November 29th E-Votional

This week has been funny for me.  Not “ha ha” funny, but odd.  I have spoken before about how much I love the Christmas season.  Most people think of Thanksgiving as the kick-off of the Christmas Season.  Black Friday starts holiday shopping.  The TV starts showing holiday specials.  I managed to wait until after Thanksgiving to start playing Christmas music and decorating.  Now, the tree is up, Christmas music is playing often, and, even though it meant putting them up in the dark and the rain, the outside lights are up!

But, here’s the thing.  It isn’t officially Christmas season yet.  In church, we call the season leading up to Christmas “Advent”.  Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas.  It is a time when we remember the Israelites longing for Christ’s birth as we also look forward to the time when he comes again.  Many years, the first Sunday of Advent is the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  Because Thanksgiving was early this year, it is the second Sunday of Christmas.  Advent doesn’t begin until this Sunday!  That means, I have been decorating and wrapping and preparing and it isn’t officially the Christmas season yet!

In a way, though, this week is the perfect representation of Advent.  Advent is the time we simultaneously remember awaiting the sending of the Messiah and waiting for the time when Christ will come again.  Advent is a time of already and not yet!  Just as the holiday season has begun and it is not yet Advent.  This week has been a period of  already and not yet!  Just as we may have begun preparing for the holiday season during this time of “in between”, we can prepare Christ’s kingdom during the Advent season when while we remember we live in a time of “in between”.   Already and not yet.  Waiting.  In Between.  Waiting for the Messiah and waiting for Christ to come again.

As we enter into advent, let us find strength and inspiration from those who have waited before us.  Let us live into the time of in between as we wait for the time when Christ will come again.  Let us accept the hope given by the promises that God has kept to those who have come before as we look forward to the fulfillment of the promises that God has made to us.

Philippians 1:9-11 “And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.”

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November 28th News and Notes

Advent Wreaths

On December 2nd, after church.  We invite everyone to join us to make their own family Advent wreath.  People of all ages are welcome and invited!

Mission Giving

It is the first Sunday of the month, which means it is time for our mission giving!  Our mission partner for December is CCSI.

Community Crisis Services, Inc. (CCSI) has been serving individuals and families in crisis in Prince George’s County 24 hours per day, every day since 1970. In the fall of 2018, CCSI signed an Acquisition Agreement with the Family Crisis Center assuming responsibility for all program needs including shelter, counseling and support. This merger allows CCSI to bring the same high level of services and expertise to Domestic Violence situations as we do our other hotlines and our Warm Nights/Bridges of Hope Shelters.

In the community, we are often the first point of contact for individuals in crisis and need. Last year 150 families fleeing domestic violence were able to find protection, security and most of all care at our Safe Passages Shelter. When domestic violence shelter was not appropriate, but a family or individual was experiencing a difficult situation, our Warm Nights Shelter Program provided 7,476 nights of compassionate support, meals and transportation to some of our communities most vulnerable residents.

Gingerbread Houses

On December 9th, we will have a Christmas activity for all ages!  We will meet at 5:00 and build gingerbread houses.  The cost will be $5.00 per house kit, as well as a bag of candy to share for decorating.  Pizza will be provided.  Sign up is required by December 6th!  You can sign up here or in the Narthex at church.

Congregational Meeting

We will have a brief congregational meeting after worship on December 9th to elect members of the board and of the nominating committee for the coming year.

Adult Sunday School

We are gauging interest in an adult Sunday School.  If you are interested in participating and/or leading, please sign the sheet in the Narthex or sign up here.

Christmas Eve Readers

We are looking for people to read in our Christmas Eve service.  If you are available and interested, please email ckdeacon@yahoo.com

Sermons Online

Did you know that our sermons are posted on our website, usually a week after worship?  You can find them here.

