Youth 2012 Youth Band at the 11:30 a.m. service Sunday.

On Sunday morning we come to the story of the birth of Jacob and Esau, Genesis 25: 19-34, and how their birth speaks to their present and shapes the future.  We will also dedicate to God Briarwood’s new furnace, and remember in prayer those who have died in the last year.

Clocks go back Saturday night.

Thank you to Danielle P. for these links:

Children Events for November

Youth Events for November

With all good wishes.

In Christ,