First Sunday in Advent – November 29, 2020

Stir up your power, and come! The psalmist’s plea in Psalm 80:2 has become familiar to us in the Advent prayers. Isaiah wants God to rip the heavens open. Both cry out for an apparently distant, angry God to show up, to save, to restore. When we hear Jesus describing the coming of the Son of Man with stars falling from heaven, it can sound dire and horrible, not like anything we would ever hope for. But when we really look at the suffering of people God loves, we can share the hope that God would tear open the heavens and come.

Jesus’ message, is about caring for the hungry, thirsty, lonely, naked, sick and those in prison. In other words, the hallmark of God’s people is that they make sure that those who are hurting and suffering are cared for. Jesus knew the Old Testament scriptures very well, and we see his words reflected in the prophet Ezekiel when he says, “I will feed them with justice.” In other words, the way we set up how we live together needs to reflect that same care for the vulnerable ones in our society. This is God’ s main concern.

As a church in Santa Cruz, we continue to provide ways for us to do this through COPA, our Sister Parish in El Salvador, and our monetary support of each of the monthly special offerings we take. This month of November is “Santa Cruz al Salvador”.

The Sunday morning worship service will be recorded and posted here so that you can participate on Sunday evening. Our gathering for worship each Sunday in our homes or wherever we can, is very essential to strengthen us to meet the world’s challenges. Previous weeks worship services are recorded as well. Please find attached, the bulletin cover artwork, scripture readings & prayers in the Celebrate.

I hope you are able to experience God’s Spirit of Fellowship, Love, Grace and Peace through our Zoom bible studies led by Pastor Jim. Bible studies are Thursdays at 11am and 7:30 pm (new time). Same Zoom link. An email is sent out each week with the link.

Please let us know if there are other ways you see that our church can be supportive.

Thank you for your continued faithfulness in your financial giving back to God through our church. Please remember to either give your offering through the mail, through our website donation option, signing up for monthly electronic giving, OR if you just want to get out of the house, then come by the church and drop it off in the mailbox in a secure slot called “Incoming mail”! Office hours are M-Th 8:30-2:30. If you come during those times, you may also want to step into the sanctuary for some prayer and quiet time with God. We would love to see you. Our library is also open to you with quite a variety to choose from.

Thank you to those of you who have been sending us notes and messages of encouragement and support. They help keep us hopeful and joyful! We always love to hear how things are going. We would like to share your experiences in the Newsletter each month. So, give some thought to what’s been happening in your life – we all miss each other, and would be thrilled to hear what’s up!

Other notes:

  • If any of you would like to participate, we are open to a few people Reading Scripture and offering the Prayers of Intercession from the Celebrate page. Or if you would just like to come to worship – Saturdays 11:00 am. Call Leslie at 476-4700 to schedule your spot.
  • We will continue the tradition of decorating with Poinsettias on Christmas Eve. Contact the office If you would like to dedicate one to a loved one. $15 by Dec. 18.
  • Habitat for Humanity Lunches. We will be providing Lunches (sandwiches, chips, fruit & cookies) for 10 volunteers. Reply to this email or call office if you would like to help out. Our next date is Tuesday, January 26.

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Jim