December 14, 2018
Joy is a wonderful emotion, isn’t it? I have been thinking about joy a lot this week as we prepare for worship on Sunday. I have been myself: Is there a minimum amount of joy? A maximum? How do we share joy? The one question that I think that we as a church have to ask is: How can we foster joy in our communities? It is fair to say that as individuals we know what gives us great joy; such as receiving fresh homemade chocolate chip cookies, visiting with relatives and maybe finally getting that one question right on Jeopardy…
I admit that I do not know 100% what gives the people in Wildwood joy. What gives our neighbors happiness? I think that as a church, we are tasked with seriously considering this question. If we can’t answer it, then it is possible that we have some work to do.  Rather, we have the joy of going out into the world and discovering what causes the community to leap for joy, smile, applaud or hug.
I do know that firefighters, teens, dogwalkers and families have enjoyed the community advent calendar. As a staff, we have seen countless smiles and selfies. A lot of good work went into creating this project and we can tell that it is appreciated by the community. With each drawer that opens, we have the chance to create moments of joy in the lives of all who participate.
There is much to do before the arrival of Christmas morning. However, I would like to add one more item to your list. Ask someone what gives them joy. Listen to it. Don’t think about how you might respond to what they have said. Hear what they are saying and take that with you. Joy is a wonderful emotion.  As Woodcliff United Church, we have the possibility of fostering and growing joy in the community. Let’s spread some joy this Advent season.  After all, it’s biblical. 😉
Christmas Spirit earned. 
Several days a week a rental group arrives at the church before most of us are even up. They wake up before 4 am and they convert the lower hall into a gym of sorts. They utilize the hall and stairs, but mostly they are outdoors amidst the trees in the beautiful park we sit in. Before your coffee is brewed, they have flipped tires, swung ropes and just had fun being fast. Often their workouts have a challenge element. For the last several weeks, inspired by the people in the building they rent and the advent project they see happening in the church, they have taken their work outs to a new level - competing daily for toys and gift cards to donate to our church's various outreach projects.  Sometimes the Grinch would steal toys away from them and they would have to work even harder to get them back. Thank you Soldiers of Fitness for the overflowing box of new toys and gift cards that you have donated - your workouts payed off!

Woodcliff Council Meeting Summary - December 11, 2018 

At our regular Council meeting on December 11, 2018 members met to address various business items with the majority of the meeting focused on discussing an initial draft budget for 2019.  Discussion took place on the decisions to consider in order to bring in a balanced budget for presentation at the ACM on March 17, 2019, and to build upon the excellent work done by our staff and volunteers this year.

Work on our Windows and Doors renovation project is nearly complete and we want to give special thanks to our user groups, staff, congregants and volunteers for their patience during these past few months.  A professional company was hired to do a proper clean of our building in time for our multiple Christmas Eve services.

Other highlights from the Council meeting include:  

  • Woodcliff received a $15,000 grant from Flair Foundation, which we are grateful to receive. 
  • The work on six Woodcliff policies relating to Technology/Communications/Emergency Response will hopefully be ready for presentation to the congregation at our ACM. 
  • The Nominations Committee is looking for new individuals to fill the positions of Nominations Chair, Vice-Chair and Chair (or Co-Chair) of Council, Regional Representative for 2019 as well as a Treasurer in 2020.  
  • Rev. Eric reminded us of the importance to introduce ourselves to newcomers to make them feel welcome, as well as about Don Flemons' funeral service (Wednesday, December 12). In addition, our Minister has been focusing his time on pastoral care visits and preparing for our Blue Christmas service on December 20 (for those who are experiencing loss of loved ones and sadness during the Christmas season), and Christmas Eve services (4, 7 and 10 pm). 
  • CBC TV and the Eye Opener program are coming Wednesday to do a news story on our Community Advent Calendar!
Check out these CBC stories on the Project Advent.
The first link is a radio story and you can find the Advent Calendar by scrolling down the page to the sixth story.
The second is CBC TV. Choose the December 12 11:00 pm newscast and scroll through to minute 27. This will take you to the Woodcliff story.
The third link is an online story from
The fourth is from today's Calgary Herald.
Thank you to everyone who helped make the Calendar a reality. 
Renewals for the 2019 Observer are now due. Please use the white Observer envelopes available at the back of the sanctuary. Make cheques available to Woodcliff United Church with ‘Observer’ on the memo line. The cost is $25.00 per year. If you do not wish to renew or have any questions, please contact Mary Anne Christie.
We need dozens of cookies for Christmas Eve. If you can help supply nut free holiday cookies, please sign up in the Narthex or speak to Sheri.
Kelly Scott will be holding a quick workshop/refresher course for those who volunteer in the media room on Sunday December 16 at 11:15am. If you are on the list currently or would like to be added to the volunteer roster, please plan on attending this short but important class.
There will be a Blue Christmas service on Thursday December 20 at 6:30pm here at Woodcliff. This is a service of comfort for those who struggle during the holiday season.
Yoga classes will resume January 15 and run until mid-March. Cost for the session is $150.00. Sign up in the Narthex or through the office.
Thank you so much to all who attended (and brought baking for) our Carols, Candles and Coffee event of December 5th.  Thank you also to all women who have supported our WOW programs through the fall. Our first get together in 2019 will be on Monday, January 28th at 7:15. Dr. Jayna Holroyd will talk about successful aging. All women are welcome at all WOW sessions.
On Friday Jan.11 at 7:00pm, please join Congregational Life for a games night. Bring your own cards and board games. Snacks will be provided!
We will hold our monthly meeting tomorrow Saturday, December 15th when we will hear from co-chair Janet Wilson, an update on Woodcliff’s Affirming exploration process. Discussion to follow.
We are eager to have new faces join us; for you busy young fathers, it’s a chance to escape on a Saturday morning for an hour!
Note new start time: 10:00 am. Coffee and muffins will be provided.
Please use the following link to sign up as a volunteer for our Children's Ministry program. Thank you!
On Friday, December 14th, we will have gingerbread decorating! If you want to wear an ugly Christmas sweater, I encourage it! We will also have a Christmas movie going in the Larch room while you decorate. Gingerbread decorating starts at 6:30 PM at Woodcliff United Church until 8:30 PM. 
If you are a caregiver for someone suffering memory loss and need a safe, confidential circle to share your experiences and obtain information, DCSG is for you. We meet on the first and third Tuesdays of each month from 1:30 to 3:00 pm in the Edworthy Lounge. No registration is required. For more information, please contact the church office. Next gathering is December 18.

