Creekside Church of the Brethren

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1 Creekside Church of the Brethren Connection December 2013 PASTOR S PONDERINGS The Life-Light John 1: 1-9 The Message: The Word was first, the Word present to God, God present to the Word. The Word was God, in readiness for God from day one. Everything was created through him; nothing not one thing! came into being without him. What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by. The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn t put it out. There once was a man, his name John, sent by God to point out the way to the Life-Light. He came to show everyone where to look, who to believe in. John was not himself the Light; he was there to show the way to the Light. The Life-Light was the real thing: Every person entering Life he brings into Light. If we were playing Family Feud, a popular TV game show, and the question was Name a favorite holiday that people celebrate, what do you think the number one answer would be? I would guess Christmas. How about you? People love Christmas for many reasons: Jesus birth, gifts, family, eggnog and Christmas cookies, and last but not least the beautiful lights. The lights are an important part of Christmas. They are so important that many people begin hanging their lights immediately following Halloween. There are towns that hold the best light display contests. We respond to these lights with ooos and ahhhs. They are beautiful. Our love of lights and their beauty remind us that Jesus came to shine light in our darkness. We long for light in our lives. We long for light in our grieving, in our worry and anxiety, we long for light in our relationships. We long for the beauty of Jesus light to bring us his peace, his joy, his love and his hope. There is a beautiful song that is called, "Shine On Us." The words go like this: We are blessed that we know this light well. Lord, Let your light, Light of your face shine on us. That we may be saved, That we may have life, To find our way in the darkest night, Let your light shine on us. As we go through this Christmas season I pray that we are reminded of the people around us who need some light in their lives, and that we might bring light into their day. It doesn t have to be difficult ~ a simple phone call, a card or maybe a short visit or a surprise meal. There are many ways to shine light into others lives and the light reminds them that we care and after all the Christmas lights are put away Jesus light still shines. He is the light that brings the world to life. Let s celebrate by shining Jesus light to all we meet. In Jesus love and joy, Pastor Janet

2 TEAM SPIRIT REPORT HAPPY NEW YEAR! Sunday, December 1 is the first Sunday of Advent and the beginning of the Christian year. We have ended the year with a celebration of Christ the King and Thanksgiving Sunday. Our theme for Advent will be Longing for Light. This seems like an especially appropriate theme for Creekside Church as we are in the process of some important decisions. Church Board has been working to find a way forward in our discernment about renting our facility to Temple of God s Grace. Whatever the congregation decides, the process has raised questions about how we make decisions as a congregation, and how to create a space where each person can speak and be heard. We pray that we will let the light of Christ in our congregation and our community. We long for light as we enter a transition in pastoral leadership. We rejoice in Janet s call to Middlebury Church of the Brethren. Creekside leadership has begun conversation about what an interim pastoral team will look like and how the ministry of our church will continue. Janet, Elizabeth, and I have each felt affirmation for our ministry and calling, and we are grateful for your support as God s call takes us each into a place of growth and change. We trust that the light of Christ will continue to guide our service to the church. We know that the weeks leading up to Christmas can be filled with joy and anticipation; we proclaim that joy in our work and worship. We also know that for those who are grieving the loss of loved ones, of employment, of relationships that Advent can seem dark and lonely. As a family of faith, we pray that Creekside can walk with those who grieve as well as with those who celebrate. We pray for the grace to share Christ s light with those who walk in the darkness of grief, loneliness, or despair. In the words of our Advent theme song, Christ, be our light! Shine in our hearts, shine through the darkness. Christ be our light, shine in your church, gathered today. This is our prayer for Creekside in Advent and throughout the new year. Blessings in the name of Christ Pastor Rosanna for Pastor Elizabeth and Pastor Janet HOOSIER NEIGHBOR Name: Roger Griffith What is your favorite scripture or hymn? In the bulb there is a flower, and 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 What does hospitality mean to you? Hospitality is an attitude, not an event! What do you like about Creekside? It may take us time to make changes, but with faith in God we make the correct choices. And the Brethren idea that we should have carry-ins often. What is your vision for Creekside church? Unity.

