It is Advent. In this season, we celebrate that Jesus has already come, that he is here now, and that he is coming again soon.

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1 The Voice of Monroe Street United Methodist Church December 2018 Come, Lord Jesus It is Advent. In this season, we celebrate that Jesus has already come, that he is here now, and that he is coming again soon. In worship, we light candles around the Advent wreath, as the light slowly comes into the darkness. We tell stories from prophets like Isaiah, anticipating that Emmanuel, God-with-us, is coming soon. Our choirs and musicians proclaim our hopes and expectations through the angelic language of music. On December 9 at 4 p.m., our choirs and Angels Wings, our bell choir, will present the second concert in the concert series, Songs of Advent and Christmas. The following Sunday, December 16, we will go caroling and take this song of great joy out into our community. Latino and Hispanic Christians in Central and South America and in the United States celebrate a nine-day Christmas tradition called Las Posadas. Posada is a Spanish word for lodging, or accommodation. During Las Posadas, a processional forms. Two people dress as Mary and Joseph. Several houses are chosen to be inns. For nine nights, the procession goes to one of these houses each night, and Mary and Joseph sing a song, asking to be welcomed inside so Mary will have a safe place to give birth. On the first eight nights, Mary and Joseph are rejected, until finally, on the last night, the innkeeper invites them to come inside, where there is a party. On the fourth Sunday of Advent, December 23, we will re-enact the tradition of Las Posadas in our family worship service, as Mary and Joseph ask us to welcome them and the soon-tobe-born Christ child into our home. And we will remember that the child who is coming is already here, in the faces of every person we meet, and especially in the faces of those who are refugees, those sojourners who today long for safe shelter and rest. O Lord Jesus, in this mysterious season we watch; we wait; we look; we hope; we pray; we long for you. Help us recognize you when you come to us, in all kinds of beautiful faces. Amen. Pastor Elizabeth 1

2 Worship in December December 2 First Sunday of Advent Sermon: Write the Vision Pastor Elizabeth Scripture: Habakkuk 1 and 2 Lay Reader: Gordon Ward Ushers: Marie and Bill Hoover, Sue and Chuck Thayer Altar Flowers: Given by Chuck and Sue Thayer in memory of loved ones December 9 Second Sunday of Advent Sermon: Light to the Nations Pastor Larry Scripture: Isaiah 42 Lay Reader: Barbara Coleman Ushers: Phyllis and Jerry Charles, Jim Vail, Chuck Thayer Altar Flowers: Given by Kathy Moore in memory of her brother, Noel December 16 Third Sunday of Advent Sermon: Joseph s Journey Pastor Elizabeth Scripture: Matthew 1:18-25 Lay Reader: Wilma DiManna Ushers: Marilyn Lodge, Bill Hoover, Dwight Petty, Tom Senerius Altar Flowers: Christmas Remembrances December 23 Fourth Sunday of Advent Sermon: Las Posadas Pastor Elizabeth Scripture: Luke 2:1-20 Lay Reader: Larry Twitchell Ushers: Kevin Mulder, Denise Clark, Robert Bringe, Dawn Westley Altar Flowers: Christmas Remembrances December 24 Christmas Eve Sermon: The Beginning Pastor Larry Scripture: John 1 Altar Flowers: Christmas Remembrances December 30 Sermon: What My Eyes Have Seen Bill Hull Scripture: Luke 2:22-32 Lay Reader: Lou D Amato Ushers: Roy Jones, Ron Mellgren, Clark Collins, John Lewton Altar Flowers: Christmas Remembrances Christmas Crafts from Around the World Plan on attending the annual breakfast and workshop on Saturday, December 1, beginning at 9:00 a.m. We will gather with our neighbors for breakfast and conversation, followed by crafts; family pictures taken in costume with Jesus mother, Mary; and the Hanging of the Greens in the sanctuary. Come begin your Advent season with us! 2

