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.

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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:, 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:

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 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).

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