Thursday, December 18, 2014

Capital Improvement Update

Thank You to those who have contributed or those who have pledged contributions for 2015 and 2016 to the Capital Improvement Campaign.  As of November 24, 2014, we had deposited $58,474.88 for improvements and $4820.00 for bricks.  Capital Improvement contributions have been in amounts of $100 to $15,000.  Thank you to the following:  Lloyd & Ruth Baumgartner, Donald Berg, Harrell & Carol Davis, Frances Gehm, Evelyn Haas, Vonda & Gwynn Hagen (for part of the Fireside Room), Dean & Carol Hilst, Earl & Frances Kittredge, Gene Klatte & Mary Lou Pancy, Max Littlejohn, Beth Mabee, Darrell & Norma Mack, Wanda Morrill, Zane & Martha Porter, Donna Roth, George & Joyce Saltsman, Fred & Doris Stainbrook, Jane Whaley, and Harry & Nancy Wilson.

Bricks have been ordered by:  Hazel Bacon, Nita Cinquina, Cheryl Davis, Harrell & Carol Davis, Sharon Gearhart, Frances Gehm, Ham & Bunny Geisbert, Judy Goss, Evelyn Haas, Vonda Hagen, Dean & Carol Hilst, Jane Hundley, Earl & Fran Kittredge, Max Littlejohn, Jim & Janet MacDonald, Craig & Mary Lou McCoy, Pat & Rosie Mills, Marilyn Olney, Wayne & Claribel Parker, Charlotte Pooley, Donna Roth, Charles Sedgwick, Chesley Sikkema, Fred & Doris Stainbrook, David & Shirley Walker, Bill Wentling, Jane Whaley, and Dick & Karen Zabriskie.

Improvements made to date are: 
  • Iron fence (in front of office to Annex 2),
  • Landscaping
  • Security system
  • Six new toilets
  • Nine occupancy sensors (restrooms)
  • Exterior painting
  • Steel security gates/fence behind Swain Hall
  • Celtic cross in courtyard repaved
  • Tuff shed for property/maintenance equipment
  • Thermostat and a/c updates
  • Cracked window in Narthex replaced
Total costs have been covered for these items.

Still to come:
  • New upholstery for the chairs in the Fireside Room
  • Interior paint for the Sanctuary and adjoining areas
  • Additional landscaping and irrigation
  • Permanent repairs to the ceiling of Swain Hall
Wish list - these are “nice to have” items that won’t be done unless donors specifically adopt them:
  • New upholstery for the chairs in the south entry to the Sanctuary
  • Outdoor shade structure/umbrellas for the courtyard
  • New gutters around the office/annex
Want to be added to the list of donors?  It’s not too late.  No contribution is too small; every dollar helps.  Thank you for showing your love for God’s house in this very visible way!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Birth of Hope

God didn’t come to reign over humanity at Athens or Rome or any of the other major cities where one would expect God to arrive, but rather—God came to identify with us by being born in lowly Bethlehem in the form of a vulner-able infant. And God didn’t come to conquer the world with military or political might, but instead—in the scandal, shame, and pain of the cross. So also God continues to come where we least expect God to be….And that’s not all. If we are willing to suspend our expectations and live into the surprising reality of the God we know in Christ, then we are invited to meet God not in some distant eternal life or other-worldly reality but here and now, in the concrete and real need of our neighbors, just as they are invited to meet and be blessed by God….The God we know in Jesus is revealed, that is, not in power but in vulnerability, not in might but brokenness, and not in judgment but in mercy. ~David J. Lose, Nov. 17, 2014.

Lose’s commentary is truly Good News in a world of violence and suffering. Every day we read about or hear about more bad news. The promise of a Messiah, a savior who will save us from calamity, might seem as far-fetched to us as it must have sounded to First Century folks.

The realization that God fulfilled the promise of a savior, not in might but brokenness and not in judgment but in mercy changes all expectations and brings hope to the world. At Christmas we celebrate the birth of hope! Hope changes everything….

Each year hope “shimmers” amid the darkness of fear and doubt. This year it takes, for me, the form of a song, a video from the a cappella group Pentatonix. Their vocal harmony is beautiful, but it’s the words they sing that capture what Jesus’ birth means:
Mary did you know….
The blind will see.
The deaf will hear.
The dead will live again.
The lame will leap.
The dumb will speak.
The praises of The Lamb.
I invite you to find that video on YouTube or Vevo or on our own church’s Facebook page. Listen, enjoy, let hope grow in your heart. Thanks be to God!


Monday, December 15, 2014

Courtyard Rededication

Sunday, December 21, after worship

The bricklayers have been hard at work, and the Celtic cross with its new memorial bricks will be the centerpiece of our redesigned central courtyard for many years to come. Particularly if you bought one or more bricks to honor your loved ones, you will want to attend this short ceremony to rededicate the area for use in the church’s ministry.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Last Call - Holiday High Tea

Saturday, December 13, at 1:00 pm in Swain Hall

There are only a few tickets left for this festive annual affair—if you want one, call Gail Bickel NOW at 623.815.7290.