December 2018 News
The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: "The Lord is our righteousness." (Jeremiah 33:14-16)
“Our joy at Christmas is a response to God's promise of new life through the birth of Jesus. It is a joy we are called to share widely, through our witness and gifts, both to loved ones and to distant neighbors” (Christmas fund website). During the month of December I hope you will share some of your joy through generosity to this special offering that helps retired pastors who served the church for many years. Some of whom were unable to accumulate sufficient funds needed to meet their retirement needs. A portion of this offering also goes to help pastors who have unexpected struggles of an accident or physical situation that causes them not able to work and meet their financial needs, this offering provides short term assistance during those tough times. Please support this important ministry and effort of the wider church. More info can be found at https://www.pbucc.org/index.php/christmas-fund-home.
During the weekend of the 14th-16th in December we will welcome the Rev. Krista Betz of the UCC Pension Boards and the staff member that oversees the Christmas Fund offering as one of her responsibilities. Krista also serves as one of the leaders of the Next Generation Leadership Initiative program which I am a part of. When Krista visits she will attend our wreath laying event on Saturday the 14th, I then hope to take her to the Mifflinburg Christkindl Mart, and then on Sunday she will be with us in worship and share a message with us. It is my hope to collect the Christmas fund offering the Sunday of Dec. 16th when Krista is with us.
There is much to be a part of at Dreisbach during the holiday season. Especially as we celebrate the joy and generosity of the season. I look forward to sharing it with you in times of worship and fellowship.
Blessings and Prayers for all God’s People,
Worship Schedule this month:
December 2nd - (Theme of Worship: Sign of Things to Come) First Sunday of Advent. Jeremiah 33:14-16; 1st Thessalonians 3:9-13; Luke 21: 25-36. Advent Communion and Prayer Shawl Blessing in worship. First Sunday Fellowship during the Sunday School time.
December 9th - (ToW: Make Ready) Second Sunday of Advent. Malachi 3:1-4; Philippians 1:3-11; Luke 3:1-6. Congregational meeting of Consistory nominations and Information of CARE program idea.
December 16th - (ToW: Look Forward) Third Sunday of Advent. Isaiah 12:2-6; Philippians 4:4-7; Luke 3:7-18. We welcome the Rev. Krista Betz to Dreisbach in worship this morning. Praise Group in Worship. Normal Sunday School Schedule.
Friday, December 21st – Blue Christmas Service @ 7pm. All are welcome to attend this evening worship opportunity. Come and hear stories of life and find the blessings and hope that is offered to us all.
December 23rd – (ToW: Moving with Mary’s Song) Fourth Sunday of Advent. Micah 5:2-5a; Hebrews 10:5-10; Luke 1:39-55. Normal Sunday School to follow worship.
Christmas Eve Service -- Family Candle Lighting Service @7pm. Isaiah 62:6-12; Titus 3:4-7; Luke 2:1-20. Come and welcome the new born King with us and enjoy the music, dancing, messages proclaiming the events in Bethlehem of Jesus’ Birth, the true reason for the season.
December 30th – (ToW: Who is this Child?) First Sunday of Christmas. 1st Samuel 2:18-20,26; Colossians 3:12-17; Luke 2:41-52. Sunday School will be a 5th Sunday Conversation for all ages.
Look Further Ahead
January 6th – (ToW: Where is the Child?) Epiphany Sunday. Isaiah 60:1-6; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12. Join us for first Sunday Fellowship.
