Northeast Community News – December 21, 2015
Dear Friends and Family!
What another wonderful day we had in the Lord, Sunday! Together, we celebrated Christmas! In the Adult Sunday school class we learned Christians suffer for doing good as Jesus did. And then Peter writes, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1Peter 3:15b) So, what is the reason for the hope we have? We find the answer in Christmas! Our hope is found in the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus!
Then, we had a large crowd of visitors and regulars alike hear the ‘good news’ in song! Under the direction of Beverly Shepard, our Spirit led Choir sang the cantata: JOY IN THIS PLACE arranged by O.D. Hall, Jr. Musical arrangements included: Joyful, Joyful, We Adore You, O Come, All Ye Faithful, What Child is This, O Holy Night, Glory, and Tell the Good News! Soloists included Beverly Shephard and Deb. Xia. This was no performance, however! We were blessed to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ preached in song!
The choir reminded us of the joy that is ours when we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Joy is knowing God loves us! Joy is knowing Jesus was born to save us! Joy is knowing Jesus lives with us! Joy is sharing this good news with others!
With Christmas just days away, may I ask if you possess this joy? Have you received Christ as your Lord and Savior? Is there any reason you couldn’t pray to receive Him right now? As Janie narrated, “For the weary Jesus is wonderful, for the confused He is counselor; for the weak Jesus is Mighty God; to the orphaned, He is The Everlasting Father, and to the troubled He is Prince of Peace. In Him we find beauty we could never describe, love we could never comprehend, and grace we could never deserve….
Father, I want to pray right now for anyone reading these words who has not trusted in Jesus for their salvation. Perhaps they are indeed weary, confused, weak, orphaned, or troubled as we approach Christmas. Help them to know Jesus is wonderful, powerful, full of grace, and mighty to save! But there may also be some who feels strong and in no need of a Savior. Father, melt their hearts, soften their pride, and give them a glimpse of how much better life will be when they walk with you! Give them a glimpse of your joy!
Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth, receive, her King! Blessings, Pastor Dan
NEWS AND EVENTS
COME TO OUR CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE AT 6:00PM DEC. 24th
Make plans to invite a friend and come to church for a traditional time of ‘carols and communion.’ While we have had a variety of productions in the past, this year we are simplifying our Christmas Eve plans. Yes, we will still have an area where we can light a candle to acknowledge our pain and loss, and we will certainly sing ‘Silent Night’ as we close to candle light, but this year we’re planning to sing carols, read and reflect on the Christmas Story and receive communion as we focus on Christ this Christmas Eve.
NEW YEARS EVE PARTY AND COMMUNION DEC. 31!
Several of you have expressed interest in an alternative New Years Eve Party followed by Communion. This year we are making that a reality! Starting at 6pm, we’ll be praying board games and eating snacks until approximately 11:30pm when we will go over to the church, and receive communion after a brief devotional. Together, we can leave our ‘painful memories /failures of 2015’ behind and commit 2016 to living closer to Christ!
Yes, you may come and go between 6:30-11:30pm or just come to church at 11:30pm or sleep through the whole thing (as I have done in the past). We do plan to have two ‘nap rooms’ set up at the parsonage if you want to come and need to take a quick nap or two! Please RSVP if possible and if you have any questions, please see Pastor Dan or Janie!
THANKSGIVING W.E.F. OFFERING GLOBAL NEWS!
What a joy to read the following news from the Church of the Nazarene after our own record $625 giving! Stewardship Ministries announced global participation in the 2015 Thanksgiving Offering for the World Evangelism Fund was “extremely generous."
Through the gifts and mission commitment of Nazarenes everywhere, God continues to bless ministries around the world. More than $433,000 has been received, and more gifts arrive daily. “A gift to the World Evangelism Fund is one of the best kinds of gifts,” said Mark Lail, director of Stewardship Ministries. “These donations allow the Church of the Nazarene to offer hope and the message of salvation to people everywhere. We believe that these gifts will make an eternal difference.” Wohoo! God is good! Amen!
YES, WE’RE HAVING WED. NIGHT BIBLE STUDY THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS!
Although one person thought I was kidding (and found the church locked), we really have moved our Wed. night Bible study to the parsonage across the parking lot (883 Fuller Ave NE). We’ve done this to being good stewards by not heating the church over the winter. The Study is 6:30-7:30 and we will still eat ice cream! Hope to see you there!
HONORING CHRIST’S BIRTHDAY BY LOVING THE HOMELESS!
Bless you for the items and money donated to allow us to give gifts to the least of these in our community - the homeless in honor of Christ's birthday! Steve H. and Cherry P. will be dividing your gifts into special bags and delivering them to those in need this week for Christmas! Bless you for giving a little CHRISTmas to those who need it most!
MISSIONARY BOOKS ARE IN GREAT DEMAND!
Sherry reported readership is up dramatically! Not reading? See Sherry J. on Wed. or Sun. and get started! God is on the move! Read about it in the Missions books!
TURN AND DON’T GIVE SOMEONE THE FLU!
It’s that wonderful season when we learn how to use hand sanitizer and practice our best ‘fist bumps’ instead of giving hugs! Not sure what a fist bump is? It’s easy! Simply make a loose fist and gently reach out towards someone. In return, they will reach their fist out and gently ‘bump’ yours! It’ fun and easy way to say hi without catching the flu!
NEXT THIRD THURSDAY CHINESE LUNCH IS THIS THU., JAN. 21 AT 11:30AM
Our next Third Thursday Chinese Lunch is Dec. 17 at the Hibachi Grill on Alpine Ave. It’s a time to eat, share joys, concerns and even laugh! Questions? See Tracy or Linda!
EAT SOUP AND GATHER BOX TOPS FOR NAZARENE INDIAN MISSIONS!
Thank you to everyone who is collecting Campbell Soup labels and General Mills box tops! While it seems small, the cash they generate really adds up! This program has provided PA equipment, computers, and even a 15-passenger van for Nazarene Sun Valley Indian School. Questions, labels and box tops should go to Fran S. and Sherry J.
Dec. 24 Christmas Eve Service at 6:00pm
Jan. 22-23 District NYI Celebrate Life at Kuyper College
Feb. 08 Northeast Community Potluck
Feb. 10 Ash Wednesday (Lent begins)
Feb. 14 Valentines Day
Mar. 13 Daylight Savings Time begins (Spring Forward)
Mar. 27 Easter Sunday