DECEMBER AMBASSADOR

We are a Christian community dedicated to doing God's work. God gathers us in a loving and healing environment to explore the mystery of our faith.

Pastor’s Perspective

December 2018

The message of the seasons of Advent and Christmas seem to me, for a number of reasons, to feel very necessary this year. Advent and Christmas hold a particular message that vibrates and stirs over centuries. It is a message of eternal hope. I have a desperate need to feel hope. Division, anger, strife, and violence dominate the scene so completely it’s easy to be consumed by it; consumed or for survivals’ sake just grow numb. Advent and Christmas promise something different. These seasons whisper, subtly but profoundly, the enduring promise of hope.

That’s not easy, allowing hope to inhabit the fiber of our being. Let me steal from an old Marine Corps recruiting poster and convert the words to Jesus’ ministry, “I never promised you a rose garden.” Christian faith, the seasons of Advent and Christmas at their essence, are not for the faint of heart. Too often “popular Christian faith” markets a message of these seasons in a manner that sounds eerily identical to the promises of Target or Walmart, or Crown Royal. What we’re called toward is remarkably different. We are called to surrender into a Light which comes into a forgotten place in an occupied country; to surrender into a God who was crucified. I’m reminded of the words of C.S. Lewis, “I didn’t go to religion to make me ‘happy.” I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.” Being of people of hope, being a people of the Light, is not a story written for the timid and weak.

What we hear in the seasons of Advent and Christmas are words from the very beginning of time. Remember first words of the Bible, “Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness . . .” and then, “God spoke, ‘Light!’ And light appeared.” Later as the birth pangs of creation continued and the Word, the Light, Eternal Hope, became flesh, “The Life-Light blazed out

There was only darkness, but God spoke “Light!” The darkness tried to consume the Light but God would have none of it! Let the words of Eternal Hope sink in, “the darkness couldn’t put it out.” We, you and I, are children of the Light, people of Eternal Hope, and as such we are called to not only walk in the Light, but let the Light alive within each of us shine forth!

Watch, wait, hope! Arise, go and see! These are the invitations of Advent and Christmas. Christ is with us, here, within. Live as a people of hope. Respond to the darkness as a people of Light. Arise, go into the all creation as a people of Eternal Hope. Let the assurance that “Life-Light blazed in the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out” write your story.

Peace,

Pastor Mike

(Bible quotations are from The Message, Eugene Peterson)

Thought to Ponder

God is not a super-natural Being hovering above earth, but the supra-personal whole, the Omega, who exists in all and through all.

Ilia Delio


Children’s Worship Program

The Children of our congregation lead us in worship on Sunday, December 16, at 10:30 a.m. Please join us in this celebration!


Christmas Eve Worship

We celebrate the birth of the Christ child, Monday, December 24, at 7:00 p.m. This a candle light worship service and we also celebrate the Lord’s Supper.

LIBRARY NOTES

There are several new books related to Christmas this month. In addition to these books, there are several from previous years for anyone who has not had the opportunity to read them.

This month’s first book is A Stubborn Sweetness by KatherinePaterson. There are several short stories that have been written over the years to be read at Christmas Eve worship services. Each story reminds the reader of the first Christmas and the vision of hope and peace.

White Christmas Brides by Diana Brandmeyer, Pam Hillman, Susan Davis and Michelle Ule includes four historical romances. These stories will warm the heart of the reader as they play out against the dream of a snowy white Christmas.

Another Christmas themed book, A Pioneer Christmas Collection, includes several stories of finding shelter and love in the wintry frontier. Each story has a different author that tells us about the pioneers that face their first Christmas in a new land.

Songs of the Season

Sundays December 2nd and 9th Pastor Mike leads a discussion of our favorite Advent and Christmas songs. Come and consider the message, the history, and the music of some of the best known songs in Christian tradition. We’ll gather in the Adult Education Area from 9:15-10:00 a.m. Increase the joyful gift of the season in community and love!

Come Caroling!

Sunday afternoon, December 16th from 3-5 p.m., we will gather to share the joy of the season with the neighborhood around us as we go caroling! Join us for the fun of singing familiar Christmas songs and sharing the joy of Christ with one another and our community. After we are finished a light soup supper is provided at the church. Regardless of your musical background, please come out and be part of this festive occasion.

Christmas Sing Along

Sunday, December 23rd, at 10:30 a.m. worship we’ll share scripture and music you select to sing. Please list your “top three” choices from our hymnal to guide our choice of music (hymns 108-156). The most popular selections become part this lively and affirming worship. Mark you top three selections on the enclosed form then place it in the offering plate. Thank you!

CIRCLE OF CARING

Circle of Caring will not meet in November and December because of the holidays. We will start up again in January on the third Thursday at 1:30...weather permitting. See you then.

Community and Blue Valley Needs

As we enter this season of joy, which for most of us reflects very real abundance, our Blue Valley Community is in dire need of empty plastic milk cartons (any size), toilet paper, paper towels, various cleaning products and miscellaneous toiletries. Please, let’s fill the shopping basket each week with these necessities and hear the words of Jesus, “as you have done unto the least of these, you have done it to me.”

ANGEL TREE

Presbyterian Women are looking for volunteers to participate in “The Angel Tree”. This program provides gifts for incarcerated people’s children at Christmas. We are sponsoring 3 children this year and need shoppers, wrappers, monetary gifts and help with the celebration on an evening in December (date is yet to be decided). Sign-up sheet is in the fellowship hall. After thoughtful prayer and consideration, please consider signing up for this worthwhile cause. We are after all, the hands of Christ helping human beings in need. Thank you!

GREETERS FOR DECEMBER 2018

2

 (E) DALE OLSON

(K) NANCY WALFORD 

(W) CARYN EICKHOFF


9 

(E) DALE NIEMANN

(K) BETH NIEMANN

(W) NITA WORKMAN


16 

(E) KAREN BERGEN

(K) CLINT PHILSON

(W) CHARLEEN KIMBERLY


23

 (E) ORVILLE DAVIDSON

(K) SHARON DAVIDSON

(W) JACK GARNER


30 

(E) STEVE NICKEL

(K) CINDI NICKEL

(W) LYNDA ZIEG


COFFEE FELLOWSHIP

JUDY MANEELY

ANN PHILSON

16 LYNDA ZIEG

23 NANCY QUIRING

30 CINDY NABER


CANDLELIGHTERS

RORY HUBER

RENEE KUCERA

16 SKYLAR HUBER

23 MADELYN HEIDEN

24 RORY HUBER

30 CAMILLE ERDMAN


THE CHARGE

DONNA EHLERS

SUE HODGE

16 JUDI NORDLUND

23 DONN ATCHISON

30 SUE HODGE


SOUND SYSTEM

SHANNON NOLAN

CARYN EICKHOFF

16 CARYN EICKHOFF

23 SHANNON NOLAN

24 MARTIN WORKMAN

30 NANCY QUIRING


USHERS FOR DECEMBER 2018

JACK GARNER

RICK GARNER

KIM GARNER

NITA WORKMAN


9 ORVILLE DAVIDSON

SHARON DAVIDSON

STANLEY JENSEN

CARYN EICKHOFF


16 JIM BARR

KARL SHERMAN

STEVE SHERMAN

MIKE NIEMANN


23 GARY ZOUBEK

PAM ZOUBEK

DICK HODGE

SUE HODGE


30 KEN GALE

SUSAN GALE

CHRIS TIETMEYER

DAWSON TIETMEYER


DECEMBER 24 COMMUNION SERVERS 7:00 P.M.

CINDY NABER

CINDI NICKEL

STEVE NICKEL

NITA WORKMAN