Psalm 37:4 assures us of God's benevolence toward each one who trusts the Lord and takes pleasure in His presence: "Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."
For a long time both our Ottawa congregation and our conference have desired to obtain a more suitable place of worship in the capital of Canada, the City of Ottawa. It was like a dream come true when on the Sabbath morning of May 20, 2017 a large number of believers assembled in the sanctuary of the beautiful Gloucester Presbyterian Church at 91 Pike Street.
The members and visitors from Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto and Puslinch gathered together to praise the Lord and to support the local congregation for the first Youth Sabbath in Ottawa. Together with children and youth we numbered about 90 people. The youth Sabbath was organized by a collaborative effort of the Toronto Church Youth Leader, Sr. Tanja Lukic, and the leader of the Ottawa Church and conference Youth Leader, Bro. George Schiopu.
The Sabbath School
Bro. Hans O'Connor superintended the work of the Sabbath School. He was assisted by Sr. Helena Poznic who gave some personal touch to the teaching of the review lesson ("Marrying and Giving in Marriage"). Bro. Etienne Lombard skillfully lead out in the study of the new lesson ("A Christian Family"). The students have much benefited from the lively and stimulating discussion of both topics.
Sr. Nicole Lasica was entrusted with the teaching of the youth class. It was truly heartwarming to see the youth seated in a circle in the adjacent library. Guided by Sr. Nicole and her assistants, Bro. George and Sr. Vera Schiopu, our youth carefully pondered the biblical principles for a Christian family. In a separate room Sisters Julie Lombard and Jasmine Hanuska with much enthusiasm and patience instructed the children of different age groups.
The Worship Service
Bro. Dalibor Hanuska who lead in the Worship Service expressed gratitude to the Lord for granting us such a wonderful privilege in the City of Ottawa. The speaker for the hour was our gospel worker and the leader of the Ottawa Church, Bro. George Schiopu. His sermon entitled "Following His Footsteps," reflected on the founder of Christianity – Jesus Christ - an Alpha and Omega and the perfect example to each true Christian. Bro. George spoke of Jesus' way of sharing the Good News of salvation – by mingling with people, sympathizing with them and doing good to them, and then bidding them to follow Him. Jesus' open-minded, non-prejudicial and loving attitude to all human beings His followers need to imitate.
Lunch Time, Nature Walk and Fellowship
The food served in the large dining area was more than we have expected – a great variety of wholesome vegan cuisine. We thank all the ladies (and gentlemen) who have contributed their lovely dishes. After the lunch we enjoyed the church outdoor area, the spacious and beautiful church grounds. Some of the brethren who did not stay for Sunday went for a walk to admire the spectacular display of tulips in Commissioners Park by Dows Lake, where 250,000 tulips of 60 different varieties bloom in the park's 30 flower beds.
Young People's Meeting and Child Dedication
The central event in the afternoon was the Young People's Meeting conducted by Sr. Susan Poznic. As always, our children have not disappointed us with their lovely items – memory Bible verses, lovely Christian songs and skillful playing of instrumental scores. Four of the young people (Danielle Poznic, Julia Radic, Jonathan Lasica, Kaitlin Hanuska) have read an inspiring reflection on the great man of God, Daniel, who stood tall by standing firm for the law of God, bowing low in prayer and dependence on divine power, and who knew how to hang on (persevere) in trying circumstances.
The closing item of the Young People's Meeting was a joyful one - dedication of a month-and-a-half old Victoria Mupenzi, the daughter of the regular visitors of our Ottawa Church, Claudine and Ompeni. Bro. Walter Lukic after receiving the parent's commitment to raise their child for the glory of God, thanked God for the gift of life and prayed for the Lord's blessing upon the young Victoria, her parents and siblings.
The official Sabbath day program was followed by a lovely fellowship dinner. Delicious fruits and baked goods were in abundant supply and great variety. We took the opportunity to wish a Happy Birthday and to express the gratitude to God for another year in the lives of Sr. Rita Pintea and Benjamin Radkov.
Although there was no official program for Sunday, many families had stayed to enjoy either walk on the Parliament Hill and in the adjacent parks and visit to some of the Ottawa landmarks. Some of us have visited National Gallery of Canada and Royal Canadian Mint.
The Youth Sabbath in Ottawa will remain etched in our memory with much affection. We are deeply indebted to the Lord for providentially making available to us this new place of worship in Ottawa and for bringing together such a large number of brethren and youth from all over our conference.
We thank all those who have come and who have in any way contributed to the great success of this youth event. We thank the organizers (Sr. Tanja L. and Bro. George S.), those who transported some of the food items and sound/video equipment (Sr. Rita and Bro. Laurentiu Pintea), Bro. Jaromir H. for sound and recording, and all the brethren who contributed any item to the church programs or who brought delicious foods for our physical nourishment.
We took many photos of those memorable moments and we share some of them with you on this website.