All posts by admin

Sept ’18 News & Announcements…

Ham Supper Planning:Join us September 2ndafter worship for a conversation about the future and planning for our annual fundraiser in November. If you can’t make it but have input to share, forward them to Susan Pendergast.  

Christian Educationbeginning September 16thfor grades PreK-8thgrade. NEW time! 10 am -10:45 am. 

Teachers are for grades: PreK-1: Sarah Bramer, 2-3: Lara Kelley, 4-5: Need a Teacher!, 6-9th: Jonathan Meredith

There is an opportunity to teach 3-5thgrade! The curriculum is well laid out and easy to follow. Each week is planned with activities and readings. We need someone who is patient, flexible and likes to have fun with kids.   

Adult Education Class: Sundays, 9:45-10:45 a.m. beginning 9/23 with topic to be decided. 

Godspeed: the Pace of Being Known: Join us for a video-based discussion on topics like place, presence, pace, identity, stability, names and mission. Wednesday at the Kelley’s house, 7-8:30 pm beginning September 26thfor 7 weeks

Financial Peace University: as a new season it is a great time to commit (or recommit) to growing in personal financial stewardship. We are exploring offering the class this Fall (October/ November). If you are interested, see Ron Barnes or Pastor Jeff with your availability. For more information see: www.DaveRamsey.com Scholarships for first-timers in the class are available (and its free to take again). 

Directory Update: We are updating thedirectory! To add or change information fill out a form found on the foyer table or email Pastor Jeff: jeffa.kelley@gmail.com

Fall newsletteris in process. If you have anything to include, forward it to Sarah Bramer by 9/15.

The Great Workroom Clean Out: The workroom is being cleaned out 9/1-19.If you know of things that are needed to stay in the workroom, set it aside and let Pastor Jeff know. 

Consistory MeetingThursday, 9/13 at the Kelley’s house, 7 pm. 

Consistory: Elders: Susan Pendergast, Sarah Bramer and Karen Miller. Deacon: Allison Coons. If you are in need of prayer or a visit, contact an Elder, Deacon or Pastor Jeff. If you, or someone you know, have a material need the Benevolence Fund may be able to help. 

July & August News

Sundays 

July 1st: Church Picnic, worship & lunch 11 am-2 pm, Timothy Murphy Park

July 8th: Christian Education on Prayer: 9:30-10:45 am, Worship, 11 am. Celebrating the Lord’s Supper

July 15th: Christian Education on Prayer: 9:30-10:45 am, Worship: 11 am

July 22nd  : Worship 11 am, with guest Kitt Jackson, Preaching Elder, leading worship

July 29th: Community Worship Service, 11 am @ MCS High School lawn 

August 5th , Christian Education, 9:30- 10:45 am, Worship, 11 am, Celebrating the Lord’s Supper

August 12th, Christian Education, 9:30- 10:45 am, Worship, 11 am

August 19th Worship, 11 am, guest Rev. Brian Dykema leading worship

August 26th
Christian Education, 9:30- 10:45 am
Worship, 11 am

 

Christian Education on Prayer: Join us for conversations around Christian prayer, looking particularly at the Lord’s Prayer. Target age is 13 and older.
July & August, Sundays, 9:30-10:45 am. 

Godspeed: the Pace of Being Known  Join us for a video-based discussion on topics like place, presence, pace, identity, stability, names and mission. Tuesdays at the Kelley’s, 7-8:30 pm. 

Mission Trip: Please be praying for the mission trip going to Youngstown, OH, July 18-22nd. 

Ice Cream at the Friday Band Concert, we be servin’ July 20th. Donna Wynia is organizing.  

Community Worship Service- Sunday July 29th, 11 am. Join the community for a worship service on the MCS High School lawn, organized by the local churches, bring a friend and a lawn chair to sit on

Summer Lunch Program Help: if you are interested in helping the Joshua Project’s summer lunch program, serving June 25- August 24 11 am-1:30 pm, contact Bonnie Jorgensen (518) 827-6430 or Stephanie Tinker (518) 827-4352.  

