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Christ United Methodist Church Newsletter

339 Frank Scott Parkway East Fairview Heights, IL 62208 618.277.4659 mail@connectingwithchrist.com

www.connectingwithchrist.com

Nov / Dec 2009 Edition

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NOV / DEC 2009

The World As I See It by Rev Shane

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he Apostle John taught that the true signs of the Christian faith are love of God, love of neighbor and active participation in the life of Christ. He said that when our actions align with our beliefs and love is demonstrated to the world that we become the Children of God. Over the past several months I have been feeling a prompting to demonstrate the love of the Christ Church community by increasing our “around the corner” presence in our immediate area. It is time to align this belief with action! As we prepare to enter the winter months, we are aware that many in this community are going through difficult financial times this year. The economy is tough and many around us are out of work or in significant financial distress. We have heard that food pantries around the country are simply depleted and the

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demand will get even greater as the bring dozens or even hundreds as weather turns cold. God leads you. We are not going to take an offering for this emphasis; we feel God asking us to show our love want the people of this congregation for Him with a very specific emphasis to go out and purchase the goods and this year called 10,000. The idea physically participate in this outreach. is simple: I am asking the people of We cannot do this without the active Christ Church to provide 10,000 food contribution of every person and family items for the Fairview Heights Food who attends here! Pantry to supply them through the Christmas season. The Food Pantry n Thanksgiving Sunday, Nov. 22 at all weekend worship services, is in need of peanut butter, jelly, canned soup, canned goods and toilet we will dedicate our mountain offerings paper. During the first three weeks of to the Lord and transport our 10,000 November, I invite the Christ Church items to the Fairview Heights Food community to purchase these specific Pantry to be disseminated to those items (the same quality of the items who don’t have enough to eat this you use yourself) and drop them by the winter. Some people may call this kind church. To reach our goal of 10,000 of thing crazy…it may be but I believe every man, woman and child at Christ it is God’s kind of crazy. Church will need to bring at least 8-10 items. We are hoping some people

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“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.” Psalm 118:1

As you reflect on the goodness of God, what is one thing you are thankful for?

I am thankful for...

Deb Clark My health, ability to help others

Linda Rice My family attends church together

Carrie Schuetz Sacrifice of Jesus

Les Rye God’s patience and prevenient grace

Micki Classen The peace and joy I have in my heart

Jay Shaw My wonderful family

Donna Harrison Safe return of my son from two war zones

Sheri Friendman The smiles on the children’s faces

Bill Wakeman Right relationship with God, His light fills our vessel

Steve Berger Fellowship Terry Frey Church, family and friends Tony Tarr Being able to serve Jesus Christ

Jim Shoffstall My circle of strong Christian men Karen Bruggeman

God’s persistence and patience

Gift To Give

by Michael Harrison Use me, Lord To feed the poor Let me walk Your Path of care Give to me That I might have Enough of Yours To share


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NOV / DEC 2009

Watch Us Grow! Attendance September Worship October Worship 2009 Average

= 1097 = 1277 = 1206

Worship Opportunities: Saturday: 5:00 PM - 5:45 PM Sunday:

8:30 AM, 10:30 AM Worship & Sunday School 10:00 - 10:30 AM Family Fellowship in Christ Church Café

Sunday Evening:

5:30 PM - 6:00 PM Fellowship 6:00 PM - 6:30 PM Praise & Worship 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM Connection Classes

New Members October Curt S. Zargan Mary Zargan Lynn Thies Stella E. Smith Jacque Hart Tony Hart Meaghan M. Kingdon Phil M. Kingdon Connie Bradbery JoAnn Groom November Jeanette Schmidt Jeremy Michael Johnson, Sr. Deborah K. Young Gibson, Sherry Amber Mitchell Todd Griffin Brenna Huff Heidi Huff Pam Huff Wesley Huff Noel Russell Mike Gibson Don Padgett Vinita Padgett Tammy L. Morehead Judy L. Shull

General Budget YTD Expenditures $1,172,442.95 YTD Received $1,196,609.42

Finances

as of Nov. 8, 2009

Short/Over $24,166.47 Annual Budget $1,541,280.00

December Sabra J. Cabor Carol Moot C. J. Rogers Sondra K. Bockewitz Craig Eichholz Julie Eichholz Andrew Harrison Eichholz

