“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… and the Word became flesh and lived among us.”
(John 1:1, 14)
Advent and Christmas greetings faithful friends and members of St. Andrew’s:
What an improbable and miraculous event we celebrate at Christmas – the Incarnation, Christ entering our history and our lives, self-revealed in the person of Jesus, “God-with-us.” In confirmation class, our 7th and 8th graders are discussing how we are each created in God’s image, and what that means: that we each have a piece of God in us; that we reflect God’s glory and love to others; that with God we are called to be co-creators, ever-renewing and transforming the world, and stewards, caring for ourselves, and others and all creation. In all of these things, Jesus came – and comes – to show us the way. Educators tell us, and most of us know from experience, that just talking about, telling someone something, we won’t necessary remember much. But we learn so much better when we are shown. God’s word is important, as we read and study and reflect on scripture in devotions and in worship, but in the Incarnation, God’s Word comes to us – in the flesh – to show us the way. “God-with- us” – what a blessing!
This Christmas, reflect on and celebrate the birth of Christ in our lives; join us at our Advent and Christmas Eve and 12 Days of Christmas services. Also spend time with the grown-up Jesus’ teachings, how he treated others and how he calls us to believe in him in order truly to be close to God. The One who comes to us again and again in the flesh at Christmas, is the same One who shows us the way of love: loving God, loving neighbor as ourselves. This Christmas let’s renew our commitment to follow Jesus’ way, sharing God’s love in Christ with all you meet.
Blessed and peaceful Advent and Christmas to you all, as I express once again my gratitude for the opportunity to walk with you in ministry,
Women’s Advent Study
Join this group of faithful fellow-worshippers who gather together weekly for fellowship and personal spiritual growth, relating our faith to our lives. On Mondays, at 4pm, we’ll share an Advent study to help us keep the weeks approaching Christmas in perspective. This is a good time to join the group if you’ve thought about it but are hesitant. If you are interested in an evening Advent study please contact Francie.
New Member Sunday
We will receive new members into the fellowship of St. Andrew’s on December 12th. If you are interested in formally uniting with us, please see Pastor Francie. There will be an information meeting for all interested in finding out about membership, on December 5th following worship in the Pastors office.
STEWARDSHIP UPDATE NEWS
In November members and friends of St. Andrew’s were asked to bring forth pledge cards committing our financial support for the 2011 operating budget. There is wonderful news to report, from 57 families we received cards; 7 are new pledgers that total $11870; 29 of those INCREASED their pledges a total of $8906. This is a tremendous message of faith and stewardship, and an acknowledgement by these families of the need to grow in our support of the Christian mission and work that is being done through St. Andrew’s operating budget. If you are not regularly supporting St. Andrew’s operating budget with a financial gift, please prayerfully consider doing so.
MEMORIAL GIFT CARDS
Cards are available from the church office to send as memorial gifts or honorary gifts. Purchase cost is whatever a person wants to donate for the card. Proceeds will go to the upkeep of the Meditation Garden and Labyrinth.
WOMEN’S COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS SERVICE
December 7th, 11:30 AM at Manasquan
All women in the Spring Lake, Manasquan area are invited. It is followed by a light lunch. Child care available. Rev. Francie will be preaching.
from the United Methodist Women
Thank you for a great Christmas Bazaar. We had a tremendous amount of “things’ and gifts donated. Many of you came to help set-up, price, sell, organize and clean up. We cleared over $5100.00. The proceeds will be used in mission by the United Methodist Women.
Mary Eichhorn, our director of music, and Harry Eichhorn, director of the Atlantic Wind Ensemble, and 100 musicians are preparing for the annual Christmas concert here at St. Andrew’s on Sunday, December 12th, at 7 PM. Begin your Christmas Season with us !!
Tiding of Comfort and Joy
On Sunday afternoon December 19 at 4PM in our sanctuary, we will offer a worship service of hope and healing, peace and prayer, comfort and joy, designed especially for you who are suffering, lonely, or sad during the holidays. For many of you, memories of past experiences and the pain of present experiences can be overwhelming, especially at Christmas or New Years. This service will include prayers, music and candle-lighting, and together we’ll reflect on the hope we have in the healing, renewing God, even in the midst of the pain, loneliness, or sadness you may be feeling. Come, and if you have a family member or neighbor who is suffering this season, invite them to join others in finding comfort and joy in the company of others. Let us together remember the good news of Jesus’ birth, “God-with-us” always, the One who knows your pain and loves you unconditionally. After worship we’ll gather together in the Blakeman Room for soup and fellowship.
