FROM PASTOR ANN MARIE WINTERS

During December, the Wednesday adult bible study is discussing “The Advent of the Savior”.  In our discussions, we have noted that, sometimes in the midst of happy celebrations with family and friends, Christmas holiday activities may be marred by sadness and feelings of loss.  We may harken back to times when our families were younger or more numerous.  In particular, we may miss those who have passed and others who have moved away.  There may be times of financial stress, too.  We may long for the light of the Christ!

Into our imperfect world, where there may be darkness and even despair, a new King comes.  He does not usher in a time of military or political renewal, or even magically change our circumstances.  However, he brings glory for contempt, light for darkness, joy for sorrow, victory for defeat, and peace for chaos.  The prophet Isaiah names this messiah “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”.  He will establish and uphold justice and righteousness.  (Isaiah 9:1-7)

So when you see the babe in the manger, remember that his fleshly appearance is a sign of his human humbleness, and an invitation for us to draw near to accept his light and life.  He brings many more gifts when he comes.  O COME, LET US ADORE HIM.

In the peace and love of Christ,
Pastor Ann Marie Winters

 

CONGREGATION BUDGET MEETING:  December 8 will be St. Paul’s Congregation Meeting to pass the budget proposed by the Council.  Please be in attendance at worship on December 8 for the brief meeting that will follow at 11:30 am.  The draft budget for 2020 will be available in the narthex on December 1.

 

CELEBRATE GRAND-FAMILIES“Celebrate Grand-families” is a support group for grandparents raising their grandchildren.  St. Paul is reaching out to support these families with Christian compassion and a place to meet and discuss their needs.  We now have 17 families who participate, and more are welcome, if you know of anyone who would fit in.  While the grandparents meet, we will have crafts, games, bible stories, snacks, help with homework, tutoring, and a fun social time for children.  Sessions in December will be on Saturday, December 14, from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm.  Please contact Brenda Ceplecci or Pastor Winters to help.

 

CELEBRATE RECOVERY PLANS ARE COMING TOGETHER:  This month, the leadership team has continued studying the training manual for the start-up of group meetings.  The launch of our meetings will be on Wednesday, January 15, 2020.  We have also designed a flyer announcing that launch; it is being finalized.  The Celebrate Recovery weekly-format brochure that will be distributed to participants is also just about ready.  We have selected music for the worship time.  If you haven’t heard about Celebrate Recovery, it is a helping ministry based in the beatitudes of Jesus for healing people’s “hurts, habits, and hang-ups”.  At a typical meeting, people gather in a large group for a time of worship songs, followed by a large group lesson or presentation.  Then, gender-based small groups (men together and women together) join to discuss the study guide topics.  We had a visit from Laura Gobely, the Regional Celebrate Recovery Representative, who said we are doing great with our preparations, and gave various suggestions.  Stay tuned for further announcements in the coming weeks.

 

LARGE CATECHISMDo you want to brush up on the basics of the Lutheran faith?  A small group is meeting on the 3rd Monday of each month at 6:30 pm.  Come join us in the Parlor on December 16.

 

BAPTISM CONGRATULATIONS:  Baron Alexander Schubert and Ava Rose Maria Huffman; welcome to the family of God.