Baptisms Samantha Shayne Dorrity – October 18 Blake O’Neil Johnson – November 1

Membership Transfer John Greco Shelley Greco

Deaths John A. Minter – October 5

Marriages Stephen Aaron Strohman & Sandra Marie Price – October 17 Nathan Phil Tobin & Kelli Elaine Ervin – October 24

Change The World

Total Loan Amount $4,783,650.43 Received to Date $1,235,458.07

Pledge Goal to Date $1,242,239.30 Short/Over ($6,781.23)


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NOV / DEC 2009

Project Christmas Cheer

Catch & Throw

by Rev. Bernie Kneale

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have been struck by a metaphor that just will not leave me alone. It is about a father and son with their baseball mitts going outside to play “catch.” They are not going out to play “throw.” The object is to “catch” the ball. Spiritually, God is throwing His love, His mercy, His joy to me. It is my part to catch it.

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hat first night of my wife Ann’s brush with death, I cried out to God that I was not ready to be a widower. It was a long sleepless night as I cried. So God tosses me an easy one: Four of my dearly loved brothers in Christ from No Greater Love Ministry show up at the hospital the next day. They want to go into ICU, lay hands on Ann, and pray. In that small room, in the midst of tubes and monitors, they prayed deep, gutwrenching prayers. God used them to

toss a ball to me—I got it! I realized His presence. He had been there from the start of her event, but in my own despair I fumbled His toss. Psalm 139:7 says, “I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from Your presence.”

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hy was I able to catch what God tossed me that day? Because my brothers gave their time and their hearts. They tossed to me what God had tossed to them. I believe God began to reveal the miracle of Ann that afternoon. Since that day I can see God’s tosses better and am more adept at catching what He has for me. Friends, God wants to play “catch” with you. He is tossing things your way. Get ready to catch it. And when you catch it, do not put the ball down. Throw it on to the next person. The game, you see, is really “Catch and Throw.”

We will provide Christmas gifts this year to some of the neediest residents in our local nursing homes. This is a great opportunity for you to share Christmas with someone less fortunate. On November 22 and 29, envelopes will be available in Scripture Hall that include the name of the resident, nursing home and suggested gift ideas. After you purchase your gifts, please wrap them, attach the name to the package, and return it to Fellowship Hall no later than December 13. Volunteers will deliver the gifts to the appropriate nursing home. Working together, we can do great things for God. Jean Casey

There are many GPSs but only one G.P.S. by Neil D Horowitz

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eri and I went on vacation to California. We flew to San Jose, picked up a rental car, and drove to Monterey. Drive point two miles and take ramp right. We knew we were going to a lodge in Pacific Grove, but didn’t know where it was located. In 300 feet stay left. Lucky for us, we had our trusted GPS. In one point eight miles merge right. Then we went to dinner at a restaurant in another town we had never heard of. Take ramp right and travel 35 miles. At the end of the weekend we drove to my sister’s home in Scotts Valley, a place I had never been. In 200 feet turn right and arrive at destination on right. Each time we had some place to go, we punched it into our GPS and we did what it told us to do. Even when we didn’t know where we were going, we trusted “the voice” to tell us how to get there … and it never failed us.

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n the plane ride home I got to thinking. Why is it so easy for us to trust an electronically simulated voice telling us how to get where we want to go, but so hard for us to trust the very real voice of God telling us how to get where He wants us to go? Throughout the Gospels, Jesus tells us how to follow Him. Most of the time He is pretty specific, such as telling the disciples they must be servants if they want to lead the people, asking them to keep watch while He prayed, and telling all of us to love God and love each other as ourselves. But even with Jesus telling them and us, they couldn’t and we can’t follow His directions or do what He asks. How then do we expect to get where He wants us to be?

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e have step-by-step, turn-by-turn directions; but unlike the trust we

put in the simulated, impersonal, voice of our GPS, we find it hard to follow the real, personal voice of God as He speaks to us through Scripture, experience, the church, and our prayers. You can pay a little or a lot for a global positioning system, but you don’t have to pay anything for God’s Plan for Salvation … a GPS for eternity, if you follow it. SHALOM.


