December 7, 2017
Dear Pilgrim Christians,
Our northeast Ohio weather is perfect to observe Advent. Our overcast and cold temperatures reflect on the outside what our insides feel. Not all of us may feel this yearning for the coming of Christ this year as much as some others are. Clearly our lives vary. But it doesn't matter whether its us or others among us, we are a community of faith, disciples of Jesus, on a pilgrim journey...together. And even as we sing the Christmas carols of joy, we also sing the Advent carols of lament and hope.
Here's a little history on Advent to help us reflect on our shared journey.
"The word 'Advent' is derived from the Latin word 'adventus', meaning 'coming,' which is a translation of the Greek word 'parousia.' Scholars believe that during the 4th and 5th centuries in Spain and Gaul, Advent was a season of preparation for the baptism of new Christians at the January feast of Epiphany, the celebration of God’s incarnation represented by the visit of the Magi to the baby Jesus, his baptism in the Jordan River by John the Baptist, and his first miracle at Cana. During this season of preparation, Christians would spend 40 days in penance, prayer, and fasting to prepare for this celebration; originally, there was little connection between Advent and Christmas.
"By the 6th century, however, Roman Christians had tied Advent to the coming of Christ. But the “coming” they had in mind was not Christ’s first coming in the manger in Bethlehem, but his second coming in the clouds as the judge of the world. It was not until the Middle Ages that the Advent season was explicitly linked to Christ’s first coming at Christmas."
One of my favorite Christmas carols is "In the Bleak Midwinter." It is both a lament and a celebration of joy. Here are a few verses:
In the bleak mid-winter Frosty wind made moan; Earth stood hard as iron, Water like a stone; Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow, In the bleak mid-winter Long ago.
Our God, heaven cannot hold Him Nor earth sustain, Heaven and earth shall flee away When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter A stable-place sufficed The Lord God Almighty — Jesus Christ.
Angels and Archangels May have gathered there, Cherubim and seraphim Thronged the air;
But only His Mother In her maiden bliss Worshipped the Beloved With a kiss.
What can I give Him, Poor as I am? — If I were a Shepherd I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man I would do my part, —Yet what I can I give Him, —Give my heart.
Grace and peace,
The Rev. David Loar
The Christmas pageant will be held during the worship service on Sunday, Dec. 17th. Practice will be on Saturday, Dec 16th, at 10 am. All children are invited to participate. If your child can't make the practice, we'll make sure they know what to do on Sunday. Any parents who want to help with practice and/or the pageant are welcome!
I want to thank Helen Wilson for all her craft material contributions and her willingness to help when she's needed. Thanks also to Ann Doersam for her help with the music for the pageant.
Nursery and Sunday school will be available on Dec. 24th and 31st, if needed, during the morning worship service.
Looking ahead: Dec.16th - pageant practice at 10:00 am
Dec. 17th - Christmas pageant during worship
Blessings, Vickie Craig
Poinsettia Orders: This Sunday, December 10th will be the final Sunday to place an order for your Christmas Poinsettia. Poinsettias are $6.50. If you are unable to attend Church and would like to place an order for a Poinsettia please contact the office at 440-285-8791.
MISSIONS: GIVING TREE
There are so many needs in our nation that we decided to make a tree and let you choose where you would like to help this year. We have four causes and they are:
THE CLEAR CREEK EDUCATION FOUNDATION A 5013C to help the hurricane victims in a school system near Houston, Texas The Yeoman’s, members of our church, taught here and know the need is real. 100% of your donation will go to help hurricane victims.
1. Checks made out to The Clear Creek Education Foundation
2. Gift cards to either Target or Walmart
Some families moved into housing and now have to vacate it due to mold so they are starting over!
WOMEN’S SAFE MOM - Gas Card, Warm Throw, Body Lotion, Soap, Shampoo, Pretty Candle
PROJECT HOPE A family has moved into an apartment. The Condon/Hederstrom family donated 2 twin beds from their mother’s house and they have bedding. Here is what they need.
Boy 12 Loves the Cavs. Needs boots size Mens 9.5
Mom Needs Gas card
Please pick the wish, or wishes, you wish to grant and bring it (them) to church by Sunday, December 17th. If you purchase gift cards, please take them to the office.
Thank you for giving! When we give, we are giving to Jesus too! Giving helps to spread His love!
THE GIVING TREE IS LOCATED ON THE BULLETIN BOARD IN FELLOWSHIP HALL.
COMMUNITY HOLIDAY CONCERT
The Olympic Brass will present its Silver Bells community holiday concert at PCC on Saturday, December 16, at 7 pm.
If you have not heard this wonderful group of professional musicians perform, you are in for both great music and an education about some truly unique instruments you may never see elsewhere.
There is no admission cost, but donations to help the musicians defray expenses will be sincerely appreciated.
Light refreshments will be provided.
Mark your calendar so you won’t miss this spirited holiday concert!