Two Week Outlook

Sunday, December 2nd

  • Worship, 10:00
  • Making of Advent Wreaths

Wednesday, December 5th

  • Christmas play practice, 5:45
  • Choir rehearsal, 7:30

Sunday, December 9th

  • Worship, 10:00
  • Congregational Meeting, following worship
  • Gingerbread House, 5:00

Tuesday, December 11th

  • Board Meeting, 6:30

Wednesday, December 12th

  • Christmas play practice, 5:45
  • Choir rehearsal, 7:30

Looking Ahead

  • November 25th, Greening of the Church
  • December 2nd, First Sunday of Advent
  • December 9th, Congregational Meeting
  • December 9th, Gingerbread Houses
  • December 16th, Kids Christmas program
  • December 25th, Christmas
  • July 7th-13th 2019, Mars Hill Mission trip

November 21st News and Notes

 

Hanging of the Green

This Sunday, after worship, we will be decorating the church for Advent.  There will be a Soup Supper.  Please bring a soup or a dish to share and plan on staying and helping to decorate the church!

Sermons Online

Did you know that our sermons are posted on our website, usually a week after worship?  You can find them here.

Gingerbread Houses

On December 9th, we will have a Christmas activity for all ages!  We will meet at 5:00 and build gingerbread houses.  The cost will be $5.00 per house kit, as well as a bag of candy to share for decorating.  Pizza will be provided.  Sign up is required by December 6th!  You can sign up here or in the Narthex at church.

Advent Wreaths

On December 2nd, after church.  We invite everyone to join us to make their own family Advent wreath.  People of all ages are welcome and invited!

Congregational Meeting

We will have a brief congregational meeting after worship on December 9th to elect members of the board and of the nominating committee for the coming year.

Adult Sunday School

We are gauging interest in an adult Sunday School.  If you are interested in participating and/or leading, please sign the sheet in the Narthex or sign up here.

Two Week Outlook

Sunday, November 25th

  • Worship, 10:00
  • Soup Supper
  • Hanging of the Green

Wednesday, November 28th

  • Christmas play practice, 5:45
  • Choir rehearsal, 7:30

Sunday, December 2nd

  • Worship, 10:00
  • Making of Advent Wreaths

Wednesday, December 5th

  • Christmas play practice, 5:45
  • Choir rehearsal, 7:30

Looking Ahead

  • November 25th, Greening of the Church
  • December 2nd, First Sunday of Advent
  • December 9th, Congregational Meeting
  • December 9th, Gingerbread Houses
  • December 16th, Kids Christmas program
  • December 25th, Christmas
  • July 7th-13th 2019, Mars Hill Mission trip

November 14th News and Notes

CrossGen

Our next CrossGen will be this Sunday, November 18th.  Join us after worship for our intergenerational Sunday School!  Please plan on bringing some finger food to share!

Warm Nights

UPB will be providing dinner this Thursday November 15th for the Warm Nights program held at All Saints.  There is also always need extra hands with serving the families.

Christian Spirtual Formation

The CSF committee will meet at 5:30 on November 19th at the church.  One of the things we will be discussing is Adult Sunday School.  If you would like to add to this discussion, but are not a committee member, but would like to add to the discussion, please plan on attending!

Hanging of the Green

After worship on November 25th, we will decorate the church for Advent.  We will have a Soup Supper.  Please bring a soup or a dish to share and plan on staying and helping to decorate the church!

Thanksgiving Baskets

The Mission and Service Committee will begin collecting the following items to pack up five Thanksgiving Baskets for the Bowie Food Pantry: Cranberry sause, gravy, stuffing, canned corn, yams, sweet potatoes and green beans, boxed mashed potatoes, corn muffin mix. Please place these items in the container labeled “THANKSVING BASKETS”. The items collected will be delivered this Friday!

Sermons Online

Did you know that our sermons are posted on our website, usually a week after worship?  You can find them here.

Gingerbread Houses

On December 9th, we will have a Christmas activity for all ages!  We will meet at 5:00 and build gingerbread houses.  The cost will be $5.00 per house kit, as well as a bag of candy to share for decorating.  Pizza will be provided.  Sign up is required by December 6th!  You can sign up here or in the Narthex at church.

Advent Wreaths

On December 2nd, after church.  We invite everyone to join us to make their own family Advent wreath.  People of all ages are welcome and invited!

Congregational Meeting

We will have a brief congregational meeting after worship on December 2nd to elect members of the board and of the nominating committee for the coming year.