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NOV / DEC 2009

Letter

from the

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Editor

he Flame Newsletter Team welcomes Justin Aymer as our new graphic artist. You may already be familiar with the fantastic work Justin does with the Christ Church E-News. Along with having a new graphic artist, the Flame will be bi-monthly, and have a theme. The article submission process has changed and we will no longer be accepting articles. Articles will be solicited by the Flame Editor and will reflect the theme. Event advertisement and article suggestions are always welcome and should be sent to: donna@connectingwithchrist.com

Winter Patrol

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Please drop off your donations in the vending machine room in the bin marked for the Winter Patrol.

f you are a gifted writer, poet, or have experience with newsletter writing and you are interested in being published in future Flames, please e-mail me at the above address.

The Winter Patrol Ministry is in need of coats for both men and women in sizes L-3X. Blankets, gloves, and hats are also needed to distribute to the homeless. As you remember the goodness of God and how much you have been blessed this year, please consider giving to the homeless in our area.

For questions, call Tab Zimmerman at 234.5479.

Blessings in Christ,

Donna Harrison Editor

Hearts in Action The United Methodist Men would like special cards and, for the older kids, to thank everyone who worked at and establish pen pal relationships. participated in the District Rally of Methodist Men held at Christ Church Our kids will have a unique opportunity on October 22. to learn what it means “to be the hands and feet of Jesus.” Jesus gave life, and It was a huge success. We'd like you can help our kids give their hearts. to especially thank Grant Williams of the St. Louis Rams for giving an inspirational message. The United Contact John Kruger, 523.4259, or Roni McDaniels, 234.7598, for more Methodist Men hope to bring in more guest speakers like Grant in the information. future. We are planning activities to sponsor the Ugandan AWANA group, make George Clifton God continues to open new opportunities in our midst! We are excited to announce a new partnership between our Christ Church AWANA kids and the Hines Ugandan Ministries’ AWANA kids in Uganda, East Africa. Our children, who are already learning God’s word through our AWANA program, now have an opportunity to experience hands-on mission work.


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NOV / DEC 2009

MIRACLE

The Greatest Gift of All

ON FRANK SCOTT PARKWAY by Gerry Davidson

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y name is Gerry Davidson. I was born and raised Catholic, and have worshiped on Sunday at various Catholic Churches most of my life.

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have been visiting your church on a frequent basis since April. Rev. Shane, “you rock” with your sermons. Your church “rocks” with its excitement in singing praises, its constant caring, giving of time from your members and your senior staff. This has enlightened, humbled, and allowed me to learn and grow with Christ upon every visit.  Thank you. Now the reason for this letter: 

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n March 16, 2009, my life was turned upside down. You know the drill...you are just gliding through life thinking nothing can happen…and bam.  It hits!

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went to the doctor after a month of having trouble swallowing. I was diagnosed with Esophageal Cancer. The tumor was more than 6” in diameter. I found out that Esophageal Cancer is deadly.

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hat gift can we give God this about my illness. This incoming fax Christmas? What could even was dated Monday March 16, 2009… compare to the gifts He has given us? three days prior, the day they found the tumor. It read: Have not talked to you t Christmas, God gave us Hope in a while.  Need to talk soon.  God. in His Son Jesus Christ – and He has “hope,” expectations, for our he next day, I had surgery lives. Ephesians tells us that God has scheduled. The surgeon came in a hope to which He has called us. and said the mass was very large. I started praying and the next thing pray also that the eyes of your heart I remember was waking up from may be enlightened in order that surgery. I told my husband that Jesus you may know the hope to which was actually in the room with me He has called you, the riches of His during the surgery.  He put His hands glorious inheritance in the saints, and through my abdomen, and coupled the His incomparably great power for us tumor as the scope went by.  I showed who believe. – Ephesians 1:18-19 my husband where His hands went through my flesh, and how He coupled od has equipped us with spiritual the tumor almost to somehow protect gifts. He has a purpose, a “hope,” it from getting poked by the scope.  for each of our lives, but He has Although my husband listened, he also given us free will, given us a must have thought I was drugged.  It choice. God is waiting expectantly, was very real.  Jesus was there. The hoping that we will seek Him, will doctor came in and he was calm when choose Him, will give our lives to Him. he said, it seemed as if maybe the tumor was encapsulated and he coupled his his Christmas, give God the gift hands just like I had done minutes of hope fulfilled, the gift of a life before. Although groggy I started crying. lived for Him. Ask God to show you

