In A Nutshell | October 31, 2014

Hello, Oak Chapel Friends,
Fall is my favorite season for many reasons, one of which is Halloween. I enjoy watching the kids dress up. They’re so excited to be someone else. Some choose monsters. Others choose princesses. Some want to be dressed as someone courageous while others prefer silly disguises.
Do you ever feel like you are wearing a mask? Do you ever find yourself pretending to be something or someone you’re not? Pretending to “have it all together,” but in reality, your “all togethers” are falling apart? You would never want people to see the “real” you, the person behind the mask. You would be embarrassed if you were ever “found out.”
We humans look around and sometimes think we are the only ones who don’t have it together. And out of fear, we pretend that we are fine and hide behind our masks. We would never admit that we need help, let alone actually ask for it! But God sees through our masks right down to our real selves. God sees all our flaws and yet loves us completely and unconditionally. Psalm 139 tells us that God searches us and knows us. God knows us completely, from the inside out. God knows every thought, every worry, every joy, every hurt. There is no place we can run from God’s Spirit, no place to escape God’s love, no mask to hide our person from God. With God, we can stop pretending, take off our masks, and allow God’s love to infuse us.
This is my prayer for all of us at Oak Chapel UMC – that we can be our true selves and allow the love of God to infuse us.
This week is All Saints Sunday. We will remember those who have died in the last year and celebrate the communion of saints. My sermon, titled “Blessed,” is based on Matthew 5: 1 – 12.
Don’t forget to set your clocks back one hour on Saturday night. Enjoy the extra hour sleep and come to church refreshed and ready for worship at 10:30!  
Below you will find announcements and other important information about upcoming events. Please review and mark your calendars accordingly.
Plain Township Sunday School Convention
The 137th Plain Township Sunday School Convention is this Sunday, November 2 at 7:00 at Oak Chapel. Entertainment will be provided by Gary Bonewitz playing guitar and singing. Refreshments will follow.
November Fellowship Dinner – Change of Date
Our District Superintendent, Ed Peterson, will worship with us on Sunday, November 9. So that members of our congregation may get to know him, we are changing our November Fellowship Dinner to that day. Please bring a dish or two to share and your table service, and enjoy a time of fellowship with our new DS after worship.
Clean Up Day The Trustees are hosting a church clean-up day next Saturday, November 8 from 9 a.m. till Noon. Many hands make light work. Please join us even if you can only come for an hour. God has entrusted us with beautiful facilities and we are to be good stewards in caring for our church property.
Jade Tree
The jade tree in our narthex was lovingly tended by Harold Walters in his home for over 65 years. If you would like clippings from this plant to grow your own, please feel free to take some. In addition, if you have interest in caring for this tree in your own home, please talk to Pastor Robin.
Church Conference
Oak Chapel is hosting our annual compass group Church Conference on Sunday November 9 at 2:00pm. This annual meeting is presided by our District Superintendent Ed Peterson. During this annual session we will do some important annual business of the church (approving budgets, salaries, leadership) and worship together as a compass group. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend. Everyone is welcome and all church leaders are expected.
Candy Makers and Sales Force Needed
To make our time and effort count, we need YOU to sell our delicious Glass Candy to family, friends and co-workers. And of course it makes a wonderful gift for the mail carrier, teacher, and beautician. A bag (approx. 1 lb) sells for $5 which includes 10 flavors. We also take special orders for one flavor in a bag.  We’d love to have you join us on Monday evenings through November 24. We gather at 6:15 p.m. No experience necessary! We will provide training! Come enjoy the fellowship as we work together.
Mark Your Calendars Now … Church Decorating
On Sunday, November 23 we will decorate the sanctuary and other parts of the church for the Advent and Christmas seasons. Join us for a light lunch after worship and then stay to decorate. It will be a great time of festive fellowship.
Human Trafficking Program
On Sunday, November 16, our worship theme will be human trafficking. The women of the church who attended the human trafficking seminar in New York City will present music, scriptures, statistics and other information about this topic and will provide the congregation with concrete ways to get involved to abolish slavery today.
Advent Worship Series
Did you know that …
·         God Is Expectant
·         God Is Dangerous
·         God Is Jealous
·         God Is Faithful
You’ll find out all about it in our exciting new Advent worship series, Under Wraps: The Gift We Never Expected. Each week we’ll explore God’s qualities and how they were fulfilled on Christmas day with the birth of Jesus. Join us this Advent as we unwrap God’s greatest gift, our Savior Jesus.  This series is a great opportunity for you to invite a friend or family member to come to church with you.
Opportunities for Ministry Next Week
Sunday, 11/2 – Sunday School at 9:30am
                                    Worship at 10:30am
                                    Bible Study (note time change) at 6:00pm
                                    UMYF at 6:30pm
                                    Plain Township SS Convention at 7:00pm
Monday, 11/3 – Retirees Breakfast at Downtown Beuhler’s at 8:00am
                                    Bible Study at 10:15am
                                    Candy Making at 6:15pm
                                    Art and Soul at 7:00pm
Tuesday, 11/4 – Election Day
Wednesday, 11/5 – Morning Circle at Betty Franks at 9:30am
Saturday, 11/8 – United Methodist Men – Green Leaf at 7:30am
                                    Church Clean-Up Day at 9:00am
                                    Weight Loss Support Group at 9:15am
                                    UMW Executive Committee at 10:30am
It is 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,
Pastor Robin

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