Sunday, December 26, 2010

The First Sunday After Christmas

December 26, 2010The only two kids in church, Matt and Owen, listen to Patsy's "Happy Birthday Jesus" children's sermon. She also shared the legend of the candy cane and Owen got to take Jesus' birthday cake home with him.

Laura Bennett, home from Dallas for the holidays, watches her parents Al and Ann present the final Advent Wreath Meditation.

Al Bennett reads Luke 2:1-20 as Ann lights all of the Advent candles, including the Christ candle.

Notice the Happy Birthday balloon in honor of the birthday child, Jesus.

Joys: Trey and Heather Carothers are pregnant with twins! Micah and Abby Moeller are pregnant with one baby!

We had a guest speaker today, June Tucker, because Patrick was gone to Nebraska for Christmas.

June's message was about the Magi, otherwise know as the wise men. These wise men were astrologers, they studied the skies. And in the skies they saw a message from God, an invitation to follow the star to Bethlehem and see the child King.

The wise men were curious gentiles, persistent (it took them 2 years to get to their destination) and are an acknowledgement that Jesus came to save the whole world, not just Israel.

June said that the wise men were the first missionaries to the gentiles because they returned home and shared what they had seen. I don't remember any great Christian evangelism in the Orient. Do you?

Lord give me a gentile and kind spirit so that I might be an epiphany* to others.

*epiphany: (a festival held on January 6 commemorating) the Manifestation of Christ to the gentiles (as represented by the Magi). (Epiphany with a capital E includes the entire definition.)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

More Pictures

Almost the full cast: The choir director, choir, Mary & Joseph, the shepherds and one of the angels.

The rest of the cast: The rest of the angels and Hubert the shepherd.

Comic interlude: Isabela decided she needed to sing in the choir with her Grandma.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Program

Sunday, December 19, 7:00 p.m.

Santa Couldn't come to our Christmas program this year, he was gone visiting friends in Texas. Does anyone besides me think Santa should go on vacation every year and skip our church program? I'm talking about Santa, not Fred.

Our Christmas program began with a congregational Christmas song that was followed by Patrick reading a Christmas story, SANTA KID, to the children. Who knew James Patterson was writing children's books?

At the end of the story, Patrick explained that the message of the book is "believe" and that we need to believe in Jesus, whose birthday we celebrate at Christmas. He then gave each child a copy of the book.

Mary and Joseph, shepherds and angels took their places around the manger as the choir sang.

As always, our program ended with a collection for the Circle of Care, passing out treat bags, exchanging gifts and then a finger food feast in Fellowship Hall.

I hope to get some pictures of the "Nativity Scene." I couldn't take them because I was narrating the story from the choir loft.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fourth Sunday in Advent

Betty Bigbow reads the Advent passage while Bill lights the candles.

Scripture verses for today, Isaiah 9:2-7

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.

For those who lived in a land of deep shadows---light! Sunbursts of light!

You repopulated the nation, you expanded its joy.

Oh, they're so glad in your presence! Festival Joy!

The joy of a great celebration, sharing rich gifts and warm greetings.


For a child has been born---for us! the gift of a son --- for us!

He'll take over the running of the world,

His names will be: Amazing Counselor, Strong God,

Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness,

His ruling authority will grow, and there'll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.

He'll rule from the historic David throne over the promised kingdom.

He'll put that kingdom on a firm footing and keep it going

With fair dealing and right living, beginning now and lasting always.

The zeal of GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies will do all this.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Third Sunday In Advent

The acolytes bring in the light of Christ. Everyone wants to help.

Today is the Third Sunday in Advent.

Wilderness and desert will sing joyously, the badlands will celebrate and flower---Like the crocus in spring, bursting into blossom, a symphony of song and color. Isaiah 35:1

Patsy reads the advent story while her mother lights the candle of joy.
Advent is the special time before Christmas. Preparing the way for the birth of Jesus.

I received this link in an email today.

It's a music video called "Where's the line to see Jesus?" It says a lot about Advent and the way we celebrate Christmas. I hope you'll take the time to view it. I think you'll be blessed.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December Board Meeting Minutes

Daryl called the meeting to order and Patrick opened with prayer.

Minutes of the October Meeting were read and approved.

Treasurers Report:
Building Fund----$6622.00
General Fund-----$2971.59
Our final apportionment payment for this year will be made on December 15,2010.

Committee Reports:
Women's Circle and Choir are doing fine.

Old & New Business combined:
Food Drive: We turned in close to 300 items to Indiahoma FFA. Their collection date cutoff is Dec. 10 at which time they will announce which class gets a pizza party and which church gets a landscape makeover.

We decided to go caroling after choir practice on Dec. 15, approximately 6:30 p.m. Alba will make fliers to post around time promoting the Christmas program and caroling.

School Christmas Program: Thursday, Dec. 16, 7:00 p.m.

Senior Citizen's Christmas party: Sunday, Dec. 19, 1:00 p.m.

Indiahoma UMC Christmas Celebration: Sunday, Dec. 19, 7:00 p.m.

We will sack candy during Sunday School on Dec. 19th. Those attending the Senior Citizen's Christmas party are excused from sacking candy this year.

Pastor's Report:
The High School lunch went well. Bar B Q brisket sandwiches seem like the way to go. They are easy to make and the kids like them.

The Lawton UMC conference was a big success.

The Small Churches Meeting in Elfin was a pretty good work shop.

The Community Service in Snyder went real well. Patrick responded to Herwannah's request to invite everyone to stay and eat whether they brought something or not.

Dec 19, 7:00 p.m. - Indiahoma Christmas Celebration
Dec 24, 7:30 p.m. - Christmas Eve Service with communion
Jan 23, 6:00 p.m. - Introduction to the Old Testament Bible Study
Jan 30, 2:30-5:15 p.m. - Local Leaders Workshop. The cost is $10. See Harold.

Alba asked if we had found a Santa for the Christmas program since Fred will be out of town this year on the program date. Daryl told her that we hadn't. Syd. burst out it applause which stunned the others into complete silence. My question, "Why do we need to have Santa at a program celebrating Jesus?"

Daryl closed the meeting with a benediction type blessing.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Sunday, December 5

Second Sunday in Advent

Harold and Collene Hunt light the advent candle of peace.

Later that day, Harold enjoys chicken and dessert at the monthly church pot luck dinner.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Advent, Day 6

How are you God's partner in hope today?

Faith, Hope and Love, three things that endure forever. The greatest of them is love, maybe because it is somewhat tangible and available now. Faith in things to come but also faith in things as simple as gravity. Hope is different because it is totally focused on the future. And it's eternal. So we will always have something to look forward to? Something to hope for? I think that's an interesting concept.

Like Beth Richardson, I want God to sharpen my vision so that I may see the signs of His goodness at work in the world. I want to be His partner in hope.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Advent Questions

Day 1 --- What are your hopes, dreams, challenges as you enter this Advent season?

Day 2 --- What is your wilderness?

Day 3 --- What are the challenges keeping you from reaching the stillness? What do you need to do in order to find a quiet space.

Day 4 --- How do you deal with distractions and anxieties?

Day 5 --- Who around you is in need of comfort? Where do you find comfort?

SOURCE: The Uncluttered Heart by Beth A. Richardson