Pastor’s Weekly Message: 12.03.15

Grace Waves

Friends:

Maturity:  among other things – not to hide one’s strength out of fear and, consequently, live below one’s best.  —Dag Hammarskjold

Reading Congregations – Sunday Forum with Seminarian Crystal Larsen: Come learn how our church family is transforming, while still growing. Crystal Larsen has been with our community since September, learning the dynamics of what makes and shapes Peace Lutheran today.  Please join us Sunday in the Youth Room as she shares her findings.

Pure Delight Christmas Concert – Saturday, December 19 at 5:00 pm.  Our own Elizabeth Hunter with co-founder Hyunjung Choi leads a stunning Christmas Celebration with tenor Joo Wan Kang, violinist Evelyn Kwark, The Coelis Vocal Ensemble, Special Blend, the Pacific Youth Choir and Junior Choir.  This concert will be a joyous gift of classical and contemporary music.  A portion of the evening’s proceeds will benefit the Refugees that I-SRV is sponsoring at San Damiano.  The concert concludes with a community sung “Hallelujah Chorus”.

Margaret’s beautiful Quilt Exhibit is on display through December.  Invite your friends to join you on a Sunday or come see the Exhibit during the week.

Giving Cards.  Pamela and Dennis request if you have not done so to submit your Giving  Cards by this Sunday so our Treasurer can establish our budget for 2016.

Quiet Prayer Time / An Advent Invitation:  Would you appreciate time to center and focus before worship?  The Healing Prayer Team invites you to join them in the Counseling Center at 9:40 for 15 minutes of quiet prayer time.   Make the enrichment of your Advent worship and Eucharist celebrations a Christmas Gift to yourself.

Our next Family Service is December 13.  Bring all your kids and grandkids to this joyful child-loving Advent celebration!

The Youth Group gathering was a great evening for kids and parents.  Thais and Greg prepared a delicious meal, we reflected on spiritual questions and John Ashley introduced us to the basics of creating a Percussion Circle.

Join the Christmas Choir!  Speak with Gary if you wish to participate on Christmas Eve!

FFF Films, Fri. Dec. 4, 6:30 pm – Nativity!  Ben Jones, guest host for December, brings us Nativity!, a 2009 Brit family comedy based on an elementary school which puts on a nativity play; think School of Rock meets Elf in Coventry. This family-friendly film features a cast of talented children who scream with joy upon hearing that a Hollywood director is coming to see their play – or is it just a rumor? Used-to-be-actor turned teacher Paul Maddens (Martin Freeman) is UPset to be handed the job of whacking together the annual nativity play and making the kids’ Hollywood dreams come true. Join us for popcorn during, discussion after.

Backpacks for the Homeless – Final Sunday:  Thanks to all who have contributed Backpacks.  We will conclude our gathering of these crucial winter gifts this Sunday. New or good condition, used packs are appreciated!

Happy 100th Anniversary of the Theory of Relativity!

Keep in your prayers:   Lois, Kim and Cam on the birth of Spencer;  Fred, Ralph, refugees, those seeking faith and a spiritual home, the UN Climate Talks in Paris, World Aids Day – those who are living with AIDS.

This year we have seen fresh momentum for Healthy Earth/Healthy Human Community action building all around the world:  Pope Francis released his historic encyclical Laudato Si, urging world leaders to act on crucial climate issues; the EPA’s new  Clean Power Plan was introduced; and China, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, submitted one of the strongest commitments ahead of Paris with plans to cut carbon intensity by 60–65 percent below 2005 levels.  Keep the global leaders and these important decisions in your prayers.

Jazz Church West – The Lorca Hart Trio:  This Sunday enjoy a unique organ – guitar – drums holiday celebration.  You won’t find it online, in a catalogue or at any mall – only at Peace!

What is a Blue Christmas or Longest Night Service?  Brightly wrapped packages, Christmas trees, holiday parties, holly and the scent of pine, unending upbeat carols in shops and malls, visits from friends and family, baking and cooking, food everywhere –these are the images and memories of Christmas most of us celebrate and treasure. But each year some people–the grieving, the lonely, the hopeless–dread the approach of the holiday season. They have no heart for the cheer and the bustle, the anticipation and the excitement. Across the country congregations recognize the struggles grieving people often face during the holidays. In the weeks before Christmas they focus ministry efforts on special worship services that speak to the needs of the downhearted.

Christmas Caroling:  We will have our Annual Caroling on Sunday, December 20.  Always a great time, everyone is welcomed to join Chief Caroler Gary.  Time to be announced.

Advent Wreaths:  A dozen were designed this past Sunday! Thanks to Charlene for organizing this special Advent Gift.

Our Giving Tree Ornaments can be chosen this Sunday.  Each of the ornaments will contain the family requests for children and parents who are receiving support from Shelter, Inc.  The gifts will need to be presented at Peace on Sunday, December 20.

Blessed Advent!

Pr. Steve