Advent devotions for this 3rd week of expanded Advent observation

Peace to you this week. Here are the items shared this week which are not covered by copyright. If you would like to be added to the mailing list contact Pastor Pam at the church e-mail.

Meditation on Joseph, husband of Mary: by Bruce Dahms

“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 1:19-20

Joseph – Earthly Father of Jesus – Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”

Often when setting up the crèche during the season of Advent I have paused and pondered the personalities and characters that make up the holy scene. Of particular interest is the statue of a man who is proudly standing with Mary admiring their newborn child. We find scripture includes Joseph in the life of Jesus from his birth to about twelve years of age. However, what we do know from the gospel of Matthew, is that God chose young adolescent Joseph to be the earthly father of Jesus because he was a righteous person.

 Righteous meaning he demonstrated the ability to act correctly in any circumstance. Certainly his actions toward Mary, his fiancé, indicated a kind and sensitive person. When Mary told Joseph she was pregnant he had every right to feel disgraced. He knew the child was not his own. Mary’s apparent unfaithfulness carried a disastrous social stigma. Joseph had the right to divorce Mary, and under Jewish law have her stoned to death. Joseph is reassured by an angel of God’s hand in this humiliating event.

We know the rest of that story! The scriptures do not tell us much about Joseph the carpenter’s fatherly role. To me Joseph’s actions reveal examples of integrity and righteous love. As a parent he ensured his children were equipped to make a livelihood by passing on a trade, in this case carpentry. Equally important, he provided opportunity for spiritual growth and religious experiences for his family. Joseph had strong convictions and acted accordingly. Even when personally wronged he was sensitive to someone else’s shame. He obeyed God and practiced self-control-again a wonderful example of integrity and godly character.

My study and contemplation on this crèche character-Joseph-leads me to these ‘life-lessons’: It is not easy to entrust your children to someone else. Imagine, God choosing a teenaged young man to raise his own son. Joseph had God’s trust. Mercy always triumphs. Joseph could have acted severely towards Mary’s apparent indiscretion, but he chose to offer love and forgiveness. Walking in obedience to God may lead to humiliation and shame in our society-but He leads and guides us as we trust.

Bruce Dahms

“Holy Father, graciously grant us, by the example of Joseph, the obedience and sincere will to complete the work you set us to do. AMEN

Second item is a scrumptious recipe from Pam Polfuss Schmidt:

Spicy Ginger Snaps

Pam Polfuss Schmidt says: “These spicy little cookies are so delicious, especially during the holidays! They remind me of the ginger snaps my Grandma used to make, and when I bite into one, it feels like a warm hug.


2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

¾ tsp cinnamon

1 ½ tsp ground ginger

½ tsp cloves

¾ cup butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar + ¼ cup for rolling

1 egg

¼ cup molasses

  • Position rack in middle of oven and preheat to 325°F. Grease cookie sheets.
  • In a bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt and spices; set aside. In large bowl, combine butter and 1 cup sugar using mixer until well mixed, about one minute. Add the egg and molasses; beat on low speed until completely incorporated, scraping down the bowl occasionally with a spatula. Slowly add the flour mixture until mixed thoroughly.
  • Put the ¼ cup sugar in a small bowl. Scoop up a rounded teaspoon of dough, roll between the palms of your hands into a ball. Lightly roll dough ball in the sugar to coat it completely and place on a prepared cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the balls about 3 inches apart. Bake 1 sheet at a time, until the cookie edges are just lightly browned and the tops are firm at the edges and cracked in the centre, 14 – 16 minutes.

Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then using a wide spatula, transfer to wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes. Store the cookies in an airtight container. Yields 20 large cookies.

Use this time together in the kitchen to share stories about making decisions, learning the hard way, and loving as the default response. Peace to you and spicy cookies and milk

Advent devotions for the second week of extended Advent Observance

This week we meditated on God meeting us in our fear; May these reflections and activities bless you on your advent journey. + Pastor Pam

And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.” Luke 1:46

I like to think of Mary as being a human being. An ordinary person with an extraordinary faith. Some even think of her as “too perfect a person to relate to.” The one favoured by God and chosen for the special mission of being the Mother of Jesus. She realizes God has chosen her for a relationship never before experienced. She accepts God as the giver of all that she has. Her faith is without reservation. As individuals we can celebrate the impossible made possible by God.

When I feel insecure about my ability to handle things, I want to remember Mary. I’ll remember that God hand picks us for our unique roles and then accept that role given me as an honour. When my future looks bleak, I must remember that Mary knew much about what lay in her future and she still said “yes”, knowing God would sustain and carry her through it all. When I face loss of family, friends, a way of life and other things precious to me, I will remember Mary’s loss…. and her words of whole-hearted acceptance, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.”