Welcome to our Space
When the addition of the foyer and Fellowship Hall was completed twenty years ago, part of the intended purpose was to share it with the community including groups like AA and Scout,  whatever their purpose or need may be. This includes family and social gatherings such as birthday parties and ARC dances. Our motivation is to be generous like God, which will address deep needs that touch on issues like justice (what is fair) and discipleship (how we live with what we have). 

We have continued to ask ourselves: how do we offer this space to others? The answer has been: with the help of many people! Financial contributions help pay for utilities. Help from paid and volunteer labor, regular and occasional, keeps this place running and clean. We are grateful for the help and it’s amazing we have accomplished so much and continue to offer a well kept and clean facility. It is something many visitors notice about our space.

We continue to figure out how this works. These are a couple of upcoming projects that we could use some help on: 

Signage: we need signage in and around the building directing where places are. Would you like to help think about what and where it goes? Then you are qualified! Let Pastor Jeff know if you’d like to help. We hope to do this during the upcoming Fall. 

Cleaning: we are still needing help cleaning the sanctuary, two classrooms, foyer, and nursery on a regular basis. Contact Leslie Hooper for more details.  

Website: an extension of our real life, the website is  a virtual front door for our life together. We need help filling our content and including information . Only needed ability is to think like a curious visitor and desire to share who and what we are to others. contact Pastor Jeff if you are interested.   

Our prayer is that as are hospitable to others in the name of Christ so that people may be drawn in to God’s life as we do these things well. 

June News

June 1st: Appreciation Dinner for the Library staff and volunteers. 

Christian Education: June 3rd, celebration and recognition (and final) Sunday for this (school) year. 

2018 Baccalaureate Service at St. Mark’s Lutheran church, June 17th, 7 pm.   

The Property Committee: sadness & gladness

As we say farewell to Doug Kingsbury, we can not thank him enough for the time and talent he has shared as the MRC Property Caretaker. We wish him and Arleen the best in their move to Virginia.

We are happy to announce that Kellie Rogers will be taking over the cleaning portion of the property caretaker position.  She will be responsible mostly for the fellowship hall, nursery and bathrooms.   Thank you to those of you who have volunteered to clean the sanctuary and other rooms.

We are also happy to announce that John Funiciello will be taking on the maintenance portion of the caretaker position. He will be responsible for ensuring that our buildings and grounds are in good shape for use by our church family and the community. Thank you to those of you who are assisting with this as well.

We are blessed to be able to share our buildings which are used by many groups on a regular basis. We are blessed to have a beautiful church on a beautiful piece of property.  While Kellie and John have agreed to take on these positions of responsibility, they will still need all of us to participate in various cleaning and maintenance projects.

Mission Trip! July 18th thru 22nd to Youngstown, Ohio area. Preparation meetings: June 24th, July 8th, 15th after worship. details available on blue sheet on Foyer Table .

Billy Brown Camp Scholarship

The scholarship was established in memory of Billy to support kids to go to any Christian* camp. Forms are available in the foyer and can be returned to Pastor Jeff or Ron Barnes (deadline: June 30th). (*as to what is “christian” is a conversation Consistory has been having. If you have questions about this, please see Pastor Jeff). 

Church Picnic: July 1st at Timothy Murphy Park Pavilion (Route 30 & Rt 145), 11 am-2 pm, [11 am worship, lunch at 12]. hotdogs and hamburgers and drinks provided, bring a dish to share. Help needed for set up and provisions, see sign up sheet. You may also want to bring lawn chair and yo’wn kite.

  • Pastor Jeff will be away June 7-12th for the RCA General Synod in Grand Rapids, MI. 
  • Senior Recognition & Blessing in worship June 17th.

Operation Christmas Child submitted by Mary Lou

I was speaking with Cecil Polydore, the NE director of OCC, following his return from Ukraine.  I asked about his most memorable experience of the trip.  He shared this with me.  One day as his group was heading to a shoebox distribution, they encountered a funeral procession.  It was a very mournful scene. The OCC group’s interpreter told them that it was the custom for the priest to put a note in the deceased’s pocket granting permission to enter heaven.  Later, at the church where shoebox recipients heard a Gospel message, eight children made the decision to accept Jesus as their Savior.  Cecil was struck by the contrast between the funeral and the shoebox distribution.  Those children who gave their lives to Christ could live the rest of their days with the assurance of eternal life.  They don’t need a note to enter God’s Kingdom.  They are already there!

