"If you love me, you will obey what I command." John 14:15 (NIV)
Christmas is a most wonderful time of the year. I love the lights and the trees; the songs and the happy faces of children in anticipation of Christmas morning. I especially love all the nativity scenes I see on display. I am quick to look for baby Jesus and Mary, the shepherds and wise men, the angels, and, of course, the star. Sometimes I find myself overlooking one of the most important people in the nativity: Joseph.
We often forget the tremendous decisions that he had to make. His response to Mary’s pregnancy was pivotal to the outcome of the story. He could have had Mary stoned or put her away quietly (divorced). But in a dream, an angel encouraged him to do God’s will. Joseph loved the Lord so he was willing to take Mary as his wife, even though he did not understand.
When we love the Lord we will obey Him even when we can’t see the whole picture. Love Him today and do what He calls you to do.
A great big THANK YOU to everyone who helped carry in and assemble our living Christmas tree. The 30-foot tree is assembled, decorated and ready for the singers who will adorn its branches. Thanks to the Decorating Committee for the many beautiful Christmas decorations all around the church. Our church building never looks better than when decorated for Christmas. Our church body never looks better than when it is serving and working for the Lord. Thank you again for all the hard work, Fee Fee Family!
The church family unanimously approved our church budget for 2014 in the morning services. Thank you, church committees, staff, Stewardship Committee, and church family for putting together and approving this important budget.
Thank you, also, church family, for continuing to support the church and its ministries through the church budget. Those participating in the Stepping Up Together emphasis have made and continue to make a real difference. If you are new to the church or are not participating in the emphasis, let me encourage you to start. We simply ask one of two things of you: (1) If you are not giving to the church budget, please start. It may not be a tithe, but start where you can, maybe $5 or $10 a week. (2) If you are supporting the church budget, thank you. The question we ask you is, “Can you give a little more?” Just $5 or $10 a week makes a big difference. Many are participating in the Stepping Up Together emphasis and it has made a huge difference in our ability to fund and fulfill ministries. Thank you so very much.
We have several church families in need this year so please pray that we can help them have a little Christmas.
God continues to bless our church family. Come join the fun.
See you in church,
We are the Body
All of you together are Christ’s body and each of you is a separate and necessary part of it.—1 Corinthians 12:27 (NLT)
There’s nothing like a “Singing Tree” program to illustrate this point! It brings into total focus the fact that there are NO insignificant ministries in the church. Some are visible and some are behind the scenes, but ALL are valuable. Every ministry matters because we all depend on each other to function. You can’t believe the different elements that come together to pull off this event - the many technicians (sound, lights, media), seamstresses, choreographers, decorators (thanks, Vernita Wilson and your committee), food prep team, performance personnel (singers, narrators, actors, angels, instrumentalists), secretarial assistants, communication administrators, public relations persons, organizers. This week I watched as Ken Cox and his crew transformed the church platform into a 30-foot Christmas tree! These are mammoth tasks and so well orchestrated by the leadership of these divisions. It is a mind-blowing operation! The entire body is on call!
Did you know we could stay busy ALL year doing productions??? Ken Cox, are you ready to construct a “singing cross” or a “singing flag”? KIDDING!!! Although I’m told such projects do exist, maybe we’ll stick with a “tree”.
We would like people to submit a photo or two from Christmas - past or recent. Justin is putting together a video to go with some music which will be programmed during our Christmas production. Please send photos to Justin’s email:
, or send on Facebook. Deadline is Friday, December 13. Thanks in advance for your response.
Thanks for listening.
What an exciting and joyous time of the year! I look forward to celebrating Christ’s birth. I hope you are, too. One thing you may consider doing as a family is come to the Singing TREE Presentation. It will be an evening of worship with beautiful music, lights and nativity drama. Many of our childrenhave a part in the presentation so come and participate!
Thank you for entrusting to me the position of Director of Children and Family Ministry. I am excited and look forward to years of ministry with you, looking to God to make us better through His Son, Jesus.
Parents’ Night Out is Friday, December 13, 6-10:00 p.m. I know you have already made your reservations. Please feed your children supper before bringing them. We will have snacks during the night.
LIFEgroups are coming! We are seeking to meet everyday needs of the church family through support, prayer and God’s Word. You will be seeing more information in the future about what group topics will be and how to sign up. The first session of these groups will start toward the end of January. Keep an eye and ear out for more information.
During TREE practices and performances, we are in need of child care for our singers’ children. If you, adults or students, want to volunteer, please see me or Debbie Nicholson. Students can earn money toward their mission trip by serving in this way. Following are the dates and times needed:
Practices: Sundays, December 8 and 15, 3-5:30 p.m.
Wednesdays, 7-9:00 p.m.
Performances: Friday, December 20, 6:00 p.m; Saturday, December 21, 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.; Sunday, December 22, 2:00 p.m. Thanks so much for any time you can give to tend to our little ones.
From The Media Center
In addition to many donated books, we have added two new books:
¨ The Revitalized Church by Michael Atherton
¨ The Daniel Plan—40 Days To A Healthier Life by Rick Warren
Stop by and “check us out”.
Wednesday Night Supper Menus
December 18 - Pork Roast, Au Gratin Potatoes, Broccoli, Salad Bar, Rolls, and Cake
Christmas Day Meal
A Christmas Day meal will be offered to any senior who will be alone on Christmas Day. The meal will be served in the Fellowship Hall from 12:00 noon—2:00 p.m. A sign-up sheet is on the 55+ bulletin board.
