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.

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