As we seek to respond to God’s movement in our life, groups and ministries shift and work differently. Here’s a snapshot of some of the more active groups in our midst at the moment!
Sunday School and Nursery • Mothers’ Union • Women’s Group • Tuesday Men • Community Lunch • Outreach • Choir • Altar Guild • Liturgical Ministries • Coffee Hour and Catering • Decorating Committee • Cursillo • Community Groups • Ecumenical Links
Sunday School and Nursery
Nativity has a dynamic and exciting Sunday School program for school-aged children up to 12 years of age. Under the enthusiastic leadership of several dedicated parishioners, the children learn more about God and Jesus through a wide range of inviting, hands-on activities.
The Canterbury Room is supervised by our capable teacher and nursery co-ordinator, Ms. Laura Green, and is and equipped for families with infants and toddlers during the 10 a.m. service. It’s available but unsupervised at 8:30.
Mothers’ Union is part of a worldwide organization of 3 million women in 70 countries. Meeting on the first Monday of the month, through action and prayer the Mothers’ Union supports children, marriage, and family life. In particular, the Mothers’ Union chapter at Nativity supports an orphanage in Madagascar off the coast of Africa, as well as helping clergy families in the far north. It is not necessary to be a mother to be part of the Mothers’ Union!
The “Bag Ladies” are a group of women who meet on the second Monday of the month from September to June. After a brown-bag lunch (hence the name “Bag Ladies”), there’s a guest speaker or a social time. The Bag Ladies run various various fund raising projects, including Penny Sales. Many people join in the parish’s annual Palm Project, which supplies area churches with palm fronds and crosses for Palm Sunday. The ladies knit and crochet various articles for area nursing homes and St. Matthew’s House, and our work supports outreach in the community.
The Tuesday Men work hard, caring for the physical building of the Nativity. Meeting Tuesday mornings, they keep the plant in tip-top shape through work like painting, installing new lights, minor renovations, and repairs. A coffee break at 10:30 is always a highlight, and you don’t have to like the TiCats to come out—it just helps!
For more than three years, the Nativity has been running a community lunch on the third Friday of the month. Over a nutritious hot lunch, people who live and work in the neighbourhood gather for conversation and socializing. It’s become a great hub of community. Dates are posted on our calendar, and there are some fun seasonal variations, like our Pancake Lunch on Shrove Tuesday each year and the not-to-be-missed Strawberry Shortcake in June!
The Outreach Committee is committed to “reaching out” to both our Church of the Nativity family and to the wider community through programs to aid St. Matthew’s House, participation in the breakfast programme at McQueston Centre, and visitation to shut-ins among others. From Sock-it-to-Me Sunday to Soup-er Bowl Sunday and open to all manner of new ideas, they strive to help Nativity enter into new relationships with the communities around us.
The Church of the Nativity has a wonderful choir, whose musical ministry is supported by Nativity’s Music Director, Mr. Peter Harding. Practices are held weekly on Thursday nights, and special anthems and songs are prepared for the parish on many occasions during the year. A special highlight is our annual Advent Carols and Lessons service in December!
This behind-the-scenes group of dedicated people prepare the altar for our Sunday and mid-week Eucharists. They also prepare the church for special services, such as weddings, baptisms, and funerals.
Flowers are placed at the altar each Sunday by members of the congregation, usually in memory of loved ones, as a thank offering or to commemorate a special event in their lives.
- You’ll be surprised to learn that Welcomers welcome people as they arrive, help them find nametags or make one, and make sure that people receive copies of the order of service. Welcomers also assist people at Communion, and make sure that the service runs smoothly.
- Readers are similarly well-named, proclaiming the portions of scripture we hear during the service.
- Lay Readers assist the clergy by providing leadership in the liturgy, and one of the lay readers proclaims the gospel at 10 o’clock.
- Intercessors lead the community in the prayers of the people, as we offer our thanks and concerns to God in prayer.
- Communion Ministers assist with the administration of Communion during worship services.
- Servers provide assistance during the worship services: from carrying the cross or the torches to helping prepare the altar, they have a vital role.
Coffee Hour and Catering
Each Sunday, after the 10 a.m. service, all members of the congregation are invited to stay for coffee, tea, and fellowship in the downstairs hall. This is a wonderful opportunity for people of the parish to volunteer to make and serve the refreshments. Washing up afterwards is quick and easy, and often attracts even more volunteers who come and chat.
Catering consists of a team of ladies, with generous support from Church members, who cater lunches for funeral receptions and other events.
A committee to decorate the church for special celebrations including Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving, offers a time for fellowship and fun while helping Church of the Nativity “dress up” for special events.
Cursillo (pronouced “Kur-see-yo”) is a Spanish word which means “a short course”—one in Christian living. A method of renewal in the church, Cursillor strives to help those in the church understand their individual callings to be Christian leaders. Faith, study and action are the three legs of the Cursillo method. This leadership may be exercised in work situations, the family, social life, leisure activities as well as in the church.
Cursillo begins with a three-day weekend retreat where 15 talks in Christian living are given. After the weekend, Cursillo aims to help Christians maintain their faith through regular meetings in small (parish), medium (regional) and large (diocesan) gatherings. Those interested in finding out more are encouraged to attend the gatherings.
- 21st Hamilton Sparks (ages 5 and 6)
- 21st Hamilton Brownies (ages 7 and 8)
- 21st Hamilton Pathfinders (ages 12-15)
- Alcoholics Anonymous
- Narcotics Anonymous
Nativity has well-established ecumenical ties with other Christian churches in the area. Of particular note are our area Lenten services, where the different Christian communities gather for combined worship services and fellowship on Wednesday evenings. The choirs from each of the congregations join in presenting music for their events.
The World Day of Prayer is observed each year in March.