Get Ready! Christmas Is Coming!

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1 Issue 388 December 2017 Get Ready! Christmas Is Coming! I get frustrated when I see Christmas decorations lining store aisles in October. I break out the Christmas music after Thanksgiving. And Christmas lights should not stay on houses year-round. Our society doesn t usually need reminders that Christmas is coming and definitely doesn t wait until the last minute to get ready (except for my uncle and his Christmas shopping). There is something about Christmas that has us eager to get started with the season and the celebrations. I don t think that is by accident. At Christmas Jesus brings hope, love, joy and peace into the world. While sometimes it feels like Christ has been lost as the central place of Christmas, it is this hope, love, joy and peace that everyone is seeking. While Advent is a four week season of preparation for the coming of the Messiah, God s people had actually been preparing for the Messiah for years and decades and generations. The Old Testament prophets remind us that God s people, like our world today, were looking for hope, for love, for joy and for peace. They were waiting, hoping, praying, and longing for God to intervene in their world. In the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:1-2 This Advent in worship we will look at some of these words of preparation from the prophet Isaiah and how God was getting the world ready for his coming. In Christ, Pastor Kevin

2 P AGE 2 OPC Events Second Sunday Brunch Celebrate the season of The Christ Child's birth with your church family and friends as we gather for Second Sunday Brunch. This month's brunch will be December 10th following worship. Please bring a main dish, salad or dessert to share as we fellowship together. Hat & Glove Drive The OPC Deacons are now collecting new pairs of socks, gloves and mittens of all sizes to be donated to Spokane Valley Partners. There is a big need for these items this time of year as the weather gets colder. Donations can be dropped off in the OPC office or at Spokane Valley Partners. Mingle and Munch Fellowship The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us. John 1:14 Right now, all of us are anticipating the joy of that first Christmas day. We delight in decorating our church & our homes, baking holiday cookies, & changing the sheets to flannel for our Christmas company. Wow! I am on overload! Why didn t I wait and invite special friends to come for dinner after Christmas? Mingle and Munch fellowship is inviting all adults to join us after Christmas. And you do not have to do the cooking! When December 28, at 6:00pm Where Darcy s Restaurant Just West of Sprague & University Why To enjoy good food & to fellowship with our church family. Call Marilyn Long or Gerrie Hobbs for more information. This is a no-host invitation. We order off the menu. Women s Bible Study Women s Bible Study is Thursday, December 14 at 11am & 7pm. Call Marilyn Reuhl at with any questions. SAVE THE DATE! The annual congregational meeting is January 28 following worship

3 P AGE 3 Session The Session met on Monday, November 27th and the following items were discussed and/or action taken: An update of the sale of the Manor was discussed. Documents have been prepared and completed for the sale. ALL documents are complete and have been filed with HUD. Mac Whiteford reported that the closing of the sale could occur as early as the end of the year but is more likely to occur in February or March The sale of the Manor does NOT include Ben s house. The Session wants to make sure that all OPC members realize that Ben s house is a separate property and has never been a part of this transaction. The Presbytery will conduct a business audit of our financial records for 2016 and 2017 on January 11, This is a routine audit. We have applied for a missional grant from the Presbytery. A grant such as this provides funds to continue to extend our programs into the community. OPC has been a recipient of grant funds before. In the past we have used grant funds to pay interns and to organize new programs. The Nominating Committee is still looking for interested individuals to serve as Elders and Deacons. Linda Baggarley is the contact person. Handbells will be playing in worship under the direction of Ed Hurd beginning on December 3rd. The Annual Congregational Meeting is scheduled for January 28, Finances As of 11/26 we have received 51 pledge cards totaling $212,852 towards the General Fund and $30,848 towards the Building Fund. Our Prayer Budget we have been praying about is $463,180 - obviously this is far short of that goal, so Session is now looking at what we need to do to reduce our expenses for If you have not filled out your pledge card, please do so now, your pledge matters. Per Capita Update for 2017 we still owe over $1,000 to Presbytery for Per Capita. If you haven t paid your $34 and can, please do so by year-end. For 2018 the Per Capita amount per member will be $ Please continue to keep OPC in your prayers. We are also encouraging all members of OPC to make a commitment to pray in 2018.