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ince March I have been through eight weeks of radiation, chemo, tatistics were very bleak; 85% and multiple surgeries, including of folks with this cancer die having my esophagus removed and quickly.  It did not seem fair! The first yet I feel great.  Thank you Lord Jesus. twenty four hours were horrid, and I felt so sorry for myself.  I have never hree weeks ago I was given felt so all alone! Then it hit me...I wonderful news.  This terrible need help…much greater than any cancer that could have claimed my other help I have ever needed before.  life was gone.  Disintegrated. Not a trace. The six inch tumor was n March 19, I went to my office to gone.  Lymph nodes clean. No Cancer.  catch up on things I had missed and start lining up some solutions. I owerful prayer from many, faith, had just installed a new fax the Sunday love, and God/Jesus Christ are before, and there was a fax trying to the only reasons I am here today.  come through. I thought this was odd God is good all the time! since I had not given out the fax number to anyone in my office, nor did they know

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by Diane Kruger

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how – and I promise you that He will!

Blood Pressure Screenings Held in the church office

Sun. Nov. 22 from 9:30-11:00 AM Sun. Dec. 13 from 9:30-11:00 AM Sponsored by Parish Nursing. Please call Jeri at 277.4659, ext. 1881 for more information.


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NOV / DEC 2009

Fairview Heights Food Pantry Our 10,000 Project for the Fairview Heights Food Pantry is going to go a long way in meeting the holiday needs of families in our area. In the weeks ahead, you may continue to donate to the pantry by dropping off your canned and packaged food items, toiletries, paper products and cleaning supplies in the Vending Machine Room for delivery to the Pantry.

Tuesday, November 17 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM At Christ Church Free Screenings by Dr. Neil Horowitz November 17 is recognized nation-wide as National Memory Screening Day by the Alzheimerís Foundation. The test takes 3-5 minutes, is free and is open to the public. No appointment is needed. Call Jeri at 277.4659, ext. 1881 for more information.

Saturday, March 6, 2010 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM Christ Church

Adult registration: $15 by 2/21/10, $20 after 2/21/10 Student registration (1st-5th grade): $20 by 2/21/10, $25 after 2/21/10

The purpose of the Light Kids Conference is to get kids excited about the faith and the walk with Jesus. Using video, drama, worship music with Harvest Band, and concrete Bible lessons, students will connect with excitement and energy. In addition, lunch, snacks, recreation and entertainment will also be provided during the day. This event is for kids, Grades 1-5 and for K4C/Children’s Ministry volunteers. To register for this event, pick up a registration form at the K4C Computer Registration Desk in Fellowship Hall or register online at

www.connectingwithchrist.com/childrens_ministry

MARTIN LUTHER KING CELEBRATION SERVICE “Beloved Community” January 17, 2010 6:00-7:30 PM Join together as we celebrate our theme, “Beloved Community” honoring the influence of Martin Luther King in our community. In song and verse, we will be sharing a spoken word program called, "American Fugue," using Scripture and words from our founding fathers, Martin Luther

King and Scripture. It will be an evening with Pastor Shane speaking and songs of joy and praise. Cake and punch will be served following the service. Please join us for this special event! Any questions, please call Mim Phillips, 632.8803.


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NOV / DEC 2009

Welcome to Advent! I

recently had someone ask me: What is Advent? Good question. Every year the season of Advent has a double ring to it. During Advent we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birth. We read in Isaiah 7:14 “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means “God is with us.”

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hile we get all geared up for Jesus’ birth, simultaneously we also address His Return: also known as the Second Coming. We do not know the day or the hour of Jesus’ Return. But we do know this: He’s coming back!

