Hello, Oak Chapel friends,
Three adults and six youth left early this afternoon for our church’s annual Mt. Vision Christmas party in Valley Head, WV. Please be in prayer for them as they shine the light and love of Christ and share the meaning of Christmas with the children and families in this Appalachian community. Please also pray for travel mercies. We anticipate their safe arrival in Valley Head around 7:30 tonight and their return to Oak Chapel around 10:00 tomorrow night. Special thanks to this team for their willingness to go as well as to all of you in our congregation for your support through prayer and the purchase of gifts.
I look forward to worshiping with all of you this Sunday as we continue our “Testify to Love” worship series. Rev. Jim Pfander’s sermon titled “Testify to Love: DIY” (Do it Yourself) will be based on Philippians 4: 4 – 9. There will also be some “testifying” from the Mt. Vision Mission Team as well as a prayer shawl blessing. You won’t want to miss this meaningful worship experience.
Below you will find announcements and other important information about upcoming events. Please review and mark your calendars accordingly.
Children’s Sunday School Assistants
Terra Aten leads the young children’s Sunday School class that meets during worship each Sunday morning. Her assistant this Sunday, 12/13 is Miriam Zech. Her assistant next Sunday, 12/20 is April Aten.
Colors of Christmas
This Advent season we continue our annual Oak Chapel tradition of the “Colors of Christmas.” Members are encouraged to wear something reflecting each week’s color.
Sunday, 12/13 – Red (signifying sacrifice)
Sunday, 12/20 – Blue (signifying eternity)
Thursday, 12/24 – (Christmas Eve) – White (signifying purity)
Sunday, 12/27 – Gold (signifying riches)
Christmas Caroling and Fellowship Luncheon
Next Sunday, December 20, we will have our traditional monthly fellowship luncheon after worship. After the luncheon (approximately 12:45pm), we will gather in the Narthex, then set out to carol to our homebound members. Everyone is welcome to join us for this festive event! This is a great way to both experience and share the joy of the season.
Longest Night Service
On Tuesday, December 22 (the Winter Solstice and the longest night of the year), we will have a Longest Night service at 7:00 p.m. This service, composed of scripture, stories, reflection and healing prayer, recognizes that Christmas can be a bittersweet time. Come experience worship that takes time for remembering, sharing our hurts with God, and preparing for the coming of Christ. This day is also the traditional feast day for Saint Thomas the Apostle. This linkage invites making some connections between Thomas’ struggle to believe Jesus’ resurrection, the long nights just before Christmas, and the struggle with darkness and grief faced by those living with loss.
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
Our Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship will include the traditional retelling of the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke, with the sermon titled “Testify to Divine Love” as part of our worship series “Testify to Love.” Join us on Thursday, December 24 at 7:00pm as we celebrate the birth of the Christ child.
Prayer Shawl Ministry
The prayer shawls knitted and crocheted by members of Oak Chapel have been a blessing to many over the past six years. The group continues to put needles to yarn in hopes of passing on God’s amazing healing grace to those in need. If you have a friend, family member, co-workers or just are aware of someone who would benefit from an extra hug from God especially this time of year, we have prayer shawls available for you to share with them. Just contact Georgia Taylor or any member of this ministry.
Confirmation is an opportunity for young people to become aware of how God is and has been at work in their lives, even before they were old enough to realize it. All youth in 5th Grade and up are invited to participate in confirmation class beginning this January. Pastor Robin will lead students through four months of classes meeting on our regularly scheduled youth nights — the first and third Sundays at 6:30 p.m. beginning January 17 through May 1. Students will be confirmed on Pentecost Sunday, May 15. Pastor Robin will hold a short information session for students and parents on Sunday, January 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the beginning of youth group that night. If any youth are interested in attending confirmation classes, please contact Pastor Robin.
Opportunities for Ministry Next Week
Sunday, 12/13 – Sunday School at 9:30am
“Testify to Love” Worship series at 10:30am
Monday, 12/14 – Bible Study at 10:15am
Finance Committee at 6:30pm
Administrative Council at 7:30pm
Tuesday, 12/15 – Membership Care Committee at 7:00pm
Wednesday, 12/16 – Choir Rehearsal at 7:00pm
Saturday, 12/19 – Weight Loss Support Group at 9:15am
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,