To have names placed on the confidential Prayer Chain List please contact the prayer chain at or 587-323-6992. Next Prayer Chain meeting is Sunday December 16, 2018.

Pick up a request form at the Church to arrange for a prayer shawl presentation.

Contact the church office to help us acknowledge the life situations of our congregants.

The Healing Pathway Ministry team is available to give healing sessions upon request. To experience relaxation, and receive the gift of healing hands, please contact the church office at 403-249-3121.
Advent Gift Card Tree for Brenda’s House and Sonshine Centre
(transitional housing for families facing homelessness & temporary housing for women & their children fleeing domestic abuse) 
Giving gift cards to these families enables them to purchase gifts for their children at Christmas or throughout the year. Please place a cash or gift card donation in the box in the foyer. For every donation an ornament will be added to our tree. During the week, donations may be left in the office or placed in an envelope and slipped under the door. Gift cards, in any amount, from local businesses such as Superstore, Safeway, Shoppers Drug Mart, Wal-Mart, or even movie passes would be suitable. We hope the tree in the foyer is full of ornaments by Dec 25!
Cash donations will be used by these agencies for special outings for the children such swimming at a city pool, a trip to the zoo etc. or gift cards as needed. 
* only cash donations of $20 or more are eligible for a tax receipt from Woodcliff
Looking for a meaningful Christmas gift? Have someone that is hard to buy for? Consider purchasing a gift card to support the Habitat for Humanity Interfaith build. Eight unique cards are available in denominations from $10.00 to $150.00 and help purchase needed supplies to build homes for those in need.


In a nurturing atmosphere of home and family, Our Place serves Victoria, British Columbia’s most vulnerable: people who are addicted and homeless, the working poor, those who are mentally and physically challenged, and impoverished elderly people. This remarkable inner-city centre relates to the people who use it as family members, not clients, with an emphasis on creating a compassionate, caring community.

Our Place tends to its family members’ physical needs, serving over 1,600 meals a day and providing hot showers, clothing, health care, and an overdose prevention site. It also cares for people’s spiritual needs. “For people who live on the streets, there is a lot of grief and death,” says Grant McKenzie, a staff member. “We need to be able to connect with people on a spiritual level.”

In 2017, Our Place hired a First Nations spiritual leader who can better connect the centre to the 30 percent of its members who identify as Indigenous. Don Beacham is a Cree man from Norway House reserve in Manitoba who is steeped in Indigenous spiritual teachings and traditions. He connects with the Indigenous population through hosting healing circles and smudges, through drumming and song, and through his warm, caring presence. With the smudges, he says, “people feel lighter” because “they know they are cherished, cared for, and prayed for in that moment.”

With your support, Our Place Society is able to focus on creating sacred and healing community.

If Mission & Service giving is already a regular part of your life, thank you so much! If you have not given, please join me in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith. Loving our neighbour is at the heart of our Mission & Service.

For more Minutes for Mission resources, see our photo collection and video playlist.

CORE Celebration's Christmas Concert is tonight at 7pm at First Baptist Church – 1411 4 Street SW. To complete 2018, this will be a beautiful evening of Christmas carol singing, traditional Christmas music with selections from Handel's Messiah by choir and orchestra, featuring Encore! Youth Singers of Calgary and guest soloist Lauren Woods.
5010 Spruce Drive SW T3C 3B2

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5010 Spruce Drive SW

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