Our goal for 2018 is to send a GO (Gospel Opportunity) box to 302 children.  The best time to purchase school supplies for those boxes is the summer months.  Please see the pledge sheets in the foyer to indicate what you will purchase.  THANK YOU!

Save the date of September 15 to support our Harvest Bazaar to benefit OCC.  Watch for more information about how you may be involved!

and looking ahead to summer… 

Summer Christian Education begins June 24th, 9:30 am-10:45 am. Join us for learning and discussion about prayer; how to pray, what to pray, is there a wrong way, when, what for…  (not meeting July 1st, 22nd, August 19th) 

We are hosting the ice cream & desert table at the summer band concert on the HS lawn July 20th. 

July 29th: Community Worship on the Lawn, 11 am

May Happenings & Announcements

I Love My Park Day, as a way to bless our neighbors, we are organizing a group to join the park clean-up day at Minekill State park. Choose from several projects including  planting flowers, weeding, planting ground cover, light lawn work, and more. Wear work clothes, bring gloves. Join us May 5th, 10 am- 4pm. Sign up in the foyer by April 30th.  Questions? contact Maria Funiciello at: 201-250-6007

Mission Trip is scheduled for July 18th thru 22nd to Youngstown, Ohio area. Details and signup coming this week. Information meeting after dates are confirmed. 

Mission/ Vision Path Gathering, More than a platitude and nice sounding gibberish we are endeavoring to put feet  to our mission and vision statement. Join us in answering: What does the mission and vision statement look like for us, now? God is at work in us and the world and we want to discern and follow God’s will together. So you are invited to come Saturday May 12th, 8-10 am, fellowship hall. Coffee and pastries provided

Billy Brown Camp Scholarship
The scholarship was established in memory of Billy and supports kids to go to any Christians camp. Forms are available in the foyer and can be returned to Pastor Jeff or Ron Barnes. 

NET Dinner
Plan to join your church family and our neighbors for dinner and fellowship on Wednesday, May 2.   Dinner is served from 5:00 until 6:30.  See the sign-up sheet in the foyer for opportunities to serve in making this event a blessing in our community. 

Save the Date
We are continuing our practice of recognizing folks who serve and enrich our community.  The fellowship committee is planning an Appreciation Dinner for June 1 at 6:00.  This year’s honorees will be the Middleburgh Library and Dr. Best House staffs and volunteers.  To help  the fellowship committee with their planning, we are asking you to indicate by April 29 how many in your family plan to attend.  Please look for the reservation sheet in the foyer.

Worship Committee Meeting, May 16th, 7 pm at the Youmans house.

Classis meeting, we are hosting May 22nd.

Youth Education– Sundays 9:45 am. Not meeting May 27th (Memorial Day Wknd), June 3rd: Family Breakfast

April News

Church Family Retreat– due to scheduling conflicts the retreat has been postponed until Fall.

Mission-Learning Trip: next meeting! April 15th, 12:30 pm-ish. Come to hear about our tentative plans and help iron out details to. We are looking that the week of July 15th, number of days to be determined. see the developing plan online.

Sundays

  • April 1st,Easter
    • Community Easter sunrise Service, 6:30 am
    • Worship, 11 am.  (No PreK-8th Christian Education)
  • April 8th, No Christian Education, worship 11 am. Easter worship with scripture & songs.
  • April 15th: 1 John 4:7-12; What Happened on the Cross? 
  • April 22nd: 1 John 5:1-12, Real Spirituality

Billy Brown Camp Scholarship
The scholarship was established in memory of Billy and supports kids to go to any Christians camp. Forms are available in the foyer and can be returned to Pastor Jeff or Ron Barnes. (if you are considering Camp Fowler, please see Pastor Jeff)

NET Dinner
Plan to join your church  family and our neighbors for dinner and fellowship on Wednesday, May 2.  Dinner is  served from 5:00 until 6:30.  See the sign-up sheet in the foyer for opportunities to serve in making this event a blessing in our community.

