Dear Cedar Grove UMC family,
The Advent and Christmas seasons, at their core, are a time to remember. Gathering around the tree to hang ornaments brings memories of past Christmases with our family. At this time of year, we may bring out photo albums to remember special occasions. We also tell stories and remember. We need these memories to remind us of who we are and strengthen the bonds of family, friendship and community.
Most of all, we need these memories to remind us of what is truly important. In Psalm 85, the psalmist lifts his voice in worship and sings of what God has done for the people of Israel in the past. The psalmist reminds the people of God’s forgiveness, faithfulness and peace. In short, the psalmist calls the people to remember.
In Advent, we remember the past hopes that were fulfilled and the promise made to Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and the wise men. But we also live in the “not yet” of God’s ultimate fulfillment. As disappointments inevitably come into our lives, let us not slip into a sort of spiritual amnesia. Above all, may this season be a time that we remember what God has done for us … what God continues to do for us … and what God will do for us!
The Men’s Prayer Breakfast will meet at 7 a.m. Sunday. Following breakfast, the group will prepare fruit baskets to take to shut-ins and others in our community on Sunday afternoon. Men, please plan to join us!
Our All God’s Children small group will meet after worship Sunday for lunch, continued discussion of CATCH: A Churchwide Program for Invitational Evangelism, and a time of planning for the December 15 worship service. All those who are interested in looking outward and sharing the heart of God with others are encouraged to come learn and share with us!
The Community Youth Group will meet from 4:30-6 p.m. Sunday. Youth, dress warmly as the group will be delivering fruit baskets to shut-ins. This meeting will be the last for the group in 2013, so please plan to join us!
The UMW will have their Christmas dinner at 6:30 p.m. at Carver’s in Graham. Ladies, please mark your calendars and plan to be there!
We were able to increase our number of spots for our group traveling to the Operation Christmas Child processing center in Charlotte. Our dates and times are 2-6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13 (for 10 people) and 2-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14 (for 20 people). Please turn in your volunteer forms to me by Sunday if possible if you are planning to go.
In worship on Sunday, we will be continuing our sermon series A Not-So-Silent Night as we look at Christmas through the eyes of Mary, the mother of Jesus. This Sunday, in a sermon entitled “The Piercing of Mary’s Soul,” we will consider what Mary must have been thinking at the foot of the cross and how Christmas and the cross are inextricably linked to each other. Plan to join us for worship at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Don’t miss worship. Worship is our human response to the goodness, mercy and love of God. It is also a moment in which God speaks to us, renews us, forgives us and reminds us of who we are and Whose we are. I’ll see you in worship on Sunday – and bring a friend with you!
In our HarvestShare program at Anathoth Community Garden, folks who want to support our mission are invited to make an investment in our ministry and in doing so, receive and donate a box of produce each week throughout the growing season. A Taste and See Event will be held from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14 at Anathoth. Come to the garden to learn more about how you can get involved in this program next season and taste some of our bread fresh from the oven.
We collect canned fruit and other non-perishable items to support the food pantry at OCIM throughout the year. Please remember to bring your OCIM offerings each week as a way of reaching out to brothers and sisters around us.
You can follow the many happenings and ministries of CGUMC online in a number of ways:
- News of upcoming events, the current GPS (Guide to Prayer and Study) and links to MP3 recordings of recent sermons can be found at www.cedargroveumc.net under the “News” link.
- Catch up with all the events at Anathoth Community Garden at www.anathothgarden.org.
- Catch the daily GPS readings, post prayer requests, announce praises and find other announcements on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Cedar-Grove-UMC/161622617284308.
Tomorrow is Christine’s and my birthday, and the 12th anniversary of our first date. After 12 years, the excitement I felt on that first date just continues to grow as I cherish each day with the love of my life.
See you all in worship on Sunday! Blessings!