Pastor’s Weekly Message: 12.09.15

Grace Waves

Friends:

We must be still and still moving

Into another intensity

For a further union,
a deeper communion…  —T.S. Eliot

Family Service – This Sunday!  We will have a wonderful Advent Celebration with all of our families this Sunday.  It is the Pink Candle Sunday – the day for joy and delight in the coming of Christmas.  There will be special music and worship activities for the kids.  Invite your friends and  grandchildren to join you.  Plus there will be Carol Singing during Hospitality in the Gathering Hall!

The Youth Group invites everyone to Bring Socks for the Homeless this Sunday!

Giving Tree Families:  We have Christmas Requests remaining for 2 Families residing at Shelter, Inc.  If you would like to assist one of these families please contact the church office on Sunday or notify the church office.  Please Return your Giving Tree Gifts on December 20!

20 Backpacks for the Homeless were collected by the members of Peace.  Thank you for providing these life giving Christmas Gifts!  Ron has delivered them to the Trinity Center in Walnut Creek.

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 baritone 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”.

Thanks to our ‘Decorating Angels’ who have filled our Gathering Hall with Christmas Beauty and Spirit!

Christmas Eve Choir:  2 Voices have already said Yes to singing on Christmas Eve.  Join in the Joy – let Gary know that you would like to participate!

Christmas Caroling:  We will have our Annual Caroling on Sunday, December 20, starting at 6 pm at Peace.  Always a great time, everyone is welcomed to join Chief Caroler Gary.

 I hope all is well with you, the family and Peace Congregation as well. We are experiencing severe drought in most parts of South Africa. Some people have lost their livestock and that’s what they had for a living. In some areas, prayers for the rain have been conducted and we pray that God answers us soon.”  Mudzunga Farisani

Living Earth Reflections:  Last week, African heads of state gathered here to announce the African Renewable Energy Initiative to develop at least 10 gigawatts of new renewable energy generation capacity by 2020, and at least 300 gigawatts by 2030, potentially making the continent, which is now one of the most energy impoverished regions, the cleanest in the world. The African Development Bank and other financial institutions, including the World Bank, pledged an initial $5 billion to support the initiative. On Monday, the group of seven advanced economies (G7) and the European Union pledged an additional $10 billion in grants and loans to support this plan.  An agreement from Paris will not solve every problem faced by God’s creation, but it moves us closer to a more hope-filled future.  Mary Minette, ELCA Advocacy Director

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 theexcitement. 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.

Asbury United Methodist Church

4743 East Ave. Livermore, CA 94550

925-447-1950

Service of the Longest Night, Monday Dec. 21 at 7pm

www.asburylive.org/news/service-of-the-longest-night-monday-december-21/

On the longest night of the year, Monday, December 21, join in a worship service at 7pm in the Chapel. Come to sit in the silence, light a candle, take a break from all the busyness, acknowledge that holidays can be tough when we are missing a loved one or simply not feeling jolly. Drop in between 7-8pm.

Thanks to Crystal for her ‘Reading Congregations’ Report this past Sunday.  It is helpful to learn about the dynamics and context of Peace and its ministries.

“The most important thing is that we are here, at this place, in a house of prayer….Enjoy this.  Drink it all in.  Everything, the redwood forests, the sea, the sky, the waves, the birds, the sea lions.  It is in all this that you will find your answers.  Here is where everything connects.”  Thomas Merton (On the 100th Anniversary of his birth, Dec. 10, 2015)

Advent Blessings,  Pr. Steve