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FROM THE PASTOR’S CORNER
Pastor’s Corner – December, 2020: “Living in Hope!”
As I write this, Thanksgiving is next week. That means Advent will follow on Sunday!
Advent is a season of HOPE, and as we begin to close out 2020, hope is just what we want and need. Our old faithful prophet, Isaiah, begins the 1st Sunday of Advent with a prayer that God would hear the earnest petitions of his people a generation into bondage. And our Gospel focus in the new Christian year, Mark, begins, not with the genealogy of Jesus Christ, nor the familiar birth narrative, but with John the Baptist, evoking the prophet Malakai in calling the people to repentance.
The Christmas Season this year will be markedly different than in the past, due to COVID-19. We will probably need to put aside some of our special events. But the message of “peace on earth, goodwill among persons” and mindfulness of our walk as people of faith will nonetheless be our focus.
We are God’s children, heirs of the promise and called to be faithful—what greater gift could be give/receive?
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.
CHRISTMAS JOY OFFERING
The purple Christmas Joy Offering envelopes will be in the pew racks beginning on the first Sunday in Advent for anyone who feels called to make a contribution to this fund. Donations will be used to support
retired ministers and their families and for racial and ethnic religious programs at colleges.
Information for the January Green Hill Good Newsletter needs to be submitted to the church office by Monday, December 21. 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!
STEWARDSHIP PLEDGE CARDS
If you have not already returned your 2020 pledge card to the church, please do so as soon as possible. Sandra needs this information to get an accurate estimate of next year’s offerings. This information is a very important part of planning the 2021 church budget.
WIREGRASS AREA FOOD BANK COLLECTION
This year, due to COVID, Tyler and Addie weren’t able to host the First Responders Pancake Breakfast like they had hoped, so instead they put their energies toward a special food collection in support of the Wiregrass Area Food Bank. Thanks to their efforts, we were able to collect a large amount of food to donate. When the volunteers from the Food Bank came to collect the food we were also able to present them with a check for $1000.00 that had been donated by church members.
GREENING OF THE CHURCH
On Sunday, November 22, everyone who is able to make it is invited to participate in the annual “Greening of the Church,” also known as the “Hanging of the Greens.” Immediately following the
morning worship service, we will pull the boxes out of the attic and decorate the church. This will include putting up the tree in the Sanctuary, setting up the Advent candles, hanging the wreaths, and more. Please join us in this annual tradition of preparing the church building for the Advent and Christmas Season.
If you are going to place a poinsettia in the Sanctuary for the congregation to enjoy during the Christmas season, please let the church office know no later than Thursday, December 17. On the Sunday just prior to Christmas, the 20th, a list of all of the people being honored and/or remembered by poinsettias will be printed in the worship bulletin. Small slips for the information will be available in the pew racks beginning on the first Sunday of Advent.
On the first Sunday of Advent, we light the candle of Hope. This candle is also referred to as the Prophecy Candle. It reminds us that Jesus’ coming was prophesied hundreds of years before He was born. The candle’s purple color
represents Christ’s royalty as King of Kings.
On the second Sunday of Advent we light the candle of Peace. This candle is also referred to as the Bethlehem Candle. It reminds us that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. It too is purple, reminding us that it was a King who was born in a manger.
On the third Sunday of Advent, we light the candle of Joy. This candle is also referred to as the Shepherd’s Candle. We are reminded that God sent the angels to proclaim His arrival to common man and that He still uses ordinary people today to spread the good news of Christ. The candle is pink or rose to represent God’s faithfulness.
On the fourth Sunday of Advent, we light the candle of Love. This candle is also referred to as the Angel’s Candle. As we light this flame, we are reminded of the heavenly hosts that proclaimed Christ’s arrival. This candle is also purple, reminding us that it was a King’s birth the angels were announcing.
On Christmas Eve, we light the Christ candle. We remember the birth of our Lord and Savior, which was foretold by the prophets, happened in Bethlehem, was revealed to the shepherds, and proclaimed by the angels. All
month long we have been waiting and preparing. On this night we celebrate!
DECODING THE COLOR SCHEME
Within the life of the church, color has long been used to give a visual indicator of what is happening in the life of the church. Whether is it a marking of the rhythm and movement of the liturgical season, or the noting of a special celebration within the life of the church, the colors that we use in worship have deep meaning. Purple is the color that is used during our seasons of preparation: Advent and Lent. During both of these seasons (the four Sundays before Christmas and the 40 Days before Easter, respectively), we are to dedicate ourselves for the preparation of our hearts and minds for welcoming Christ. Purple is also the traditional color of royalty, and so some give nod to this as a reason why we use purple during these seasons.
OFFICE DEPOT & OFFICE MAX REWARDS
Are you planning on doing any shopping at Office Depot or Office Max? You could be earning rewards for Green Hill! When you get to the register, just give the cashier the church’s phone number (334-347-9530) and the church will receive points for your purchase. These points add up to coupons, gift cards, and discounts that go a long way to stretching our office supply budget. Thank you to everyone who helps out. The office staff really appreciates it!
ON A GREEN HILL FAR AWAY
Did you know that Green Hill has its very own poem? Twenty years ago, the very talented Ken Reed wrote a wonderful poem about Jesus, about Faith, and about our own Green Hill here in Enterprise. A plaque containing the poem and a photo of the church is hanging in the Narthex for all to see. If you haven’t looked at it before, or if you haven’t looked at it in a while, please take a moment the next time you are at church. His beautiful words deserve to be read. (In loving memory of Kenneth Reed, 4 Nov 1930 – 13 Sep 2019)