Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In just a couple of weeks, on Sunday, November 28, we begin the Advent season. I am eagerly anticipating this special time in the church calendar and I am praying that the Lord would use this season to transform us and to deepen our joy as his redeemed people. Our Advent series this year is entitled The Path to Joy. During the weeks leading up to Christmas we will be in Luke chapters 1-2, wherein the promised Savior takes on flesh with humility bringing salvation and joy to a broken world.
Advent means “coming” and it is a period of both remembrance and anticipation: we look back to the first coming of Jesus and look forward to his second coming. As Christopher Ash in his Advent devotional Repeat the Sounding Joy: A Daily Advent Devotional on Luke 1-2, says, “The more deeply we understand him in his first Advent, the more passionately we shall long for his return, when we shall see him face to face; and the more joyfully we will celebrate his arrival at the first Christmas.”
This year we will offer Repeat the Sounding Joy as a churchwide devotional. Each entry is approximately three pages, and includes lyrics from an Advent/Christmas hymn, a prayer, and space for journaling. Though we will not be meeting formally to discuss the book, consider meeting up with others to discuss what God is teaching you through it as we travel together through the Advent season.
If you would like a copy, please contact the church office: [email protected]. A donation for the book is requested, but not required.
Here are the events taking place during the month of December (Be sure to check the announcements in the bulletin in the coming weeks for any other events hosted by our ministry teams).
Churchwide Advent events:
Sunday, December 12: Community Christmas Lunch (11:00am)
Friday, December 17: Austin Christmas Open House (5:30pm-7:30pm)
Sunday, December 19: Christmas hymn sing in Worship Center (during Sunday school hour)
Friday, December 24: Christmas Eve service (6:30pm)
Additionally, our church will be participating in an Advent giving project as in the past. Stay tuned for details!
This Sunday we will continue in our Acts series You Will Be My Witnesses with Acts 15:36-16:15.
Click here to access the livestream of the worship service (9:30am).
A few other items for you to keep in mind:
No Sunday School on Sunday, November 21
We will not hold children or adult Sunday school on Sunday, November 21, in light of the Thanksgiving holiday. Sunday school will resume the following week.
This Friday: Book Club Meeting (10:00am)
Book Club will meet this Friday, November 12 at 10 am in room 3/4, and will be discussing the book Thanksgiving: An American Holiday, An American History by Diana Karter Appelbaum. This book starts with the very first Thanksgiving and recounts the history of the holiday up to the present day. Everyone is welcome to come, even if you haven’t read the book. For more information, please contact Diane Walker.
This Saturday: Embracing Hope Gathering (9:30-11:00am)
Embracing Hope Women’s Gathering will meet this Saturday, November 13 from 9:30-11:00 am at Erin Evans’s home. Join us for a time of fellowship, encouragement, and to hear a story of hope. Please RSVP to Amy or Erin.
Office Administrator Job Opening
Our church is seeking to hire a part-time office administrator (20 hrs/week). The job description is attached to the Midweek Update. If you would like to inquire about the position, please contact Pastor Rhett.
Prayer Requests and Praises
Mark Wissing: Praise God that the results of Mark’s MRI revealed nothing abnormal. Please pray that the doctors would be able to determine the cause of his partial blindness.
Steve Roberts: Pray for strength and a full recovery following an operation last week to remove fluid from his lungs.
Bryan Van Zanten: Pray for healing for Bryan following a visit to the hospital due to difficulty swallowing.
Karla Van Der Molen: Please continue to pray that our Lord would encourage and strengthen Karla and Gary Van Der Molen in Karla’s illness.
Debbie Caldwell (friend of Pat LaBelle): Pray for a full recovery after a surgery last week for an abdominal aneurysm.
Pam O’Malley (neighbor of Dennis and Audrey Dobbs): Pray for comfort and healing for Pam following a stroke last Saturday evening.