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by Rev. Allen Miller

is to spend some significant blocks of time in the house of God at Christ Church. Echo the joy of the ancients: I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”

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et the season of Advent become a season of hope in your life. Wait patiently if you are not sensing any hope right off the bat. Come to Christ Church. Worship! Listen for the music and then join in the singing. Pay attention. Learn some things. (I am always up for that.) Perhaps have your life changed by Jesus Christ. Prepare for the coming of the One who makes all things new: Jesus.

egardless of which side of the double ring you choose to focus on, the season of Advent is all about the Coming of Christ. Advent encompasses four weeks including four Sundays, ranging from right after Thanksgiving (it feels like moments after Thanksgiving – the turkey has barely left us) all the way up to Christmas. One of my resources, my United Methodist Book of Worship, explains that Advent derives from the MOPS has kicked off the year with a Latin adventus, which means “coming.” bang! Our next social event will take place at the Shiloh Bread Company hroughout the season of Advent on November 11, as we kick back with we prepare for the coming, the some good food and enjoy a Moms birth of Jesus. We anticipate anew Only coffee night. You’re welcome to the birth of Jesus in the town of meet us at 7:00 PM! Bethlehem. As we focus specifically on Jesus, Advent becomes a time of As always, we welcome visiting moms great anticipation, wonder and joy! and childcare is available at our We can’t wait until Jesus is born anew Wednesday morning meetings. Come into our hearts and our lives again. and check us out in the Fellowship Hall the first and third Wednesday of ong before we celebrate Jesus’ every month … and make sure you birth in late December, we have a skip breakfast because we always recurring tendency to over-schedule have an abundance of delicious food! ourselves and put our noses to the To find out more information about grindstone. There is so much to do MOPS, please contact and so little time! That is one way to Wendy Arneson at 416.3434, experience Christmas and Advent. email: wendy.arneson@gmail.com What I invite all of us to do instead or www.christchurchmops.com

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2009 Holiday Worship Calendar November 22 – 8:30 AM and 10:30AM Thanksgiving services featuring the Christ Church Choir and Orchestra December 6 - 8:30 AM and 10:30 AM Christmas services featuring the Christ Church Choir and Orchestra December 6 – 6:00 PM Scales and Skills Children’s Christmas Program December 13 – 6:00 PM Lessons and Carols Candlelight Service. Featuring many of the great Christmas Carols woven into the Scriptures telling the story of Jesus’ birth. Come enjoy a “mid-December” break from the hustle and bustle and refocus your holiday spirit. Christmas Cookies after the service. December 19 & 20 – 6:00 PM Christmas at Christ Church. A Christmas experience conceived and arranged by the Christ Church Worship Staff. The program will feature the music ministry of Christ Church. December 24 – 5:00 PM & 7:00 PM Christmas Eve Services


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NOV / DEC 2009

The Joy of Giving by Kathy O’Dell

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“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:21

od has provided mentors and would be some time until the next experiences to encourage study deposit. and awareness of the joys of generosity. ithin a few days my father ut my first lesson came from my became ill, was hospitalized and never came home. father.

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ou see in the summer of 1976, ot writing that check is like a neither my father nor mother was scorched seed planted in my soul well enough to handle the household that only with God’s grace grown into banking tasks. That was something a passion for giving. Author, pastor that I did for them. and consultant Stephen McSwain says it well, “Giving is the secret to finding uring one Saturday visit home, I your purpose in life and the life you’ve rejected Dad’s request to write a always wanted.” check for the Sunday offering because the account balance was low and it

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If you have a family member who serves in the Armed Forces and will be deployed away from home during the upcoming holiday season and you would like a care package to be sent to them for Christmas, please stop by the Activities Desk in Scripture Hall and leave their contact information on the address form. Also, there is a donation box in the Fellowship Hall for suggested items to be donated to place in the care packages. Deadline to sign up is November 30, 2009. Please contact Kathi White at 257.2538 if you have any questions.

United Methodist Women Thanks to everyone who came out for the annual Ham & Bean dinner on November 5. As always, the food and fellowship were great, and the profits from the dinner will expand the mission giving of the Christ Church United Methodist Women.

As we head into the winter months and the possibility of inclement weather, remember that UMW meetings may be cancelled in the event of ice and/ or heavy snow. As the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons approach, may we realize the things that really matter don't come on a turkey platter or in brightly wrapped packages. They are found in the hearts of family and friends and in knowing the One who gave His all for us.

