Trinity United Methodist Church of Roaring Spring
Tuesday, August 22, 2017

December Tidings 2014

Trinity Tidings

Vol. 2 No. 10               Roaring Spring, PA 16673               December 2014

 

Musings from Pastor Kevin

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

            From time to time I think about the expression “have you been naughty or nice” throughout the year. It is a question that we often ask and perpetuate with all the stories that are told of the robust fellow in a red suit.  I know that I have been guilty of saying “you better be good or there will be coal in your stocking!”  Have you shared that with your children and grandchildren?  And the other expression I have often used is “we have visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads (whatever that is!)   

            And yet, as we get closer to Christmas I wonder if we have gotten Christmas all wrong.  Being good for goodness sake under the threat of not getting anything in our stocking misses the heart of what Christmas is all about.  Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus which is easily sidetracked when we think that our goodness has anything to do with it.  Virtue and goodness are certainly good characteristics to have and they should be encouraged but I think this can steer our focus our attention away from truly celebrating God’s goodness in sending Jesus Christ to be our Savior.

            In order for Christmas to have any lasting meaning in our lives, in our family, and in our Church we need to refocus on God’s GRACE being born anew in us.  Paul wrote “while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” While we were naughty and ungodly – Christ was born.  While we were undeserving and mean spirited – Jesus was born.  While we disregarded the needs of others and focused only on who was on our shopping lists – our Savior was born.

            The whole point of Christmas is that Jesus is God’s gift to us.  God didn’t check the list even once to see who was deserving of coal.  The birth of Jesus in the humble town of Bethlehem abolished the need for such lists.  The whole world was on God’s mind and heart when Jesus was born as a free gift for us.  The whole world was on God’s mind as Jesus lived a life for others – inviting them into God’s goodness, making sure they had a place at His table. 

            So where does this bring us as we scurry to find the perfect way to celebrate the “big day” that will be here before we know it?  May I suggest that you take some time to reflect on the gift of God’s GRACE.  Naughty or nice – good and bad – both realities of the life we live are met with a precious gift of GRACE.  Grace comes to us even if we don’t get all the cookies baked, all the cards addressed, all the gifts wrapped in pretty bows.  Grace comes and invites us to direct our focus outward – away from our unquenched desires towards the needs of others.

            So, Grace is the present that I hope that you cherish and share this Christmas season.  And I invite you to attend our Christmas Eve Celebration where we focus on the true meaning of Christmas.  O Come All Ye Faithful – come to worship the goodness of God.  Our Christmas Eve Service will begin at 6:30 PM with singing and poems for Christmas and the actual service will start right after that (approximately 7 PM).  We will also join together on Christmas morning at 10 AM to celebrate the birth of Christ. We will gather around the Table together to receive the precious gift of the Grace of God.

            I look forward to sharing the joy of the season with you during these services.  Will you join me during this Christmas season to focus on those things which bring life and joy to all God’s people?  Will you focus on the grace and goodness of God given to us every single day of our lives?

            Merry Christmas!  Rich Blessings!  Grace abounds!  Rev. Kevin

 

SCARLET DRAGON PACK UPDATEWe are pleased to announce that we restarted the Weekend Back Pack Program in the Martinsburg Elementary School on November 14th and plans are in place to start the back program in the Spring Cove Elementary School in January.  We are going to be seeking volunteers to help unpack food when it is delivered and pack the back packs.  People will be encouraged to sign up to volunteer after the first of the year.  If you would like to make a Christmas Gift for the Back Pack Program you can make donations to “Central Pennsylvania Communion Foundation” at 1330 11th Avenue, Altoona, PA 16601 and make sure that you include “SCARLET DRAGON PACKS” on the check memo line. 

 

 

MANNA ON MAIN STREET

December 13              5 – 6:30 PM 

We will share Ham Pot Pie, Cabbage Salad, and cakes.  There is a group of people coming from 1st UMC in Hollidaysburg that will be preparing the meal with us.  Volunteers would be greatly appreciated. 

 

 

COME DECORATE THE CHURCH WITH US!!

 You are encouraged to come and decorate the Church with us on Saturday, Decembers 6th at 9 AM.  We will be putting up the tree, adding the Chrismons to the tree, putting up wreaths and garland, setting up the Nativity and so much more.  We need your help.  Please plan on joining us!  It would be greatly appreciated.  

JESUS’ BIRTHDAY PARTY

We will have our Annual Jesus’ Birthday Party on Wednesday, December 10th at 6 PM. The children from EPIC will gather together at 5 PM to eat and then the congregation is invited to join us for Jesus’ Birthday Celebration in the sanctuary.

 

 ANGEL TREE DISTRIBUTION

 It is with great joy that we participated in the Angel Tree Christmas Present program along with True Value Hardware Store.  We thank Lisa (our Administrative Assistant) who gathered all of the information in regard to the children that receive gifts.  We thank April Galbraith for all of her participation in this ministry as well.  The parents will come on Thursday, December 18th to pick up their presents.  We also like to thank the Church of the Brethren who donate Christmas cookies for the families every year.

 

CAROLING AT GRAYSTONE

We will be Christmas Caroling at the Graystone once again this year. We will be Christmas Caroling there at 5 PM on December 17th. The EPIC children/youth decorate a small gift for the people that we will be singing to.  We will be making and decorating Christmas cookies to take up there so that we can share Christmas cookies and hot chocolate to the residents there.  This has been a very rewarding part of our Christmas celebration here at Trinity Church.  If you would like to join the children of EPIC you are invited to join us.  We would love to have you!

