Third Sunday in Advent – December 13, 2020

Please join our hearts in worship this Sunday by participating in the recorded service (above). Have some bread and “fruit of the vine” ready for Holy Communion. This Advent liturgy was the inspiration of our dearly departed Rev. Bonnie Bell. She always felt that these familiar songs of Christmas- time were the only ones that non-church-going people knew and would like to sing. So we formed a liturgy where we could sing them more often as they related to the different parts of our traditional liturgy in hopes of making new people feel more welcome. I hope they bring some joy to your life.

And on the Third Sunday of Advent we light the candle of JOY on our advent wreath! What is bringing you joy lately? Our Bible Study group had plenty to offer: things like more conversations with loved ones, baking, the preschool children recording their “Friendly Beasts” song for the Christmas Eve worship, deliciously prepared meals by a son who is a chef, the amazing beautiful weather that leads to outdoor activity, and the prospect of some rain this weekend. Isaiah reminds us that it is God’s will to restore joy to God’s people when they are suffering, Paul reminds the first Christians to “Rejoice Always” (and they were under much worse circumstances) -there are always things to be grateful for, and John’s message is about the humble preparation for the Joy coming to the world.

Christmas Eve service will be a recorded candlelight service that will feature a brass ensemble that will be posted to our website so that you can participate anytime on Christmas Eve (have your candle ready!) As of right now, there will be an in-person, outdoor gathering in the church parking lot at 3pm. This may be cancelled if the County Health Dept. restricts such gatherings because we are trying to support all efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19 in order to protect people vulnerable to this highly contagious disease.

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). 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.
  • A few copies of “White Fragility” are available to borrow. Call the office to inquire.

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Jim