The November meeting of the UMW will be Tuesday, November 24 at 9:30 AM & 6:30 PM. Please note that evening meetings will be discontinued after November. We do not have a general membership meeting in December, so mark your calendar now for November Blessings, 24. Marge Oppedal, President


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NOV / DEC 2009

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ith this year being filled with wars and economic woes, I have heard people say “we are grateful for all the good things, we simply have to accept or try to forget the painful things.” This attitude makes me aware of how often we tend to divide our past into good things to remember and painful things to forget. At first glance, this way of thinking seems quite natural, but it prevents us from truly allowing our past to be the source from which we live our future. This isn’t the gratitude to which the Gospel calls us. The gratitude in the Gospel speaks about embracing all of life; the good, the bad, the joyful, the painful, the holy and not so holy. Is this possible in our society? Can we counter the advertisement that says “you cannot be glad when you are sad, be happy, buy this, do that, go there and you will forget your problems.” Jesus calls us to recognize that joy and sadness are never

separate, that mourning and dancing are part of the same movement. That is why Jesus calls us to be grateful for every moment we have lived and to claim our unique journey which God has used to mold our hearts to greater conformity with God’s own heart. The cross is a symbol of our faith and it invites us to find hope where we see pain and to reaffirm the resurrection where we see death. The call to be grateful is the call to trust that every moment of our lives can be claimed as the way that leads to new life. It is so easy to put bad memories under the rug of our lives and to think only of the things that please us. By doing so, however, we prevent ourselves from discovering the joy beneath our sorrow, the peace hidden in the midst of conflicts.

about things we wish had not happened, about relationships we wish had turned out differently, about mistakes we wish we had not made, part of our hearts remain isolated, unable to bear fruit in the life ahead of us. When Jesus spoke to His disciples before His death and offered them His body and blood as gifts of life, He shared with them everything He had lived; His joy, His pains, His sufferings as well as His glory. He empowered them to live their mission deep in gratitude.

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his Thanksgiving, let’s celebrate in gratitude to God that every part of our lives, no matter how apparently insignificant, is part of God’s work within us preparing us yet again for work in His kingdom. Remember the words of Jesus, “Love one another as I am gradually learning that the call to have loved you.” All moments are key gratitude asks us to say, “everything is moments and life itself is grace. Hear grace.” As long as we remain resentful the call to gratitude and celebrate.

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He Gives Grace; We Can Give Grace

The Children of Scales & Skills present the musical

by Emily Climaco

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ur beagle, Sparky, takes everything personally. Strange, because he’s not technically a person. Nonetheless, he assumes that noises having nothing to do with him are in fact directed at him. A cough can send him into the closet, quaking with fear. He runs for cover at the sound of hiccups. This can be endearing, but it’s also annoying because he reminds me of myself.

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hy did they pass me on the highway with such a snappish attitude? (Don’t ask me how an automobile conveys petulance.) Why does she insist on sending e-mail messages written in all caps? (And why am I so irritated by a style of print?) Did he give my dog a dirty look? (Uh-oh. Now we’re both taking things personally.)

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aking everything personally—be it compliment or criticism—is a sign of preoccupation with self, a.k.a. pride. Philippians 2 states that Jesus, “though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. . . . He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” If anyone had reason to take things personally and assert His rights, it was Jesus. But He humbly and willingly forgave the undeserving. Likewise, He forgives us—persistently, continually. This blessed season let’s remember the grace God shows us and pass it on.

One Stary Night Sunday, December 6, at 6:00 PM in the Sanctuary. A birthday party for Jesus will follow the concert in Coffee Café.


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NOV / DEC 2009

People In Worship By: Jeff Allen

Nancy Beach

Executive Vice-President of the Arts Willow Creek Association

Today’s guest is Nancy Beach, executive vice-president of the Arts for the Willow Creek Association and a teaching pastor of Willow Creek Community Church. Jeff - How did you become involved with the arts in the Church? Nancy - Well, my background is mostly in theatre and then later in college radio and television. I was always a volunteer at my church, but I guess I thought that, in terms of full time work, I would head toward more of the secular world and then God redirected me when I got out of graduate school and said “I want you to invest your gifts in the local church.” I honestly thought that was kind of a loser option (laughs)...you know I thought that if artists aren’t very good then they work in the church; forgive me but that’s what I thought 30-some years ago. Then I fought with God a bit. I hadn’t had very many clear callings in my life, but I couldn’t deny that I would have been disobedient if I hadn’t listened, so I redirected my path and I am so glad I did because He had an adventure for me that I did not see at the time. I led the arts ministry at Willow Creek for over 20 years up until about 4 years ago when I made a shift over to the Willow Creek Association.