Save the Date
We are continuing our practice of recognizing folks who serve and enrich our community.  The fellowship committee is planning an Appreciation Dinner for June 1 at 6:00.  This year’s honorees will be the Middleburgh Library and Dr. Best House staffs and volunteers.  To help the fellowship committee with their planning, we are asking you to indicate by April 29 how many in your family plan to attend.  Please look for the reservation sheet in the foyer.

 Save the Date!
Ladies, save the date of Saturday, April 14 for the 3rd Annual Women’s Assembly at the Glen Reformed Church.  You will be blessed by a day of worship, fellowship, and learning!  This year’s theme is: God is my Engine, but where are my keys?

 

 Operation Christmas Child Updates
There have been some changes in our area team for OCC.  For some time, the New York Greater Capital District Area Team had been limping along without an area coordinator.  In January, Darleen Albertine accepted God’s call to fill that role.  Here at home, Allison Coons expressed her desire to take on the role of drop-off site team leader.  Since 2008, Mary Lou had been filling that role and serving as a church relations volunteer.  Mary Lou has moved into the position of church relations coordinator for our six-county team.  We ask for your prayers as we transition into our new positions and our area team grows.  Our purpose is to join in God’s work of spreading the Gospel among our neighbors here and abroad.  To God be the Glory!

We have been gathering items for our 2018 packing party.  Our focus will be bars of soap for April and combs for May.  Thank you to everyone who has already purchased toothbrushes and washcloths.  We will continue to collect those items as well as those mentioned for April and May.  There is a box in the foyer where you may leave your contributions.

The foundation of OCC is prayer.  A group meets monthly for fellowship and prayer centered on the project.  The next prayer group meeting will be Monday, April 23 at 10 a.m. at the Ryan’s.  Join us for a cup of coffee, great conversation, and prayer!

 

from the Property Committee
Our very talented and dedicated property caretaker, Doug Kingsbury, has submitted his resignation from that position as of April 30. We can not thank him enough for his years of hard work here at the Middleburgh Reformed Church. The Property Committee is beginning the process of finding a way to clean and maintain the property.

Meanwhile, there are still many opportunities for everyone to join in caring for our church property.  Once the snow is gone, there will be yard work to do before the mowing season begins.  A list of tasks will be posted.

Spring Yard Work

Get lawn ready for mowing:

  • move tree branches and large sticks from the lawn to a pile by the dumpster.
  • Rake stones off lawns and back onto driveways

Get gardens ready for flowers:

  • Island garden–lay cardboard to keep weeds down and cover with mulch.
  • Other gardens–spring maintenance and planting.

Group workdays are set for Saturdays in April (if the snow is gone)

April 7 and April 14  from 9 AM to 11 AM–bring rakes and gloves, though we have some.

But if that time doesn’t work you are welcome to come anytime you choose.  Welcome Spring!

Helping Out

Thank you to everyone who has signed up to do some voluntary cleaning in some areas of our church buildings.  Sharing this responsibility has multiple benefits.  We are still looking for a “team” of volunteers to take on the nursery. This is a very special room for our children and needs to be in good condition all year long. Members of this “team” can decide how they will divide the work to be done.  Sign-up sheets and guidelines are on the table in the foyer.  Please see Leslie Hooper if you have questions or suggestions.  The next meeting of the Property Committee is Thursday  March 8 at 4:30 PM.

March News & Announcements

Helping Out
Thank you to everyone who has signed up to do some voluntary cleaning in some areas of our church buildings.  Sharing this responsibility has multiple benefits.  We are still looking for a “team” of volunteers to take on the nursery. This is a very special room for our children and needs to be in good condition all year long. Members of this “team” can decide how they will divide the work to be done.  Sign-up sheets and guidelines are on the table in the foyer.  Please see Leslie Hooper if you have questions or suggestions.  The next meeting of the Property Committee is Thursday  March 8 at 4:30 PM.

