Thanks to all who participated in the Christmas Pageant this past Sunday. What a fun and memorable way to remind us of the reason for the season, Jesus!
My prayer day is this Thursday, December 14. Please let me know if there are any joys or concerns you would like me to raise up.
This coming Sunday, December 17, is the Third Sunday of Advent. Two candles are lit for hope and peace. This Sunday, we will be lighting the candle of joy. The scripture lesson is Luke 1:39-55. The sermon is "More Than Just Happy". I will also be doing a Bag Message.
This Sunday is the deadline for the Christmas Eve poinsettias.
THE CHRISTMAS FUND offering will be taken this Sunday. Envelopes are in the pews and in the alcove. The Christmas Fund for the Veterans of the Cross and Emergency Fund is the primary source of annual income used to support and honor those who have served and are serving the United Church of Christ. Your gift to the Christmas Fund helps provide a lifeline of hope to many lower-income active and retired clergy and lay employees of UCC. Please remember that your generous contribution can and will make a difference in the lives of many.
The 2017 Longest Night Service will be held on Thursday, December 21 at 6:30 p.m. December 21st is the longest night of the year. For many people, dark is symbolic of the harsh things of life. Those harsh things become more evident in the light of the "shoulds" of Christmas time: we should be happy, we should be glad, we should be joyful. Sometimes our life is not conducive to the shoulds: we have lost a loved one, or a relationship, or a job, or whatever. We don't feel happy and glad. The Longest Night Service is a time to realize that for some, all is not goodness and light. We can come, acknowledge the darkness, but also look to the Nativity for our hope and our Light.
Please note that will will have two services on Sunday, December 24, one at 11 A.M. and one at 11 P.M. There will not be a 9:30 A.M. service. The morning will start as the Fourth Sunday of Advent and then move into the celebration of Christmas. The 11 P.M. service will be our traditional candlelight lessons and carols service. Please join us for either or both!
Women’s Fellowship is offering Keep Christ in Christmas magnets for $4.00 located on the table by the coat rack. Please leave your money with Sue Lindley or Karen in the church office.
Please have your 2017 pledge up-to-date by December 31, 2017. The church 2017 financial books for accepting pledge contributions will close on January 1, 2018 – all checks must be dated December 31, 2017. PLEASE NOTE 2017 in the memo. Any contributions received after this date will be credited to the year 2018. Also, if you have not returned your 2018 Faith Promise/Pledge Card, please do so as soon as possible. Your generosity is vital to our continued ministry here at HCCUCC.
Let us pray. O God, in these uncertain times, we thank you for the lights of Christmas that remind us of your ever bright and illuminating presence. Thank you for your hope, your peace, your joy, and your love. Amen.
In Christ's love,