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Newsletter. Issue 2003-26. December. 24, 2003
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Newsline Canada

Of Course Christ Belongs In Christmas, says The United Church of Canada
TORONTO, Dec. 17 /CNW/ - In a Christmas message released today, The United Church of Canada has highlighted the essential meaning of the season for Christians around the world.
"In an increasingly secular society, it is very easy to lose sight of the fact that Christmas, like Ramadan and Hanukkah is first and foremost, a religious celebration," says the Rev. Bruce Gregersen, General Council Minister of Programs for Mission and Ministry.
The United Church of Canada's Christmas message reads as follows:
"Of course Christ belongs in Christmas.
Despite the non-stop Christmas music, the bright lights, the parties, and the carefully decorated trees, this is not primarily a season of Rudolph or Frosty, or for that matter, even Santa. It is a celebration of a central story of the Christian faith, of God's choice to come into the world, not as victorious warrior, but as a vulnerable infant. It is a celebration that captures the imagination of the world because of its simplicity and its ability to inspire energizing faith and transforming hope. It is a story desperately needed in a world of fear and abused power. God chooses to fill the earth with God's presence. Military power and might is not what changes the world in the end. It is the love of a child.
But we also live in a world of many stories of God's presence and love.
In most parts of the world people of diverse faiths live side-by-side with respect and understanding. The United Church welcomes Canada becoming more and more a place of diversity that mirrors a world of many faiths. In this changing context it is important that as individuals and as a society we learn to respect the faithful expression of each other's traditions. This doesn't mean, however, that out of respect for others, Christians shouldn't mention Christ at Christmas time.
The United Church of Canada believes that we must keep Christ in Christmas and invite the respectful presence of people from whatever tradition they come, to join with us in truly celebrating this wonderful and meaningful time. And let us all learn to offer our own respectful presence in the faith celebrations of the many traditions that now make up our multifaith and multicultural society. God is in our midst and is known in many wonderful and diverse ways. We are not alone. Thanks be to God."

Canadian Prime Minister says:
Within a generation, the United States will not be the lone economic superpower. China and India are already accelerating global competition, shaking the foundations of the world economy.
Just as breakthroughs in information technology and communications powered the economic surge of the 1990s, the next decade will witness similar advances in technologies we've never even heard of today. All of this with a potential to revolutionize the way we work, the way we think, how we build the communities where we live and raise our children.
Whether it is our traditional industries or tomorrow's, these enabling technologies will transform our economic base. They will be the world's engines of growth.
Ours must be an economy driven by individual ingenuity and creativity; this means an education system second to none; this means committing to the pursuit of excellence and innovation.
Because that's how we can best guarantee a rising standard of living with quality jobs and higher wages. Ideas and discoveries will be the true currency of the 21st century. Increasingly, that currency must be Canadian.
See: http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/martin_paul/issues.html

Employers split on hiring needs to start the new year according to Manpower Employment Outlook Survey
TORONTO, Dec. 16 /CNW/ - A subdued hiring market will face job seekers in the first quarter of 2004 as Canadian employers are divided on staffing plans reveals the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.
According to more than 1,700 Canadian employers polled for the survey 15 per cent expect to add staff while 14 per cent plan to reduce the number of employees for the January to March period, resulting in a Net Employment Outlook of one per cent for the quarter ahead. Sixty-seven per cent anticipate no changes and four per cent are unsure of their hiring intentions.
"The figures indicate that there's a split in hiring intentions," said Lori Procher, Vice President and General Manager for Manpower Canada. "The first quarter is typically a reserved hiring period and this year is no different with a Net Employment Outlook of one per cent, up two per cent from the same time last year."
http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/December2003/16/c3353.html

Singles milling around the mistletoe at office holiday parties according to Lavalife poll
- Poll Finds Office Mates Warming Up to Interoffice Romance -
NEW YORK, Dec. 16 /CNW/ - No one wants to be alone for the holidays, and many singles are looking around the office for someone to fill the void this year according to the Lavalife poll as 20% of singles will be looking to catch an office cutie under the mistletoe at this year's holiday bash. The online dating site surveyed more than 16,000 of its users about office dating attitudes and a surprising number of singles are breaking the old "don't dip your pen in the company ink" mentality when it comes to holiday romance.
In fact, event planners may want to hang a few extra mistletoe around this year, as an additional 34% of singles plan to keep their lips warmed up and their options open when it comes to holiday party hook-ups. The amorous vibe at work gatherings this season can be credited to the 55% of singles who are considering taking online flirting with officemates, offline this holiday season - with 40% of men ready to make the next step in their office romance (18% of women and 29% overall) and 29% of women willing but waiting for their copy room crush to make the next move (22% of men and 26% overall).
"People are working longer hours, and spending more time with their colleagues online," says Bruce Croxon, Chairman and CEO of Lavalife.
"Opportunities to meet fellow employees in a social setting and 'let your hair down' can sometimes be the necessary catalyst for romance."
But while singles should be cautioned not to be too naughty at the office shindig, many people find themselves in hot water, post-holiday -- 70% of singles surveyed have seen a colleague embarrass themselves at the company party. Should the worst happen though, red-faced revelers can relax. The offending incident was forgotten more than half of the time.


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