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Marengo United Methodist Church VO LU ME X I

TH E M U STARD SEED

Inside this Issue: Altar Guild Altar Flowers Anniversaries & Birthdays Calendar Christmas Pageant Gas Can Mission Have You Heard? Holiday Housewalk Holiday Hymn Sing

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Library News 8 Operation Christmas Child 3 Pancake Breakfast 7 Parent s Day Out 4 Poinsettia orders Back Prayer List 6 Roots to Wings 2 Senior Moment 5 UMW 8 Ushers 3 Worship Schedule 10

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The Magi went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. Matthew 2:9b-11 This desire to bring a gift to the Christ child is a central act for the Magi. Indeed, the Magi travel long distances into strange lands just to kneel beside the cradle of a new born baby. Yet it is the fact that they brought with them gifts which is crucial to understanding the of the story. To visit the child is one thing, but to bring him gifts was to tangibly honor and support the life and ministry of this child. In the ancient middle east, gold, frankincense and myrrh were extremely valuable gifts to receive. The Magi did not present Jesus with token or trivial gifts. They offered him gifts worthy of a king. Indeed, this is the point to their gifts. Jesus received gifts worthy of a king because Jesus was a king. This child. These gifts attested to the faith of the Magi, that this child was a king who was to rule and change the world. Thousands of years later, we still serve and present our gifts to this king. We recognize that we are no different from those Magi. At Christmas, we too seek to kneel at the side of this child and present our gifts, acknowledging that he is our king. Coming soon in the mail will be an envelope from the church. Inside the envelope there will be a small box. This box is unfolded so that you may decorate it and then fold it into a small rectangular gift box. This box is intended to be your gift to the baby Jesus. Inside the gift box we ask you to place your pledge card for 2009. Your pledge is your gift to the Christ child for the year to come. Continued on page - 2


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On Sunday, December 7th, we will present our gifts as part of our worship service. A manger will decorate our sanctuary that Sunday. As part of communion service, we will invite you to come forward with your gift box and place it before the manger prior to receiving communion. This gift is your pledge to our Lord for the coming year. It is not a trivial gift, but one worthy of a king. It is our tribute and pledge to support the work of Jesus Christ. I invite you to join me on December 7th to offer our gifts to our king. Yours in service to Christ Jesus,

The Rev. Keck N. Mowry

From Roots to Wings MUMC s Ruth Circle will once again be participating in the

$220,000.00 1

Pledges received from

$170,000.00

$120,000.00

Total offering received to

$218,745.00

$49,462.50

17th annual Holiday Housewalk.

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Saturday, December 6th

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9:00-4:00 p.m. Sunday, December 7th

$70,000.00

10:00-4:00 p.m.

$20,000.00

Make sure to stop by to find fun holiday gifts and dĂŠcor.

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Our lat est collect ion of cans added $ 20.30 t o t he mission gas f und. Unf or t unat ely aluminum can r ecycling pr ices have dr opped dr amat ically over t he past f ew mont hs so keep t hose cans coming in. The mor e we collect , t he mor e money we can ear n f or our gas f und f or mission t r ips! The gr and t ot al collect ed so f ar in 2008 is $ 420.66. Thank you f or your donat ions!

We are in need of ushers for 2009, especially for February 8:30 am worship and July 10:15 am worship. If you would be interested in being an usher, please contact Pat Merritt for more information. 815-568-7169.

This year s Operation Christmas Child drop off was a success! As a church and community we collected 78 boxes. That means there are 78 children that are going to receive a gift for the very first time in their lives. And the best gift is the news of our Lord and Savior. Thank you to everyone who packed a box, gave empty boxes to be filled, donated money for shipping, donated individual items to be packed, and also for the prayers. Thank you! Vanessa Angelo

The 2009 Flower Calendar is posted in the Friendship Room. If you would like to sign up to purchase the flowers the cost is $15, which you can place in the offering plate or drop off at the office during the week that you have signed up. Please list the occasion/ reason for the gift and by whom the flowers are given. Thank you.


