This Week – December 6th, 2018

Sunday, December 9, 2018
9:30 a.m. Adult Choir Rehearsal
10:15 a.m. Worship (Advent 2 – Peace)
Receiving John & Marion Roschen as members today!

Scripture: John 3: 1-10
Sermon: “I Don’t Know”

Serving Our Church:
Liturgist: Barb Okonek
Ushers: The Worship Team

Pledge Sunday is December 16th
The season of sharing is upon us. Please prayerfully consider your 2019 commitment to Chapel Hills. Pledges will be received on Sunday, December 16th.

Christmas Eve Offering
The Christmas Fund helps provide pension and health premium supplementation to low-income retired church workers, emergency assistance to clergy families in need, and Christmas checks to hundreds of annuitants, as administered by the Pension Boards.
Holiday Carol Sing Sunday, December 9th – 4:00 p.m. @ Chapel Hills

Bring a friend or neighbor for an evening of…
• Holiday songs the whole family will enjoy
• Snacks and Refreshments
• Bring a non-perishable food item to benefit the VEAP Food Shelf

There is a sign-up sheet in the Narthex if you would like to provide an appetizer, cookies, and/or help with set-up/clean-up.

Looking Ahead…

Order Your Poinsettia Plants by THIS Sunday, December 9th
Three colors to choose from: Red, White, or Ice Crystal.  The plants will be displayed at our Christmas Eve service and then you can take them home to add to your holiday decor.
Order sheet is in the Narthex.

Christmas Eve Worship – 4:30 p.m.
Join us at 4:15 p.m. for a musical prelude; stay for our traditional Carols, Candles and Communion.  We will receive the Christmas Fund Offering during the Service.

Year End Donations
If you wish to contribute to Chapel Hills for tax year 2018, please have your check in the office or in the mail by December 31st.

“Make Ready”
Second Sunday of Advent

It is a troubling moment in the history of Israel when John the Baptist appears in Luke’s Gospel. It is the fifteenth month of the Roman emperor Tiberius, and Pontius Pilate is governor. Herod along with his family, political sycophants and bullies run Jerusalem and the countryside. They do this with the support and backing of the full might of the Roman Empire. John calls across the centuries from his anxious and troubled world. He calls to us urging preparation because something is coming, he says. Make everything ready he tells us, and let no mountains or crooked paths stand in the way. Make smooth the roads that will bear the good news.

There are all kinds of ways to make roads smooth aren’t there? You can clear them of debris, pave them, or get out the heavy equipment and begin digging through the mountain. How does the church of the twenty first century smooth out the roads to make way for the good news of the birth of Jesus? Sometimes the good news we tell is born in the good deeds we do, and even in the physical roads we clear.

Most of the roads in Puerto Rico were wiped out in the category 5 Hurricane Maria, whose sustained winds of 155 mph and rain pounded the island dealing the worst natural disaster in the island’s history. A history that includes 120 years as part of the United States, becoming a territory in 1898, a Commonwealth in 1952 and, in 1917, its inhabitants becoming citizens of the US. This island off the coast of Florida has a population of almost 3.5 million people (roughly the same as Connecticut). Since Hurricane Maria, much of the island has been cleared and power restored. The Disaster Ministries of the United Church of Christ has been on the ground since just after the storm and has remained long after the big equipment and military vessels left. As of the summer of 2018 there was much left to do. While the island’s beautiful tourist spots were open and welcoming, people in the rural and remote parts of the island still needed assistance. UCC Disaster Ministries have stuck with those people by organizing volunteer teams. Teams from churches across the country have been showing up to help with repairs and thru donations from congregations and individuals have been able to smooth the roads and make everything ready so that people of Puerto Rico know they are not forgotten.

Thank you Thank you!
We raised over $500 from our Christmas Market Sales.
ALL of the proceeds will be donated to Hurricane Relief.

January Book Group – Sunday, January 13th
The Book Of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World is the result of a 7-day meeting between the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, two of the world’s most influential spiritual leaders, during which they discussed one of life’s most important questions: how do we find joy despite suffering?

All are welcome to join the conversation.

Looking Ahead
December 8 House of Charity – Volunteers Needed
Cooks of Chapel Hills (Holiday Theme) – 6:00 p.m.
December 9 Holiday Carol Sing – 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.
December 12 Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
December 16 Pledge Sunday
Christmas Pageant – During Worship
Choir is OFF
December 19 Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
December 24 Christmas Eve Service (Carols, Candles, & Communion)
– Musical Prelude: 4:15 p.m.
– Service Begins: 4:30 p.m.
Looking Ahead, continued
December 26 NO Adult Choir Rehearsal
December 30 Choir is OFF

Worship This Sunday
Scripture: John 3: 1-10
Sermon: “I Don’t Know”

We continue looking at darkness with the story of the visit Nicodemus makes to Jesus. It happens at NIGHT. As with last week’s words about darkness, I will say some kind words about Nicodemus. He is dismissed too quickly for making a “mistake.” Most of us make the same one. Hint: certainty is overrated.