3 Giving Fair Our 2018 Giving Fair will be held on Sunday, December 9. At the Fair you can purchase chocolate, tea, and coffee to support farmers and growers in developing countries. You also can engage in alternative Christmas giving! Giving opportunities will include the Monroe Street Neighborhood Center, the Heifer Project, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), and our Freedom School. Please keep these wonderful organizations in mind as you are thinking about Christmas gifts for family and friends. Mitten Tree The Mitten Tree is up and ready to accept warm hats, gloves, and, of course, mittens. All will be handed out through the Monroe Street Neighborhood Center to keep our friends and neighbors warm throughout the winter. Cookies for Shut-ins We need your help so we can share homemade cookies with those who are homebound. Please bring your cookie donations to church on Sunday, December 9. The Congregational Care Committee will be assembling plates of cookies on Monday morning, December 10, at 9:30 a.m. CHRISTMAS REMEMBRANCES 2018 The Altar Guild will be placing several poinsettias on the Altar to represent those you hold dear to your heart. We are asking that instead of purchasing a flower for your loved one, you donate to the Altar Guild. Please fill out the form below and return it, accompanied by your check payable to Monroe Street United Methodist Church, by Sunday, December 9. Your name and those of your loved ones will be listed in the Christmas Eve bulletin and in the January issue of The Voice. I would like to donate $ to the Altar Guild My donation is given: IN LOVING MEMORY OF IN LOVING HONOR OF Name Phone 3

4 Thank You! Dear Monroe Street United Methodist Church, Thank you for the scholarship. I am currently in the Global Village where I get to meet other students from all over the world, such as Austria, Hong Kong, and Vietnam. I have also been chosen for an internship that will occur summer Kelly Kirkpatrick Dear Monroe Street United Methodist Church, Thank you so much for the scholarship you gave me. I put it directly into my loans and it has helped me a lot. I have a lot of great memories at Monroe Street and I am glad to be back and volunteering for our various community outreach programs. I am applying to graduate schools now and hope to start school in the fall of Kerry Kirkpatrick NOTE: Kerry s note included art work she did during her senior year of university. It has been shown at the Coburn Gallery at Ashland University. Transportation Needed We have been exploring transportation needs for those who need a ride to church. Currently there is a person in the area of Detroit and Alexis who would like to come to worship. If you can help, please call Linda Perry at Lunch Bunch Since there are a number of church related activities on Saturdays during December, we will postpone any Lunch Bunch gatherings until January If we can find a Saturday in January that has a good weather forecast, we will schedule time together then. Kathy Moore Welcome, Clarence! Thanks for Thanksgiving Baskets I ve been busy this last month working on the food baskets to give out to our neighbors at Thanksgiving. I d like to thank everyone for all their help in getting the baskets together. I guess the need is greater this year. I ve been doing this program for a while now and enjoy it a lot. It keeps me busy and I understand the need for the baskets. I am thanking everyone for their help again this year especially Marcia Frederick and the Rivera family. All your help and donations are greatly appreciated. We couldn t do this without everyone working together. I hope everyone has a warm Christmas and a happy holiday season. Thanks again. Robert Bringe Clarence Smith is our new Director Of Music. He comes with great talent and experience. We are delighted to have him and his wife, Pat, with us at Monroe Street Church. The deadline for The January issue of The Voice is Monday, December 17 Send articles to Barbara Coleman at 4

