Each Sunday Morning during Advent (November 30 & December 7, 14 & 21)
Sunday School for ALL ages @ 9:00
Wassail & Cookies before and after Sunday School
Sunday Morning Worship @ 10:30 with lighting of Advent Wreath candles
Veterans’ Christmas Party (Sponsored by FPC Presbyterian Women)
Thursday, December 4, 8:30 a.m. Meet at the church to travel to the VA Hospital
Presbyterian Women First Annual “Pretty Ugly Christmas Sweater Party”
Saturday, December 6, from 10-12 noon
Women & men are invited for for the fun, food & fellowship
Quiet Advent Evening of Writing
Monday, December 8, from 7-9 p.m. in the Library
Presbyterian Women Joint Circle Meeting & Luncheon
Tuesday, December 9 @ 10 a.m. in Fellowship Hall
Early Childhood Program with FPC Youth & Children presenting
“Good Tidings of Great Joy!”
Wednesday, December 10, 6:30 in Sanctuary, with cookies afterward in Fellowship Hall
Book Group Christmas Party
Friday, December 12, 7-10 p.m. at the Curries’ home
“Good Tidings of Great Joy!”
Sunday, December 14, in the 10:30 a.m. service, Youth & Children help lead worship
Youth (6th-12th Graders) Christmas Party
Sunday, December 14, from noon to 3 p.m.
Christmas Eve Candlelight & Communion Worship for All Ages
Wednesday, December 24 @ 7:00 p.m.
Informal Christmas Morning Worship in the Round...for Everyone!
Thursday, December 25 @ 10:30 a.m.
A Tradition at FPC on Christmas Morning!
On Christmas Morning, Thursday, December 25th,
we will gather at 10:30 in the Narthex for an informal worship & celebration.
We will sit in a circle, with the manger in the center,
by the lights of our beautiful Chrismon Tree.
We will sing songs, read scripture, pray, and tell stories.
People of ALL ages are invited to come and be part of this simple service that has
become a meaningful tradition at
First Presbyterian Church.
Children may wear their pajamas and bring a quiet toy to play with,
and new dolls are always welcome in the manger!
May the hope of Christmas live in our hearts
throughout the coming year!
From the Pastor...
We all know that the season of Advent is a time of preparation, a time to prepare our hearts and minds to celebrate the miracle of the incarnation, God becoming a human being. And yet, even without the commercialization of the Christmas season, sometimes I wonder if we have become somewhat immune to the grav- ity of the event.
Has it become for us, as it has for many, a time to escape “the troubles of the world” (words to an old spiritual)? Does the pleasant music simply enable us to let go, even if only for a few days or weeks, of depressing headlines? Do even the Bible stories seem unreal to us -- Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus as if it were all a fairy tale?
Eugene Peterson reminds us that the real world is that of the Bible. The world in which you and I live is less than real without the reality of the message of the gospel. The Advent story of Immanuel -- God with us -- is the reality, and if we ignore it, we are living in an incomplete world, a world cut off from the reality of the one who made us, breathed life into us, loves us, and came to us in the person of Jesus Christ. That’s the real world. That’s the rest of the story (as Paul Harvey would say).
Advent and Christmas are not an escape from this world. Rather, they are what completes the real world. Mary and Joseph spent the night in “a stable warm and dry” not because they wanted that, but because that was all that was available. They fled to Egypt because Herod issued an order that all male children two years old and younger be killed because he wanted no threats to his kingdom. That was the world into which Jesus was born.
But the rest of the story, the part that we cannot see, is how the birth of this child was an act of God, an act of humility and love on the part of the everlasting Creator God. The rest of the story is that this same God enters our world and our lives when we are open to it, when we look with the eyes of faith.
How will you prepare during this Advent season to celebrate the miracle and the mystery of the embodiment of God in Jesus Christ? I hope that it will not be a time of escape, but rather a time to see the presence of the living God in the world in which we live, a time to see the completion of the real world by look- ing to this one who created it and passionately loves it.
SUNDAY MORNING CLASSES
FOR ALL AGES
All children, youth and adults are invited to join a Sunday School class at First Presbyterian Church at 9:00 a.m. The Discipleship Committee is grateful for men and women who serve as our 2014-15 team of Sunday School teachers. All classes for children and youth use the age appropriate PCUSA “We Believe” materials, and “WEE Believe” with our Preschoolers! May God bless our year as we WALK, LEARN and GROW in the Spirit of Love THIS FALL AT FIRST.
NURSERY (INFANTS)* ROOM 1
TODDLERS/PRESCHOOLERS (2-4 YR OLDS) ROOM 2
ELEMENTARY (K-5TH GRADERS) ROOM 7
CHILDREN’S SUNDAY SCHOOL CHOIR @ 9:45 ROOM 6
JR. & SR. HIGH YOUTH (6TH-12TH GRADERS) ROOM 8
PRACTICING OUR FAITH... ROOM 11 Jo Ann Currie
STEPPING OUT IN FAITH BRIDE’S ROOM Pat Abrams
MEN’S CLASS LIBRARY David Kirkpatrick
Wednesday Noon Brown Bag Bible Study
The Wednesday Noon Brown Bag Bible Study continues its study of the Gospel according to Luke. We will meet every Wednesday at noon in the fellowship hall. Why not come and enjoy a delightful time in studying and discussing this part of God’s Word!
Cut-Ups meet on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month. (If a month has 5 weeks, we will decide that month if we want to meet an extra week.) We have taken on a new project. We will be making prayer boxes for our deacons to give when visiting church members. They will be made with love and hope that if you receive one, it will make you smile. We are also continuing with SCRABBLE tile crafts, Zentangles, magazine roll vases, and Halloween wreaths. Examples are on bulletin board outside CUT-UPS room. If you want to be added to our email list or if you have any questions contact Liz Reed.
or 832-256-5814 (I’m a “texter” too)
The sanctuary banners represent The Great Ends of the Church – what it means to be the Church. A dove representing the community of the Holy Spirit appears in each banner. If you are facing the back wall of the sanctuary and looking at the banners, the first one is to the left.
Banner 1 “The proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind.” On the banner the book represents the scriptures from which a dove arises. This indicates the source of both the original witness and the present understanding. The same Spirit that inspired the original writers enables us to receive the gospel. The cross behind the book and the dove remind us the heart of the gospel is Jesus Christ, God with us and for us.
Banner 2 “The shelter, nurture and spiritual fellowship of the children of God.” This banner has multi-hued hands representing all of the children of God. The dove’s wings are tipped downward sheltering the people of God. The triangle of light links the dove to the people.
Banner 3 “The maintenance of divine worship.” The chalice represents the Lord’s Supper while the three drops of water represent baptism in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The dove reminds us that the same Spirit is present in these sacraments as in the proclamation of the gospel. The sacraments enact the gospel. The raised arms signify our response of praise and thanksgiving – our worship of the living God.
Banner 4 “The preservation of the truth.” This banner represents the light of truth shining in the darkness. The dove reminds us that the truth we proclaim to the world is the gospel of Jesus Christ, God with us and for us. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Banner 5 “The promotion of social righteousness.” This banner represents Amos 5:24, “But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream.”
Banner 6 “Exhibiting the Kingdom of Heaven to the world.” The dove is in flight over the earth carrying an olive branch, echoing Genesis 8:11, “And lo, in her mouth a freshly plucked olive leaf, so Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth.” This represents God’s grace coming into the world, the reign of God proclaimed by Jesus Christ. The light rising behind the earth represents the dawning of God’s kingdom.