From the Pastor
Dear Peace family,
Nobody likes the feeling of decreasing or being replaced!
Have you ever wondered how John the Baptist’s disciples felt went Jesus came along? We don’t have to wonder too much, John’s gospel hints that they had misgivings. John was their “guy.” Jesus was beginning to experience some great success as “everyone” (see John 1:26) was going to him to be baptized. John was not getting as large of crowds. John the Baptist’s closest followers were experiencing decrease and even a sense of being replaced. That is human!
We typically think of Advent as a season of increase. The number of Christmas cards that need to be shared is certainly growing each year. I’ve noticed that the number of presents under the tree seem to be growing in number each year. The number of activities and chores that must get done only grows as we move closer to Christmas. Other items that are increasing in my life around the season of Advent include cookies, decorations, cups of coffee and sermons that need to be written!
It can happen, however, that a season of decrease can set in, especially in Advent. You may have lost a loved one this past year and as you look at an empty chair at the table, the decrease feels real. You may have lost a job and the idea of not having a clear sense of purpose makes you feel less than. Your calendar may be emptier than previous years and filled with less cheer. The actual gifts under your tree may be smaller and less than what you remember from the past. When these decreases happen, we have a good idea of how John the Baptist’s followers felt when Jesus came around.
A critical question to ask ourselves in a season of decrease and loss is, “Where can I find joy?”
John the Baptist kept his joy in a season of loss! In fact, when hearing the news of Jesus’ success, John says his joy “is complete (John 1:29).” John understood that his influence was declining. He wasn’t led to regret, envy, or jealousy. He was led to happiness and joy. How is that possible?
John knew what Jesus meant. John knew that Jesus was the light that no darkness could overcome. John knew that Jesus’ light could guide his life through all its twists and turns. John knew that Jesus’ light could lead him through the darkest tunnels of death itself and into eternal life. John knew that all he needed in life was Jesus’ light.
We know what Jesus means too. Peace’s mid-week Advent services are a special way to prepare for Christmas. The services will be held in Peace’s sanctuary at 6 pm on the Wednesdays of December 6, 13 and 20. The order of worship is Holden Evening Prayer with a message based on Isaiah’s names for Jesus: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace.
What a successful Advent season we would have if we could join John the Baptist saying, “He (Jesus) must increase, I must decrease (John 3:30).”
In His Joy,
Peace by the Numbers
Plan for Worship
December 3 – 8:30am Hope for Healing Service
December 3 – 10:00am Worship Service with Communion – 1st Sunday in Advent
December 6 – 6:00pm Midweek Advent Service
December 10 – 10:00 am Youth Christmas Program
December 13 – 6:00pm Midweek Advent Service
December 17 – 10:00am Worship Service with Communion
December 20 – 6:00pm Midweek Advent Service
December 24 – 10:00am Worship Service (No Fellowship)
December 24 – 7:00pm Christmas Eve Candlelight Service with Communion
December 31 – 10:00am Worship Service (No Fellowship) with Communion
Youth Christmas Program
On December 10, the Youth of Peace will present their Christmas Program, titled, “On Our Way to Bethlehem.” Over 20 youth have been working hard during the month of November to prepare! Please come and support their efforts. It will be a special service, celebrating the birth of our Savior!
Decorating the Christmas Tree
All are welcome to come and decorate Peace’s Christmas Tree on Wednesday, December 13. We have a special evening planned for time together with the Peace family. A chili dinner will be served at 5 pm in the fellowship hall with Holden Evening Advent worship to follow at 6 pm in the sanctuary. Stay after the service to decorate the tree. This shouldn’t take too long and will bring joy to all.
Holiday Bazaar – Thank You!
THANK YOU FOR THE COOKIES!… You did it again! With your delicious donations, we sold 150 dozen cookies at the Bazaar! Thank you to all the wonderful bakers and helpers who made the Cookie Sale possible this year. Maggie Baker.
GRANNY’S ATTIC… I want to take a moment and let you know how much you appreciate the Granny’s Attic donations. The sale couldn’t be done without all who made the effort to bring items to sell. I feel blessed to have you as my church family and together we can give back to the community. Thank you, Jani.
BAZAAR THANK YOU… A huge thanks to everyone who helped set up and take down the Bazaar, and to everyone who contributed items to make the Bazaar so successful! – Sally.
Quality of a Growing Church: Passionate Spirituality
Passionate spirituality may strike us as a bit abstract, but that is the nature of things. We had to find a term that could describe the most divergent styles of spirituality. As far as the growth of the church is concerned, one of the results of our study indicates that the important thing (as long as spirituality is real) is not the way spirituality is expressed, but the fact that faith is actually lived out with commitment, fire and enthusiasm. The degree of spiritual passion is demonstrably the point that sets growing churches apart from non-growing ones.
This quality characteristic also illustrates that the methods a church uses are really a secondary concern. A church that lives its faith with passionate fervor will experience success with many a method. In contrast, in churches that lack in this area the best methods will not accomplish much. What good is the most modern engine when the gas tank is empty, and when there is no energy?
From the ABC’s of Natural Church Development
The Peace Men’s breakfast is planned for Saturday, December 2nd – Hopefully some men from Zion will once again join us. Our head Chefs, Pastor Lucke and Dave Leding, will be serving up scrumptious meal for us. Remember, coffee at 8:00 and breakfast at 8:30 followed by discussion 9 – 10. Come early and enjoy a cup of coffee and visit before breakfast is served. PLEASE Let me know whether you plan to attend so enough food will be purchased. Phone, Text or email me ([email protected]) if you plan to attend. Thanks —
Ladies Guild News and Thank You
The Ladies Guild will meet Thursday December 7 @ 10:00 am. We will be having Christmas brunch followed by short meeting and distribution of poinsettias and cookies. A gift exchange will follow. All women of Peace are invited to attend. If you have any questions, please contact Peggy Krueger, Guild President.
On behalf of the Ladies Guild, we would like to thank everyone who helped make this year’s bazaar such a success! Crafters, builders, sewers and bakers contributed so many wonderful items, and Granny’s Attic was filled to the brim with items to sell. Everything ran smoothly and we all had a wonderful time greeting people, chatting and navigating the vast array of items.
It was a great day! None of this would have been possible without the makers of all the items to sell and the many workers on the actual day of the sale. What a blessing you all are to our church! We would like to give special thanks to our “leads” who tackled the biggest jobs: Sandi Kloster, Jani Burton, Kay Glathar and Maggie Baker. We are especially grateful to all who came to purchase items and raffle tickets in support of this annual fundraiser. (The lucky winner of the beautiful quilt was Cheryl Narver.) Through sales and raffle tickets, we made over $7000, which is being distributed to several charities.
Thank you again, everyone!
Janette, Sally and Colleen
Hosting a Christmas Party?
Greetings! If you are interested in a little more holiday cheer this Christmas, there is a very nice set of Christmas China (serves 8) along with matching serving bowls available to anyone who would want it. They are brand new. A very nice lady named Pam donated the set to our church and would love if anyone could use it. If you are interested, please let Janette know.
Red Cross Blood Drive
A big thank you from the donors and staff at the October blood drive for the cookies they were very much appreciated. Our next blood drive is December 15th. Once again if you can donate blood, snacks, or prayers for this life saving cause what a wonderful Christmas gift.
Thank You from our Mission Partners