Church Family Retreat– new date! April 13-14  at Camp Pinnacle. Join us for a church family retreat for time of fellowship and learning together. The theme is friendship with God in the book of James. cost is $38 per person, includes 3 meals, lodging.  Signup until April 1st.

Mission-Learning Trip: we are exploring the possibility of a mission trip together this summer.. We have narrowed the options to two locations within a day drive. If you are interested we would welcome your input and share what we know. The next meeting will be March 18th, 12:30 pm

Worship

March 4th: Worship with celebration of the Lord’s Supper, 11 am.
March 11th: Worship, 11 am day light savings time begins (spring ahead!) or we’ll see you for coffee hour. 1 John 3:1-10
March 18th: Worship 11 am. 1 John 3:11-23

Holy Week
March 25th: Palm Sunday, Worship 11 am,
Maundy Thursday service, 7 pm; remembering the upper room before Jesus’ arrest,  celebrating the Lord’s Supper
Good Friday: Community Stations of the Cross, 12:30 pm walking from the Reformed Church to OLV & Methodist Church.

Easter
Community Easter sunrise Service, at Timothy Murphy Park, 6:30 am.
Worship, 11 am.  (No PreK-8th Christian Education)

Operation Christmas Child

Gift to purchase in March – washcloths
Fellowship & Prayer Group – March 26 at 10:00 a.m. at Ryan’s

Save the Date!
Ladies, save the date of Saturday, April 14 for the 3rd Annual Women’s Assembly at the Glen Reformed Church.  You will be blessed by a day of worship, fellowship, and learning!  This year’s theme is: God is my Engine, but where are my keys?  

 

February News & Announcements

NET Dinner: Neighbors Eating Together, We are hosting the community on Wednesday, February 7th, 5:30 pm. Come eat, or check out how you can help serve or clean up on the foyer table.

(ed. note- People in our community are increasingly lonely so meeting people in person is needed more than ever. We have an opportunity to address the need through real relationships, with real conversations. And what better way than to meet others over a meal?; especially neighbors that we might otherwise never see? In our own building no less! The vision of the NET dinners was never to merely feed people, poor or not. It was to provide a time and place where we could meet as neighbors together, foster community, and address a more basic need than even food).

Other upcoming NET dinners: 2/28 at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church

Family Game Night– bring a game or a family and enjoy games and snacks on Friday 6:30 p- 8:30 pm in the Fellowship Hall.

Retreat– March 16-17 at Camp Pinnacle. Join us for a church family retreat for time of fellowship and learning together. The theme is friendship with God in the book of James. Details on the foyer table. Signup coming soon!

Mission-Learning Trip: we are exploring the possibility of a mission trip together this summer. The next meeting will be February 10th, 8:30 am.

Schoharie Reformed Church is dedicating their sanctuary after 6 1/2 years of rebuilding after flooding.  They are hosting a weekend of activities to celebrate: February 24th & 25. You are welcome to attend. See schedule of events on the foyer table and online: http://www.schohariereformedchurch.org/engage/rededication.cfm  There are two events that need RSVP by 2/14.

If you are in need of prayer or a visit, Elders, Deacons and Pastor Jeff are available. If you, or someone you know, have a material need the Benevolence Fund can help.

Book Conversation Group–  join us in reading A Long Obedience in the Same Direction; Discipleship in an Instant Society by Eugene Peterson. We’ve started, but you may still join us whenever you can make it; 7-8:30 pm at the Spencer’s house.  Each meeting we choose the chapter for the following week.

Blurb about the book: As a society, we are no less obsessed with the immediate than when Eugene Peterson first wrote this Christian classic. If anything, email and the Internet may have intensified our quest for the quick fix. But Peterson’s time-tested prescription for discipleship remains the same–a long obedience in the same direction. Tucked away in the Hebrew Psalter, Peterson discovered “an old dog-eared songbook,” the Songs of Ascents that were sung by pilgrims on their way up to worship in Jerusalem. In these songs (Psalms 120-134) Peterson finds encouragement for modern pilgrims as we learn to grow in worship, service, joy, work, happiness, humility, community and blessing. This 20th anniversary edition of A Long Obedience in the Same Direction features these Psalms in Peterson’s widely acclaimed paraphrase, The Message. He also includes an epilogue in which he reflects on the themes of this book and his ministry during the twenty years since its original publication.