Shepherds Are Here
During the season of Advent and during our preparations for Christmas the children will be given a little shepherd to take with them where ever they go and the families are encouraged to take photos with the shepherd and send them into the church so we can see all the places that the shepherds have traveled during this time. If you remember, the shepherds were the first earthly messengers of the story of Christ’s birth. Our hope is that we will all be like those first century shepherds who joyfully and powerfully shared the message of the birth of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, mighty God, Emmanuel meaning God with us, in our midst. This activity is in the spirit of where in the world is Dreisbach Church, that we did this past summer. The shepherds will be passed out the first Sunday of December during the children’s sermon. Any extras will be in the back of the church on a first come, first serve basis. Let us go forth to share the good news…
Blue Christmas Service
On the evening of Friday, December 21st @7pm we will again host a service that is sometimes called Blue Christmas and sometimes called the darkest night service. This is a service for those struggling to find the joy and hope in the holiday seasons. The 21st is also the longest night of the year (winter solstice). We will gather in a reflective and somber service that can help participants work through some of the pain and loss that they may be feeling. You may have lost a loved one recently or some time ago, no matter the length of time the holiday season will never be the same. We will offer a time of anointing for healing of body, soul, and mind. We will light candles of remembrance for those we miss, while also listening for God amidst our struggles. This service is open to all who would like to come, so please invite friends, neighbors, and family members to join us on this evening.
CDs are available for those who are interested in singing with the choir for all ages. We are hoping to sing fun, high energy, great message songs about once a month in worship. It is my hope to showcase our young people with the support and help of adults to encourage and support them. The plan is to practice once a month after church during the first Sunday fellowship time in order to prepare the anthem for that month. The CD will help all practice during the rest of the month on their own. Some of the songs are familiar from VBS and other places, but all songs are fun and meaningful and catchy. I hope you will join us in making a joyful noise and sharing a musical message from time to time with our young people. If we want our young people and kids to value and participate in the life and worship of the church, then we must all be ready and willing to show them how and do it right along side of them.
Praise and Prayer Requests
A signup sheet will now be available in the back of the sanctuary each Sunday morning on which to share your praise and prayer requests. The hope is that this will keep the service moving more smoothly. If you forget to sign the sheet Pastor Nate will still offer an opportunity to share during the service.
2nd Annual Veterans Christmas Remembrance Celebration
The Membership Committee is planning the 2nd Annual Veterans Christmas Remembrance Celebration for December 15, 2018 @ 10AM. This year's ceremony will be held in the sanctuary followed by placement of the evergreen wreaths on veterans' graves and then a time of fellowship downstairs. All are encouraged to attend and or sponsor a wreath with a donation of $20. Wreaths will once again be made locally by Alex Haines. Of the 113 wreaths needed to ensure all veterans buried at Dreisbach are appropriately remembered 14 are still in need of sponsors. Sponsorship forms are available in the back of the church by the event's display board. To volunteer placing a wreath(s) on 12/15 following the ceremony, contact Judy Willow (570-412-2814).
November 20, 2018 meeting
· Consistory 2019 election set for December 9 after church.
· CARE Conversation also planned for December 9 to share more information on Dreisbach’s financial position and discuss future needs, both short and long-term.
· Reverend Krista Betz of the UCC Pension Boards out of New York will be visiting Dreisbach December 14-16. Krista oversees the Christmas Fund offering of the UCC and will share what that offering is all about.
· Sub-committee for Pillar Groups continues to work on committee grouping to improve communication chain to Consistory.
· 2nd Annual Veteran Wreath service set for December 15.
· Live Nativity volunteers needed for Christkindl Market December 13.
· All Hazards & Disaster Readiness/Response Ministry Plan draft has been completed and reviewed by the Union County Emergency Planning department. Consistory plans to discuss this at the December meeting.
· Deacons will have 2019 budget meeting and present draft for approval at December meeting.
Kiwanis Club Food Drive
The Mifflinburg Kiwanis Club is asking for your assistance in the collection of canned and boxed food (especially cereal) for needy families in the Mifflinburg Area School District this Christmas season. The Kiwanis Club along with other volunteers will be distributing the food to needy families on the 21st of December. Your food contributions may be placed in the identified boxes in the back of the church on the first three Sundays in December. As in the past, your donations will be greatly appreciated.
