Has Christmas happened to you? As the days get closer to the 25th are we preparing for the coming of Christ or for the feast of the family? Have you become so busy, so focused on getting ready for Christmas day that you don’t take the time to dwell in the Good News that Christ has come? Sadly too many have lost focus on the HOPE, PEACE and JOY that Christ brings, and worry about making sure all the responsibilities of gifts, food, parties, and such are met.
Matthew 2: 1-2; 9-11 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”…. After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
What so often happens during the Christmas holidays is that we fail to search for the Christ CHILD. We allow the activities of the season to become our focus instead of the promise given to us in his coming. The wise men when they saw the star finally fixed over a point rejoiced exceedingly with great joy…. because they had their priorities straight. Worship the promised one first and discover the HOPE, PEACE, and JOY in meeting him, then everything else will fall into place.
“It has increased our attendance 300 percent.”
The Session Briefs from the November meeting will be included in the January newsletter.
PRAYER LIST NAMES
Please note that on the first Sunday in January, the church office will start off the New Year with a new prayer list. We are going to remove everyone and start fresh. If you know of someone who should remain on the list, or of someone who needs to be added to the list, please contact the church office. Thank you.
FELLOWSHIP COMMUNITY NEWS
The Fellowship Community’s 2015 Advent Devotional “To You Is the Song” is ready for download from our website. Find it now at http://www.fellowship.community/2015-advent-experience/. Check out all our great companion resources; Candle Lighting Supplement for church or home, Children’s Supplement for church or home, Small Group Supplement, and “Setting the Table,” ways to share Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany around your dinner table with family, friends, and neighbors who do not yet know the Savior. Also, you can sign up for daily emails from November 30-January 8!
THANK YOU…THANK YOU…THANK YOU…
Eighteen men and women of the church gave of their time on Saturday, November 14, to keep our church and grounds in the outstanding condition we all love. Volunteers keep up the maintenance, inside and out, saving the church thousands of dollars each year. Thanks again!!
OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD
Thank you to everyone who packed a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child this year. Our twenty shoeboxes were delivered to the drop off point at St. Luke’s United Methodist church. The volunteers carefully packed our shoeboxes into larger boxes for shipment, and then everyone prayed over the boxes. Part of the prayer was that the children receiving the shoeboxes would be open to the Gospel and would share it with their families. It is so exciting! In January we should get a report on which country received our boxes. Stay tuned to find out!
TOYS FOR TOTS
Green Hill is proud to be supporting Toys for Tots once again this year. As with previous years, our building will be used as a distribution point for the families of Coffee County. The gifts will be delivered by the Marines, and then the staff from Family Services will take care of sorting and distribution. All families who receive toys have registered in advance at Family Services, and specific toys have been set aside for each of their children. Those of you who have had the opportunity to see the toys distributed know it can be just like Christmas morning, except on this day the smiles, and sometimes tears of joy, come from the parents. It is an amazing thing to see, and to be a part of.
WE NEED CAFÉ HOSTS & USHERS!
Are you looking for an opportunity to serve? We need Café Hosts! We need people to set up the food prior to Café and to clean up afterwards. Beverages are supplied by the church, and food expenses are reimbursed by the church. If you are interested, please contact either Ron Seery or the church office. The sign-up sheet is in the kitchen.
On Sundays we also need a team of two people to serve as ushers for the morning worship service. Ushers are needed to greet people, to pass out bulletins, to collect prayer requests, and to collect the offering. For our visitors, our ushers are the first people they meet, and we need to make them feel welcome. If you are interested, please contact either Sandra DeTora or the church office. The sign-up sheet is in the kitchen.
There are many opportunities to serve between now and the start of the New Year. Thank you to those who have already signed up. And, thank you to everyone who has volunteered to be an Usher or a Café Host over the past year, especially those who those who were called into service at the last moment. We really appreciate you!
BIBLE STUDY HELPERS NEEDED!
The afterschool Bible Study is looking for a helper for the Tuesday afternoon class. Beginning in January, we need someone to be at the church ready to help at 3pm and to stay until 5-5:15pm. We also need subs to fill in for the Monday and Tuesday classes, when the regular volunteers are not available. Please see April Seery for more information.
GREEN HILL GIVING PLATE
The purpose of the plate is to share with our members, friends and family at a time when they need a lift and a reminder of God’s unending Love for us. Take it and leave a note at the office as to who is using it. The plate can be found in the kitchen. The person or persons receiving the Love gift of food may return the plate to Green Hill or the person using the plate so it can be used again. Spread God’s Love this holiday season.
SEASON OF ADVENT
During Advent, we prepare for, and anticipate, the coming of Christ. We remember the longing of Jews for a Messiah and our own longing for, and need of, forgiveness, salvation and a new beginning. Even as we look back and celebrate the birth of Jesus in a humble stable in Bethlehem, we also look forward anticipating the second coming of Christ as the fulfillment of all that was promised by his first coming.