4 P AGE 4 Children s Ministry With the Christmas season officially off and running, symbols are popping up everywhere. The lights on our houses, the trees in the living room, the ornaments, even presents point us back to the Christmas story. God s love is everywhere. This year for Christmas I challenge you to share God s love with someone. Let the crazy, over-the-top Christmas fill your life with reminders of how you are deeply loved and wanted by God. Instead of being frustrated by the way the world has used Christmas for its own gain, remember and reflect on what this holiday truly is. It s about a celebration of Christ s birth; a time when God s love was delivered in a manger. Share the story with others; show God s love, welcome the stranger, and celebrate the birth of Christ. This season there are many ways you can share God s love. Merry Christmas! Children s Christmas Play On Wednesday, December 13th at 6:30 pm you are invited to witness the Christmas story through our children s eyes. Through dance, music and drama our children will share the story of how Jesus brought JOY, PEACE, LIGHT and LOVE into the world that blessed night in Bethlehem. Merry Christmas! was created to share the gospel message in a fun and welcoming way, so mark your calendar and bring a friend. Everyone is welcome to join! If you would like to come but are unsure about driving at night please contact Shannon Borgman. We will try to find rides so that everyone can be a part of this year's play. Parents Night Out! Friday, December 15 This precious ministry is a great way to introduce people to God s love. Every 3 rd Friday of the month loving volunteers gather to provide a safe place for parents to bring their children for a few hours while they go out for a night. If you know someone who could use a little extra love invite them to join us. December sign-ups are available online at Remember to sign up no later than December 11 th. Want to get involved? We are expecting a higher number of children than usual at December s PNO. If you would like to join us, we would love your help. Another way to get involved is to provide food. We are looking for people to provide a simple kid friendly meal for December. For more information about how to get involved in this exciting ministry contact JoAnn Houston or call at

5 P AGE 5 Family Promise The fund raiser activity at the Civic was a great success and OPC contributed nicely. Thank you to all the people who supported the event!! We had almost a full house and since the play is the biggest fundraiser of the year, it was appreciated. There are three families in the program at this time with 9 children and 5 adults. OPC will host the families beginning December 31. If you are interested in contributing to the breakfast/lunch food we provide, please contact Sue Webber ( ). OPC will provide dinner and overnight hosts on the Thursday and Saturday of that week while Spokane Valley Baptist Church and the Mormon Church provide on the other days. We have a great crew that does the laundry and also have a crew for the set-up and breakdown of the beds and rooms. Our families sleep in the rooms downstairs and enjoy the games, space and showers the church provides. At 7:00 a.m. each morning, the families leave the church and go to the day center where they have assistance in solving the issues that caused their homelessness. They have a chance to do laundry, use a computer for work and housing searches, and can care for their children. Many of the adults have jobs. Thank you for your support of this great mission. Family Promise has an 83% success rate in ending homelessness...we are honored to be a part of this organization. Sue Webber Team Unicorn Interested in loving new teachers at University Elementary? We have a list of six new teachers at University (three of which are first year teachers) that we want to show love. Anyone interested in writing encouraging notes to the staff of University Elementary is invited to meet with Shannon in A1 on December 3 rd following worship.

6 P AGE 6 ISSUE #386 Jeanne Bailey is collecting new calendars to give out as Christmas gifts for Meals on Wheels recipients. If you have an extra 2018 calendar you would like to donate, please drop it off in the office or find Jeanne on Sunday. I want to thank everyone for all the cards, prayers, love, and support you have given David and me and Jenn and Carter at this difficult time. Even though I have not been able to be at church, your love and prayers have supported us. Thank you, OPC Women s Bible Study Group, for the beautiful floral arrangement you sent for Charles funeral. It meant so much. I am so grateful for this church! In Christ, Ritchie Whipple Hanging & Taking Down of the Greens Much thanks and appreciation for all of our church members who came together to decorate our church for Advent. It looks beautiful! Take down of the Greens will be Saturday, January 6th at 9:30am. More info to come. Thank you & blessings, Paula Brown & Linda Baggarley Nominating Committee Many thanks for your work in finding Elders & Deacons for the class of 2018 and class of Blessings to you all. -Linda Baggarley

7 THE LAMP POST P AGE 7 SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT Communion Sunday 9am Adult Bible Study Breakfast Club 4 6:33pm Wyldlife 5 7pm B&G Meeting 6 6pm Christmas Play Practice 6:30pm Handbell Rehearsal 7 Toy Store Set Up 6pm Zumba 6:30pm Choir Rehearsal 8 Toy Store Set Up 9 2pm Toy Store 10 9am Adult Bible Study Breakfast Club 11am Second Sunday Brunch 1pm Deacons Caroling 11 5:30pm Christmas Play Dress Rehearsal 6:33pm Wyldlife :30pm Christmas Play 6:30pm Handbell Rehearsal 14 11am & 7pm Women s Bible Study 6pm Zumba 15 5:30pm Parents Night Out am Adult Bible Study Breakfast Club 11am Norris & Paula Brown s 50th Anniversary Party 18 7pm Session :30pm Handbell Rehearsal 21 6pm Zumba pm Christmas Eve Service 25 Christmas Day pm Mingle & Munch at Darcy s pm Zumba 31 New Year s Eve Annual Reports are due by January 14th

8 Opportunity Presbyterian Church 202 N. Pines Rd. Spokane Valley, WA OPC STAFF Pastor: Rev. Kevin Lind Music Director: Jennifer Pearman Organist: Edward Hurd Pianist: Dr. Sigrid Brannan Children s Ministry Director: Shannon Borgman Nursery Coordinator: Chenoa Turner Secretary: Melanie Nelson Maintenance: Ben Beach Go Green! Subscribe to Our E-Newsletter. If you subscribe to our print newsletter and would prefer to receive our news by , please call the office at or us at Identification Statement The Lamp Post Published Monthly Opportunity Presbyterian Church 202 N. Pines Road Spokane Valley, WA Non-Profit Organization Issue #388

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