Category Archives: News

January 2019 News & Announcements

Happy New Year!

Christian Education
Youth CE continues on Sundays from 10-11 a.m.
Adult Christian Education resumes January 13th, 10 a.m.

Worship
Season of Christmas: 12/25-1/5
January 6th: Epiphany, celebrating the Lord’s Supper.
We are also celebrating the sacrament of baptism for Tracie, Craig and Audrey Anteman before worship at 10:45 a.m. We are doing this before 11 a.m. worship because Tracie has some anxiety about standing up in front of people. Anyone is welcome to come for the baptism, though. During the worship service we will welcome them and Ed and Kathy Jenkins into membership.

Consistory Meeting: 1/17, 7 p.m.

We are in process of reconfiguring an aspect of leadership in the church- which includes the committees and the committee chair. The outline of the idea is to have leadership meetings that would include the committee chairs and others who take the lead in various areas. This team would meet every other month with members of Consistory. Opposite those months, Consistory would meet. Look out for a meeting in January so we talk through both the idea and the details together. If you have questions in the meantime, feel free to contact Pastor Jeff.

Game Night- Saturday February 1st, 6-8 pm.

Operation Christmas Child
The shoeboxes we packed last fall have been or will be distributed on two continents! Children in Ukraine and Malawi will be blessed by our gifts and the Gospel message.
One example of how Operation Christmas Child has had an impact on children in Ukraine is the work being done within the Roma community. As well as receiving shoeboxes, many children are participating in The Greatest Journey discipleship program where they are learning to follow Christ – and how to read!
Malawi is a small nation located in Southeast Africa. It has a population of 19.2 million people. 46% of the population is 14 years old or younger. In 2014, a 12-year-old Muslim girl named Angelina received a shoebox. Inside she discovered the school supplies that she and her siblings desperately needed but their parents could not afford to buy. The flashlight Angelina received meant a great deal also as the family did not have electricity in their home. Angelina learned of an even greater Light as she read the booklet she received with her gift. The Greatest Gift encouraged her to start attending church where she began to study the Bible. “I felt sweet in my heart because I was filled with the Word of God!” Angelina’s witness eventually led all ten members of her family to Christ!
Please save your Christmas cards with religious pictures for the shoeboxes we will pack in 2019. You may leave them in the basket in the foyer. THANK YOU!

HARVEST BAZAAR
Save the date of September 21 for our second Harvest Bazaar. Our purpose for hosting the event is to raise funds to ship our OCC shoeboxes and provide discipleship materials and training. Please see Mary Lou if you know a vendor who would like to participate.
We will have a work bee on Jan. 26 to begin making Christmas decorations to sell at our booth. It will begin at 9:00 a.m. and conclude at noon. Come when you can, and leave when you have to! Helpful to bring, but not necessary to attend: straight pins, fabric, ribbon, cutting mat, rotary cutter. It may also be helpful to Google “folded star Christmas ornament” and watch some of the YouTube videos to be inspired!

Fellowship Committee Meeting – Jan. 16 at 6:30 in the Sunday school room opposite the restrooms

We thank Karen Miller for serving as an Elder whose terms has concluded.

December 2018 News & Announcements

Annual Meeting: December 2nd Join us after worship for our annual congregational lunch and meeting. Meeting packets are available with reports. Lunch is potluck- bring something (anything!) to share.

Greening of the Sanctuary- Come help decorate the sanctuary for Advent Saturday, December 1st, 2 pm

Mission planning group meeting, 12/9 after worship.

Christian Education
No Adult Christian Education in December.
No Youth Christian Education 12/23, 12/30

Operation Christmas Child
We will soon know the country of destination for our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes! We continue to pray that each gift will reach the hands of a child without incident or delay. We pray for those who are tasked with the transpor-tation and distribution of the shoeboxes. Most of all, our hope is that the children will welcome the Greatest Gift of All – Jesus into their lives.
Collecting gifts all year long is one way in which we prepare for our annual shoebox packing party. A suggested gift to purchase will be posted each month, but you are always encouraged to grab a bargain when one pops up! A box is located in the foyer where you may leave your contributions. Please save Christmas cards with religious pictures for January’s gift collection. THANK YOU!