5 From the Trustees Those Denizens of the Depths (think boiler room), the Untamable Trustees, have been hard at work. The new handicap parking signs have been put up. Lanette called dibs on the next bathroom paint job. After that, the "Pretty Room" accessible restroom gets a final coat of paint. New agreements with our tenants will be on our agenda, and some more plumbing work is on (under?) the horizon. Just like the Marine Corps, we are looking for a few good men and women to serve as evacuation monitors for our upcoming fire drill. I hit Jerry up for only about five grand this month. He was seen with a metal detector searching for lost coins. Keys, too. We accepted a donation of five gently used desks that already have new homes. They were free, so no objection from The Treasurer. So, from us to you, Happy Trails until we meet again. John Lewton MONROE STREET FINANCIAL REPORT Month Ending October 2018 Current Month Monthly Budget Year to Date Annual Budget Actual Actual Total Contributions $26, $28, $304, $356, Lackland Endowment Match $ $ $3, $5, Total Foundation Subsidy $20, $- $70, $70, Lackland Bequest $5, $- $13, $20, Total Other Income $25.00 $ $ $5, Total Rental Income $ $1, $11, $15, Total Income $52, $30, $403, $472, Total Operating Expense $42, $40, $442, $537, The expenses through October were about $40,000 over our income. I am expecting some more bills for the boiler to come in this month. We will have special Thanksgiving and Christmas offerings that will be a Lackland Match. Please consider making an offering beyond your pledge. Our over-expenditure for October was for paper supplies and copier expenses for the color copies, which are billed about every six months. Jerry Charles, Treasurer 5

6 Greetings from the Neighborhood Center: Thank you for your support of our first Holiday Market that was held on November 17. We had a great turnout and some wonderful vendors. We are looking forward to a possible Spring Market. Evaluations were sent to vendors and we will see what they think. Supporting local crafters and allowing them to showcase their talents was great! We were able to serve 32 families with the Thanksgiving baskets. Thank you to those who donated and coordinated this effort. Our annual Holiday Luncheon will be held on Tuesday, December 11 at 11:30 a.m. in Reeder Hall. Looking ahead to the new year, we invite you to join us Friday, January 11 for the movie The King and I at the Valentine Theater. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased from any board member or in the Neighborhood Center office. We will host a Dessert Reception beginning at 6:00 p.m., with the movie starting at 7:30 p.m. Happy Holidays from the Monroe Street Neighborhood Center staff. Clara L. Petty Executive Director Monroe Street Neighborhood Center An Advent Prayer by Henri Nouwen Lord Jesus, Master of both the light and the darkness, send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas. We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day. We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us. We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom. We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence. We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light. To you we say, Come Lord Jesus! Amen 6

7 A Prayer at an Empty Chair Here s a prayer that acknowledges the pain some carry during the holidays. It comes from A Concord Pastor Comments. He writes: For those who are grieving the loss of a loved one.. "the holidays" can be a particularly difficult time. Prayer can offer us a path through these days and opportunities for healing... Dear God, there s an empty chair at our table, an ache in our hearts and tears upon our faces... We try to shield one another from our grief but we cannot hide it from you... We pray for...(name your loved one) whose presence we miss in these homecoming days... Open our eyes and our hearts to the healing, the warmth and the peace of your presence... Assure us that those we miss have a home in your heart as well as in ours and a place at your table forever... Open our hearts to joyful memories of the love we shared with those who have gone before us... Help us tell the stories that bring us close to one another and to the ones we miss so much... Teach us to lean on you and on each other for the strength we need to walk through difficult times... Give us quiet moments with you, with our thoughts, with our memories and our prayers... And in the stillness of the quiet, give us your consolation and your peace... Be with us and hold us in your arms as you hold the ones we miss... This is the day you have made, O Lord: help us rejoice and be glad in the peace you ve promised and share with those who ve gone before us... Amen. 7

8 MONROE STREET UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 3613 Monroe Street Toledo OH DATED MATERIAL NON-PROFIT ORGAN. U.S. POSTAGE PAID TOLEDO, OHIO PERMIT NO. 52 Monroe Street United Methodist Church Church Staff Larry Clark, Pastor Elizabeth Rand, Pastor Clarence Smith, Director of Music Lanette Cornwell, Administrative Assistant Church Office Monday through Thursdays 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Phone: Website: Facebook: Monroe Street Church Toledo Sunday School at 9:00 a.m. Sunday Worship at 10:30 a.m. 8