Dec. 12, 2023
We are still in the year of
the Gospel of Mark, but as
I mentioned on Sunday it
does not have a Christmas
story. It starts with John
the Baptist. Likewise the
Gospel of John does not

have a Christmas Story either. John 1 is the reading for this Sunday.
Of all the Gospels John has Jesus floating a bit above the fray. Jesus was in the
world but not of the world. So for John, there is no need to remember Bethlehem,
manger, shepherds, or wise men. He looks for a deeper meaning for the Birth of
Jesus. For John all of the events of Jesus’ life, the good and the bad are signs of
something deeper.
Jesus’ birth is the the Word of God coming into the world. He is the Light that
shines in the darkness and the darkness does not overcome it. John goes all the
way back to the birth of Creation to say that the Word was with God and was
This Sunday I will be in with my son playing in a golf tournament in Hemet. This is
his birthday gift to me.
Pastor Shane Friberg will be preaching. He has been a chaplain in the military for
nearly 20 years now. Certainly, he has seen the darkness rolling about in our world
and into soldiers’ lives. In the midst of that, he holds up the Light which the
darkness cannot overcome.
The lights we put outside and inside our homes are a sign of people wanting to
push back against the darkness of the winter season. John guides us passed
Bethlehem and encourages us to ask: How can we be part of the Light? How can we
love God with our whole heart and our neighbor as ourselves?
Together we shine a Light on those in need of prayer in our congregation. We
shine a light on those who have food for their empty cupboards through our
pantry. We shine a Light on people who need a warm blanket; on the children in
our Preschool, as they delight in singing about Jesus and his love for us. We shine
a Light on the lives of people trying to escape the darkness that drugs have brought

upon them. We shine a Light on our community by hosting the Redlands
Community Choir. We shine a Light on our confirmation students and through our
worship together.
Do you know someone in need of such a Light? We have a sweet way for you to
reach out to those in who could use the Light of Faith. We will have boxed cookies
for you to take to neighbors or friends with a calling card, inviting them to our
services on Christmas Eve. Please pick it up in the Narthex this Sunday, Dec 17. We
have services in the morning at 10 am and in the evening at 7 pm.
Remember a few years ago with COVID-19 on the march? We had the services in the
late afternoon outside with rain. So this will be a much better environment with
incredible music with harp, violin, flute and this year a choir as well.
No one should be alone at Christmas. Do not just put lights on the outside of your
house. Bring the light inside your heart to others.
We welcomed Chris Ladd on Sunday as a new member. She has been a Lutheran
all of her life, in the San Bernardino area mostly. The drive to her church of
decades (Lutheran Church of Our Savior) was just too far now. She sought out the
Light of a nearer church and found it here.
John says Jesus brings Grace and Truth. Do you not see it here?
We have had several spouses who have lost loved ones this year. We have had
members going through surgeries. We new advent candle each week, a symbol of
a Light that will not be overcome. There is power in Faith together. A power that
comes from aligning ourselves with the Word of the Creator. Let it shine, let it shine
let it shine.
Lord in this season when we still look for Light, may we 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 share that with others. Amen

Grace & Peace, Pastor John

Semi-Annual Meeting on Sunday – Thanks to all who stayed for our Semi-Annual
meeting on Sunday. The proposed budget, minutes from January, and the slate of
candidates we mailed out were approved unanimously. Thanks to all who
returned your time and abilities form and Pledge/Commitment forms. We will

report on them as soon as we can. We look to 2024 with anticipation of God’s
continued blessing.