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I am resigning from being in charge of the Altar Guild as of December 31st. I guess I have done it for about 5 years or more. Cathy Koplin has graciously accepted the position. She will continue to remind you of your volunteer month. The Altar is a great way for busy people to make a commitment to the church. It takes very little time. Your altar display can be decorative or not. Since I have no decorative imagination, mine were very plain. Members new and old, should you wish to make a commitment to the church, this is an excellent way to start. Altar guild details include purchasing two loaves of bread, a bottle of grape juice and a 15 minutes set up. Please see Cathy or call her for more information at 815-568-1310. Thank you, Doris Mangano

Zion Lutheran is inviting women in the community to take part in a women s Bible study by Beth Moore entitled, Esther It s Tough to be a Woman . The 10 week study is scheduled to begin January 14, 2009. If you are interested, please contact Cathy Simonini at 815-568-0743 or by email at joesimonini@sbcglobal.net.

Here at PDO we are gearing up for the Christmas season! It is hard to believe this joyous time is already upon us! PDO will be holding a fundraiser the week of December 15th through the 21st, in conjunction with Wisted's Lend-a-Hand program. During this time, Wisted's will donate 5% of your total purchase and give it back to PDO. Look for your Lend-a -Hand coupon in your church bulletin starting Sunday, December 7th. Extra coupons will be available in the church office, as well as the nursery, and can be passed out to friends and family. Here is a great way to support PDO and buy the groceries you'll need to make that delicious Christmas dinner!!! Merry Christmas!! God's Blessings, Liz Fischer, PDO Director


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Tis' the season. You and I have experienced quite a few of them. And how times have changed! Our wish lists probably were for a new doll, a bicycle, a baseball bat, etc. Wish lists now are for items I don't know a thing about except that they all cost a lot of money and cannot be homemade!!! Last week in the American Profile section of the newspaper was a neat story about Brian Rudovsky, 40, who makes toys. Brian started when he was a student at West Virginia University in Morganstown, West Virginia. He bought a 1972 Ford step van for $200 and installed his grandfather's 1930's jigsaw and sander in the back. He then began crafting wooden boomerangs in the van, traveling to craft and toy shows across the country to sell his flying toys. That first year he made $6,500 and by the time he graduated in 1985 he was making $65,000 a year. It became apparent that there was more to the business than boomerangs. Today, many of Channel Craft's products are classic American toys such as jacks, spinning tops and Tiddly Winks. Other games include history or nature such as the tin-box game, "The Woods are Full of Them," which allows players to learn interesting facts about bears. A few years ago, while on vacation, the family came across a Wonderball, an old-fashioned toy that has a ball of yarn wrapped around small toys, charms and trinkets. Soon he made a prototype of the toy

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and tested it on a trip with one of his daughters and her friends. They took it apart, put it together, etc. It amazed him that this would keep a 13-year-old's attention. And these are kids with iPods, GameBoys, the whole deal. Our gifts to each other are an expression of our love. Times are difficult right now for many families. Get creative, have fun, don't overspend!! Plan a midnight walk in Marengo Ridge or Coral Woods or Indian Oaks park. Make snow angels, plan an outing for the family that would not necessarily mean big $$$. And as seniors, if you are in a position to give the children a nice gift, enjoy doing so. A Christmas when my parents could not give me any gifts, an aunt and uncle gave me a doll and a music box. I still have them. On the other hand, I always loved new pajamas and a new book! And worship! It is a glorious, magical time. The wonderful Christmas music always makes the moment special. When Ashleigh Oranger sings Breath of Heaven on Christmas Eve, awesome!! I am sure you have a favorite carol. I have a favorite verse of a favorite carol! "How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given when Christ imparts to human hearts the mysteries of his heaven." "God bless us every one" (and He has blessed us indeed with the gift of Jesus).