When I see Mary in the nativity, I think of a plain, ordinary woman with a great faith who not only gave us the gift of Jesus through whom we receive forgiveness, but also for the saints, the ordinary people whose lives give us the courage to live out our faith in your kingdom here on earth.

Marlene Dietz

Prayer: God of love, thank you for Mary and her bold spirit in the midst of life’s difficulties. May her song stay in our hearts and give us courage. Amen.

Hot Eggnog: This recipe comes from Pastor Pam. Her mom made this as a special treat around this time of year. When things became too hectic we would sit in the late afternoon or evening and slow down with this treat. Hope you enjoy it. The trick is to add the hot milk to the egg yolks without cooking them!


2 eggs

4 tablespoons sugar

1 pint whole milk

½ cup heavy cream (optional)

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon salt

If desired, add ½ cup brandy, Bourbon, rum or Sherry


Separate egg whites and yolk, and reserve. Place yolks in mixing bowl, and whisk until light and smooth. Add 2 tablespoons sugar, and beat yolks again until well incorporated. Set aside.

In separate bowl, add egg whites and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Whisk until peaks form. Set aside.

In small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine milk (and cream if using), vanilla, nutmeg and salt. Stir in zig-zag fashion until steam begins to rise and small bubbles appear. Remove from heat.

Slooooowly pour warm milk mixture into beaten egg yolks, and stir constantly to not cook eggs. (My mom added the milk by Tablespoon size portions) Add a few drops of vanilla, or brandy or desired spirits, and continue to stir. Fold egg white mixture into nog. Ladle into 2 mugs. Top with (fresh grated) nutmeg for garnish. Serves 2.

Advent journey from November 9

We have had some interesting devotions this week as we begin our advent journey of waiting and longing and anticipation. The resource we are using this year is called “Generation to Generation” and explores how we share heritage, faith stories, and other important things through the generations. Some of the material is copyright and only available through personal email delivery. (sign up at However, on Friday i will do my best to post the non-copyright mailings for your enjoyment. The intent is to encourage and make normal Holy conversation in your home through the generations. Peace be with you. Pastor Pam

December 9 activity:

Homemade Mall-Style Soft Pretzels

This recipe is shared by the Haan family – Jill, Jerry, Elliott and Jordan. They enjoy this as a special treat fresh out of the oven or as a side for chili or soup when you want to warm up on a cold winter’s day. Sometimes these are just a nice weekend treat or a great potluck addition!


2/3 cup baking soda (yes this is correct)

2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

1 packet (2 ¼ tsp) active dry yeast

1 tsp kosher salt

1 stick (8 Tbsp.) unsalted butter divided

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

Vegetable oil for greasing the bowl

1 Tbsp. pretzel salt for sprinkling.

this handwritten note is on Jill’s recipe:

‘season with grated parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning’


  1. Preheat the oven to 250F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Evenly sprinkle the baking soda over the prepared baking sheet and bake for 1 hour. Melt 2 Tbsp. of the butter.
  2. Meanwhile, pour one cup of warm water into a large bowl. Whisk in the granulated sugar until dissolved. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let sit until the yeast becomes frothy. – about 5 minutes. Stir in the salt and the 2 Tbsp. of melted butter.
  3. Add the flour, stirring in a bit at a time, until a dough forms and loses most of its stickiness. Knead the dough until smooth, then lift from the bowl and oil the bowl with vegetable oil. Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit in a wam spot until doubled in size – about 45 – 60 minutes.
  4. Remove the baked baking soda from the oven and set aside.
  5. (Make sure not to breathe it in or handle it with your bare hands as it can be irritating.)
  6. Preheat the oven to 450F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  7. Spray non-stick spray on your counter or large cutting board, or use parchment paper to cover. Pour out the risen dough.
  8. Cut the dough into strips approximately 1-11/2wide and 8” long . Then stretch and roll the dough strips until they are long, thing ropes, about 36” each. Shape the ropes into the classic pretzel shape (there might be a video your could look at to demonstrate this)
  9. Pour 3 cups of hot tap water into a large, non-reactive bowl. Whisk the baked baking soda into the hot water until dissolved. Briefly dip each pretzel, one at a time, into the baking solution and then place on the prepared baking sheet. You should be able to fit 6, barely touching pretzels on the sheet. Sprinkle the pretzels with pretzel salt.
  10. Bake for 8 minutes, turning the tray 1800 half-way through. Melt the remainder of the butter.
  11. Brush the freshly baked pretzels with melted butter and serve warm.

Gather the family around to prepare this and to share this splendid treat! Advent blessings to you.

7 Week devotion during advent

Coming November 6: An Advent Devotion

you are invited to join the parish mailing list for this devotion. (unsubscribe at any time) Request to be added to the parish mailing list by emailing (because of copyright restrictions, this devotion cannot be shared through this blog. )

Here is what will happen: 4 times each week between November 6 and December 23 you will receive an email with a short devotion or activity to be shared with those in your family.