New Member – We welcome Chris Ladd! She lives in the Plantation complex at
10961 Desert Lawn Dr. #501 Calimesa, CA 92320 951-312-5423
Poinsettias and Musicians – We will be purchasing Poinsettias for the Christmas
season and need your support to fund and dedicate them and fund the 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.
Attached is a form you can use.
LAUREN SCHAFER our Office Assistant’s hours are: 12:30-3:00 M – Th.
The pastor will be in on Monday and Tuesday, December 11 and 12 and next week on
Wednesday and Thursday, December 20 and 21.
A Defibrillator has been purchased for the church and preschool and is in the
copy room of the office. Robyn Blue is willing to instruct those who are interested
in some education on how to use it.
Confirmation Class we are taking a break until January 28, due to holidays and
semi-annual meetings.
Next Pantry – January 12 and 26. We are looking for grocery bags (Stater Bros.
best) and boxes of cereal, bags of rice, macaroni & cheese, and canned fruit.
Choir – We are singing on Christmas Eve. Join our special CHRISTMAS EVE CHOIR
We’ll practice at 9:00 on the 17th and 24th.
Bells – We will meet on Thursday night. Let Irm know about your interest.
Adult Class – Nelson Hall will be leading a class on prayer after the first of the
year beginning January 17 @ 1 pm.
WELCA – The Next Women's Bible Study will be Saturday, January 6 at 9:30 a.m. in the
Fireside Room.
QUILTING – Emily Smith’s Group (909.255.2452) has completed eight more quilts
for Central City Lutheran Mission and 20 were donated to Lutheran World Relief.
Thank you!
 Pastor Louis Balderach wrote to say he is doing well. He lives in Texas.
 Pray for the family of Pastor James Hasting Reeb. We received word that he
passed away on November 9 in Sisseton, South Dakota. He did interim work here
at Faith in the early 2000s.

 The Koenig Family – GOOD NEWS
Joe – after the removal of his cancerous kidney, which had stage 4 cancer, the
oncologist this week said no cancer was detected in his body!
Jeanne Koenig – a stint in Jeanne’s skull is draining the accumulating spinal fluid
which is affecting her eyesight, speech, and motor skills.
Daughter, Jessica’s leukemia is being managed, but leaves her tired.
Lucas and Joey lost a grandmother, Lael Shea – whom they called Mimi.
 erwin appreciates our continued prayer for Lynda.
 Kyle and Dana would appreciate prayers for their son, Kevin’s, Mother-in-Law,
Lisa, suffering from cancer.
 Cesar and Kim would also appreciate prayers for their sons, Tim, and Kyle. Good
News. Cesar's Sister Maria had a lump removed from her neck and after chemotherapy, she was pronounced cancer free.
 The Sheas would appreciate prayers for Rebecca and Chris Herandez in need of
housing for themselves and the twins.
 Continued Godly journey for Brendan Simms, son of Bonnie Strack.

SUN Dec. 17 – Advent Three Chaplain Shane Friberg will be with us.
SUN Dec. 24 – Advent Four Service @ 10 am.
SUN Dec. 24 – Christmas Eve Service @ 7 pm.
SUN Dec. 31 – Carols and Readings
SUN Jan. 7 and 14 – Christmas One and the Baptism of Jesus
SUN Jan. 21 – 10 am worship followed by our second Semi-annual Congregational

We will be expanding the bulletin board in January in the Fireside Room so we
can display lots of pictures of Faith in action. If you have any that you have
taken, please forward via email to Debi Hitter, She will
print them for the bulletin board and pass them on to Lauren for the website.

PRESCHOOL PROGRAM. Thanks to all who attended. It was especially touching
to see the children sing the songs that they had been practicing since October.
Special thanks to KAREN HALL! who, on behalf of WELCA, made adorable
cookies with each child’s name on them.
COMMUNITY CHORUS OF REDLANDS. Thanks to Irm for arranging the marvelous
program with the Community Chorus of Redlands last Saturday. We had a
packed house. Thanks also to Pat T., Carol, Dave, and Antionette for ushering.

SAT DEC. 16. NOON. Please bring cookies on Saturday or M-TH afternoon
during the week and leave in the office on the church pew with a note FOR

SUN DEC. 17 – Cookies & Conversation for
Fellowship Time in the Fireside Room.
There will also be 48 cookie boxes in the Narthex. Feel
free to take more than 1 until gone. They are meant to
be used as an outreach to cheer someone up and/or
invite them to our Christmas Services. There is a card
attached for you to write a note and a card with service
times to invite people to join us for Christmas services.
SUN DEC. 24 & SUN DEC. 31 – Please enjoy the holidays with family and friends.

SUN JAN 14 – Pat Motschall and Sharon Cady Host
SUN JAN 21 – Semi-Annual Meeting. Coffee, Hot Chocolate, and treats in
SUN JAN 28 – ALL Congregational Potluck