Advent & Christmas 2023

As we embark on the season of Advent, we extend a warm welcome to you to worship with us. This sacred time offers us an opportunity to come together in reflection, anticipation, and wonder. The Holy Spirit invites us to embrace the Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love sent to us through Jesus Christ.

Worship

First Sunday of Advent

December 3

Online and In-Person 10:30am

Second Sunday of Advent

December 10

Online and In-Person 10:30am

Third Sunday of Advent

December 17

Online and In-Person 10:30am

Longest Night Service

December 19

In-Person
7:00pm

Fourth Sunday of Advent

December 24

Online and In-Person 10:30am

Christmas Eve Service & Pageant

December 24

Online and In-Person
2:00pm & 4:00pm

New Year’s Eve

January 1

Online and In-Person
10:30am

Events

Christmas Bazaar

November 18

9:00am – 2:00pm

Caroling at the Colonial

December 2

6:00pm

ADVENTure Day

December 3

12:00pm – 2:00pm

UCW Christmas Potluck

December 4

5:30pm – 9:00pm

Advent Labyrinth

December 6

7:00pm – 9:00pm

Scouts Christmas Drive-Through Parade

December 8

7:00pm – 9:00pm

Candlelight Choir Cantata

December 10

7:00pm – 9:00pm

Jesus’ Birthday Party

December 17

During J.a.M.

Outreach

Christmas Hampers

Email to help, or tags available after service November 19, 26, and December 3.

Drop off December 9
12:00pm – 4:00pm

Delivery December 10

Friendly Visitors Cookies

Cookies are made to provide a reminder to recipients how much God loves them.

December 5
11:00am

Durham Outlook for the Needy

Help prepare and serve hot meals to those in need.

December 12
3:30pm – 6:30pm

Christmas Eve Food Drive

Non perishable food donations can be dropped off before the 10:30am, 2:00pm, or 4:00pm services on Christmas Eve.

December 24

Mittens, Gloves, and Socks

Donations can be in the basket in the Narthex

Collecting until December 31

Additional Information


Advent and Christmas Services

December 3 – Advent 1, Hope – 10:30am
December 10 – Advent 2, Peace – 10:30am
December 17 – Advent 3, Joy – 10:30am
December 19 – Longest Night – 7:00pm
December 24 – Advent 4, Love – 10:30am
December 24 – Christmas Service and Pageant – 2:00pm
December 24 – Christmas Service and Pageant – 4:00pm
December 24 – Christmas Candlelight Communion – 9:00pm
December 31 – New Years Eve – 10:30am

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Christmas Bazaar

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Caroling at the Colonial

Christmas Caroling at the Colonial
Saturday, December 2 at 6:00pm

If you are wanting to get into the Christmas Spirit, please consider joining us as we meet with the residents of the Colonial Retirement Residence in Whitby for a time of Christmas singing and hopefully some hot chocolate! This special celebration will be limited to 30 people (of all ages). If you are interested, kindly let Cathy know as soon as possible at westminster.cathy@gmail.com or 905-723-6442. Many thanks!

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ADVENTure Day

This is a MUST REGISTER event.

When:
Sunday, December 3 – 12:00pm – 2:00pm

Where:
Right here at Westminster!

What:
A special day of fun for our Westminster kids and their families. Come help us kick-off the Season of ADVENT.

Join us for lunch and then stay for the family crafts and activities!

This is a free event, sponsored by your Christian Education Committee.

To get your free ticket, please sign up at church following worship or contact Cathy by November 26.

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UCW Christmas Potluck

Come one, Come All – Women of Westminster United Church

You are invited to the U.C.W. Christmas Potluck Dinner on Monday December 4, 2023 in the Founder’s Room at WUC. Gathering and appetizers at 5:30pm – Dinner at 6:00pm.

Please bring one of your favourite dishes; a main course, a salad, or a dessert to share.

Christmas donations are being gratefully accepted for Westminster’s own food bank,  The Pantry – personal care items: sanitary pads, tampons, toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, shaving items, hair shampoo for adults & children, hair conditioner, body or shower gels, bar soap other than Ivory, body lotion, and deodorant for men & women

Food items that are always in demand: Ritz crackers, instant coffee, strawberry jam, peanut butter, dish washing soap, cooking oil, canned meat, pasta sauce, 1 litre juice cartons and snack cups (pudding cups/fruit cups)

R.S.V.P. by December 3, 2023 – contact Susan or WUC office.

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Advent Labyrinth

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Scouts Christmas Drive-Through Parade

Sponsored by the 11th Whitby Scouts In Partnership with Westminster United Church

Friday, December 8 – 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Come and be part of something special, all in the comfort and warmth of your vehicle.

This is the third year that the 11th Whitby Scouts have hosted this evening of light in support of The Pantry, which helps to feed our community and those in need.

This is a drive-thru only, and for safety reasons no one will be permitted to get out of their vehicle.
Food donations will be collected by a member of 11th Whitby Scouts. Along with the 11th Whitby Scouts, Cubs, and Beavers, Westminster will also be taking part and creating “Floats”. Stop by to say hello and support this wonderful family event and your community. More details to follow.

