Sunday, November 27, 2011

Lighting of the first Advent candle

Advent is under way and I invite you to observe this season as a way to spiritually get ready for Christmas.   One of the focal points of Advent is the lighting of the Advent Candles and it opens all of our worship services in Advent and Christmas.   The candles have traditionally stood for hope, peace, love, and joy.   This year, we are taking a different approach to these candles, assigning them different meaning and using them to invite us into active participation in Advent by becoming, "Flames of the Faithful."

*   Week one - the Prophet Candle.  The promise of God to bring light into the darkness of our lives.
*   Week two - the Bethlehem Candle.  The preparation which is done by all those in Bethlehem to welcome the Christ Child.   
*   Week three - the Shepherd Candle.  The excitement and fear that the shepherds experience when they come to meet Jesus.
*   Week four - The Angel Candle.   The angels  voices of praise and the desire to shine in God's glory can be shared by us.  
*   Christmas Eve - The Christ Candle, in the middle of everything signals that Christ has come into our world.

You can make an Advent wreath as your own way of participating in this Advent season.  Just figure out how to have four candles around a taller or pillar candle.  Then beginning today, light the prophet candle each time you are together for a meal or want to invite God to take a more active role in your lives.  Then each week, add a candle to your lighting.  As the light from your wreath increases, so will the possibility that Christ's light has broken into your life.

May it be so.   Advent Blessings, Gayle

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving time

Thanks to the generosity of our members, others in our community will enjoy wonderful meal baskets!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Church Care Day

Thanks to everybody who helped with our Church Care Day on November 13th, including Andrew!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Gift Boxes For The Children Of Haiti

 While you're out, will you pick up some items for the Christmas Gift Boxes that we're sending to Haiti?
On November 20sth we'll be sending gift boxes out as part of the Samaritan's Purse's Operation Christmas Child project.  Our kids are filling 10-15  shoe boxes with gifts for impoverished children.  Dolls are especially valued by little girls.  We're expecting to send half to girls and half to boys.
Other good gift items include:
small cars
stuffed animals
small Etch-a-sketch
toys that light up or make noise (with extra batteries)
nothing war-related
pens, pencils and sharpener, crayons or marker, stamps and ink pad sets, writing pads or paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.
HYGIENE ITEMS: toothbrushes, mild bar soap, comb, washcloths
OTHER: hard candy (nothing that melts or is out of date), sunglasses, mints, gum, t-shirts, socks, ball caps, hair clips, toy jewerly, watches, flashlights with extra batteries, etc.
Caution:  nothing that's breakable or liquid, though, and no aerosol cans because of leakage and maiing restrictions.  Please don't send vitamins or medications.  Thanks!
Shelley Frost,
CE Committee

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Death of Rev. John Schroeder

We were hoping to get this word out to you in person on Sunday, but the snow and weather of New Hampshire made it otherwise.
Rev. John Schroeder died last week after a fairly short period of declining health.  Rev. Schroeder served as interim minister here at the church for a while in the 1990's, and has preached here periodically since.  Often he would play the keyboards for our Apple or Strawberry Festival and was an intellegent, faithful man who touched many of us with his wisdom and insight.
Rev. Schroeder also was Jo Chase's Dad, probably his most important role.  The Schroeders lived with Jo and Tom until just a month ago.
There will be a memorial service on Saturday, November 5 at noon.  The services will be held at the Middle Street Baptist Church at 18 Court Street in Portsmouth (which is on the corner of Court Street and Middle Street).
 Please hold the Schroeder family in your prayers, both in thanksgiving for the great life that Rev. Schroeder lived and the family who feels his loss.