Fourth Sunday of Advent – December 18, 2022

As we pray often in the short 4 week season of Advent, “Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and Come.  Come show us and bestow upon us your abundant grace like you did through Joseph and Mary so long ago.

Let’s dedicate ourselves to worshiping faithfully together in this new year, as the Advent season begins! We prepare our hearts for God’s arrival among us as a baby- Emmanuel – as we light the candles on our Advent wreath, which was  assembled by Barbara Johnston in loving memory of her mother. Our liturgy  incorporates the familiar tunes that the church is so well known for in our world. I know you will really enjoy singing them from your heart to God!

The bulletin and Celebrate scripture readings and prayers are attached, so that you can participate in worship even if you are not able to attend church in-person. Holy Communion will be celebrated, so please have some bread and fruit of the vine ready if you are at home.

Upcoming Gatherings:

Sun. Dec. 18th after worship – Mary/Martha – Ruth Rebecca Women’s Circle Holiday Bake Sale.

Sun. Dec. 18th 12noon – Holiday Potluck. Details in newsletter. Contact Gary Roberts or Steven Hendrickson.

Let’s continue to be gracious and merciful with one another as we continue to struggle with a lingering pandemic.

  1. Masks are still highly encouraged due to our singing in church.
  2. Physical distancing is still highly encouraged.
  3. Holy Communion will be offered from Pastor Jim (sanitized hands & masked) at the front of the church. You can remain at your seat and Pastor Jim will bring the elements to you.

There is usually a Children’s Church / Sunday School program planned during worship. It is held in the Family Room adjacent to the sanctuary beginning right before the scripture readings and ending after the offering. We love having children in church and all that brings as part of worship! Thanks toLeslie Lapp for leading this ministry.

Coffee Fellowship:  Please contact our Church Administrator Leslie if you are willing to host. There are new protocols which include: Serving the coffee (bring your own mug), Having any goodies on small individual plates spread out on a larger table.


  • For Bev Hickman’s sister who is near death, that her dying would be peaceful and full of God’s Love.
  • For Dorothy Ronning as she recovers from sprained ankles sustained in a fall.
  • For Marshall Bautz as he recovers from a broken hip sustained in a fall.
  • For comfort and grace for the children and family of Kurt Bell, son of Clint and Bonnie Bell, who died recently in his home near the church.
  • For the family and friends of Paul Lee, Rev. Herb Schmidt’s close colleague and friend of 58 years, who died recently.
  • For the family and friends of Gerald “Grandpa” Castagnola, resident of St. Stephen’s Senior Housing and close friend of John Stout, as they grieve his death.
  • For Jeannette Dawson’s brother Craig who was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
  • For the family of Mark Cronquist, son of Barbara Rice’s longtime friends, as they grief his death and as she goes to minister to them.
  • For healing for St. Stephen’s Senior Housing resident James San Miguel.
  • For Connie and Paul Cunningham as Paul undergoes treatment for colon cancer that the tumor would shrink so it can be operated on and removed.
  • For Alessandra, friend of Barbara Rice, as she undergoes knee replacement surgery.
  • For Cheryl Curry’s daughter-in-law Erica as she undergoes surgery for breast cancer.
  • For Miss Rosio, one of our preschool teachers as she recovers from wrist surgery after a car accident.
  • For Jeannette’s step-sister Janine and her family as they grieve her sons unexpected death at 26 yrs of age.
  • For Bob Charves daughter.
  • For Mary Smith (friend of Kathy Berens) as she undergoes treatment for cancer.
  • For Judi and Robert Alvarado as Judi prepares for reverse shoulder replacement surgery.
  • For Gary Meeker in his move to the Los Gatos area to be near to his family.
  • For Mt. Cross and the new Interim Executive Director Rev. Jay Burrow (ret. Bishop from Milwaukee, WI)
  • For Beth Stiles and her father and mother as their health has declined recently.
  • For Sandra Trippel as she recovers from surgery and for restoration of health. For her husband George as he lives with increasing dementia.
  • For Kyle Lapp as he heals and prepares for a new direction in a Sober Living Environment (SLE). Thanksgiving for employment.
  • For thanksgiving and continued healing for Janet Slay’s grandson Tyler, as he makes his adjustments to living independently.
  • For Miller, Shelby, Ashley, April, Marty and other young adults we know, as they struggle mightily with the world and all its ways that harm them. Bring them to healing and wholeness and grace and new life.

Church office hours are now Mon-Fri. 12 noon – 5:00 pm.

Please bring to church (or mail them) the signs of your gratitude and dedication to God through our church, that you were provided with for 2023: A Financial Commitment card and a Time and Abilities sheet. We will offer them to God as our hope and promise for the coming year. 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 bringing it by the church office during the week.

Flowers for Worship: Please sign up to provide flowers in honor of someone or a special occasion as another way to offer yourself in worship to God. The Flower Chart will be available at worship, or you can call the church office – 476-4700.

Other notes:

  • Preschool “Inflation Donations” are being collected at church now. This is to help us not have to increase tuition on the families we serve through our Child Development Center ministry. There are lists on the basket in the back of the church and they will be inserted into the Sunday bulletins and the monthly newsletter. These are items that you can add to your Costco and grocery lists.
  • Donations are being collected at church for Socks and Toiletries.  These will go towards our work with serving those who take part in our Association of Faith Communities programs for the unhoused, and for the Walnut Avenue Women’s Center respectively.
  • Habitat for Humanity Lunches.  We will be providing Lunches (sandwiches, chips, fruit & cookies) for 10 volunteers.  Reply to this email or call the office if you would like to help out.   Our next date is Tuesday, January 24th.
  • A few copies of “White Fragility” are available to borrow.  Call the office to inquire. This is a congregation-wide perspective that we are trying to adopt as we seek better understanding about the roots of racism, its consequences, and how our lives can better reflect an anti-racism perspective.

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Jim