Election of Elders & Deacons
In our tradition our local government is called the consistory. The consistory is made up of the board of elders and board of deacons. Minsters are of a special kind of elder. The consistory has oversight and care of the ministry and the congregation. The mission of the church is accomplished with theses working in harmony.
What do Elders & Deacons do? Under Christ the elders have supervision of the church. They are responsible for matters involving the spiritual welfare of individuals and the church as a whole. Oversight includes celebrating the sacraments, encouraging spiritual growth, and visitation to the sick.
The deacons administer the gifts of the church for those in distress and need- both in the church and world.
Elders and deacons serve the household of God so a basic qualification for an office is for the person to be Christian and demonstrate a life shaped by Christ. An elder should be one inclined towards spiritual discernment, wisdom and grounded in God’s Word. A deacon should be inclined towards compassion and mercy while able to steward the gifts God has given us. Here are a few Scripture passages directed at elders and deacons:
1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-11.
In our church, elders and deacons serve one four-year term at a time. Consistory meets about once a month and each board meets other times. To nominate someone, submit their name on a piece of paper into the box on the foyer table. Their election is confirmed at our annual meeting (12/2) on a single slate. If you have questions, feel free to speak to a consistory member. We are looking to fill two Elder terms (a 2 and 4 year terms) and three Deacon terms (a 1, 2, 4 year term).

Advent Worship
Advent is a season of preparation to celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ- as in the Incarnation and in the Second Coming; recalling and anticipation. It is also the beginning of the church year. The season of Christmas is Dec 25th– Jan 6.

Advent Series: Living in Waiting, Matthew 24-25

1st Sunday, Dec 2nd: celebrating the Lord’s Supper, Matthew 24:1-44

2ndSunday, Dec 9th, Matthew 24:45-25:13

3rdSunday, Dec 16th: Youth Christian Education Christmas program, Matthew 25:14-30

4thSunday, Dec 23rd: including time of remembrance, Matthew 25:31-46

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

October 2018 News & Announcements

Fall property work days- Saturdays, 10/20 & 11/3, 9 am – 12 pm.  Join us when you can to help out doing some light maintenance work and cleaning. 

Ham Supper Planning:It’s on! but we need your help. Keith Wynia has taken the lead on organizing things and there are regular chair meetings to coordinate and share the work. But whether you are in your 39thsupper or the first- ask what you can do. 

Christian Education

Youth Educationseason has begun with grades PreK-9thgrade. NEW time! 10 am -10:45 am. All are welcome! 

Teachers are for grades: 

PreK-1: Sarah Bramer

2-3: Lara Kelley

4-5: Maria Funiciello 

6-9th: Jonathan Meredith  

Adult ClassSundays, 9:45-10:45 a.m. beginning a conversation about Spiritual Practices.  

Nursery – we could use some help caring for our little ones during worship. There are a some open Sundays, so see the calendar in the foyer for availability. Join us if you like kids and having fun! 

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 26th for 7 weeks

Improved Coffee Hour Setup: we’ve replaced our commercial brewer to make hosting coffee hour easier and more productive! Instructions on how to use the brewer are posted next to the brewer. Pastor Jeff is also happy to give you a personal tutorial.  

  We want your mug! &If you have ceramic mugs that are cluttering your cabinet, we could use them for coffee hour. Using mugs will reduce cost, reduce waste and make drinking a hot beverage more enjoyable.  

Operation Christmas Child

            Thank you for supporting our Harvest Bazaar!  We were able to raise $1,058 toward our donation of $2,718 to accompany the 302 shoeboxes we will pack on October 28 at our packing party.   Our monetary donation will do more than ship our gifts to their countries of destination. It will be used to provide each child with The Greatest Gift, a colorful booklet about Jesus printed in the child’s own language.  It will also be used to provide teaching materials and training for those who will lead the shoebox distributions.

            In addition to the money raised at the bazaar, the Benevolence Fund contributes $900 toward our donation for shipping and discipleship materials and training.   We have also received a gift of $150 in memory of Araxi Dutton Palmer.  That leaves $610 for us to raise.  You may pledge toward reaching that goal by using the pledge sheet in the foyer.  Pledges will be due by Nov. 11.

            THANK YOU to everyone who has generously purchased gifts for our packing party.  Please deliver any remaining gifts to church or my home by Oct. 7.

You may recall that as our packing party has grown, so has the preparation!  A shoebox assembly party will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday Oct. 25.  Families may come and go to accommodate their family’s mealtimes and bedtimes.  Dessert will be served!  On Friday Oct. 26 beginning at 9:00 a.m., we will pre-pack school supplies and hygiene items.  

We hope our entire church family will be available to participate in our packing party on Oct. 28. Plan to stay after worship for a delicious lunch followed by shoebox packing.  If you would like, a sign-up sheet is in the foyer to indicate what you may contribute toward the meal.

Your greatest contribution toward Operation Christmas Child is prayer. Please pray for all who will be involved in collecting and processing this year’s harvest of shoeboxes.  Lift up Allison as she tackles her new role as drop-off site team leader.  As we work here, church leaders and volunteers in other countries are planning for the distribution of our gifts.  May they be guided by the Holy Spirit as they decide where to deliver the shoeboxes and the Good News, and may the children who will receive those gifts have their hearts softened to receive that message!

                                                                        Serving together!

                                                                                                            Mary Lou

Consistory Meeting: Thursday, 10/11 

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

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.