“What have I gotten myself into?” Have you ever asked that question of yourself and/or your situation before? I certainly have!
I will never forget stepping off the plane in Tanzania, Africa so many years ago. The scene was iconic. There were people everywhere and this is some of what we heard:
Hodi! Karibu! Shikamoo. Hujambo.
Mlifurahi uko huku.
Hii na kwa ninyi.
Wait – What – What are you saying?! What is this? We were immediately greeted with open arms, loving words and fresh smelling leis. Suddenly we were escorted to a bus for a 1 ½ hour very bumpy, very cramped, very noisy ride. We slept under mosquito netting and started “fresh” the next day with a mystery breakfast. We were then transported again to our place of work. With a pickaxe in hand we were off and running! Wait, what? What’s going on? What have I gotten myself into?
As we move further into Advent and approach Christmas, my “wait, what” experience is a good reminder to think carefully about what we are getting into. The days from Thanksgiving through New Year’s offer us endless invitations, commitments, and errands. Before we realize it, our calendars might become full, we feel overrun, over tired, and find ourselves just wanting the season itself to be over. Sometimes it even seems that we’ve scheduled Jesus right out of the season. (Which is crazy, because we know the season should be one of the holiest of all.)
We know what we are getting into….so why not decide NOW to reserve time for Jesus every day? It will help prepare you to receive the holiness of this season. It will help calm you in the midst of the busyness all around. It will help center you, so that whatever the days ahead bring, you will be able to rest confidently in the love of Jesus Christ.
Will you join me in finding the space in our days to settle in and spend intentional time with Jesus?!? You see, a large part of spiritual growth is merely making ourselves available. Prepare a way for the Lord in the busyness….and who knows, the Lord might lead you this season to discover something new!
“Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well.” ~Josh Billings
Happenings @ LCr
Trail of Lights yule log – LCR is partnering with Wimberley Candy Company on Monday, December 6th with festivities beginning at 6:00pm. Be sure to come out and hear the Driftwood United Methodist Church’s Praise Band and enjoy some hotdogs and fellowship. We are seeking volunteers to help staff the food location. Please see the signup sheet on the Welcome Table or talk to Dirk Dierking.
December Congregational Meeting – Sunday, December 12th @ 11:00am (immediately after worship). Please plan to stay for a while as we elect our slate of new council members for 2011 as well as adopt our 2011 Mission Investment Plan.
Sr. High Gathering – December 28-30th - Please be in prayer for Hannah Raska, Carlie Tise, Holley Hickman, Parker Tise and Pastor Jennifer as they head to San Antonio for the annual Southwestern Texas Sr. High Gathering.
Education Hour Update – December 19th is Game Day and EVERYONE is invited to join us (children, youth and adults). We start our time together at 9:00am.
No Education Hour on December 26th or January 2nd
Christmas Eve Worship – Friday, December 24th @ 5:30pm & 10:00pm. Candlelight services at both worship times. We are seeking worship assistants….please contact the church office.
Advent/Christmas Worship Preparations
Decorating --- yes we need your help!! This year we are going to progress our way through Advent to Christmas in our décor at church as well. Each week you will see and hear about additions to the decorations. So --- this means we need your help. Please plan to stay after worship on Sunday, December 5th & 12th to help with hanging of the greens and Christmas tree preparations. If you have questions and/or want to help please talk to Carol Dierking.
Singing in the choir – Would you like join folks in making a joyful noise in a choir at the Christmas Eve Worship services? If so, please talk to Bunky Layton. We plan to practice on Sunday mornings after worship in December. Be listening for more invitations to join the fun!
