All the advent candles are now lit: Hope, Love, Joy and Peace. Friday night, we will include the Christ Candle and the candles we will hold in our hands.
Christmas is a time of light. You see it in outdoor decorations. You see it in the lights on the tree and in the windows. You see in store lights on, open late at night.
You see it in the eyes of children opening their gifts.
Light is come and just in time for the sun seems to be saying farewell as December 21 is the darkest day of the year here in the Northern Hemishere.
The whole world loves this holiday, even in countries with little Christian presence, like Japan and India, even Moslem countries. The light draws people. The closer they are to the Christ Child at Christmas, the more they know of the Hope, Love, Joy and Peace that Jesus brings to the whole world.
We need some light in this season. Most thought that the pandemic would be over by now. But cases and variants still persist. Mike Shea just lost his sister, Patty, a nurse in Big Bear to covid. Precautions are still needed. Connie and I had the chance to see the Chiefs football team pull out a win in overtime at Sofi stadium. We were asked to show proof of vaccination and mask up there. There is some progress, at least, fans could watch this year.
Last Christmas you might remember we were outside, singing in the rain. Despite the cool temperatures, there was a gladness of heart. This year we worship indoors with organ and musicians. Still no choir but Irm and I have worked on “O Holy Night.” I urge you to mask up, even if vaccinated, and put some distance between you and others who are not in your immediate family, as we sing. I want you all to be safe as we move into a new year.
There is more light this Christmas than last Christmas, but the light at the end of the tunnel still seems a ways off. We need the light of Christmas that cannot go out.
Your neighbors and friends do as well. Invite them to join us for our Christmas Eve service at 7 pm and for our readings and carols on the 26th at 10 am. I know some of you have been waiting to sing Christmas carols. You can sing to your heart’s content on that Sunday.
We are celebrating a hope that never ends. The world knows there is something beautiful about this day. We want them to ground their hope in the babe of Bethlehem. A Light that no darkness can take away.
St. Paul experienced more than his share of trials and difficulties, but wrote to the Romans (15:13), May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Lord in this season when we still look for light, may we receive your Light this season. We long to be filled with the hope and wonder of Mary, the obedient love of Joseph, the joy of angels and shepherds, and the peace of the Christ child and like the Magi share that gift with others. Amen
Poinsettias and Musicians – We purchased Poinsettias for the Christmas season and need to support the funding of special Christmas Eve musicians. Use the offering envelopes to designate the plant in honor or in memory of someone. Or write it on your regular offering envelope. Thus far, the Motschall gave theirs in memory of Greg Motschall, Pastor and Connie gave theirs in memory of John’s sister, Marlene. Others gave simply to the Glory of God.
YOUTH Confirmation Classes will begin January 9, at last, following the Sunday service. I cannot wait to get together again. We will mask up like at school.
Children’s Church continues. Are you interested in assisting? Let us know at the church office or give Robyn Blue a call. There is a sign up in the narthex. We do need more volunteers.
WELCA – No meeting on New Year’s Day. They will be meeting again Saturday, February 5.
Thanks to all who assisted with the baby shower for Rebecca and Chris, for their twins, McKenzie and Christopher. It was a wonderful event and much appreciated.
MEMBER UPDATES AND CONTINUAL PRAYERS
Thanks for your Prayers
- Eloise had a procedure to eliminate pain and it is helping.
- Fred Mazurier had a lung infection but was given antibiotics and the OKed by his doctor to travel on his cruise starting this Tuesday.
- Bill and Judy Martin’s daughter, Laura, is half way through her chemo treatments.
- Judy Mishoe’s sister, Jayne, diagnosed with cancer was given a 90% or better chance of survival. Thanks for the prayers.
- Lorraine Hoeptner will be having a procedure done for her knees at the end of January. She is walking around now after water was taken off of her knee.
- Michael Shea is scheduled to heart surgery December 28. The funeral for his sister Patty was this past week.
- Anne Shea lost her sister, Alice, on Thursday.
- Jessica Shea, Joe and Jeanne’s daughter was hospitalized with an infection on her birthday which was Dec. 20. Please pray for her and the boys.
- erwin for strength and Lynda for healing.
- Continued Godly journey for Brendan Simms, son of Bonnie Strack and Rebecca, daughter of Michael and Ann Shea.
- Heather, our preschool director, is having some health issues. Surgery is postponed until the first of the year.
SUNDAY WORSHIP @ 10 am. live stream and recording available on our website. Refreshments and fellowship after services.
- December 24 – Christmas Eve Service 7 p.m.
- December 26 – First Sunday after Christmas service – Carols and Readings
- January 2 – Start the New Year at Faith.
- January 8 – our next pantry.
- January 9 – Confirmation Begins anew after the second service.
- January 30 – Congregational meeting after services.