“This Week of Grace”
Thursday, December 24 , 2009
Merry Christmas to All!
FOR YOUR PRAYERS
Lillian Hussong – Aspirus
Hilma Sawyer and her family on the death of her husband Louis.
Perry & Ruth Redeker & family on the death of Ruth’s mother Elenora Mrozcenski
Alyce Grabau – Wausau Manor
Beverly Lilteisch – Kennedy
Ben & Margaret Preisig
Jim Podratz – Wausau Manor
Earl & Kathy Madsen
Others we should include?
PRAYER FOR THIS WEEK
The star shining on the innkeepers shed;
Sunshine glistening off the deafening cold of winter snow;
Candles lit in displays of solidarity with those in mourning;
Give tangible witness to the prophet’s claim
That light shines in the darkness, now and forever.
May we come to worship in joyful celebration of the light
Whom we call Jesus, the Christ.
Amen. (Written for the Union Church UCC of Tekonsha in 1995, adapted. Copyright Katherine Hawker)
CHURCH AND COMMUNITY NEWS .
2009 Christmas At Grace
December 24, 2009: 7:00 p.m. Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship
December 27, 2009: 10:30 a.m. 1st Sunday After Christmas Worship
Community Shabbat: Friday, January 22, 7:30 pm at Mount Sinai Synagogue. Our church has been invited to attend a special Sabbath service as modeled and explained by Rabbi Dan Danson and members of the Mt. Sinai congregation. An “Oneg Shabbat” will follow! Mount Sinai is located at 910 W. Randolph Street, Wausau. They would like to have an idea of how many to expect so if you would like to attend, please either call Mount Sinai directly or let our church office know by January 15th!
Conference Board of Directors Listening Session
Saturday, January 23, 2010 —1:00-3:00 p.m.
St. Stephens’ UCC, 903 East 2nd St, Merrill, WI 54452
The proposed restructure plan for the Wisconsin Conference can be found at the Wisconsin Conference Website: http://www.wcucc.org. Lay leaders of churches are encouraged to read it, to share it with their congregations, and to attend the listening session. This session is for all lay persons.
Annual Reports… should be turned in to the church office (via email if possible) no later than Jan. 15, 2010. It is important for these to be turned in as soon as possible in order to distribute the Annual Reports in time for the Feb. 14, 2010 Annual Meeting of the Congregation.
Church Renewal Program
On Jan. 9th, 2010, 4 disciples of Grace UCC will attend an all day training session preparing to lead a program of church renewal back here at Grace beginning February, 2010.
This program is based on the book “Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations” by Robert Schnase.
We would invite your participation in this program through the many challenging activities that the “Church Renewal Team” will be leading. We also invite you to obtain and READ the book! It is available on Amazon.com as well as most other new and used book sellers.
Adult Education Opportunity: UCC History and Polity
As most people mature, they realize that their own identity is intricately connected to those who came before them. The same is true of churches. The UCC today is the result of a rich, complex history that shaped the past and guides the present and future. The UCC is a relatively young denomination and yet it has roots in the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, and the Puritans and Congregationalists who settled in the New World in the 17th century. In order to understand the UCC and its ministry today, it is important to have a sense of the church’s past.
First Congregational Church of River Falls, Wisconsin is sponsoring a one-day workshop led by Dr. Martha Baumer, former professor at Eden Theological Seminary. The workshop will meet from 9:00 to 3:00 on Friday, February 12, 2010. Part way through the day we will break for a luncheon. The cost of the day, including lunch, is modest, $10.00 per person.
Dr. Baumer is a knowledgeable, engaging speaker. She will help us to become acquainted with our own history so we can more thoroughly envision our present identity and ministry. Dr. Baumer will also offer a discussion of UCC church polity. A church’s “polity” is the structure and relationships that bind people together in congregations and congregations to each other in the church.
Please consider joining the conversation. To register, you may call the church office 715-425-2052 or download a registration form from the church website www.firstchurchrf.org.
Silent Auction… The Christian Education Committee will again sponsor our Silent Auction fundraiser. New or gently used items may be brought to church between December 26th and January 2nd. No clothes, please. Bidding will begin January 3rd and continue thru January 17th. On January 24th, bids will be closed and during the 11:30 am Social Hour you will be able to pick up the items you purchased and pay for them. Moneys support the Sunday School projects and a designated amount will be donated to an account to be called the “Home Mission Fund.” During the year, people in need stop by the church and ask for food or gas cards. This will be a fund Pastor Wayne can then use to help these people out. Thank you for your donations and your participation in bidding for this important fundraiser.
Grace UCC to Celebrate 125th Anniversary in 2011 — Grace United Church of Christ will celebrate it’s 125th anniversary in 2011. Anyone interested in working on a team to plan the celebration should contact a council member. Planning will begin in the next couple of months. If anyone has anything of historical significance (pictures, stories, newspaper clippings, etc.) to contribute, please give it to a council member.
NEXT SUNDAY’S BIBLE READINGS
December 27, 2009
1 Samuel 2:18-20,26
After many years of barrenness, Hannah has been given a son by God. She has vowed that she will dedicate him to the service of the Lord, and accordingly has placed him under the tutelage of Eli, the priest of the temple at Shiloh.
The author continues to describe the lifestyle which is expected of Christians. His readers, perhaps newly baptised, have “stripped off the old self and its practices” and “have clothed … [themselves] with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator”.
This is the only passage in the Bible that tells of Jesus’ boyhood. Jewish men (and perhaps women and children) were expected to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the Passover. Jesus continues to grow in many ways: he not only listens to experts in Jewish law, but even asks them questions.
NEXT SUNDAY’S WORSHIP EXPERIENCES
December 27, 2009:
This Sunday we continue to celebrate Christmas. We do so in Song & Praise. We do so in our prayers of faith and thanksgiving. Rev. Wes Jedras, Chaplain at St. Clares Hospital, will share his message: “Waiting For Christmas.”
Grace Church services are broadcast on Charter Cable Channels 96 and 98 Wednesdays 1:30-3 pm; Thursdays 7:30-9:00 pm, Fridays 6-7:30 am
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Christmas is forever, not for just one day, for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf. The good you do for others is good you do yourself. ~Norman Wesley Brooks
THE WEEK’S LINK
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas More than you ever wanted to know about Christmas!
WHAT CAN I DO?
Attend worship EVERY Sunday. 10:30 a.m. Dress casual.
Pray. AND THEN PRAY SOME MORE.
Provide Child Care during worship.
Volunteer as a Deacon (There are a couple openings).
Serve a Sunday Fellowship Time.
Bring a friend or three to church and keep bringing them.
Got a ministry idea you’d like to try?
Give regularly to the ministry of your church. And then give again…
See you in Worship!