Pastor's Perspective

Pastor’s Perspective

December 2016

“And the Word became flesh and lived among us. . .” A gift. A promise. Our hope. The Word which spoke forth all creation becomes flesh in Jesus. This is the “advent” or “coming” of God in the birth of Jesus Christ. It is what we celebrate in the Season of Christmas. We also anticipate and wait for the second “advent,” the second coming of Christ as part of the Season of Advent. The “Word became flesh” is called the “incarnation.” It means God becomes fully human. God does not become partially human, not a special form of human, but fully human. God becomes you and me.

The incarnation is an action by God of union. God does not become an idea, a creed, a dogma, but flesh. Nothing separates God from us. It is a deeply intimate connection of Creator with the created. It is a personification of Mother and Child, one growing within and from the other. As God becomes flesh we are claimed once and for all time. It is the perfected act of “oneness” which calls us fully into partnership God.

Another way, then, to experience this season is that in a manner of speaking we are also living incarnation. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ is alive and moves within each one of us. We can live into and embody hope, compassion, love, and grace just as Jesus did before us. As those called to be disciples of Christ Jesus we become a form of incarnate love.

What greater gift can we become in the Seasons of Advent and Christmas than moving toward becoming incarnate love and grace? The incarnation is God’s surrender into creation, the whole of God’s creative being and will as one with what God created. Is our call any less? As the “Word became flesh” all separation is extinguished. Our response to this gift should be much the same. A surrender of ourselves, so that all whose lives we touch might be fuller and more complete becomes our living gift. At this point divine, of Spirit filled connection, we will touch and be touched by eternal life.

Peace,

Pastor Mike


A Thought to Ponder

“The nativity mystery “conceived from the Holy Spirit and born from the Virgin Mary”, means, that God became human, truly human out of his own grace. The miracle of the existence of Jesus, his “climbing down of God” is: Holy Spirit and Virgin Mary! Here is a human being, the Virgin Mary, and as he comes from God, Jesus comes also from this human being. Born of the Virgin Mary means a human origin for God. Jesus Christ is not only truly God, he is human like every one of us. He is human without limitation. He is not only similar to us, he is like us.”

Karl Barth


LIBRARY NOTES

Advent and Christmas is an opportunity for Christians to reflect on the “reason for the season”. One resource that is helpful with this reflection and meditation is Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose of Christmas. It is a helpful guide for the reader in understanding and receiving God’s Christmas gifts that transform lives. There are two copies of this book available.

Kneeling in Bethlehem by Ann Weems is a classic to be included on the reading table during this season. Weens guides the reader through the season from Advent until the crèche set is packed away, hoping that “peace and goodwill” are not also packed away for another year.

The library has received several Christmas books that will be new on the reading table. The following is a list of the new books:

The Christmas Portrait by Phyllis Clark Nichols

The Christmas Note by Donna VanLiere

The Christmas Keepsakes by Donna VanLiere

He Sees You When You are Sleeping by Carol Higgins Clark

Christmas Miracles by Jamie Miller, Laura Lewis and Jennifer Sanders

Plantation Christmas Weddings by Sylvia Barnes, Lorraine Beatty, and C. Leavelle

Christmas books from previous years are on the free-standing bookshelf in the library for anyone who is interested. Also, this is a busy season for reading; therefore the reading table books will be available after Christmas.

CHRISTMAS EVE WORSHIP

Worship services celebrating the coming of Christ on Christmas Eve, December 24, at 7:00 p.m. This is a candle light service, filled with song, story and the mystery of the Lord’s Supper. We also worship on Christmas Day at 10:30 a.m. Join us for these blessed event and celebrations!

THANK OFFERING

The final account for the Thank Offering is not complete at this time, but it is appropriate to express thanks to everyone who participated in this important ministry in our church. 50% of the offering will remain in our church for local mission and the remainder will be sent to Presbyterian Churchwide for projects around the world. Your support will provide life changing projects for elderly, disabled, homeless, as well as, children, youth, and adults through education, better health practices, and peace and justice programs. In addition to this financial support, let us continue to pray for our world. Remembering our theme for this year that the Psalmist tells us…. “How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings”…Psalms 36:7.NRSV

ANGEL TREE

The Angel Tree Program is a prison fellowship in which churches provide Christmas gifts for children whose parents are incarcerated. Jesus calls us to “visit the prisoner” as part of our discipleship. There will be a “Christmas Angel Tree” in the fellowship area with your opportunity to assist in providing a gift. We have adopted two children, one six months old, the other eighteen months old. More information is coming about the day and dates we will deliver the gifts.

THANK YOU!

A special thanks to Clint Philson and Orville Davidson for their hard work spreading top soil around the foundation of our church building. Also, thank you to all those who helped put up the “Manger Scene” on our church campus. We all appreciate your hard work!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DALE OLSON

Please join us after church on December 4 from 11:30 to 12:30 to Celebrate Dale Olson’s 85th Birthday. Dale’s birthday is November 30th.


GREETERS FOR DECEMBER 2016

4 (E) ANN PHILSON

(K) CLINT PHILSON

(W) CARYN EICKHOFF


11 (E) DALE NIEMANN

(K) BETH NIEMANN

(W) NITA WORKMAN


18 (E) KAREN BERGEN

(K) CLINT PHILSON

(W) CHARLEEN KIMBERLY


24 (E)

(K)

(W)


25 (E) ORVILLE DAVIDSON

(K) SHARON DAVIDSON

(W) JACK GARNER


COFFEE FELLOWSHIP

JUDY MANEELY

11 ANN PHILSON

18 LYNDA ZIEG

25 NANCY QUIRING

 

 

CANDLELIGHTERS

4 RORY HUBER

11 ELIZABETH BEAUCHAMP

18 SKYLAR/TOBY HUBER

24 RORY HUBER

25 CAMILLE ERDMAN


THE CHARGE

4 ANNY EDDY

11 SUE HODGE (WA)

18 CINDI NICKEL

25 DONN ATCHISON


SOUND SYSTEM

4 SHANNON NOLAN

11 CARYN EICKHOFF

18 JOHN HOLMES

24 PAUL HOLMES

25 MARTIN WORKMAN


USHERS FOR DECEMBER 2016

 

4                 DALE OLSON

NANCY WALFORD

CHARLEEN KIMBERLY

JERRY WAGGONER

ANN EDDY


11                JIM BARR

ORVILLE DAVIDSON

SHARON DAVIDSON

STANLEY JENSEN

CARYN EICKHOFF


18               B.J. SIEVERS

KARL SHERMAN

JASON SHERMAN

STEVE SHERMAN

SUE HODGE


24                 GARY ZOUBEK

PAM ZOUBEK

DONNA EHLERS

MERLE EHLERS



25                 DALE KAHLA

KEN GALE

SUSAN GALE

 

COMMUNION PREPARERS

 

DECEMBER   4

SUE HODGE


COMMUNION SERVERS

 

DECEMBER 4

 

KEN GALE

LYNDA ZIEG

ORVILLE DAVIDSON

SUSAN GALE

CINDI NICKEL

NITA WORKMAN

JACK GARNER

JIM BARR

RICK GARNER

KIM GARNER


DECEMBER 24

SHANNON NOLAN

CINDI NICKEL

TOMMY TOMS


JANUARY 1, 2017

KARL SHERMAN

KAREN BERGEN

GREG BERGEN