On behalf of the Mifflinburg Kiwanis Club, I want to acknowledge the very thoughtful gift of the Thanksgiving food donations from the Nov 25 church service. I was both surprised and pleased that Pastor Nate and the Consistory honored us in this manner. While we appreciate the support from the congregation this past week our club will have many needy families to help at Christmas and your continued support through donations in the coming weeks will be appreciated.
2019 Offering Envelopes
The 2019 offering envelopes are located on the table at the back of the sanctuary. If you or one of your family members was missed please contact Pam Pfirman.
We have been asked to be a part of the Live Nativity at the Christkindl Market in Mifflinburg this year on Thursday, Dec. 13th from 7:00- 9:00 pm. If you are willing to be a part of this would love your help and your families help. This is a great part of the activities and ministry that goes on during the festival in Mifflinburg.
Bad Weather Cancellations
In the event of inclement weather and we need to cancel services, please tune to WGRC 91.3. We will also post the cancellation on our Facebook page and website.
Bethany Children’s Home Gifts
We will again be supporting the kids and ministry at Bethany by buying gifts for the Christmas holiday. There is a list of suggested gift ideas posted on the bulletin board in the back of the sanctuary. We will collect the gifts Sunday, December 9th. Thank you for your support of these young people and the life changing ministry that Bethany provides.
Youth Group Events
If you are a youth group member or parent/guardian of a youth group member from grades 7 and up, please take the time to join the Dreisbach Youth Group Facebook page. Tim and Kristy Sones will be looking to put upcoming events on that page for the youth and/or family members to follow. If you do not have Facebook and there is a better form of communication you prefer, please contact Tim Sones at the information below to let him know whether that be email, text, phone call, etc. Thank you!
Dinner and Devos
On December 3rd at 6pm, Kim Sawyer with MACY’s with be hosting dinner and time afterwards for devotionals with the youth. Kristy and Tim will be attending so if there are any interested youth, they should contact either Kristy or Tim if they and/or a friend would like to join.
Christmas Cookies and Carols
On Saturday December 22nd, the youth group grades 7 and up will be decorating Christmas cookies and singing Christmas carols down at Brookdale Senior Living in Selinsgrove. We will be departing from Dreisbach’s parking lot at 11:30. Please contact Tim Sones at TimothySones@gmail.com if you are able to come as soon as possible and feel free to bring a friend! The more the merrier!!
Reverse Advent Calendar
Please join with our youth this Christmas as we create “Reverse Advent Calendars”! The reverse Advent calendar encourages us to think of others as we wait to celebrate Jesus’ birthday. The idea behind a reverse Advent calendar is simple. Pick out a sturdy basket, bag or box and place an item in the container each day beginning on December 1st thru Christmas Day. Suggestions include, toiletries, non-perishable food items, socks, gloves, hats, baby care items…the list is endless. Bring your container of items to church on December 30th and the youth will be working with Joanne Troutman at the United Way to share with individuals who truly need these items. (If unable to bring on 12/30 check with a MACY parent or youth leaders, Tim & Kristy Sones.) Whatever you bring will be priceless!
Pastor’s Christmas Gift
Enclosed with the Newsletter is an envelope for contributions toward the Pastor’s Christmas gift. Please return to any consistory member or place in the offering plate. Thank You!
· The Membership Committee will meet on Monday, December 3rd at 7:00 pm to finalize plans for the Veterans Celebration and discuss the upcoming year. All are welcome.
· The Investment Committee will meet at 9:00 am on December 6th.
· A Congregational meeting will take place on Sunday, December 9th following the worship service to vote on consistory and discuss the “Dreisbach CARES” program.
· Prime Timers will meet on December 20th, 12:30 at The Old Turnpike Restaurant. The group is open to anyone age 55 or older and is “Dutch Treat”.
Please remember out shut-ins this Christmas season. A list of addresses is available on the bulletin board outside the church office. If anyone knows of someone who should be included please contact Pastor Nate or Pam.