From Generation to Generation… reminds us of the ways our lives, histories, actions and stories are interconnected and woven together. The work of God is always unfolding – in and through us. This Advent, may you remember that you belong – to a story etched into the wrinkles of time, to generations that have come before and will come after, to a love that won’t let you go.”

Beginning on November 6 an email message will be sent to all parishioners on the mailing list. This is a project created by @Sanctifiedart, and used with permission.

The logo for the series represents a family with arms around each other, as they gathered around the table and around the manger.

The email devotions will be sent on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday and will include things like:

  • favorite family recipes for the holidays,
  • original works of art,
  • poetry and other thought inspiring items
  • Meditations with contributions from members of the parish.

… and are designed to gather families around the table and around the manger. May you be blessed in this season of waiting and longing and hope.

It is my prayer that these devotions will inspire family discussion and participation and the Holy conversation will be natural and common in your home.

Link to Sunday Worship

Pamela McNeil is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Sunday worship
Time: Oct 9, 2022 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Every week on Sun, until Dec 18, 2022, 11 occurrence(s)
Oct 9, 2022 10:00 AM
Oct 16, 2022 10:00 AM
Oct 23, 2022 10:00 AM
Oct 30, 2022 10:00 AM
Nov 6, 2022 10:00 AM
Nov 13, 2022 10:00 AM
Nov 20, 2022 10:00 AM
Nov 27, 2022 10:00 AM
Dec 4, 2022 10:00 AM
Dec 11, 2022 10:00 AM
Dec 18, 2022 10:00 AM

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 892 9753 0585
Passcode: 145425

Dial by your location
+1 647 374 4685 Canada
+1 647 558 0588 Canada
+1 778 907 2071 Canada
+1 780 666 0144 Canada
+1 204 272 7920 Canada
+1 438 809 7799 Canada
+1 587 328 1099 Canada
Meeting ID: 892 9753 0585
Passcode: 145425

Worship service and parish picnic.

The service began with a joyful welcome from host James Rode; followed by acknowledgement that we are meeting on the traditional territory of the people of Three Fires, the Ojibwa, the Odawa and the Potawatomi nations.

Here follows most of the service

30+ people attended worship. A great picnic lunch, fabulous weather and a most lovely setting was enjoyed by all. Donations were collected for CLWR toward displaced people from Ukraine, and for the family from Eritrea who we are sponsoring.

Donations to these missions can be mailed to:Box 267 Neustadt Ontario; N0G 2M0 Make cheques payable to StPaul Lutheran Church, Neustadt.

Parish picnic

Today, July 10 is the parish picnic and livestreaming is not available.

The service will focus on displaced families and our work in feeding, clothing, and providing shelter for them, because we too were homeless.

Donations to aid in sponsoring a refugee family can be mailed to: PO Box 267 Neustadt Ontario; N0G 2M0 and made out to St Paul’s Lutheran Church, Neustadt.

Sincere thanks for supporting this ministry. Blessings to your day.

Pastor Pam

Book club across the Eastern synod

In case you missed it…. Dont be left out! First session is on June 2, 7-8pm. Pre-registration required.
Circle for Reconciliation and Justice Book Study. The month of June is National Indigenous History Month and in honour of this important time, the Eastern Synod Circle for Reconciliation and Justice (CRJ) is inviting all of you to participate in a study of Michelle Good’s book, Five Little Indians. You are invited to join us as a group or host your own study. In the first Zoom session, to be held on Thursday, June 2, 7 to 8 pm, you will learn about the book and its significance, and, if interested, prepare for reading it with a good mind. More information, including discussion questions and zoom links, can be found here.

CRJ Book Study – Five Little Indians

Pre register for the initial session Thursday June 2 at 7 pm. this is the introduction session before reading the book. see youthere!

Link for summer worship: June to August

Topic: Sunday morning worship: south Grey Bruce Lutheran Parish
Time: Jun 5, 2022 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Every week on Sun, until Aug 28, 2022, 13 occurrence(s)
Jun 5, 2022 10:00 AM
Jun 12, 2022 10:00 AM
Jun 19, 2022 10:00 AM
Jun 26, 2022 10:00 AM
Jul 3, 2022 10:00 AM
Jul 10, 2022 10:00 AM
Jul 17, 2022 10:00 AM
Jul 24, 2022 10:00 AM
Jul 31, 2022 10:00 AM
Aug 7, 2022 10:00 AM
Aug 14, 2022 10:00 AM
Aug 21, 2022 10:00 AM
Aug 28, 2022 10:00 AM

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 892 2972 6624
Passcode: 660408

Dial by your location
+1 647 558 0588 Canada
+1 778 907 2071 Canada
+1 780 666 0144 Canada
+1 204 272 7920 Canada
+1 587 328 1099 Canada
+1 647 374 4685 Canada
Meeting ID: 892 2972 6624
Passcode: 660408