Order Your Poinsettias – Share in the beauty of the season and order a poinsettia to adorn the church. Deadline for ordering is December 12th. Be sure to fill out the bulletin insert to share “in honor of” or “in remembrance of” to be listed in our Christmas bulletins. Cost per poinsettia is $11. Call the church office for more information.
stories of stewards in mission
Tripp Temoney was grateful for the opportunity to experience something new as he was a part of the Costa Rica Accompaniment Experience. While being in Costa Rica he most enjoyed “playing soccer” with the kids, youth and grown-ups because “everyone got involved.” Tripp said that the most rewarding part of the experience was the new people that he met as well as the opportunity to help people. “That was awesome!” Since he has returned from this mission experience he reminds himself to “appreciate the things I have.”
Samuel Ellisor enjoys taking the time to volunteer when he has time from his busy school schedule. This past year he volunteered at Butterfly Days “because it’s fun and I can hang out with people I know.” He especially enjoyed “meeting new people because their always interesting.” Samuel found “the feeling you get while helping people” most rewarding. He plans to continue to volunteer in other ways as he continually discovers that he “can be less shy around other people.”
[Talk to these stewards and share your stories. Each month we will share a story of a steward of mission in our congregation. Do you know of someone that we could feature? Talk to Pastor Jennifer or Colleen.]
We continue to pray for all who are ill and recovering and receiving treatments or testing and for Pam Longoria, Hugh Ellington, Doris Kowalski, John Bradshaw, Zee Hickman (mother of Danny and Lois Hickman), Dot Currie (sister of Dirk Dierking), Jill Vantine (daughter of Bobbi & Jim Vantine), Aiden Pederson (friend of Lois Hickman), and all care givers that devote their time to care for those they love.
Please be in prayer for our family and friends who are serving our country either stateside or overseas. Pray daily for peace in our world, particularly in the Middle East, and for all who suffer the consequences of war. We continue to pray for those who are hungry and for those who serve them. Please be in prayer for the Lord to replenish the earth as He sees fit. We also lift in prayer the families that are struggling with separation and divorce.
WE CAN’T THANK YOU ENOUGH!
Thank you to……
Bunky Layton & Dorcy Rhea for coordinating the 25th Anniversary Celebration. These two ladies went above and beyond the call of volunteerism to make this day of celebration a treat for everyone in attendance. We also thank all the cake makers, decorators, servers, and worship assistants who gave of their time and talents to enhance our time together. And a thank you to Jim Ellisor for leading our afternoon festivities.
The Yard Crew – Mike Schliessmann and Brandon Merkord – who made the grounds look nice for the Anniversary Celebration.
Jason & Claire Valentine, Brandon Merkord, Doris King, Dirk Dierking and Pastor Jennifer for setting up the Emily Ann Theatre Trail of Lights Display. Be sure to stop out and take a look!
The Future Starts Now
This is the title of the book being studied in our Adult Education Class @ 9:00am on Sunday mornings. Please stop by and join the conversation of how LCR can learn to be who we are, use what we have, and see God at loose in the world. If you would like to be a part of the study, but are unable to attend the actual class time…..please check out the book from the LCR Library. Hope to see you in class!
Joyous Christmas Opportunities:
Wimberley Community Chorus Concert – “Holiday Traditions Old & New” is Friday & Saturday, December 3 & 4 @ 7:30pm and Sunday, December 5th @ 3:00pm at the Wimberley United Methodist Church (1200 CR 1492). Enjoy an hour or so of great musical solutions. Come to see and hear our very own Pastor Jennifer participate in this great concert. Free Admission.
First Baptist Church’s Four Tickets to Christmas Musical- Friday, 10th & Saturday, 11th - 7:30pm & Sunday, 6:00pm. Featuring drama, choir, orchestra, and soloists. Free Admission, childcare provided.
Trail of Lights Yule Log and More - Go to http://www.emilyann.org/tol_hours.cfm to find out the nightly schedule of entertainment. Be sure to stop out and see LCR’s display. Free Admission, donations accepted and appreciated.
