November 2013 -- In all things, give thanks. I Thess. 5:18

“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD—and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.” Isaiah 11:1-3
     Increasingly, November is a month taken over by December. The Christmas season begins earlier and earlier every year. Even October had barely begun before the telltale signs of Christmas catalogs, store decorations, and garlands, lights, and fake snow popped up in shopping centers. And Advent is still over a month away! While the celebration of Jesus’ birth is certainly never-ending and well-worth-it, there is a danger of living too much in the beginning, and forgetting the other seasons, not just in the year, but in life.
     Jesus doesn’t stay in the manger, or in Bethlehem. Life is not a constant comfortable holiday. 

     So I’ve chosen to balance things. Rather than dismiss all the early Christmas festivity, and rather than embracing it altogether, I’ve decided November will be a month of PRE-ADVENT. Advent is the month of
December, designed to prepare us for Christ’s arrival, and focusing on the story leading up to Christmas. However, since we seem to treat December as if it’s one big Christmas, why don’t we make November a month of deeper preparation? 

     After all, the Jewish people waited hundreds of years for the Messiah to arrive, with prophets foretelling his coming. As Christians, we sometimes don’t like to wait, but it is important that we remember how God
works in our waiting, teaching us patience and perseverance.

      Those who heard the words of the Prophet Isaiah had only that hope to cling to while they toiled and struggled on, waiting for God to appear. They desperately needed the good King to come and set things right. Some of us are waiting even now for God to act, in many and different ways. 
     This November, our worships will be designed around preparing us for Advent. Our Pre-Advent theme borrows a Shakespearean Halloween phrase, and adapts it for our waiting for the  Messiah’s birth:  “SOMETHING HOLY THIS WAY COMES.” 
     “He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.” Isaiah 11:3-5
Pastor Andy

 Andy’s Worship Schedule

3 Isaiah 42:1-4
"God of Life, Lead Us to Justice and Peace"
World Council of Churches theme
10 Haggai 1:15-2:9, Psalm 98
"Greater Glory"

17 1 Samuel 1:4-20, Mark 13:1-8
"Birth Pains"
24 Psalm 107, 1 Corinthians 14:6-19
"His Love Endures Forever-Thanksgiving Sunday
1 Names of Christ Series-"Immanuel: God With Us"
Christmas Cantata:"Bethlehem’s Child”

8 Names of Christ Series-"Messiah: Anointed One"
15 Names of Christ Series-"King of the Jews"
Baptismal Service

22 Names of Christ Series-"Son of God"

24 Names of Christ Series, Christmas Eve
"Jesus: God Saves"
29 Janet Sell

 Life Lessons :
14) Time heals almost everything.
Give time, time.
15) All that truly matters in the end
is that you loved.
16) The best is yet to come!!