A Word from Pastor

Merry Christmas!

It is around this time of year that we think about angels. Maybe you are thinking of that angel that sits on top of the Christmas tree at Peace! Once that angel is placed on the tree, it is one of the last steps in getting the sanctuary ready for Christmas worship.

The Bible gives us another angle to view angels. From this perspective, angels are much more than a decorative piece! They are important messengers of God’s plan for us. This plan helps us with our problems.

Consider Joseph. Joseph and Mary were pledged to be married. Mary was pregnant, but Joseph knew he wasn’t the father! This put Joseph into a precarious situation. He basically had to do one of two things. First, he could have signed the legal divorce papers in a private, quiet way. Or second, he could have had Mary judged publicly, which would have opened the door for severe punishment for her.

Imagine the amount of pacing and fretting Joseph went through to make this painstaking decision. Imagine the mixture of anxiety, confusion and even anger inside Joseph. Imagine the sleepless nights and tossing and turning in bed! Then it happened. An angel appeared—not the cute decorative kind. An angel appeared and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:20b-21).

This visit by the angel gave Joseph direction for his dilemma. It gave Joseph relief!    

As we are coming closer and closer to Christmas this year, I am thinking that many of us can relate to Joseph in a way. We are feeling some of that anxiety, confusion and even anger about our life situation. We are facing dilemmas. Some of those dilemmas are decisions between two not so great options. Let’s face it, life is filled with dilemma and struggle whether it is 500 BC, 33 AD or 2020.

But here is the good news! Angels are with us too. Angels are everywhere. God’s angels are many and powerful. And they are here to serve God and help us too (consider affirming this thought by reading these passages: Daniel 7:10, Luke 2:13, Psalm 103:20-21, Hebrews 1:14).

The most important aspect of angels is their message. Their message points us to the One conceived within Mary—the one Joseph must name Jesus. This truly is the answer for all of our dilemmas and anxieties. The gift of Jesus means that God is with us. God lived with us. God suffered with us. God rose again and gives us His victory.

I pray that this Christmas you have the same feeling as Joseph after the angel visited him. I pray that you feel the greatest relief. God has given you the solution for life’s challenges in the gift of Jesus!

What a privilege it is to serve you as pastor and enjoy with you the angels’ presence and message in our lives!

In Jesus’ joy,

Pastor J

Looking for the Perfect Gift

If you are looking for a wonderful stocking stuffer for young children?  Try this book, “The Finest Gifts: A Christmas Story,” written by local Christian author Sandra L. Cole and illustrated by Aaron Bentsen’s sister, Erika Bentsen Norris.  Karie and Aaron have several autographed copies available for $15.00, or you can find the books online, and you can enjoy an audio version of the book, narrated by Aaron Bentsen. 

 Check out http://www.thefinestgiftsbook.com  or contact Aaron or Karie Bentsen to get your copy!

If you are looking for something a little different…perhaps your inner child or for a child who loves trains, check out Aaron & Karie’s website: 7ideaproductions.com, there are some great documentary videos on trains and railroads in and out of the area.  You can enjoy the history captured on video which is narrated by Aaron.  Check it out and get some stocking stuffers taken care of.

Vina Moses Center Christmas Program

For many years, Peace has supported the annual Vina Moses Center Christmas program. This year will be no different. Traditionally, a Christmas tree is placed in the Narthex that contain tags with the Christmas gift wishes of children from financially challenged families in Benton County. This year will be a bit different. Rather than choosing a tag off of the tree, we are asking you to consider purchasing a new toy, game, book, or puzzle for the program. The children participating in the program are between infancy and 12 years of age. For many children, the gift that they receive through this program will be the only gift they receive this Christmas. 

Please bring the toy, game, book, or puzzle (unwrapped) to the drive-in communion service which will take place on Sunday, December 6th. 

If you are unable to bring the toy to the service, please contact George Abele 541-730-0476 to  make arrangements to pick up the toy.  

Over the last several months our church continues to keep in touch with, and assist our community in many ways.  One of those ways is financially.  While worship looks different and church activities are restricted we are still showing Christ’s love through our giving and community support.  Following are a few thank you letters and cards that came to us, and since the bulletin board is not being viewed by anyone on a regular basis – I decided to scan the message and include them here.  Please know that if you sent a Thank You and it did not appear here, it was not intentionally done, I apologize for any missed cards.

Follow-up on Burnout to Restorative Rest

Shawna Corden has provided this assessment tool for you to judge your level of burnout.  She encourages you to reach out to her if you would like to discuss your results: [email protected] or (541) 752-9030.