Two Week Outlook

Thursday, November 15th

  • Men’s Night Out, 6:30, Red Robin

Sunday, November 18th

  • Worship, 10:00
  • CrossGen following worship

Monday, November 19th

  • Worship Team, 4:00
  • CSF committee meeting, 5:30

Wednesday, November 21st

  • Christmas play practice, 5:45
  • Choir rehearsal, 7:30

Sunday, November 25th

  • Worship, 10:00
  • Soup Supper
  • Hanging of the Green

Looking Ahead

  • November 25th, Greening of the Church
  • December 2nd, First Sunday of Advent
  • December 9th, Congregational Meeting
  • December 9th, Gingerbread Houses
  • December 16th, Kids Christmas program
  • December 25th, Christmas
  • July 7th-13th 2019, Mars Hill Mission trip

November 8th E-votional

E-votional?  Is this something new Chris is trying?  I know, I know, it has been far too long since I have written a “weekly” e-votional.  I could go back and check, but I don’t want to be more disappointed in myself!  There are a myriad of reasons why it has been so long.  There were a few weeks when I had too much going on and it fell to the bottom of the priority list, there were a couple of weeks where the ideas I had just couldn’t develop.  Then there were weeks when I had ideas but I was just out of practice.  I try to keep a rhythm to my weeks (when possible!).  The e-votionals fell out of that rhythm and I got out of the habit.  That is the bottom line.  Everything else is just a reason (or an excuse!)

Our Habits are powerful.  Habits can build up our lives or tear them down.  We all agree that smoking is a bad habit that negatively affects our lives.  When I was at my healthiest, I was in the habit of getting up every morning and going for a run.  Those who are in the habit of expressing their feelings are more healthy emotionally, than those who are in the habit of holding their feelings in.  Children who are in the habit of doing their homework or practicing their sports are going to do better than most who don’t.  It is amazing how habits can positively or negatively impact our lives.

What about our spiritual lives?  What about our relationships with God?  Our walk in following Christ?  Habits definitely make a difference!  I’ve talked to many people who used to go to church but don’t anymore.  There reason?  They just got out of the habit!  When they were going every week, they were in the habit and it became automatic.  Once they stopped for a few weeks, for whatever reason, that habit was broken!

What habits can help your walk with Christ?  If you don’t regularly attend worship, start there.  If you do, maybe you start (or end) each day with five minutes of prayer.  Maybe you pick a book in the bible and read a chapter each day.  Maybe you pray together as a family before dinner.  Habits can be life giving and can help us grow closer to God!

 

Hebrews 10:23-25  “Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

November 7th News and Notes

CrossGen

Our next CrossGen will be this Sunday, November 18th.  Join us after worship for our intergenerational Sunday School!  Please plan on bringing some finger food to share!

Warm Nights

UPB will be providing dinner Thursday November 15th for the Warm Nights program held at All Saints. We have decided on Chili Night. Mary Jo will put a sign up out in the Narthex. They also always need extra hands with serving the families.

Thanksgiving Baskets

The Mission and Service Committee will begin collecting the following items to pack up five Thanksgiving Baskets for the Bowie Food Pantry: Cranberry sause, gravy, stuffing, canned corn, yams, sweet potatoes and green beans, boxed mashed potatoes, corn muffin mix. Please place these items in the container labeled “THANKSVING BASKETS”. The baskets will be delivered on November 16th in the am.

Sermons Online

Did you know that our sermons are posted on our website, usually a week after worship?  You can find them here.

Gingerbread Houses

On December 9th, we will have a Christmas activity for all ages!  We will meet at 5:00 and build gingerbread houses.  The cost will be $5.00 per house kit, as well as a bag of candy to share for decorating.  Pizza will be provided.  Sign up is required by December 6th!  You can sign up here or in the Narthex at church.

Advent Wreaths

On December 2nd, after church.  We invite everyone to join us to make their own family Advent wreath.  People of all ages are welcome and invited!

