Hello dear friends and blessed 2nd day of Advent. We have 26 more days in this season and I invite you to be intentional about this time. I've confessed that I really appreciate the church calendar because it reminds me that our lives are to be patterned on God, not simply on the world in which we live. In yesterday's sermon I quoted John 1:4 and laughed when the first entry in today's Advent devotional from Advent Conspiracy used the same scripture as we begin Advent 2021.
The Holy Spirit is quite consistent in pointing out some things! I am posting the reflection below but I urge you to get a little 'Advent corner' in your home where you can light a candle, read the scriptures and other writings for this season, and reflect. I am attaching two Advent devotionals and if you want a print copy email the church back and either Jo or I will get it to you. Our Advent worship series focuses on "The Inn: Housing the Holy" and yesterdays theme was "Making Room."
I have been pondering the Eastern Church's Nativity Fast and think it's a great way to make more room for God during this time (personally and communally).
If you too find it intriguing, look it up or read about Celtic Advent here: https://godspacelight.com/2021/11/15/meditation-monday-welcome-to-celtic-advent-once-more/. I have also put Advent resources inside the fellowship hall for you to take. They include calendars, devotionals, etc. Help yourself!Now here is a devotional as we begin Advent:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5
John’s take on Jesus coming into the world was that He was light driving out darkness. John has barely begun his gospel narrative before introducing this cosmic conflict as the reason God the Father sent the Son. With a confident foreshadowing of the story’s end, John assures us who will ultimately come out on top. “That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.” Right here John sums up the season of Advent. Even amidst the great deal of darkness in this world, the light of Jesus Christ shines bright. He who experienced all of the darkness, even death itself, and was not overcome now dwells in us as God’s Spirit. As followers of Jesus, we still live in a world where darkness seems ever-present. This is no surprise to many of us. We experience suffering in relationships, through disease and death, and seeing the world run by and for those in power.
Remembering the truth found in John 1:5 and the resurrection of Jesus allows us to have faith that, in the words of Frederick Buechner, “the madness and lostness we see all around us and within us are not the last truth about the world but only the next to the last truth.”
REFLECT: Consider today how the light of Christ may shine into the darkness around you. Are there times in your life where you’ve accepted the darkness in which you may be called to carry the light of Christ? How might practicing the four tenets of Advent Conspiracy bring about light into our dark world?
PRAY: Jesus, Light of the World, during this Advent season, may we not ignore or fear darkness, but help us see the same light that came into the world 2,000 years ago still shines in us today. When we grow weary, strengthen our hearts. When we feel despair, encourage us through community and your words, And where there is darkness, lead us to be light. Amen.
HAPPY ADVENT friends!
Keep praying for all our friends and family who are on our prayer lists as well as on our 'own lists.' Light your candles to remind yourself that just a little light makes a world of a difference in dispersing darkness.
Hugs and love, Pastor Andrea
This week: (other meetings/gatherings/work will be taking place as well but here are some things to note):·
Friday, December 3rd -- Women's Bible study will meet at 9:30 am, continuing a study on "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel", by Lifeway Women. We are on the third session. It takes four of the hymn's verses and explores their meaning in a deeper understanding as we prepare for the Lord's first and second coming. There are five days of personal study to be done before each session, so order your book now and join us! All are welcome. The sessions will be both in person and on Zoom.The Zoom link is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82692013940?pwd=dHB4S2N2VW9XZmNORmhRa3l0VGxSUT09 or join by phone, 301-715-8592; Meeting ID: 826 9201 394; Passcode: 624229·
Sunday, December 5th THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT8:30 am Sunday morning Bible study -- The fifth session of the new study using "The God Who Sees" by Karen Gonzalez. Stories from scripture about Hagar, Joseph, Ruth and Jesus will guide us to consider those who have fled their homelands. This week we consider the story of the Syrophoenician woman, led by Pastor Andrea. The book is not mandatory but would be helpful and as always, all are welcome! Come and participate in the study & discussion in person or via Zoom. The Zoom link is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/907628370?pwd=eFVCTEVhb0xqMXcxY2xaUG5JMUZEdz09, or join by phone, +1 312 626 6799; Meeting ID: 907 628 370; Passcode: 332397
10 am Worship -- "The Inn: Housing the Holy" A Place at the Table: PEACE. Join us, either in person or via Zoom ('hybrid' worship). If you will be worshipping via zoom, log on or call in using these links: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/91739214242?pwd=b1QrZzk0QzBtM1RXZnZuaVFVMDNmZz09, or join by phone, 1 301 715 8592; Meeting ID: 917 3921 4242; Password: 731771. For those of you who will be worshipping in person, masks will be required when indoors. Please bring your own, thanks!o Worship leaders: Pastor Andrea Doeden; Assisting: Lisa Rygiel; Organist: Connie Pallone; Pianist: Mark Nelson; Soloist: Becky McNeil; Ushering: Hailey Bearden & Amy Navarette; Reading: Hailey Bearden; Communion prep/cleanup: Jo Moss.o Flowers are from Doris Blalock in honor of her son's birthday.