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Candlelight Choir Cantata

Westminster Choir and friends will be presenting the Cantata (narration and songs) Tapestry of Light on December 10, at 7:00pm at Westminster United Church.  All are welcome to come and enjoy this evening service of music (with a Celtic flair). A freewill offering would be gratefully appreciated in support of our ministry at Westminster.

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Jesus’ Birthday Party

Join us for a super fun time at “Jesus’s Birthday Party” during J.a.M on December 17! We’re throwing a festive bash to celebrate Jesus’s birth – think games, activities, and the best part: a yummy birthday cake! It’s not just about the party; we’ll also share lessons on love, kindness, and the true Christmas spirit. Let’s make awesome memories together! Don’t miss out on the joy – see you there!

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Christmas Hampers

It is wonderful to see and feel the Christmas spirit alive and well amidst our community. We hear first hand from hamper recipients the impact of this outreach ministry, gratitude for not only grocery gift cards and gifts, but also community – the care of neighbours supporting one another.

With your overwhelming generosity, last year we supported 83 families, comprised of 316 people, in our community. This included gifts for 177 children and 40 adults living alone. We were overwhelmed with the
generosity of our community of faith, both in selection of tags, financial donations, and donations of toys and time (driving for delivery).

Christmas Hamper Tags are available until December 3! You can also contact wucchristmashampers@gmail.com to request tags virtually.

If you would prefer to make financial donations instead (either online, cheque, e-transfer or through the church office – please mark financial donations for “Outreach”). With increasing cost of groceries, we hope to be able to increase the amount for grocery gift card included in the hampers. If you plan to make a financial donation, please consider making this donation to the Hampers by the first week of December.

There will be lots of opportunity to participate in this ministry! Should you have questions please don’t hesitate to contact wucchristmashampers@gmail.com.

Thank you in advance for your generous support of the Westminster United Church Christmas Hamper Outreach Ministry.

Important Dates

  • Tags Available Online: ongoing – December 3, 2023
  • Tags Available In-Person: November 19, 26 and December 3, 2023:
    • Available for selection at/after Sunday Service
  • Deadline for Tin Cans to be Returned: November 19, 2023
  • Gift Return: December 9
    • Drive thru return of gifts purchased to Westminster
  • Hamper Delivery/Pick Up: December 10 (time to be confirmed)

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Friendly Visitors Cookies

Our Friendly Visitor team makes cookies each year to bring to shut-ins and those who could use a warm reminder that they are so very loved by God. This year the Friendly Visitors will gather on December 5 at 11:00am to create gift bags of cookies and deliver them in the community.

Interested in helping with this ministry? Contact Paul Kneebone at paul.kneebone@rogers.com.

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Durham Outlook for the Needy

Durham Outlook for the Needy serves between 150 to 250 meals per day, approximately 55,000 to 65,000 meals per year. It is Durham Region’s only full-service barrier free soup kitchen. Formerly known as St. Vincent’s Kitchen, it is located off King Street East in Oshawa on Simcoe Street South.

This Christmas Westminster will be volunteering at DOFN on December 12 from 3:30pm – 6:30pm. If you would like to participate this Christmas, please contact Paul Kneebone at paul.kneebone@rogers.com.

★ Interested in being a regular volunteer? Westminster United & Faith United are at DOFN on the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 3:30pm – 6:30pm to serve and clean up that day’s 3-course meal. Presently, the team averages 8-10 volunteers from a list of 20 possible names. We would be happy to welcome you to the team as we do require a few more folks to be available, at least some months for our 2nd Tuesday duty shift.  Our regular team members can be away on vacation-other obligations. Let Paul know if you can help out with the serving/cleanup for this 3-course meal. You will end up meeting some terrific fellow volunteers and see firsthand the desperate need.

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Christmas Eve Food Drive

Non perishable food donations can be dropped off before the 10:30am, 2:00pm, or 4:00pm services on Christmas Eve in support of Westminster’s food bank, The Pantry.

We continue to have 45-55 clients per week which means we’re feeding 120-160. This faith community and the community around us continue to be stewards to those with food insecurity.
Items currently needed:

  • Instant and ground coffee
  • 1L Juice
  • Rice
  • Tuna
  • Pasta and pasta sauce
  • Canned fruit
  • Canned vegetables
  • Granola bars
  • Pudding cups
  • Crackers
  • Toiletries-shampoo, bar soap, toothpaste
  • Paper products-toilet paper, paper towels, tissues

Blessings,
Your Outreach Team

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Mittens, Gloves, and Socks

Let’s Help Spread Warmth this Season of Advent!

Westminster’s Outreach Team invites our community of faith to mark this coming season of Advent by helping to provide new hats, new scarves, new mittens or gloves and new socks to friends in our wider community who could use some warmth this winter.

Adults, youth and children can be supported with our help.

Each Sunday of Advent (December 3, 10, 17, 24), donated items can be dropped off in our church’s Narthex (the gathering area before the Sanctuary) by the glass wall. Just look for the bright sign and the big decorated bin!

Donations from our community of faith will be provided to the following community groups for distribution to clients in need:

Thank you for helping to shine the light of Christ brightly in and for our community this Advent season.

With gratitude and blessings,
Westminster’s Outreach Team

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