The Starlight Symphony announces its Holiday Concert Series – Sunday, December 6th @ 4:30pm, St. Stephens Episcopal Church (Wimberley) or Saturday, December 5th @ 7:30pm, Blanco High School (Blanco). The Starlight Symphony is a regional, community orchestra for Wimberley, Driftwood, Dripping Springs, Oak Hill, Buda, Kyle, Lockhart, San Marcos, Canyon Lake, Blanco, Johnson City, and surrounding Central Texas communities. The Holiday Concert Series will feature Haydn’s Christmas Symphony, Sugar Plum Fairy from the Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71 by Tchaikovsky, Twas the Night Before Christmas - for Narrator and Orchestra – featuring a special guest narrator, and many Holiday favorites. Michelle Lange, guest soprano, will be performing with the orchestra and audience participation is encouraged! Free Admission.
Cookbooks Make Great Gifts
How many of us have great church cookbooks on our shelves? There’s always room for one more! LCR’s own “What’s for Dinner?” volume II is available for only $10.00. If you would like to share some of our best recipes with a friend or family member see Colleen in the office for a copy. If you already shared a copy of volume I you can purchase the supplement containing the new recipes that make up volume II for only $5.00. The proceeds from this sale benefit our Prayer Shawl Ministry.
Dinner Night Out
Each December we travel to San Marcos and enjoy good food and good fellowship at Texas Red’s. This is a tradition started with James Pollock and is a nice way to remember him and all our Dinner Night Out friends that aren’t with us anymore. Texas Red’s is always decorated nicely for Christmas and has a charm all its own.
If you plan on joining us on Wednesday, December 8th, please sign up at the welcome table so we can make reservations. We will carpool from church, leaving at 5:30PM or meet us there for dinner at 6:00PM.
We have names of young people that are in need of Christmas Grace Gifts. To help provide a gift for one of these young men or women, please see the round table in the narthex of the church. Take a name/gift card – buy items appropriate for their gender and age (spending no more than $25) – wrap the gift – and return it to the church BY DECEMBER 8th. Gifts will be delivered to Laredo that weekend.
A friendly reminder
Please remember to wear your name tags on Sunday mornings.
This Christmas, do you really want to purchase another toy for your little one’s overflowing toy collection or give that loved teen another gift certificate that might get lost in the shuffle?
Why not give a gift that lets you tell them in words and action how much you love Christ’s church? The ELCA Mission Investment Fund offers MissionFuture4Kidz investments, for children under age 16, with a minimum investment of $50. The investment matures, with interest, when the child turns 18.
For more info, visit the Fund’s web site at www.elca.org/mif or call the Fund toll free at 1.877.886.3522. Or you may contact Pastor Carol Spencer, MIF area representative, at Carol.Spencer@elca.org or 817.927.3239.
Being stewards of god’s money…. October
General Fund –
Total Giving $8,236 Mission Plan $10,000
Building Fund -
Total Giving $1,595 Mission Plan $1,821
Honor the Lord with your substance and with the first fruits of all you produce. (Proverbs 3:9) January - Mark Your Calendars! – Watch for more details later.
2 – No Education Hour
9 – Confirmation Class in Blanco, 2-4pm
20 – Mexican Train, 12:30pm
30 – Annual Meeting, Breakfast Taco Sunday, Council Installation in Worship
This year’s Annual Meeting will be in the Fellowship Hall as we enjoy a Ministry Fair and
other activities. Be looking for more information to come.
CHRISTMAS eve Worship SCHEDULE
CANDLELIGHT SERVICES AT
5:30 PM AND 10:00 PM
NOTE TO READERS: The Scripture readings for the week you serve will be in your box at the beginning of the month. We encourage you to take them home and read through them prior to your Sunday to share your gift with the congregation.
Pronunciation Guides are availabe – one under the Lecturn (where you read) and the other in the Church office. Feel free to take and use them whenever needed.
If you can’t be present on the Sunday you are signed up to serve, please remember to find your own replacement!!
This is vital to making sure all leadership roles are filled each week.