Prayer
May the strength of God guide us, the Power of God preserve us, the wisdom of God instruct us, the Spirit of God be within us, this day and evermore. Amen.

This Week – November 15, 2018

Sunday, November 18, 2018
9:30 a.m. Adult Choir Rehearsal
10:15 a.m. Worship

Scripture: Psalm 112, James 1: 22-25, Luke 18: 35-43
Sermon: “Do it for Yourself, Others, and God: Work”

Serving Our Church:
Liturgist: Ethan Norris-Weber
Greeters: Nancy, Ethan, and Eli Norris-Weber
Ushers: Worship Team

Advent Devotionals
The 2018 Advent devotionals are now available while supplies last.

Chapel Hills “Holiday Carol Sing”
Sunday, December 9th – 4:00 p.m. @ Chapel Hills

Bring a friend or neighbor for an evening of…
• Holiday songs the whole family will enjoy
• Snacks and Refreshments
• Bring a non-perishable food item to benefit the VEAP Food Shelf

There is a sign-up sheet in the Narthex if you would like to provide an appetizer, cookies, and/or help with set-up/clean-up.

Praise the Holy One
Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

Where are you going for Thanksgiving? Will you be one of the many millions traveling this year? Last year, the figure for numbers of people moving around the lower 48 on Thanksgiving Day was around 50 million. Everyone is moving like a river toward and through the world swirling like circles inside of circles and ending up at almost the same meal. It may be that 88% of Americans eat Turkey on Thanksgiving. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all just stop and remember what we share?

Remember to be grateful for everything that saves us, and all of creation that embraces and nurtures and quenches our thirst. To be grateful for a growing generation that learns before our eyes how to speak truth to power. To be grateful for all those who inhabit this world with us and in gratitude see how much we need each other. Being grateful is both a response to love and a generator of love.

Perhaps on Thanksgiving it’s a good day for us to remember that we are grateful for the things we love because of what they call us to become. To love creation calls us into a world of nature and color and the genius of creatures and the suffering caused by climate change. It pulls us into the actual place we live beyond sidewalks and the walls of our homes, or the seats of our cars, or the screens of our computers. Gratitude for creation and our love of it reminds us that nature is our true home.

To love children is to love what the world may become, and be grateful, in advance, for what they will do for others. To love children is to love into the future by influencing their experience of the present. To love children is to teach them things they might need to know. But mostly to show them how beautiful they are and how Jesus needs them to be his hands and they are beloved.

To love one’s neighbor pulls one across the globe, and into our backyards. Who are all these people? What are they doing traveling with us on this day? Eating turkey. Sharing life. Breathing. Laughing. Telling stories. Mourning loss. Being happy. Irritated with a cousin, or sibling. We are also grateful that there is a world where evening meals share different settings and a plenary of tastes. We are grateful for global neighbors.  Among all the things that love can teach, our three great loves (Love of Neighbor, Love of Children, Love of Creation) teach us gratitude.

Looking Ahead…

Sunday, November 18th
Sandwich Making
Following Worship
Book Group
Confirmation

Saturday, December 8th
Cooks of Chapel Hills @ 6:00 p.m.

Sunday, December 9th
Holiday Carol Sing from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Book Group – Sunday, November 18th (Following Worship)
Our November Book Group selection is…
I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
By Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb

Cooks of Chapel Hills
Saturday, December 8th • 6:00 p.m.
Mark your calendar and plan on attending our “Holiday Themed” dinner.  Sign-up sheet is in the Narthex.  All are Welcome!

Looking Ahead
November 15 Londonderry Townhome Association Meeting – 6:30 p.m.
November 18 Pastoral Relations Meeting – 8:30 a.m.
Book Group/Confirmation/Sandwich Making – Following Worship
November 21 Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
November 28 Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
December 2 Communion/VEAP Food Shelf Sunday
December 3 Worship Team Meeting – 5:30 p.m.
December 5 Adult Choir Rehearsal – 7:30 p.m.
December 8 Cooks of Chapel Hills (Holiday Theme) – 6:00 p.m.
December 9 Holiday Carol Sing – 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Worship This Sunday
Scripture: Psalm 112, James 1: 22-25, Luke 18: 35-43
Sermon: “Do it for Yourself, Others, and God: Work”

The fifth “practice” of discipleship is work. Where your head and heart are is important. So is the placement and use of your hands.

Prayer
May the strength of God guide us, the Power of God preserve us, the wisdom of God instruct us, the Spirit of God be within us, this day and evermore. Amen.