Operation Christmas Child
The numbers are in!  11,012,840 shoebox gifts were collected during the 2017 collection season.  Thank you for the role you played in providing children around the world with much needed gifts and the opportunity to hear the Good News.  Your efforts will have an eternal impact on many children, their families, and their friends.  The shoeboxes we packed last fall are touching lives in the Dominican Republic.

We have already begun to gather gifts for our 2018 packing party.  Thank you to everyone who donated their Christmas cards and/or already snagged some bargains for our shoeboxes. And let’s not forget the nimble fingers of Joan Youmans at work knitting hats!  Since February is Dental Health Month, our gift focus will be toothbrushes. We are committed to including more than one in each box. Multipacks are desirable.  If shopping is not your thing, I will be happy to receive your monetary donation toward a bulk purchase of toothbrushes.

Some of you have requested a list of items to assist you in year ’round shopping for OCC.  The following items will be included in each of our boxes.  We will also need an assortment of small toys, games, clothing items, hair accessories, art supplies… for our “Choose One More Gift” table.

  • bars of soap
  • washcloths
  • combs
  • small stuffed animals
  • crayons
  • pencils
  • pencil sharpeners
  • spiral notebooks (full size)

A box is located in the foyer where you may leave the gifts you have purchased.  Please keep in mind that all items must be new.  We may not include glass/breakables, liquids, or war related items such as guns, toy soldiers, or camouflage clothing.

There are many ways in which we are called to support Operation Christmas Child.  The most important is through prayer.  I invite you to join me at my home (3701 State Route 30) on Feb. 26 at 10 a.m. for a time of fellowship and prayer.
Live in hope!
Mary Lou

January News

Mission-Learning Trip: we are exploring the possibility of a mission-learning trip together. If this is something you are even a little curious about, please join us for a conversation. We’ll  assess the interest, possible times, and locations. Everything is on the table: from local to international, from expensive to no expense, any ages and abilities. Have interest? Join us January 14th, about 12:30-1:00 pm in classroom #1.

 

Book Conversation group–  join us in reading A Long Obedience in the Same Direction; Discipleship in an Instant Society by Eugene Peterson. We’ll get together 8 times at the Spencer’s house to talk about a chapter, beginning January 16th, 7 pm.

There are 17 chapters but we’ll be reading select chapters over the 8 weeks. We’ll discuss the first chapter about discipleship at the first gathering and plan the chapters from there. A schedule will be posted. Do you need a book? The church can provide one, just let Pastor Jeff know. Find it wherever fine books are sold, including used book shops and Amazon.

Blurb about the book: As a society, we are no less obsessed with the immediate than when Eugene Peterson first wrote this Christian classic. If anything, email and the Internet may have intensified our quest for the quick fix. But Peterson’s time-tested prescription for discipleship remains the same–a long obedience in the same direction. Tucked away in the Hebrew Psalter, Peterson discovered “an old dog-eared songbook,” the Songs of Ascents that were sung by pilgrims on their way up to worship in Jerusalem. In these songs (Psalms 120-134) Peterson finds encouragement for modern pilgrims as we learn to grow in worship, service, joy, work, happiness, humility, community and blessing. This 20th anniversary edition of A Long Obedience in the Same Direction features these Psalms in Peterson’s widely acclaimed paraphrase, The Message. He also includes an epilogue in which he reflects on the themes of this book and his ministry during the twenty years since its original publication.

Sunday Worship

1/7, First Sunday after Epiphany, Mathew 2:13-15; 19-23, a Child for Us celebrating the Lord’s Supper, installation of Elders and Deacon
1/14: No Christian Education, Worship, 1 John 1:1-4; Life Manifested
1/21: 1 John 1:5-10; Life in the Light
1/28: 1 John 2:1-6; Life in Focus

2018 Giving Envelopes are available in the foyer. If you don’t find your name, let us know and we can assign your a number. The envelopes are helpful for tax recording and reporting purposes.

