how are we doing?

Back in November, I suggested that we set ourselves a focus, a goal, a purpose on this long COVID-19 journey we are on. You can find a copy of that pastoral letter here. In Philippians 3 Paul talks about his faith in Christ. He reminds us that he was an arrogant, religious person who thought he had it all together but then he threw all of his self-righteousness out and gave in to the grace of a loving God. The work of Jesus brought him a righteousness that his own work at keeping the law couldn’t compete with. From there, Paul says that he hasn’t obtained perfection but presses on towards the prize to which God calls us heavenward in Christ Jesus.

So I asked the question… what if?

  • What if for the next six months we set ourselves a spiritual purpose?
  • What if we give ourselves some direction of spiritual formation to concentrate our minds, heart and souls during these next 6 months towards Easter?

Six months is the new horizon

Well, we are 2 months into that journey. In some senses, things have become more difficult. We have moved from being able to meet, in a limited fashion, to a lockdown.

So… how are we doing?

  • Do you plan a Sabbath, a rest and restoring day, and keep it? Have you rediscovered the gift of one day each week for re-creation, not just work and chores? Plan it well. Eat well. Exercise. Care for yourself.
  • The early church began with a small group of disciples. This is a time for all of us to rediscover Church as a small group of people who support one another; pray for and with one another; care for each other; serve together; and, explore everyday faith together. If you haven’t connected yet, what is stopping you?

Jan 19

We are praying through the fruit of the Spirit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Pray that every follower of Jesus – connected to OCC, in Orillia, in our country and world – will live in such a way as to love God and love neighbour.

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40

Jan 18

This month we have focused our daily prayer around Galatians 5:19-23

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:19-23

Up to today, we have been praying through the first part (vv19-21) and so we pray that followers of Jesus would not be

be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life Luke 21:34

but will put on Jesus.

The Future – Phil 1:12-26 – January 17


2021 is going to give us opportunities as followers of Jesus to think and live differently because of Jesus. And because of him, we can offer real hope. And nothing changes that.

  • If you are a follower of Jesus, your mission is to be salt & light in this world – primarily online & via phone right now.
  • if you are waffling about walking with Jesus, we trust and pray that as you connect, read, watch, you will be drawn into a relationship with Jesus.
  • if you are not yet a follower of Jesus, we pray that you will honestly seek and ask questions… watch for and sign up for online ALPHA this spring.

We encourage you to take a few minutes as you prepare to watch the video

  • sit still,
  • breathe in, breath out a couple of times
  • invite the Lord to make himself present with you as you watch – he is with you – it’s just that a lot of the time we are not aware that he is.
  • prepare your heart to listen and receive
  • Read Philippians 1 as you enter into our time together.


Here is the service for Sunday 17 January.
Alan & Elaine Jarvie lead us in worship today.
Pastor Mike’s message focuses on knowing the future Philippians 1:12-26

OCCkids has moved to being online again @9:30am

There is also an OCCYouth zoom class lead by Neil & Barb Fox @9:30am


Sunday nights @ 6:30pm
zoom prayer
Meeting ID: 995 4454 1247
Passcode: 4LKzLR


Get connected to a LIFEGroup – it’s one of the best ways to grow in Christ.
The details are here.


In this new way of being the church, we don’t practice giving by placing our offering in a basket as it is passed. OCCers are generous people. Thank you for your gifts.

  • Some of you give when you attend a service (there is an offering box)
  • Many give online – etransfer or paypal
  • Others mail or drop off cheques

You can find all the ways you can give here.

Telling the Future

Everyone wants to know the future & so we go to

  • horoscopes
  • tea leaf readers
  • palm readers
  • psychics
  • weather men/women

We want to know what’s going to happen

  • what’s next with COVID-19 restrictions
  • when will we get the vaccine
  • when will things get “back to normal
  • what’s going to happen with schooling
  • when will I be able to reopen my business
  • when will…
  • the list goes on and on

The answer to all of these is we don’t know.
We can’t predict our future circumstances.
But we can know our future responses to our circumstances.

Check our service Sunday morning as we explore this. [link goes live Sunday, 17 January @ 8am]


Jan 16

Pray that all those who are part of God’s family would…

not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:26

Jan 15

Pray that churches will be free of people who are divisive, who use their words and actions to divide people.

Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned. Titus 3:10-11

Jan 14

Pray that men at OCC will be men of prayer, not of anger or dissension.

Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. 1 Timothy 2:8

Praying… Philippians 1:9-11

Paul shows us how he prays for the believers in Philippi. Here are the NIV & The Message translations of Philippians 1:9-11.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. NIV

So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God. MSG

This week, pray this way for one another. Be praying this way when you are…

  • talking with others in person (although that will not be happening too much with the current restrictions),
  • on the phone,
  • texting,
  • emailing,
  • video calling (on whatever platform),
  • on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, MeWe or other social media platform.

We are praying this way so that Jesus’ life and joy and love would overflow in and through us, for the glory of God’s name.