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Emily Gust af son Kevin Tomasi Dominic Gaillor et o Leslie Gar man Br ian Gualillo Kelly Dur bin St eve Sandman J ake Adamson Alice J enne Dana Mur r ay Michael Fer r ier a Er in Fer r ier a Bet t y Miller Sher i J ohnst one Mar ia Mangano Audr ey Ander son Lisa Esunis Amy Kr amer Ger i Miles J oAnn Zenk J ef f Per kins Tr evor Ricker d Br yanna Par adiso Mer edit h Angelo Maisie McMenamy Russ Mur r ay J esus Amanda Ham Emily Lisa Kir chhof f Amy Roeder Nancy Weber pal Paul Roeder

Er ic & Amie Gust af son J ef f & Claudia Kachlik Bill & Clar a Piper St an & J ane McDonald Hober t & J ulie J ones Mar vin & Kat hy Clavey Ronald & Bonnie Voller

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Prayers for Health and Healing: Brenda Ferreira; Mike Swaga; Karen Apel; Gary Stoklosa; Tom Anderson; Judy, Susan Gieseler s sister in law; Frank E. Gualillo of Yorkville, NY, father of Frank D. Gualillo; Gayle Stevens, friend of the Dennisons; Jackie Roberts, Brenda Ferrieras Aunt; Emily Hill, friend of Betty Jacoby; Jan Crisman, Lynette Paradisos mother; Donna Oakes, Chris Oakes mother; LaVerne Ryman, Deb Oakes mother; Scott Kominowski, friend of the Hoffmans; Sean Romine; Sydney Ives, friend of Bonnie Voller; Sheri Johnstone; Arthur Overhage, friend of Brenda Ferreira; Laurie Monti, Bonnie Voller s sister; Ann Locovare; Don Duthron, friend of Audrey Anderson; Fred & Barb Trask; Shirley Vaughan, friend of the Hoffman family; Janet Swonguer s father Prayers for Comfort and Support Family and Friends of Margaret Pace; Cindy Clavey; Isaiah Burnside, Pat Merritt s grandson who is currently in Iraq; Steve Tradewell; Our Countrys leaders; Military Men & Women and their families Prayers for the Homebound: Katie Loomis Prayers for those in Nursing/ Rehab: Sheri Johnstone; Ann Locovare; Bev Parke; Norm Finnell; Dale Jenne; Genelle Skeels; Mildred Walters If you would like to add a loved one or update status to our prayer list, you can add your request to the backside of the Connection Card, place a note on the office desk, email to info@marengo-umc.org or call the church office at 815-5687162. Thank you.


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MUMC Jr. and Sr. High Youth Pancake Breakfast Sunday, December 7th 9:00 am 12:30 pm. The cost is $5 per person. Reduced rates: seniors are $3 and children under 5 are $1.

Sunday, December 7th

All proceeds will go towards MUMC youth ministries.

On Sunday, December 14th, the presentation of our Christmas Pageant is during the 10:15 a.m. worship service. This play echoes the spirit of the movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" It starts "in the beginning" as Adam and Eve plead for the Messiah - "Oh Savior, where art thou?" The question is repeated by Jeremiah, the angels in heaven, the wise men and shepherds, with humor and in the rural vernacular. It is finally answered by the coming of Jesus Christ. The play concludes with Mary affirming, "O Savior, thou art with us!" The spunky dialog is punctuated by good "old-time" gospel, country, bluegrass and folk music. - Contemporary Drama Service


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Have you picked up your 2009 UMW yearbook yet? The first 2009 general meeting will be Wednesday, February 11th in fellowship hall. The program will be based on the Bishop's interfaith tour highlights. It is an opportunity for us to learn about other faiths. This meeting will be hosted by Ruth Circle. Esther circle will meet at the home of Hazel Buehler. Ruth circle will meet Thursday, January 15th at the home of Judi Alden. In November, the UMW assisted at the funeral of Margaret Pace. Our sympathies and prayers are with Margaret's family and all those who were blessed to know her. Please consider adding your name to the list of women who would be willing to assist with funeral luncheons. Simply add your name to the list of volunteers for the funerals by contacting any officer of the UMW, Clara Piper or Ann Stein.

We are enjoying the donations you have given to the library and to the library FREE basket! In January I will give some recommendations for good reading. We have many. If you read one and especially enjoyed it, please let me know so that we can recommend it to another reader. Also, January is the traditional time to make resolutions to improve your life. It s a great time to accept the challenge to read the Bible in its entirety. I am still committed to my reading but didn't take a count recently. However, since last month I have read about 40 chapters. The suggested reading list is available in the church library. If you have need of a Bible, please let us know. Also, if you have any Bibles for donation, we welcome them. They are passed on to those with a need.