• November 29 – 1st Sunday of Advent, The Candle of Hope
• December 6 – 2nd Sunday of Advent, The Candle of Peace
• December 13 – 3rd Sunday of Advent, The Candle of Joy
• December 20 – 4th Sunday of Advent, The Candle of Love
• December 24 – Christmas Eve, The Christ Candle
NEW KEYS AND LOCKS
After months of planning, the locks on the church are ready to be changed. On Tuesday, December 1, the doors will be re-keyed. The church office has the new keys. So, if you are in need of one of the new keys to the church, please contact Sandi.
GREENING OF THE CHURCH
Wednesday, December 2 is a very special day on the church calendar. It is the day we “green” the church for the Season of Advent. Following our regular fellowship supper at 5:30pm, everyone will be invited into the Sanctuary to help decorate the Chrismon Tree. Tradition says that a Chrismon Tree is not complete until someone comes to see it and has the story of Christ explained to them through the ornaments. Please join us as we continue this annual tradition.
The choir will meet to practice at 7:15pm on December 2.
GREEN HILL WOMEN
CHRISTMAS PARTY – This year’s Green Hill Women Christmas Party will be held on Friday, December 4, at 5:00pm. Please bring your favorite holiday snack to share with the group. All of the women in the church are invited, even if you don’t usually attend our events.
This year we are bringing back our notorious White Elephant Exchange. Everyone has at least one item in their house that they don’t want and can’t seem to get rid of. That’s a White Elephant. Wrap it up and bring it to the party to exchange. Who knows? Your trash may be someone else’s treasure!
SANTA FOR SENIORS – The Green Hill Women are once again participating in the SARCOA Santa for Seniors program. We have selected the “wish list” from a woman in need here in Coffee County. If you would like to help brighten her Christmas, please select an ornament from the felt tree in the kitchen. Removing the ornament indicates that you will take care of getting that item. All gifts (NOT WRAPPED) should be brought to the church no later than the date of the Women’s Christmas party (December 4). They may be dropped off earlier in the blue box in the kitchen.
STAMP MINISTRY – Hang on to your used Christmas stamps! The Green Hill Women are still collecting stamps for a very special ministry we are supporting. This ministry sells the stamps to collectors around the world and uses the income to support the preparation, publishing and distribution of a Spanish language curriculum for Sunday Schools in Latin America. Stamps may be dropped in the white collection box on the table next to the Green Hill Women bulletin board, in the Fellowship Hall.
POT LUCK, CHRISTMAS PARTY, AND BINGO!
On Wednesday, December 9, our regular pot luck supper will be transformed into a Christmas party, with Bingo! Please bring your favorite food to share, and if it has a holiday theme, even better. Sandi will bring out the Christmas-themed Bingo game, and we should all have a lot of fun.
ENTERPRISE HOMESCHOOL “COUNTRY CLUB”
The next Enterprise Homeschool “Country Club” meeting will be held on Friday, December 11. (Please note that this is the second Friday of the month instead of the third.) The featured country is Nicaragua. Assignments will be handed out on the Enterprise Homeschool FaceBook page, so check there for more information. We are looking forward to another great meeting.
We decided to have a Christmas party at the next Country Club. So instead of bringing your lunch, we will all bring a dish and have a pot-luck. We thought it would be a good idea to do finger type foods. Please see the Facebook page for the food sign-up list. For the gift exchange, each child is asked to bring a same gender gift with a $5.00 limit.
ALZHEIMER’S SUPPORT GROUP
The next Alzheimer’s Caregivers Support Meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 16. Many of us are caring for individuals who have Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias. Our meetings consist of education, guest speakers, sharing, and prayer. Let’s share caregiving approaches we’ve tried and discuss what works, what doesn’t, and how you can care for yourself during this challenge time. We want all caregivers to understand the disease and to know that they are not alone.
CHRISTMAS CAROL SING-A-LONG
This year we will be doing our Christmas caroling indoors. On Wednesday, December 16, following our pot luck supper, we will enjoy a time of fellowship and song. Rosemary will be there to play the piano to accompany us and we will get a chance to sing our favorite Christmas songs. This is a great night to bring a friend!
Information for the January Green Hill Good News Letter needs to be submitted to the church office by Thursday, December 17. We need to get the news in before everyone disappears for the Christmas holiday! You can contact the office by email or by phone, or you can drop your news off in the basket on the door. Many thanks to those who contribute!
If you plan to place a poinsettia in the Sanctuary for Christmas, please let the church office know no later than Monday, December 21. The names of those being remembered/honored will be printed in the Christmas Eve bulletin. Don’t forget to pick your poinsettias up following the Christmas Eve service.
CANDLE LIGHT SERVICE
Green Hill’s annual Candle Light Service will be held on Thursday, December 24, at 6:00pm. EVERYONE is invited to join us as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Following the service we will enjoy hot apple cider and have a cookie/candy exchange. So, please bring your favorite treat to share.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the church office staff,
Joel, Jim, & Sandi.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6