Hello, Oak Chapel Friends,
Happy Day After Thanksgiving! We have much for which to be thankful and I trust that each of you took a few moments yesterday to offer praise and thanksgiving to God for the ways in which He is at work in our lives.
The liturgical season of Advent begins this Sunday. Advent marks the beginning of the church year and during this time we prepare for the birth of our Savior. During this season I will be offering a sermon series “Christmas Gifts That Won’t Break,” based on a study written by James W. Moore. Each week as we light the candles on our Advent wreath, we will reflect on the unbreakable gifts that God has given us: hope, peace, joy and love; and we will remember God’s greatest gift who comes to us as a baby and leads us through all the days of our lives. This week’s focus is Hope, based on Matthew 1: 18 – 21. We will also celebrate of the Hope of Jesus Christ through the Sacrament of Communion.
Come early on Sunday for our traditional Advent breakfast, hosted by the Kingdom Seekers class, beginning at 8:30am in Fellowship Hall.
Consider coming back to church on Sunday afternoon for our Blue Christmas service. Many in our faith community and the community at large are grieving this year and may be approaching this season with some dread. Our Blue Christmas service acknowledges that pain and sadness, but also encourages people to move toward hope. The service will begin at 4:00pm and will last approximately 45 minutes.
Colors of Christmas
This Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent and we will begin our annual Oak Chapel tradition of the “Colors of Christmas.” Members are encouraged to wear something reflecting each week’s color.
Sunday, December 1 – Green (signifying life)
Sunday, December 8 – Purple (signifying royalty)
Sunday, December 15 – Red (signifying sacrifice)
Sunday, December 22 – Blue (signifying eternity)
Tuesday, December 24 – (Christmas Eve)– White (signifying purity)
Sunday, December 29 – Gold (signifying riches)
Mountain Vision Christmas Party
Our Outreach Committee, the youth group and others will be traveling to Valley Head, WV on Friday, December 6 in preparation for a Christmas party there on Saturday, December 7. They will leave at Noon on Friday and return around 10pm on Saturday. If you would like to go on this overnight mission trip, please see Pam Domer. Also, if you committed to purchase a gift to be given to a child at the Mountain Vision Christmas party, please bring your wrapped package (with yellow form attached) to worship this Sunday, December 1. During worship we will have a blessing of the blankets and gifts, and a prayer for those traveling and participating in this mission project.
In an effort to share the love of God and build relationships with the people of our community, Pastor Robin will host a “drive-thru” prayer station in the church parking lot for the first three Saturdays in December (12/7, 12/14 and 12/21) from 10am – Noon. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the season, we will offer the peace of Christ and a listening ear. Patrons may pull into the parking lot, share the concerns on their hearts, Pastor Robin will pray with them and then send them on their way with what we pray is a renewed sense of hope and peace. If you are willing to help with this outreach endeavor, please let Pastor Robin know. We want our community to know we care about them.
Doing Online Christmas Shopping?
Your online shopping could benefit Oak Chapel. The United Methodist Church, in partnership with some of the largest online retailers, has built a shopping tool that provides a cash benefit for local churches when you purchase through the UMCmarket — items you’d probably be buying anyway. The retailer does not markup the price — you still pay what you’d pay as you did before. How does it work? Simply create an account at UMCMarket.org and designate Oak Chapel as the recipient of the proceeds. Oak Chapel will receive 1 – 5% of your purchase from online stores and travel sites. Check it out. Please see Pastor Robin if you have any questions.
The next meeting of the Administrative Council is Monday, December 9 at 7:00pm in Fellowship Hall. At this meeting we will discuss our plans and calendar for 2014. All 2013 and 2014 committee chairmen/women should plan to attend.
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 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 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, 12/ 1 – Advent Breakfast at 8:30am
Sunday School at 9:30am
First Sunday of Advent Worship at 10:30am
Blue Christmas Service at 4:00pm
Monday, 12/2 – Retirees Breakfast – Milltown at 8:00am
Bible Study at 10:15am
Tuesday, 12/3 – Membership Care Committee at 7:00pm
Wednesday, 12/4 – Choir rehearsal at 7:30pm
Thursday, 12/5 – UMW Unit Meeting at 7:00pm
Friday, 12/6 – Leave for Mountain Vision Trip at 12:00pm
Saturday, 12/7 – Weight Loss Support Group at 9:15am
Drive-Thru Prayers – 10am till Noon
United Methodist Men’s Trip to Football Hall of Fame — Canton
Itis a privilege to be your pastor and to serve among such an amazing community. I look forward to seeing you in church on Sunday!
Grace and peace,