Two Week Outlook

 

Thursday, November 8th

  • Men’s Breakfast, 8:15, Nautilus Diner, Crofton
  • Ladies Luncheon, 11:30, First Watch

Sunday, November 11th

  • Worship, 10:00
  • Buddies Luncheon following worship

Tuesday, November 13th

  • Board Meeting, 7:00

Wednesday, November 14th

  • Christmas play practice, 5:45
  • Choir rehearsal, 7:30

Thursday, November 15th

  • Men’s Night Out, 6:30, location TBD

Sunday, November 18th

  • Worship, 10:00
  • CrossGen following worship

Monday, November 19th

  • Worship Team, 4:00
  • CSF committee meeting, 5:30

Wednesday, November 21st

  • Christmas play practice, 5:45
  • Choir rehearsal, 7:30

Looking Ahead

  • December 2nd, First Sunday of Advent
  • December 9th, Congregational Meeting
  • December 9th, Gingerbread Houses
  • December 16th, Kids Christmas program
  • December 25th, Christmas
  • July 7th-13th 2019, Mars Hill Mission trip

November 1st News and Notes

 

Mission Giving

This Sunday we will collect our November Mission giving.  Our organization for November is Chrysalis House.  Chrysalis House provides substance use and mental health treatment services for women 18 years of age and older, while allowing their children to live onsite during their mother’s program of recovery.  The mission of Chrysalis House Inc. is to transform the lives of women and children by providing comprehensive recovery programs and services that support the development of their inherent strengths, talents, and potential. 

Daylight Savings

Don’t forget to set your clocks back an hour this Saturday night for Daylight Savings time!

Love, Factually

We are taking a group to the Kennedy Center on Thursday, December 6th at 8:00 to see Love, Factually.  Love, Factually is a holiday satire from the twisted minds at The Second City, which gets to the truth of December life, love, and romance. Whether you love or hate the movie Love, Actually, you’re going to fall in love with this mashup of parody, original comedy, music, improv, and audience participation.

Tickets are 56.00 including all fees.  If you are interested in attending this show, please email ckdeacon@yahoo.com by Sunday, November 4th.

Be warned, this is probably not “PG” rated!

CrossGen

Our next CrossGen will be this Sunday, November 18th.  Join us after worship for our intergenerational Sunday School!  Please plan on bringing some finger food to share!

Navy Vs Tulsa

On Saturday, Nov 17th, we will have a group go to the Navy/Tulsa game in Annapolis.  The game starts at 3:30 and tickets are $35.00.  You can sign up in the Narthax or signing up here.

Warm Nights

UPB will be providing dinner Thursday November 15th for the Warm Nights program held at All Saints. We have decided on Chili Night. Mary Jo will put a sign up out in the Narthex. They also always need extra hands with serving the families.

Thanksgiving Baskets

The Mission and Service Committee will begin collecting the following items to pack up five Thanksgiving Baskets for the Bowie Food Pantry: Cranberry sause, gravy, stuffing, canned corn, yams, sweet potatoes and green beans, boxed mashed potatoes, corn muffin mix. Please place these items in the container labeled “THANKSVING BASKETS”. The baskets will be delivered on November 16th in the am.

Sermons Online

Did you know that our sermons are posted on our website, usually a week after worship?  You can find them here.

Two Week Outlook

 

Sunday, November 4th

  • Worship, including communion 10:00

Monday, November 5th

  • CYF Meeting, 10:00

Tuesday, November 6th

  • Election Day

Wednesday, November 7th

  • Christmas play practice, 5:45
  • Choir rehearsal, 7:30

Thursday, November 8th

  • Men’s Breakfast, 8:15, Nautilus Diner, Crofton
  • Ladies Luncheon, 11:30, First Watch

Sunday, November 11th

  • Worship, 10:00
  • Buddies Luncheon following worship

Tuesday, November 13th

  • Board Meeting, 7:00

Wednesday, November 14th

  • Christmas play practice, 5:45
  • Choir rehearsal, 7:30

Looking Ahead

  • December 2nd, First Sunday of Advent
  • December 9th, Congregational Meeting
  • December 9th, Gingerbread Houses
  • December 16th, Kids Christmas program
  • December 25th, Christmas
  • July 7th-13th 2019, Mars Hill Mission trip