Good Friday morning before Christmas!
I hope this week's newsletter finds you with a joyful, festive spirit. I can feel the Christmas spirit welling up inside of me. As I write to you this morning, I'm listening to the new Christmas album by Pentatonix. My Star Trek office Christmas tree is aglow. Mary Kay is upstairs writing Christmas greetings to a few family members and friends. Later Jessica, Jennifer and Theo are coming over to bake Christmas cookies. Sights, sounds and SMELLS of Christmas! Love it!
Children's Christmas Praise Team Sunday! Plan on coming early Sunday if you'd like to sit in the front third of the church! (The Sunday church service officially begins at 11am.) Last night Brandi and 11 children (and many, many parents!) showed up at Church Requel for a rehearsal for Sunday morning. All I can say is, "WOW!" I love it when our children are involved in our worship services. You'll love it this Sunday too. Here's a HUGE thank you to Brandi Walker for going the extra mile to make sure all the parents and children were prepped for this weekend. And a HUGE HUGE thank you to all the moms and dads who brought their kiddos to the rehearsal last night.
Feed The Hungry Saturday Evening. Would you like to have a great way to give a Christmas present to those most in need within our community? Saturday evening you will have your opportunity. We plan to feed between 100 and 200 of those most needy (and hungry) in our neighborhood. Thanks so much to Jack and Sheri Nichols, our lead cooks for the evening.
You may participate in the Neighborhood Meal in one of three ways:
- Come and help. Volunteers should show up by 4pm to help set up for the 5pm meal. Cleanup is from 6 - 6:30pm. The entire time commitment is only 2 1/2 hours. (You may volunteer your time without also having to bring a dessert.)
- Bring desserts by 4pm. Our neighbors always love it when Church Requel serves the meals, because you are usually so generous with your desserts. Bring your desserts to the church by 4:30pm. (You may donate a dessert without also having to volunteer your time.)
- Can't bake a dessert or donate some time Saturday? No problem! You can still donate large cans of vegetables and/or fruit. Bring them with you any Sunday morning to church and we'll store it up for the next time we serve.
Christmas Eve Candles & Carols. Make plans to start your Christmas Eve with a birthday party for Jesus at 5pm on Wednesday. All your Church Requel friends and family will be there! Dave Strong will play a Christmas pipe organ prelude starting at 4:30pm, so come early if you want to hear those pipes sing! We will sing some modern day Christmas carols and learn their surprising background meanings. Joining Brandi on our special Christmas Eve worship team will be Trish Trubachik, Missie Miller, Dinah Stanfield and Brian Betts. Each one is featured in a special role.
After a talk by yours truly, the house lights will dim and we will each light our own candle. The first candle is lit by the center Advent candle, which represents Christ. As each candle is progressively lit, we will remember that Jesus still is the light of the world. The last two candles will be our two new communion candles, which will be lit in each worship service this coming year.
We all have so much to be thankful for at Church Requel. It was two years ago this very week since we first began meeting at St. Luke's Point of Grace at the point where Marion Avenue meets Park Avenue West. Since then our church has almost tripled in the number of people who attend. I'm convinced this is only the beginning... and not even the best of the news. More than the quantity of souls, I'm excited about the quality of your love for one another. Thank you for making this pastor's Christmas such a special one!
Many Christmas blessings, Pastor Mark