Dear Cedar Grove UMC family,
Yesterday, a group of 12 people went with our CGUMC mission team to the Operation Christmas Child processing center Charlotte to inspect and process OCC shoebox gifts for children. We were among the thousands of volunteers that will process 2.5 million shoeboxes at Charlotte this year. Charlotte is the largest of the 8 OCC processing centers, and altogether, 9 million shoeboxes are being processed this year for delivery to children around the world. The shoeboxes we processed yesterday will be going to children in Southeast Asia. We also delivered some more packed shoeboxes from our church, bringing our total of packed shoeboxes this year to 160! Thanks to your faithful generosity and your love for children, 160 children around the world will open shoeboxes filled with gifts, love and the light of Christ shining all the way from Cedar Grove, NC!
Another mission update: We’ve collected around 600 new and gently-used books for children affected by the flooding in eastern NC! Again, this is a tangible sign of the amazing love you show for children!
When you enter the church on Sunday, you will find our Angel Tree in the narthex with ornaments listing items to get for the local children we’ve adopted for Christmas this year. Please help us provide these gifts for these children by taking an ornament, purchasing the gift, and placing it unwrapped under the Angel Tree by Dec. 15. If you have any questions, please contact Carol Lovingood. Thank you for sharing the spirit of Christmas with these children!
On Sunday, we continue the season of Advent. This four-week season is aimed at preparing spiritually for the celebration of the birth of Christ and readying ourselves for his Second Coming. This year we’re focusing on Names Given to Jesus. Each Sunday in Advent, we’ll look at a different name given to the Christ child – Emmanuel, Messiah, Savior – and we’ll look at the stories surrounding the birth of Jesus in which Joseph, Mary, the Shepherds and the Magi were told of the Christ child and the promises concerning how he would change the world. On Sunday, we will consider what it means that Jesus is called “The Word Made Flesh.” Plan to be at worship at 10:30 a.m. Sunday – and bring a friend with you!
Prior to worship, Nate and Hannah Suire will continue to lead our Advent Sunday School class at 9:30 a.m. as we look at the stories surrounding Jesus’ birth in the gospels. This week, we will turn our focus to the Gospel of Luke. Please plan to join us!
Also on Sunday, at 6 p.m., we will have our Christmas Love Feast in the Moravian Tradition at CGUMC. The Love Feast is a candlelight service with a simple meal and singing to celebrate the Christmas season. All are welcome! Please invite everyone you know to come join us!
Please continue to bring your canned goods and other nonperishable items each week and drop them in our collection baskets in the narthex. Your gifts are taken to the OCIM food pantry in Hillsborough, where they will be distributed to families throughout northern Orange County. Thank you for touching the lives of others through this outreach program of our church!
As a continuation of our relief efforts for people living in the aftermath of flooding in eastern North Carolina, we have a campaign to “Help Change People’s Lives in Eastern N.C.” On Sunday, you will see a bucket where you can put in any spare change you have. We will continue to collect these gifts through the Christmas Eve service, when we will take a special collection. Then, those funds will be sent to UMCOR to help our brothers and sisters in the eastern part of the state. In addition, you may also continue to contribute directly to this special UMCOR fund online or by placing your contributions marked NC Flood Relief in the offering plates on Sundays. Remember, 100 per cent of your donations go directly to aid flood victims in eastern N.C.
We post announcements of our upcoming sermon series and activities, along with the GPS and other items, on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Cedar-Grove-UMC/161622617284308. Please go to this page and “Like” us so that you can keep up with the latest announcements. Then, when you do see a new posting to the Facebook page, share it on your timeline. This is an easy, non-confrontational way of inviting and sharing the opportunities for worship and fellowship at CGUMC with all your Facebook friends!
In addition to Facebook, you can also follow the many happenings and ministries of CGUMC online in the following ways:
I look forward to seeing you all on Sunday!