Our Advent sermon series this year is called, “Sacred,” and I am hoping to challenge you to see our preparations for Christmas through the Advent season through the kaleidoscope of the sacred.
When you see or hear light in the darkness, hope in the despair, I invite you to post it to social media with the hash tags: #sacred #adventlight
Christmas Eve: The “God Clause!”
Christmas Eve is nearly upon us! How can it be?
This is an incredible opportunity for the congregation at the Presbyterian Church of the Eternal Hills, because we will host over 400 people during that one sacred and beautiful evening.
We will be telling the story of Jesus’ birth through scripture and your favorite carols. The pastor’s message will be one of hope for this world — that although Santa keeps a list of naughty and nice, and Santa’s gifts reflect your behavior, the gift of Jesus surpasses all of those things. Whether we are naughty or nice, we still receive the amazing gifts of grace and mercy as shown to us through Emmanuel — God With Us!
In the spirit of being a “Community of believers with open hearts, open minds, and open arms,” I encourage you to come early and help welcome visitors and old friends into our fellowship. We are working on new name tags, and most of them will be hanging on the new green clip stands in the foyer. We hope to remove all the old name tags and the huge board from the foyer, so check the rotating stands first when you arrive. There are two stands, and the clips are organized alphabetically. Wearing nametags will let others know that they can ask you questions, and will be a friendly way to help our guests feel welcome. If you can’t find your nametag, please check at the greeter’s desk. . Jill has been working overtime to tidy up that area for our holiday visitors.
As a quick update, we have two services on Christmas Eve, Saturday, Dec. 24:
5:00 Family Living Nativity Service — this service is designed for families with young children. The children themselves will get to dress up in costumes and become a living part of the nativity story, which we will tell through scriptures and carols. The service is followed by Birthday Cake for Jesus in the fellowship hall.
8:00 Traditional Christmas Eve Candlelight Service — this service, as I described above, will be lessons and carols, with a short message about God’s unconditional love. We close this service every year with “Silent Night” and the spreading of the Christ light through the sanctuary with the candle-lighting ritual.
The next two Sundays will have “Come-as-you-are Services” at 10:00 am with Communion. Can you imagine better days than Christmas and New Year’s to worship God and partake of the joyful feast of the people of God?
Thank you for being a part of our church family. Whether you live near or far away, I pray that you will be filled with light and love this holiday season and into the new year.
With Hope in the Coming Light,
During our recent Extravagant Generosity Stewardship Campaign, I asked those in attendance to write down the reasons why they support CEH through their gifts of time, talent, and/or treasure. We had so many wonderful responses! I’ll be featuring them over the next month or so. I hope you enjoy reading the reasons why people attend and support CEH:
▪ We give because we want to support all the wonderful things this Church does for the members of the community.
▪ First of all, I love CEH. I feel the spirit of Jesus as I walk through the doors. The fellowship is so nurturing to my soul. I have been praying to find my stewardship at CEH. My life has been filled with stewardship in my family and community. Hopefully, I will find my place in CEH. (Vivian)
▪ Love. Give. Forgiveness. Pray. Talent.
▪ I am committed to this church because of love: love of God, members of this congregation and love of the leadership have drawn me close to this church as a whole. We are blessed to have such a loving family of God in Church of Eternal Hills. (Claudia Stock)