 

Poinsettias Orders

Potted poinsettias will be ordered by the church and will be delivered to the sanctuary on Dec. 19. They will be enjoyed in the sanctuary on Dec. 21, Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, and may be picked up after worship on Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning. The price of a six-inch pot will be $6.75. If you wish to place a poinsettia in honor or memory of a loved one, please complete a form (which can be found in your church bulletin or church office) and return it to the church office with your payment no later than Dec. 7. Checks should be made payable to TUMC.

 

Pastor Kevin will lead a short-term Advent Study starting on November 30th.

Pastor Kevin would like to invite you to a short-term Advent study that will start right after worship.  Pastor Kevin will be using the Adam Hamilton Video called “Not a Silent Night”.  In this video you will witness the life and ministry of Jesus through the eyes of Mary.  The Advent study will be held in the Sanctuary during Sunday School.

 

Financially Speaking…

 October

Income:        $14,041.00

Expenses:   -$18,388.45

Shortfall:       $4,347.06

 

 

Jay and Lisa Ebersole, along with the United Methodist Home for Children in Mechanicsburg would like to “Thank” everyone who bought gifts and helped make a child’s Christmas special this year. Gifts will be delivered to Mechanicsburg on Wednesday, December 3rd. Please bring gifts to the office if you have not already done so.

 

 

Have you noticed the Youth greeting you at the church entry on Sunday mornings? The Youth Sunday School Class has volunteered for this service and looks forward to welcoming you to worship.

 

We are in need of people to provide music, poetry or a special reading for the Christmas Eve service at 6:30 PM.

  We are also looking for volunteers to take Communion to shut-ins on Christmas Day.

   If you are interested in helping please let Rev. Kev or Doug Mingle know.

 

CHRISTMAS SERVICES

CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE – 6:30 PM  Singing, Prayers and Poems as a Prelude to our Worship.  We will start the service at 7:15 PM.  The Service will consist of Communion and close with Candle lighting.  

CHRISTMAS DAY SERVICE – 10 AM  We will have a service on Christmas morning in the Sanctuary at 10 AM.  Feel free to come as you are and relax as we sing and share Communion together.

 

 Secret  Sisters  to  be  Revealed

Women’s Fellowship will be meeting in the fellowship hall at 6pm on December 11th. The ladies are to bring 6 dozen of their favorite cookies for a cookie exchange and they will also exchange gifts with their Secret Sister. Please sign the sheet in the round room if you plan to attend.

 

CHURCH WISH LIST

            We have received several gifts for Wish List Items.  We have received $250 for Church modem and router, $475 for Laptop that will help with the Audio in sanctuary, $300 toward kitchen update, $50 for special projects, $100 for the retrofit handicapped bathroom. We wish to thank you for your generous gifts.

Would you like to consider giving a Christmas present to the Church for these particular items? 

            The list of the items still on our list –the cost that is listed before takes into account the money that has already been received.   

1)  New 3 tiered sink in the kitchen                                        $1,100

2)  Relocate Kitchen cabinets                                                 $2,000

3)  Computer for Visual aspect for Sanctuary                        $125

4)  Energy efficient windows in youth room and nursery      $2,400

(There are 6 windows that need to be purchased – someone

could decide to purchase 1 or more windows at $300 apiece)

5)  Retrofit handicapped bathroom near Fellowship Hall      $200

6)  Storage shed                                                                      $1,300

 Once again we wish to thank you for your generous gifts!

 

Financial Peace University - We would like to thank the Church for allowing the Financial Peace University Class to meet at Trinity Church.  We had 8 couples participate in the Class (2 from our own Church family).  This is a very rewarding program that has been designed by Dave Ramsey (who is an author of many books in regard to Christian Financing and also on Christian radio).  We wish to thank Rebekah and Jason Dick who took leadership of presenting this material to us.  We will be having another class in the future and would encourage more people to participate.  Rev. Kev. and Valerie participated in this Class and they have stated that they wished that they had participated in this program early on in their marriage.  There is so much helpful information and guidance on how to set up budgets and plan for your future.  I would encourage you to think about signing up in the future.  

 

EVENTS FOR DECEMBER

            December 03 – 5 PM  EPIC (children will make some small gifts to give to

                                      Residents at Graystone)

            December 06 – 9 AM  Decorating our Church for Christmas

            December 08 – 7 PM  Rev. Kev. will share a prayer at Borough Council meeting

            December 09 – 6 PM  Men’s Fellowship Dinner

            December 10 – 5 PM  EPIC Dinner

                                     6 PM  Jesus’ Birthday Party

            December 11– 6 PM Women’s Fellowship

            December 13 – 5-6;30 PM  Manna on Main Street

            December 17 – Christmas Caroling at the Graystone

            December 18 – 6-8 PM Angel Tree Gift Distribution at Trinity UMC

            December 23 – Tot Spot Christmas Celebration

            December 24 – 6:30 PM  Special Music and readings focusing upon Christmas

                                     7  PM  Christmas Eve Communion and Candlelight Service

            December 25 – 10 AM  Christmas Day Service

           

           

 PRAYER FOR DECEMBER

 Loving God, we come today to remember with gratitude the birth of Your Son, Jesus.  We remember how prophets foretold His coming, and how those words were wonderfully fulfilled in Bethlehem.  We remember how You needed Mary to bring Him into the world, and how she willingly allowed You to work through her.  We remember how shepherds heard the Good News, and how, having seen truth of it for themselves, they went on their way rejoicing.  We remember how Simeon held You in his arms, and with praise in his heart gave thanks to You.  We remember how generations since have seen Your face revealed in Christ, and through Him heard You speaking in a new way.  We remember the past so that we might discover You in the present, and find faith for the future.  Be born in our hearts today.  Be born in our hearts today.  Be born in our hearts today so that we may be born again to eternal life.  Amen.