The Voice of FRC- January 2022
From the Pastor’s Desk
Now that the presents have been unwrapped, the leftovers are in the fridge, and the Christmas cookie tins are empty, how can we “keep Christmas” in these waning days of the year? As God’s people who recount throughout the Christian year the mighty deeds of God, we travel a circuit of days that tell and retell the story of our redemption by God. We do this as a community, as the church.
Henry van Dyke, a clergyman and author in the 20th century says it best...
"There is a better thing than the observance of Christmas day, and that is, keeping Christmas.
Are you willing...
to forget what you have done for other people, and to remember what other people have done for you.
to ignore what the world owes you, and to think what you owe the world.
to put your rights in the background, and your duties in the middle distance, and your chances to do a little more
than your duty in the foreground.
to see that men and women are just as real as you are and try to look behind their faces to their hearts, hungry
to own up to the fact that probably the only good reason for your existence is not what you are going to get out of
life, but what you are going to give to life.
to close your book of complaints against the management of the universe and look around you for a place where
you can sow a few seeds of happiness.
Are you willing to do these things even for a day? Then you can keep Christmas.
Are you willing...
to stoop down and consider the needs and desires of little children.
to remember the weakness and loneliness of people growing old.
to stop asking how much your friends love you and ask yourself whether you love them enough.
to bear in mind the things that other people must bear in their hearts.
to try to understand what those who live in the same home with you really want, without waiting for them to tell
to trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front so that your shadow will
fall behind you.
to make a grave for your ugly thoughts, and a garden for your kindly feelings, with the gate open—
Are you willing to do these things, even for a day? Then you can keep Christmas.
Are you willing...
to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world—
stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death—
and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years ago is the image and brightness of
the Eternal Love?
Then you can keep Christmas.
And if you can keep it for a day, why not always?
But you can never keep it alone."
And to this I say... AMEN!
This and That
COVID has come calling! While our precautions have been prudent and our restrictions adhered to, we have had a case of COVID 19 among those who worshiped together in the Sanctuary on December 26th. Those who had close contact with this individual have been contacted. Because Pastor Jill had close contact with this person (who is currently being treated at home) we will move back to ZOOM for worship until it is clear that we can gather again safely. If you are in doubt about worship, please contact the church office. Updates will be sent out regularly to those who receive worship notifications each week. If you would like to be added to that list, please email email@example.com with "Worship list" in the subject.
Commitment Cards have been sent out. If you have not received one and would like one, please contact the Church Office. We had planned to dedicate the commitment cards on January 2nd, but due to the brush with COVID we will delay this until we are able to worship in person again. Please send or drop off your Commitment Card as soon as possible.
Offering Envelopes for 2022 have been ordered, but may not arrive until mid-January... supply chain issues? We are now able to order fewer box sets (which saves on cost and waste since they are date sensitive). This means, however, that the “number” of your box set will likely change this year. Thanks for understanding, and we will work diligently to make this transition go smoothly.
The flower chart for 2022 has been posted. Memorials, birthdays, and anniversaries are some of the ways the flowers can be given during the year. The cost is $30. Checks should be written out to FRC Sunday School.
Since November Tricia has been posting photos of our weekly flowers. They can be viewed under Altar Flowers at our FRC website. Thank you, Tricia!
Discovering God, our Adult Christian Education Program will meet on January 9th, 16th and 23rd at 10:00 am. This year we are studying Women of the Old Testament. In January we will begin the new year with Eve, whose story we find in the first chapters of Genesis.
Tuesday Morning Bible Study (10am-12pm) and Sunday Evening Bible Study (5:00pm) continue on ZOOM. On Sunday evenings we are studying the book of Exodus. On Tuesday mornings we are finishing the book of Daniel and will be choosing a new book early in January. If you would like to be included in the ZOOM links for either, please send an email to the firstname.lastname@example.org with Bible Study in the subject line and you will be added to the list.
It takes a church! We are grateful to God for all those who have lent a hand, taken on a task, and shown their commitment to the ministry of our congregation over the last month.
Jeff for continuing our ministry of fresh flowers each week
Those who gathered to decorate the Sanctuary for the Christmas season