In A Nutshell | November 15, 2013

Hello, Oak Chapel Friends,
Yesterday I returned from the Fall Clergy Retreat in Sugarcreek. I appreciate your support as a congregation and your encouragement to recharge and renew my spirit in preparation for the Advent and Christmas seasons. I’m excited about joining the youth group this weekend in Columbus for Project 13:35, based on John 13:35, “All people will know you are my disciples if you love each other.”Please be in prayer for the six youth and three adults attending this conference that the speakers and music will challenge them on their journey of faith.
At Sunday’s worship, Pastor Jim’s message, “Will You Follow Along the Way?” is based on Mark 10: 46 – 52. Come for this inspiring message then stay for the fellowship luncheon afterwards. Please bring a dish to share and your table service.
Acorn News Due
The next edition of The Acorn will be a combined December/January issue. Articles are due TODAY, November 15.  This is a firmdeadline. Committee chairpersons and church leaders: Please submit your news electronically to oakchapelumc@yahoo.comor place a printed copy in The Acornmailbox in the church office.  All church family news is welcome. Pictures add a special touch and are always welcome.
World Thank Offering
During worship next Sunday, November 24, we will celebrate World Thank Offering. Last year on World Thank Offering Sunday we encouraged you to start a Gratitude Box and put in coins each time you were thankful for some aspect of your life.  November 24 is the day to bring those coins forward. (Our United Methodist Women’s Treasurer would be grateful if you’d convert those coins to paper – either dollar bills or a check!) Through Thank Offering contributions mission projects are supported in all 50 states and in almost 100 countries. When we have an attitude of gratitude, life is better for all of us.
Decorating the Sanctuary for Advent and Christmas
Preparing our beautiful sanctuary for the Advent and Christmas seasons is one way to set our hearts and put us in the right spirit for this sacred season. You are cordially invited to a festive decorating party with music and snacks on Monday, November 25 at 1:00pm. We hope you will join us!
Christmas Program /Cantata
Our annual Christmas program this year will be the cantata “Together for Christmas,” under the direction of organist/choir director, Jen Moser. Even if you are unable to sing with the choir on a regular basis, please consider joining us for this special event. There are many opportunities for participation in the program including reading and singing. If you are willing to do a reading, please contact Jen. The program will be presented on Sunday, December 22 at 3:00pm, followed by a cookie fellowship. All are welcome!
Christmas Gifts for Mountain Vision Christmas Party
If you committed to purchase a gift to be given to a child at the Mountain Vision Christmas party on Saturday, December 7, please bring your wrapped package (with yellow form attached) to worship on Sunday, December 1.  During the service that morning we will have a blessing of the gifts and a prayer for those traveling and participating in this mission project.
Church Conference
Our Church Conference will be held next Sunday, November 24 at Smithville UMC at 4:00pm. This annual meeting, presided by our District Superintendent Valerie Stultz, is held with other churches in our compass group. During these annual sessions we do some important annual business of the church (approving budgets, salaries, leadership) and learn about the ministries of all the churches in our compass group. The pastors of these churches have planned an engaging meeting with emphasis on outreach and missions. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend. Everyone is welcome and all church leaders are expected.
The youth are offering their services to church members. Anyone interested in “renting” a youth for a donation (amount based on what you feel the job is worth or what you are able to pay) should contact youth leaders Shawn at 330-473-9849 or Katy at 330-749-3460. The youth leaders will then coordinate with you and the youth they feel are best suited for the job. The kids are willing to work hard raking leaves, doing housework, shoveling snow, etc. They hope this will be a great way to earn money for youth projects and serve the congregation as well.
Blue Christmas Service
As the Christmas season approaches, the excitement builds. For many, this is a time to celebrate and treasure, yet each year there are many who approach the holiday season with dread. Some are grieving, lonely or feel hopeless. Recognizing that this is a reality for some in our community, on Sunday, December 1 at 4:00pm, we will have a Blue Christmas service. This more somber service acknowledges the pain and sadness many people experience as the holidays approach, but also encourages people to move toward hope.
Parsonage Open House
Out of gratitude for the love of this faith community and in the spirit of the Christmas season, Pastor Robin cordially invites all members and friends of Oak Chapel to a Parsonage Open House on Sunday, December 8 from 3 – 7pm. Come see the parsonage and enjoy some snacks and fellowship.
Christmas Caroling and Fellowship Luncheon
On Sunday, December 15 we will have a fellowship luncheon after worship. After the luncheon, everyone is invited to go Christmas caroling to our homebound members and friends. If you know of someone who would appreciate carolers coming to his/her residence, please let Pastor Robin know by Sunday, December 8.
Opportunities for Ministry Next Week
Sunday, 11/17 – Sunday School at 9:30am
                   Worship at 10:30am
                   Blood Pressure Screenings after worship
                   Fellowship Luncheon after worship
Monday, 11/18 – Bible Study at 10:15am
                   Candy Making at 6:15pm
                   Trustees at 7:00pm
Wednesday, 11/20 – Choir rehearsal at 7:30pm
Saturday, 11/23 – Salvation Army Bell Ringing at Kmart from 9am – 9pm
                   Weight Loss Support Group at 9:15am
Itis a privilege to be your pastor and to serve among such an amazing community. I look forward to seeing you soon!
Grace and peace,
Pastor Robin

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