DECEMBER COAT DRIVE
BRING YOUR GOOD, CLEAN USED COATS, JACKETS AND SWEATSHIRTS TO THE BOX IN
THE BLAKEMAN ROOM HALLWAY
DEADLINE: Sunday December 19th
Youth will deliver them on Dec 19 to help keep our neighbors warm this winter
Lectionary Readings During
The Revised Common Lectionary is a calendar of suggested scripture readings over a three-year schedule, following the Christian year. It provides a systematic approach to the use of scripture in worship; each Sunday has a reading from the Psalms, the Old Testament, a New Testament Epistle, and a Gospel. Christ-centered, it assists us to celebrate the central mystery of our faith: the life, death and resurrection of Christ Jesus. Its two cycles of church year seasons, Advent-Christmas-Epiphany and Lent-Easter-Pentecost, provide times of preparation (Advent & Lent) followed by days of celebration (Christmas/Epiphany; Easter/Pentecost). The Lectionary enjoys wide-spread use in United Methodist churches in worship as well as in study, helping congregations and disciples to hear and experience the whole message of scripture. Here for your personal growth are Lectionary Readings for Dec.—Jan.
Dec.. 5: Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19; Isaiah 11: 1-10; Romans 15: 4-13; Matthew 3:1-12;
Dec 12: James 5: 7-10; Isaiah 35:1-10; Matthew 11: 2-11; Luke 1: 47-55;
Dec. 19: Psalm 80: 1-7, 17-19; Isaiah 7:10-16; Romans 1: 1-7; Matthew 1: 18-25
Dec. 26: Psalm 148; Isaiah 63: 7-9; Hebrews 2: 10-18; Matthew 2:13-23;
Jan. 2: Psalm 72: 1-7, 10-14; Isaiah 60: 1-6; Ephesians 3: 1-12; Matthew 2:1-12;
“I want to thank you for your prayers and blessings for a speedy
recovery. It was very thoughtful of you.” (A Shawl Recipient)
The three-stitch seed pattern of the shawl is symbolic of planting peace, healing, love, comfort and hope. As the knitter or crocheter works the stitches, prayers are also worked into each stitch, with the hope and expectation that the wearer will be embraced by the love and healing of God. In the Christian tradition, three symbolizes the Trinity: Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer. Three also represents the phases of life: past/present/future; birth/life/death; birth/death/rebirth (or life after death). Three also is represented in body/mind/spirit; faith/hope/love. We also see three in the primary colors from which all colors are possible, and in the universe: matter/astral/spirit; and in nature: earth/sea/sky. When someone you love receives a shawl that has prayers crafted into it, and is blessed and prayed over, they are truly wrapped in the loving healing arms of God who gives wholeness. May God continue to bless this ministry and all who participate in it.
7TH – 12th grades SUNDAYS Dec 5, 12, 19, 11AM-noon
YOUTH ROOM upstairs in Wesley Hall
Invite your friends!
December Youth Activities:
December 5 – 11AM Shop for Christmas family
December 19 – Come to Sanctuary at 9:15 to light Advent Candles At 11AM we will deliver coats
December 24 – Come at 5:30 to help out with 6PM Family Christmas Eve Service
Reminder: Confirmation Class: Dec 5 & 12 6-7PM
Pastor Francie – firstname.lastname@example.org
Celebrate Advent & Christmas at St. Andrew’s
Sunday, December 5 2nd Sunday of Advent
9:30 AM Worship
Sunday, December 12 3rd Sunday of Advent
9:30 AM Worship
7:00 PM Christmas Concert
Sunday, December 19 4th Sunday of Advent
9:30 AM Worship
4:00 PM Tidings of Comfort and Joy Service (see blurb)
Thursday, December 24 Christmas Eve (Music at both)
6:00 PM Family Candlelight Service
ALL Children are invited to participate
11:00 PM Candlelight and Special Music Service
Sunday, December 26 The 12 Days of Christmas
9:30 AM Worship A service of lessons and carols,
bring the whole family and a bell to ring.
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