Fellowship -- after worship (approx. 11:10am) in the fellowship hall. Gather after worship to enjoy a few more leftovers and wonderful conversation!
Bread & Belonging -- College/High School Student Fellowship meets from 6-8pm in the lower level of the fellowship hall.
Prayer List: It is a privilege to pray for one another and to bring those who need healing to Jesus. Send prayer requests to Carol Smith at email@example.com or 412-477-7531. "Listen to my words, Lord, consider my lament. Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly." -- Psalms 5:1-3.
Let us be reassured as we pray, that God hears our prayers.
In prayer, we ask in His name: Comfort for those in mourning, including Carol Schulzkump's family on the death of her brother-in-law Rick Woodruff; and Doris Blalock's family on death of her uncle.
We thank God for the positive news of both Andrea & Tyrone in remission! We pray for and surround with Gods' healing touch: Kimberly Hall; Brent Kapling; Mike Blackmore; Bradley Tennery; Cora Warrick & son Tyler; Carol Schulzkump, and Carol's son Kris and daughter-in-law Ana (whose father is in ICU); JoAnn's sister, Beth; Deena Karpseck (Steve's sister-in-law with COVID-19 and A-Fib); Floyd Gumke; Wilmae & Sherry Gartside; Lisa Rygiel's parents; Kimberly Ehrman; Loren Eigenberg; the Sandstead family.
We surround with prayers those battling cancer, including Gary Miller; Marcie Guard; Lynn's brother, Kenny; Nancy Wilhelm (Ernie & Sharon family member); Linda Bounds; Norine's step daughter Sherry, & her daughter Thulei Bereford & family in South Africa; Joni's nephew Mike; Jo Moss' cousin Virginia; Kimber Begano; Dr. Mark Jacobson; Linda Theige's brother-in-law Pastor Bob; and Max Phillips.
We also pray for those affected by COVID-19, including Hal & Rita Burton & their daughter Christine; and Sheryl Smith's Mom, Maureen Walker.
Our prayers continue for the Afghan refugees arriving in Colorado; Wal Reat (missionary in Sudan whom we support financially through Global Missions); Pastor Clay and The Way ministry; ACTS ministry; and the prison congregation New Beginnings and Pastor Schjang.
Other announcements/dates to put on your calendar:
1. Yesterday's worship service can be viewed by following this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/jYpbc9i2H6LtVBDnlfOqePbSl6PwkGCwF0UHmRM0iVRDod1vkCiTIyPVpnH4yvNQ.JYjpogLnT5z5VLJy;Passcode: ixxLw?q0. The sermon begins at minute 22:49. 1. Zion's is forming a co-sponsorship team for supporting an Afghan family being relocated to CO Springs. Let me know if you want to be on the team. And if you do, you must attend a zoom orientation. The next one is on Dec. 7th if you decide that you want to be involved with this new opportunity. Sign up at -- https://www.lfsrm.org/event/refugee-volunteer-orientation-colorado-springs-online-3/?instance_id=3582
2. LAST FEW DAYS FOR OUR NOVEMBER COAT DRIVE! Let's go through our closets, gather our donations, and bring those coats (clean and washed) to church and they will be shared with those in need. Thank you!
3. Zion's is once again sponsoring either local youth or seniors by buying them some much needed and appreciate gifts. Look for details at church and /or contact Jo Moss for more details/envelopes to match you.
4. Becky McNeil and David Lamb are in our community theater's Christmas play that shows Dec 3-5 and 10-12. It's supposed to be a hilarious 'G'-rated production. Mark your calendars for an evening of laughter!
5. Centering Prayer will be returning to Zion's! All who are interested in resuming or starting this practice please mark Saturday, February 12th for a half day workshop led by the Southern Colorado Contemplative Outreach leadership team. Prior to March 2020, Zion's had a Centering Prayer group that met weekly and members have requested that it be restarted.