3 ADVENT DEVOTIONALS Advent begins on Sunday, December 1. Worship Team has purchased devotional books from Brethren Press, Good News of Great Joy, which take us through the season of Advent and Christmas through Epiphany on January 6 th. The booklets will be on the ushers table beginning this Sunday, Nov. 24 th. Please take as many as you wish for yourself and your family, and to share with a friend, if you wish. Several large print copies are available. The resources are written by Tim Harvey, Church of the Brethren pastor from Virginia, and moderator of the 2012 Annual Conference. We give thanks for the gift of scripture, inspiration, and prayer as we prepare to celebrate Jesus birth. Pastor Rosanna for Worship Team ADVENT COLLECTION FOR B.A.B.E. STORE: HATS, MITTENS & BOOKS This year s holiday collections will benefit the B.A.B.E. Store. Hat and Mitten Trees will be in the Gathering Area during Advent. We will also have a collection box for [unwrapped] children s books, preferably with a religious theme. Thank you for your donations! Outreach Team The B.A.B.E. Store, located at 229 W. Marion Street, Elkhart, is a center where pregnant women and parents of infants/young children can shop using coupons they have earned by participating in various community-sponsored programs. The B.A.B.E. Store, sponsored by the Women s Care Center, is managed by volunteers and depends on donations to provide infant and child care items. DECEMBER 1: ADVENT CARRY-IN, CONCERT, AND COOKIES IN A JAR On Dec. 1, the Fellowship Team is kicking off Advent with a carry-in lunch at noon (please bring a dish to share), followed by a Blue Grass Christmas concert by the Boomer Boys from Camp Mack. There will be opportunities to sing along with some of your favorite Christmas music. A love offering will be taken and all of the profits will be donated to the Camp Mack Growing from the Ashes building campaign. After the concert, enjoy dessert and fellowship while we make Cookies in a Jar to give as gifts to family and friends. DECEMBER 19: CHRISTMAS SINGING AT THE WILLOWS You are invited to join Creekside members in Christmas Caroling at the Willows again this year. Their Christmas Gathering will be on Thursday, December 19 at 6:30 pm. The Outreach Team will be posting a sign-up sheet in the Gathering Area soon. DECEMBER 24: CHRISTMAS EVE AT CREEKSIDE O come, let us adore Him! Join your Creekside family and friends for a celebration of the birth of Christ on Tuesday, December 24 th at 7:00 pm. The prelude will begin at 6:45 pm. This service of carols, scripture readings, communion, and candle lighting is a wonderful way to observe Christmas. Guests are always welcome. The service will be followed by a fellowship time with snacks and drinks provided by the Fellowship Team a great time to exchange greetings with members of our extended and scattered Creekside family. We hope you can spend part of your Christmas Eve with us at Creekside.