Send a Christmas c arol and message to someone you love this holiday season. The Jr & Sr. High youth will be selling Carol-grams for $2 each after services on Sunday, December 7th. Carol-grams will be delivered on December 13 th and 14 th between 5 and 8 p.m.


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Sunday, December 7, 2008 Pledge Sunday Scripture: Malachi 1:6-14 Message: Bring your Best

Sunday, December 14, 2008 Childrens Christmas Pageant

Sunday, December 21, 2008 Christmas Cantata

O Savior, Where Art Thou? 10:15 a.m. service (No 8:30 a.m. service)

The Cantata will be held at both our 8:30 and 10:15 a.m. services.

W ednesday, D ecember 24, 2008 4 :0 0 p.m . Live Nat ivit y Wo rs h ip S e rvic e Th is is a s p ecia l s er vice for ch ild r en a n d fa m ilies a t t h e Pu r d om Fa r m . We will ga t h er in t h e b a r n , s ea t ed on h a y b a les a s t h e n a t ivit y s cen e com es t o life b efor e ou r eyes , wit h live a n im a ls a n d a ct or s ! Th e Pu r d om fa r m is loca t ed a t 1 9 5 0 2 River Roa d , Ma r en go, IL

1 1 :0 0 p.m . Can dle ligh t Se rvic e o f Le s s o n s & Caro ls E n joy a b ea u t ifu l r et ellin g of t h e Ch r is t m a s S t or y t h r ou gh t h e r ea d in g of s cr ip t u r e a n d t h e s in gin g of h ym n s a n d ca r ols , con clu d in g wit h a ca n d le ligh t in g s er vice. Th er e will b e s p ecia l in s t r u m en t a l a ccom p a n im en t a lon g wit h n u m er ou s ch or a l a n d s olo p er for m a n ces . J oin u s in welcom in g in Ch r is t m a s .


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Sunday, December 21st 2:30 p.m. MUMC s Stephen Ministry invites the congregation and community to a Holiday Hymn sing on Sunday, December 21st at 2:30 p.m. You are encouraged to bring a senior to an afternoon of fellowship and holiday hymn singing. Music will be led by Ed and Nancy Richard. Refreshments will be served in fellowship hall following the singing. Anna Mangano will once again be performing at the Raue Center for their Nutcracker on December 18th 21st. The Raue opened an extra performance this year as last year it sold out! Anna will dance two solos, Snow Queen and Dew Drop on alternating nights. She also does Chinese every night and will do core pieces in Snow and Waltz of the Flowers. She is up front for all core pieces. Also featured will be Tom Mangano, who once again will be one of the parents in the party scene, on stage for the whole first act! He is growing a handlebar mustache for this event! The Nutcracker is a story of a family Christmas party during the turn of the Congratulations to Courtney century. The gifts that they receive all and Jennifer Haas and big become alive in later acts following a sisters Madelyn and Noelle as battle scene. If you have not seen a they welcome Hunter David. ballet before, this is an excellent start, Hunter was 7 lb 12 oz and 20 with lots of action! Tickets can be in. and born at 5:48 pm on purchased through the Raue Center for October 28th. the Arts.


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119 E. Washington Street Marengo, IL 60152 Phone: 815-568-7162 Fax: 815-568-7163 E-mail: info@marengo-umc.org

The poinsettia serves as a beautiful reminder of the birth of Jesus Christ. We would like to fill the sanctuary with poinsettias this Christmas. They will be in a 6 foil-wrapped pot. The cost for each plant will be $10.00. Please submit your payment with your order, making checks payable to Marengo United Methodist Church and designate that it is for Poinsettias. You will be able to pick up your flowers any time after the 11:00 p.m. Christmas Eve service. You may also request that your poinsettia be delivered to a home-bound person. Orders must be in the church office by Sunday, December 7th Order forms will be available in the Sunday Worship Bulletins on November 30th and December 7th. If you wish to send an order to the church please include: Name of purchaser:_____________________________________ _____________________________ # of plants ordered: ______________

Amount Paid: $______________

If you wish to designate: In Memory of ___(name)________________ [ ] I will pick up my plant [ ] Please deliver my plant to a shut-in

In Honor of _____(name)_________________


Mustard Seed December 2008