December News & Announcements

ReFrame Course: Join us to learn how the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ changes our story- indeed, all stories. So, how does our whole life relate to our faith? Explore with us how God’s Story reframes our story. Wednesdays, 12:30-2 pm Schedule posted episode schedule in the Fellowship hallway. Missed some? you can catch up! see Pastor Jeff.

Greening of the Sanctuary– Come help decorate the sanctuary for Advent, Saturday, December 2nd, 1 pm.

Congregational Meeting: 12/3. Join us after worship for our annual congregational lunch and meeting. Hear year-end reports on our life together, election of Elders and Deacons, as well as talking about plans for the future. Meeting packets are available.
There is a signup sheet to help with lunch on the table in the foyer.

Middleburgh Miracle on Main Street, We would like to have a presence as a congregation at the annual festivities in Middleburgh on December 8th. We will setup in Shawn & Kim Smith’s parking lot (chiropractor) serving popcorn and hot chocolate. The event runs from 5:30-8:30 pm. If you would like to help, write your name and time on the paper in the foyer. There will also be invitation cards to our Christmas Eve service for people to take (likely available Dec 3rd). If you could use some cards to invite folks, see pastor jeff know.

Study Group– starting in January we’ll be reading Eugene Peterson’s book, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction; Discipleship in an Instant Society.  Time and place to be determined.

– – –

Consistory: Elders: Susan Pendergast, Kim Smith, Joan Youmans. Deacon: Mary Lou Ryan

If you are in need of prayer or a visit, feel free to an elder or deacon as well as Pastor Jeff. If you, or someone you know, have a material need the Benevolence Fund can help.

Pastor Jeff Kelley: jeffa.kelley@gmail.com, home: (518) 827-8785, cell phone (518) 860-7404.

Get Connected: Receive the weekly email that includes prayer requests, reminders and odds and ends. Sign up through the website: www.middleburghreformed.org.

Advent Worship
December 3rd: First Sunday of Advent, 11 am Worship celebrating Communion. Mark 7:1-13, What do we seek?: traditions
December 10th: 2nd Sunday of Advent, Mark 7:31-37, What do we seek?: images
December 17th, 3rd Sunday of Advent,  Mark 8:1-21; What do we seek?: bread
December 24, 9:30 am 4th Sunday of Advent (with “embellished coffee hour” to follow, see below). Mark 8:27-33; What do we seek? 

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, 7 pm.  service of readings and carols, Matthew 2:1-12

No Christian Education on 12/24 or 12/31.

Embellished Coffeehour, December 24th after morning worship- If you’d like to contribute, check the signup sheet. Plan to stay a few minutes after worship for low key fellowship with no pressure of white-elephant gifts, holiday sweaters, or hosting.

Get Ready!
Advent is the period of four Sundays before the feast day of Christians. It is a time of preparation and readying ourselves to hear again the significance of the enfleshment of God, God coming among us. Naturally it is a time of examination and to deliberately train ourselves after Christ-likeness.  This could mean times of fasting, taking up times of prayer or generosity. The Season of Christmas begins (not ends!) on the 25th and lasts for 12 days.

Consider pairing your season observances with intentional practices to ready yourself to worship and hear God’s word. God’s example of self-giving love is most evident in the incarnation. It is a model for us. And we become most ourselves when we are least aware of ourselves (not most protective or selfish). Loving God by loving others (and vice versa) is the way he has shown us to become alive ourselves. Advent is a time to pay attention to this. Check out biblegateway.com for Scripture reading plans. Or take up a book of the Bible and read it through over the course of the month- like 1 John or Isaiah. Read a Psalm a day and read through it slowly. Be intentional about being grateful. And not least- look for ways to bless others, seek their good, pray for them, and ask God what He is doing in their life and how you can participate.

Families with children could consider pairing an advent calendar with Scripture reading and prayers. A guide has been copied for help in this, available in the foyer taken from Teach Us to Pray: Scripture -Centered Family Worship through the Year (2017).