4 CAMP MACK CORNER EVERENCE SHARING FUND / CREEKSIDE MEMBERS NEEDS What is the Everence sharing Fund? In partnership with local congregations/ Everence chapters, the Everence Sharing Fund gives grants for congregations to give short-term assistance to members who are experiencing financial need. We do this as part of fulfilling our corporate mission to help people integrate their finances with their faith. Where does the money come from? The simple answer is it comes from people who care. To more fully answer the question, however, the Sharing Fund receives money from three sources: people who buy Everence products or services, corporate tithing from Everence, and tax-deductible contributions from those who want to help others. Get involved To learn more about Everence, talk to our Creekside Advocate, Deana Markley, or visit Everence.com to discover the other ways we can help you integrate your finances with your faith. Join with other people who care and make a difference. This past year, Creekside has given $3, in "Members Needs and Outreach" requests, and Everence has reimbursed Creekside $1, Our amount available to Creekside this year was $1,500, so we have used all of our monies for All of the funds which were matched by Everence were contributed by Creekside members. We highlight members needs giving quarterly when there is a month with five Sundays, but you may contribute to the Members Needs Fund at Creekside anytime. If you have received assistance from the Creekside Members Needs Fund, we hope you have experienced Christ s love and the love of this congregation in a tangible way. JR & SR HIGH SCHOOL YOUTH: Register now for the NEW YEAR S PARTY AT CAMP MACK! Fee increases after Dec. 6. Party from 2 p.m. on Tues, Dec. 31, 2013 until noon on New Year s Day, Jan. 1, The theme is Get Real. Get details and register online. CAMP MACK WAS FIRST PLACE WINNER IN THE PROJECT SPOTLIGHT CONTEST sponsored by Beacon Credit Union, and received the $1,000 grant. Many thanks for your online votes! FUNDRAISING DINNER: Have you been to a Fundraiser for the Becker Retreat Center? See Becker Retreat Center plans and learn about the Growing from the Ashes Capital Campaign at the Fundraising dinner at Camp Mack on Friday, December 13th from 6:00 8:00 p.m. Call Camp to make a reservation. Support the campaign! Your generous donations are needed. GET-A-WAY DAYS December 7th choices: Williamsburg Wreathes & Swags, 9a-3p $25 Christmas Ornaments, 9a-3p $20 Christmas Cookies, choose 9-1 or 12-4 $45 CAMP MACK ALT. GIFT OPTIONS: Consider a life-changing gift - a gift of summer camp or a Good as Gold certificate for the program of the recipient s choice. Call Camp to order. CAMP MACK FESTIVAL 2013 REPORT: After all income and expenses are accounted for, the 2013 CMF raised $18, for camper scholarships and AV equipment in the Becker Retreat Center. Many thanks to all who helped make the Festival a success. Camp Reps, mark your calendars! Plan to attend the CAMP REP MEETING on Sat, Jan. 18, from 9-11:30 a.m. Enjoy brunch and receive 2014 program information. Please send a substitute if you are unable to attend. PRAYER REQUESTS: God s Love to be evident in our lives, and funds needed for Becker Retreat Center. Deana Markley, Creekside advocate

5 December 2013 HAPPENING IN DECEMBER: 1 Advent carry-in, noon Boomer Boys Christmas concert, 1:15 pm Cookies in a Jar, 2:00 pm 4 Volunteer Fellowship, 9:00 am Choir practice, 7:00 pm 5 Wired Word, 11:30 am-1:00 pm 8 Choir, 8:45 am 10 Men s lunch at Bent Oak, 11:30 am 11 Financial Team meeting, 9:00 pm 12 Wired Word, 11:30 am-1:00 pm 13 Cookie Walk set-up, 1:00-7:00 pm 14 Cookie Walk, 7:00 am-2:00 pm 17 Church Board, 6:30 pm 18 Choir practice, 7:00 am Deadline for Jan. Connection articles 19 Wired Word, 11:30 am-1:00 pm Outreach/FoF meeting, 6:30 pm 22 Choir, 8:45 am 24 Christmas Eve Service, 7:00 pm 25 Christmas Day, church office closed 26 Church office closed for Christmas BIRTHDAYS Ellis, Donald 5 Metcalf, Bryce 10 De Pue, Stephen 12 Ehret, Vicki 13 Hostetler, Doris 16 Mastic, David 18 Yoder, Joshua 20 Neal, Roger 22 Bollinger, Grace 25 Smith, KeShawn 26 Bibbee, Sue 27 Lehman, Vicki 30 Bueter, Lucas 31 ANNIVERSARIES Rodgers, Rick & Valerie 3 Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat

6 The Creekside Connection A publication of Creekside Church of the Brethren Address: CR 113 Elkhart, IN Phone: fax Website: Pastors: Janet Shaver: Rosanna McFadden: Betty Kelsey: Administrative Assistant & Editor: Marita Barsoda: The Creekside Connection is published monthly to keep members and friends informed of church programs and to report news about the people of Creekside Church. Rooted in God Growing in Jesus Bearing Fruit in the Spirit CR 113 Elkhart, IN

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