December Memory Verse: 2 Corinthians 8:9
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.”
A NOTE FROM THE PASTOR:
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! At least that’s what we’re told by the lyrics of the song being played on countless commercials, radio stations, and department store speakers. But why? What makes it so wonderful? The song would suggest it’s the sentimental traditions and seasonal festivities that make it so grand, but surely those things aren’t enough to elevate this Christmas season above all the rest.
As Christians we know well the “reason for the season” as we often say – the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the Incarnation of the Son of God. But do we really know why it’s so wonderful? In our day it’s not difficult to imagine a conversation with a friend, neighbor, or coworker where we are pressed to answer the question, “So what? What makes Jesus’ birth so special?” So how would you answer?
Scripture is not at all silent on the importance of the Incarnation. Over the course of the next several weeks (even extending beyond Christmas Sunday) we’ll be taking sometime to explore some of the implications of the Incarnation, with a special view toward its practical implications for our everyday lives. But for now, I want to invite you in your own personal time in God’s Word to really dig deep into the simple question: so what? Why does it matter that Jesus was born?
To help you answer the question, take some time to read and reflect on two or three (or all!) of the following Scripture passages: Matthew 5:17; Mark 10:45; Luke 4:42-43; Luke 19:10; John 3:16; Galatians 4:4-5; Colossians 1:15-20; 1 Timothy 1:15; Hebrews 1:1-4; Hebrews 9:27-28; and 1 John 3:8.
Don’t just read them, but take time to mediate on them throughout your day. As you do, take some time to thank God for what we remember during the Advent Season. I would encourage you also to take time to pray that God would give you the opportunity to share with someone else what’s truly special about Jesus and His first advent.
Grateful for the Incarnation,
THIS WEEK AT FAITH:
||Monthly Elders Meeting
Servant's Heart Food Pantry
|Saturday, 10:00am - 3:00pm
||Melrose Home for the Holidays
Prayer Group in the Prayer Room
Sunday Worship Gathering
|Wednesday, 7:00pm (December 7)
This Week's Sermon Text: 1 Timothy 1:12-17 (Implications of the Incarnation - Part 1)
MELROSE HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS: This Saturday!
We will once again be participating in Melrose's Annual Home for the Holidays event this Saturday, December 3, serving hot chocolate, baked goods, and offering cookie decorating and a photo booth. Each year hundreds of people stop by and we have the chance to meet and serve them. But we'll need a lot of help to make it possible! We'll need people to bake sugar cookies in various shapes, along with other cookies and baked goods, and then we'll need many more who can be here to help serve throughout the day on Saturday. If you're able to help but didn't get the chance to sign-up, please let us know as soon as possible!
MEN'S GATHERING: 1st Wednesday of the Month!
Since March the men of Faith Church have been gathering on the 1st Wednesday of the Month for an opportunity to be in conversation, in the Word, and in prayer. (Please take a moment to read about this new opportunity here, which describes it in much more detail.) All men are invited to join us on the first Wednesday of the month as we ground ourselves in the Word and commit ourselves to growing in godliness. The next gathering will be December 7! We'll be continuing in our look at the life of David.
CHRISTMAS PARTY: Sunday, December 11
Our Annual Christmas Party will be held on Sunday, December 11 at 5:00pm here at the church building. We know that God has knit us together as a family - each and every one of us, so this is a great opportunity for us to spend time together as an entire church family - children included! We'll enjoy a meal together (Chinese food, with chicken nuggets for the kids), sing a few Christmas carols, and have fun with our traditional Yankee Swap! Please bring $5/adult to contribute towards the Chinese food. If you'd like, you may bring a dessert to share. We'll also be doing our traditional Yankee Swap, so if you'd like to participate please bring a wrapped gift - something you already own (please don't spend any money on it!). Plan to join with your church family as we celebrate Christmas together!
CHILDREN'S CHRISTMAS PROGRAM: Sunday, December 18
As part of our worship gathering on Sunday, December 18 we'll enjoy a special children's Christmas presentation including songs, Scripture verses, and a living nativity. Following the service we'll have a reception downstairs in the Fellowship Hall. We're excited to have our children participating in the service in this special way. We hope you can join us!
CHRISTMAS EVE CANDLELIGHT SERVICE: December 24
Plan to join us for our a time of singing carols and reflection on the birth of Jesus Christ at our annual Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. There's no better way to prepare your heart for Christmas than to worship the Savior together. This service is open to anyone in the community so please feel free to invite your friends, family, and neighbors as we reflect on the good news of Christmas.
PRAYER GATHERINGS: 2nd and 4th Wednesdays, Sunday AM
Please consider joining us as we gather together in prayer for the life of our church. These times begin by a brief devotional from the Word, followed by a time of praying for the needs of our church family. These gatherings happen on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month, along with every Sunday morning at 9:30am (with prayer primarily focused on the worship service). It is a great joy to gather as God's people and unite our hearts in prayer - join us!
COMMUNITY GROUP GATHERING:
With the busyness of the next couple of months we'll be taking a break from our regular Community Group gatherings at the Rices' home, and instead finding a few ways to serve and fellowship together formally and informally. If you are interested in finding out more about Community Groups, which is one opportunity that we have to pursue
biblical fellowship together, please speak to Pastor Andy (you can also read a brief overview here
). There is a second group for ladies that meets during the day on Wednesdays each week. This January would be a great time to join up with one of the two groups that currently meets!
WEATHER CANCELLATION NOTIFICATION:
With winter weather fast upon us we want to be sure that we have your correct contact information. In the event of a cancellation of a church activity, we generally spread the word in three different ways: 1) An automated calling service with a detailed message; 2) an email to our regular email contact list; 3) an announcement on our website. The fastest and most direct means of finding out about a cancellation is through the phone message system, so if you haven't received one of those calls in the past, or if your phone number has changed, please be sure to contact the church office and give us the updated information.
FINANCIAL UPDATE FROM THE FINANCE COMMITTEE:
The following is a financial update from the Finance Committee that highlights our collections to date and compares them to the amount needed in order to fulfill our 2016 budget. As you can see below, our collections are well below our budgeted need, which would lead to a significant shortfall at the end of the year.
| Budgeted Collections as of November 6
||Actual Collections as of November 6
Please join us in praying for God to continue to provide for the ministry of Faith Church. If you have additional questions about the budget or collections, please speak to Carolyn Smith. Thank you for your faithfulness and support of Faith Church. "Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." (2 Corinthians 9:7)
Our Moms Together ministry continues with two monthly opportunities for gathering. The first opportunity is a daytime playdate for moms and their children that will meet on the second Tuesday of the month at the church, which is open to any moms who can make it, so feel free to invite a friend! The second opportunity is meant to include moms who aren't available during the day and to be a "moms night out." These will be monthly gatherings on either a Friday or Saturday to do something fun together. Mark your calendars for these new opportunities to gather for encouragement and fellowship. If you have any questions please speak to Carrie Rice.
Next Playdate: December 13
SAVE THE DATE
Church Family Christmas Party: December 11
Children's Christmas Program: December 18
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service: December 24
Fellowship Dinner & Annual Meeting: January 29 (tentative)
Interested in a copy of the message from Sunday? Email the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will see that you get a copy. Past sermons are available at www.faithchurchac.org/sermons.