on the same campus as Willow Creek. We exist to serve other churches, so I am a champion for artists and arts leaders. I now spend more time investing in folks from other churches. On the church side, though I am not employed by the church, I attend the creative meeting every Wednesday and I am just a contributor. Most people would be pretty jealous because I get to walk away and I don’t have to do anything. (laughs) I’m not leading the meeting. I am just contributing ideas, and I am still a teaching pastor. Periodically, I teach and when I do I get to work with the artists again in creating the whole experience.

“...what is the local church missing out on in their worship services right now?” Jeff - Awesome. One thing I am asking everyone on the podcast is, “In your opinion, what is the local church missing out on in their worship services?”

a tremendous tool and it’s usually the most basic tool a church begins with. A lot of churches are just stopping there and not expanding into other art forms. I think it is important to explore the power of story, whether through spoken word, testimonies, drama, video, other visual tools and images. I think that we sometimes get a little lazy and we say, “let’s just throw together a 5-song worship set” then have the pastor teach. You can certainly build a church that way, but I think that what is happening to the people in the seats is that they are missing out on a broader range of communication tools that we can use to communicate the truth in some fresh ways. It’s going to be a lot harder. It’s going to be more work, but there are artists lingering in most churches who would love to participate in a broader use of the arts. Jeff - Nancy, thank you so much for chatting with me today. Nancy - You’re welcome Jeff. It’s good to talk to you.

Nancy - Oh, that is a great question. I have a strong point of view on that. This is an excerpt from an Interview on Tuesday, September 8, 2009 from the people I believe that the people attending in worship podcast. our churches are all wired differently. They all have various pathways to God. My concern is that a lot of churches are limiting, what I call their Jeff - What is your current role with tools in their toolbox, to basically arts at Willow Creek right now? teaching and music. I wanna be quick You can check out to say, I love music. I think most of Nancy - The Willow Creek Association Jeff’s podcast at our churches would be pretty boring is a separate organization that exists www.jeff-allen.com and empty and dry without music. It is


We had found with wanting to be parents that it is hard to ask others questions concerning adoption and find support. One purpose of the Adoption Ministry is for our church community to support families and to support orphans who have no families.  CUMC families who have been created by adoption will open their hearts to families who are struggling to understand what God has planned for them.

Hopefully our church community will hear from God–His call to You! The world is in

The Worship Team at Christ Church wants everyone to feel welcome to come to the altar and pray during the worship service. Here are a few suggestions to assist you during your altar prayer time:

crisis–nothing changes without you. It is a crisis involving a population that is extremely precious to God’s heart–orphans.  The problem of over 100 million orphans will not be solved by one person, one group or one church.  The answer lies in believers from many places gathering together, creatively finding solutions to solve small pieces of the orphan plight and saving lives one by one.  God says that He is the Father of the fatherless; orphans are part of his royal family.  He has asked us, the church, to be His hands extended and to love these children on His behalf.  In James 1:27, the

Altar Prayer

3.If you have trouble kneeling, please

don’t feel like you have to in order to pray at the altar. You can come and stand to pray or you may sit on the front pew and pray.

No matter what way you choose to pray at the altar, please be sure you do what lowest step at any point along the front is comfortable for you. Altar prayer is a of the stage. The next step up can be time that is just between you and God. used to balance yourself when you go Come before Him and pray as you are to stand up again. led to do so by the Holy Spirit.

1.If you are able, you may kneel at the

2.If

you need extra help standing, Blessings, please kneel at the far right or left sides Don Frazure where there is a safety rail that can Director of Worship assist you.

Word says “Pure and undefiled religion that God, our Father accepts is to visit the orphans and widows in their distress and keep oneself unspotted by the world.”   The call to get involved in the lives of orphans is for anyone who seeks to worship and serve God the way He desires.

The Flame Nov / Dec 2009  

Theme: He Gave, You Give Edition: Nov / Dec 2009

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