Pastor Bob's eNews for - November 23, 2021
Dear FPC family and friends,
This Sunday we will be celebrating our first step in our liturgical journey toward Advent for 2021. While last year we were able to put together a wonderfully improvised and meaningful Christmas pageant which was taped and then broadcast, this year we are looking forward to being together with the children and with each other for all of our Christmas Eve services. It was very, very different lighting a candle by myself and leading you at home with Silent Night.
But we still have a journey together during Advent to prepare ourselves for the birth of our Savior Jesus before we get to Christmas Eve. This birth, which probably more than any other year before it for us, signifies a new life and a new beginning from what once was to now what is. Jesus’ birth marked a new covenant that God established with us that was based on grace and redemption through His own sacrifice, as opposed to our sacrifices of animals. This year does feel like the beginning of something new and unknown. It does feel like we are going to be venturing into a time of church ministry that could be new to all of us.
But Advent begins with the preparation of the church for Advent. Tomorrow afternoon, that would be Wednesday November 24 at 1pm, we encourage you all to come out to church day and help us decorate the church for Advent. There is quite a lot to be done but if we have a good group we could be done in a couple of hours. My favorite part of the church decorating is climbing the ladders and putting the garland around the chandeliers and along the side wall. Just the simple greenery in places that seem difficult to reach remind me of the new life that Christ was able to bring in each one of us, people who at times are difficult to reach.
Decorating the church is a great time for families to come together and see their kids involved in doing something that for every Sunday during this stunning season they can see their handiwork and the impact it has on the church as people marvel at the beauty. It is also a great opportunity for the different generations within the church to interact and get to know each other a little better. It is these types of experiences that bring the family together and allow us to see what we have done together, instead of someone doing it for us.
Scripture is filled with examples where the people of God were called to come to the temple and make it a place of beauty. Now, granted, God called professionals who were skilled in wood working and metal shaping, and all the other things that were necessary not just for decoration, but also for construction. But there was a place of honor and distinction for those who were called by God to make His “home” a place that was beautiful and one in which people took the time to care.
We know that God does not live in the church, thanks goodness, but we also know the impact that the church family as a whole, and the campus specifically, can have on people who are on their journey seeking a Savior even while they might be somewhat difficult to reach. Most the time it is the people who make the difference in bringing people to Christ. Sometimes, somehow, it is the beauty of the building that reminds us of the beauty of our Savior. I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving and are able to be thankful for your church family, and the campus in which we now find ourselves.
Your servant in Christ,
HAPPENING IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH…
Did you know? We will be decorating the church tomorrow, Wednesday November 24, at 1pm. Come and join us and make a difference.
Volunteers wanted to help with emergency housing for students: The Strasburg Ministerium is serving the local community by providing emergency housing for children and families. We are looking for volunteers who: Can serve as house parents as schedule allows, or are willing to make meals or buy groceries for the house parents, or would help with house cleaning and other preparations. Contact Alicia Eltman at email@example.com for information on how to get involved. We are thrilled to be able to use our home on 6 Funk Street as the hub for this project.
November 28, 7pm: “Joy to the World” by Servant Stage, it will also be live streamed.
December 5, 6pm: Family Ornament Night
December 12, 7pm: First Capital Brass Ensemble Concert.
December 19, 7pm: Advent Open House
December 24, Christmas Eve: Children’s Pageant at 4:30pm and Candlelight Services at 8pm and 11pm.
Congregational Meeting on December 5: We will be having our annual congregational meeting where we will be electing new officers, approving the pastor’s terms of call, and reviewing the budget.
Worship with us in person!
If you choose to stream use these options:
Sunday School Class for all ages in person only
Youth Group at 5:30
HAPPY THANKSGIVING, NO BIBLE STUDY