Please note that for any contributions to be counted toward the year 2013, they must be turned in to the church office by Tuesday, December 31, by 4:00 p.m., or via E-Giving before midnight on December 31. Also, IRS regulations prohibit anything postmarked after December 31 to be counted toward 2013 giving. Contact Steve Middendorf in the church office with any questions.
Christmas Cards Galore!
Be sure and check the Fee Fee mailboxes for any “Christmas mail” for you or your family. The mailboxes are located in the hallway behind the worship center near the elevator. The boxes are running over!
Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions
Church Goal: $17,000.00
Given to Date: $8,563.50
Fee Fee’s Snow Policy
As a reminder, weekday activities will be canceled on the days that the Pattonville School District is closed due to weather. This includes day and evening activities, including all Wednesday night activities. This policy does not apply to the church office—it will remain open.
Tuesday, December 24—Church office/buildings close at noon
Christmas Eve Candlelight/Lord’s Supper Service, 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 25—Church office/buildings closed
Christmas Day Service led by the Deacons, 9:00 a.m.
Christmas Meal for seniors alone for the holiday, 12:00-2:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 29—Morning regular schedule, NO evening activities
Wednesday, January 1—Church office/buildings closed; NO evening activities
We have started a new study and would like to invite all of our men (ages 20 and up) to attend and enjoy the fellowship. We meet every Sunday evening at 5:30 p.m. in room B-1 and our current study is “Wild at Heart” by John Eldredge using the RightNow Media resource. Come and join us!
LIFEgroups are Coming!
In the very near future you will be hearing a lot more about LIFEgroups! We have a new look, a new approach, and a new way of meeting people where we are in life. Our LIFEgroups will be centered on the needs of people and helping to get some real answers to real questions to the life situations we find ourselves in. Stay tuned for more details!
See ya Sunday for Bible Study! Stay on the Journey!
CHI ALPHA STUDENT MINISTRY
Mission Trip Info
The deadline to sign up for the mission trip is Sunday, December 15! The youth are going to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from July 18-26 to work with P2 Missions. The cost for the trip is $430. You can find handouts with more info on the church website (Interactive > Downloads). To sign up for this trip you must turn in a $50 non-refundable deposit in a Youth Payment Envelope with the student’s name and “Philadelphia” written on it.
Big Chill – December 27-28
The Big Chill will be a night of games, food, open gym, videos, music, and lots of fun!! All for only $5! Bring a 2-liter of soda and a snack to share for the night. The deadline to sign up is Sunday, December 22. Invite your friends to this fun event!
Due to Christmas and New Year’s, there are some changes in the youth schedule. There will be no Engage on December 25 or January 1. There will be no Amplify on December 22 or 29.
DNow – April 11-13
Greater Hands Camp – June 12-14
Philadelphia Youth Mission Trip – July 18-26
Mission Trip Info
The deadline to sign up for the mission trip is Sunday, December 15! The college students are going to Savannah, Georgia from June 27-July 6 to work with World Changers. The cost for the trip is $480. You can find handouts with more info on the church website (Interactive > Downloads). To sign up for this trip you must turn in a $50 non-refundable deposit in a Youth Payment Envelope with the student’s name and “Savannah” written on it.
A HuHot College Christmas Dinner – Saturday, December 14 – 7:00 p.m.
On Saturday, December 14, at 7:00 p.m., all college students should meet at HuHot Mongolian Grill (12675 Olive Blvd) for dinner. Your dinner will be free! After dinner we’ll head to the Yakel household (2305 Wesglen Estates Drive) to have hot chocolate and cookies and watch the Christmas classic movie: Elf!! Make sure to let me know if you are coming so I can make reservations.
I would like to encourage everyone to attend the presentation of the Singing Christmas Tree on December 20, 21 and 22.
The 55+ Council has already been planning for the new year. Because of the possibility of inclement weather, the plan calls for an “in-house” program on January 9. The meeting will be in the Dining Room. I have asked Sally from Hallmark to show a short film designed to alert all of us to the hazards of falling in our own home. The film will suggest some actions that can be taken to reduce risks. Sally will bring breakfast-type snacks at 9:30 a.m., followed by the film, with opportunity for questions.
At 10:30 a.m. the movie, Last Ounce of Courage, a Story of Family, Faith and Freedom, will be shown, followed by a light lunch of sandwiches and hot soup for a potentially cold day. We will need a contribution to pay for the food.
Sunday Bible Study Attendance 337
Small Group Attendance 0
Total Bible Study Attendance 337
8:00 AM 158
10:50 AM 259
6:00 PM 56
AWANA Clubs 48
WOW Bible Studies 36
Men’s Fraternity 7
Nursing Home Ministry —
E-Giving (11/23-11/29) $4,521.00
Sunday Bible Study Attendance 341
Small Group Attendance 0
Total Bible Study Attendance 341
8:00 AM 138
10:50 AM 294
6:00 PM 62
AWANA Clubs —
WOW Bible Studies —
Men’s Fraternity 7
Nursing Home Ministry 28
FULFILLING THE PROMISE
Pledges to Date: $1,313,516.00
November Gifts: $13,966.00
December Gifts (To Date): $5,098.00
Total Given: $1,020,440.64