Newsletter Week of December 16th

Traveler’s Christmas Eve Service – TONIGHT! December 18th, 4:30 PM
Morning Worship Service – Sunday, December 22nd, 9:30 AM
Christmas Eve Service – Tuesday, December 24th, 6:30 PM

Pastor’s Piece

This is the last week of Advent, and it’s the last week in our sermon series titled “Unwrapping Christmas.”  Each week I’ve been preaching about a different gift that the Magi brought the baby Jesus, and I’ve given you each of the gifts as well!  The first week was about Myrrh and hope in our grief and loneliness.  Then I preached about Frankincense and how Jesus prays for us.  We paused the series last week for our choir to bring us their Christmas cantata.  (Wasn’t that great?  Big shout out and thank you to the choir members!) 

This week we’ll finish the series with a sermon on the gift of gold.  Gold was a gift fit for kings.  It was the Magi’s chance to proclaim that this baby Jesus was to be the King.  This was a very dangerous assertion, especially around King Herod.  If history has taught us anything, then it has taught us that people in power will often do anything they can to remain in power- including lying, cheating, and murdering.  The Christmas story is no different.  This new King was a threat to Herod, and before Jesus took His first steps innocent blood was indeed shed.  Join me, in person or if you’re out of town by Facebook Live, this Sunday as we explore the final gift that the Magi brought- the gift of gold. 

We have a new opportunity to celebrate Christmas with your Faithbridge family this year, and it’s happening tonight!  Our new “Traveler’s Christmas Eve” service will be tonight, Dec 18th at 4:30pm.  If you’ll be out of town this year, join us tonight as we sing the songs of the season and hear the Christmas message in a new way.  The service will end at the perfect time to allow you to go enjoy a nice dinner out!  If you are able to be in town on Christmas Eve, come worship with us on Dec 24th at 6:30pm.  Both services will be identical, with the great music you’ve come to expect and a sermon that will help you experience Christmas anew this year. 

Also, don’t forget to invite a friend to join you at one of our Christmas Eve services this year.  If you were in service on Sunday, I gave out invite cards to everyone who attended.  Please use that simple tool to extend an invitation this year at Christmas.  You may never know how much it means to your friend that you simply invited them- it truly shows how much you care! 

Wherever you are this year at Christmas, take the time to deeply invest yourself in your family, your friends, and your faith.

Blessings,
Pastor Andy

Our reading this week for The Full Gospel Project is Luke chapters 14-15.  These chapters should give us pause.  In them, Jesus pushes back on a number of tightly held beliefs that many of us still hold.  As you read this week, consider the following: 

We read in Luke 14 about some hard encouragement from Jesus.  He asks us to not seek social status, to throw dinner parties for the poor and for social outcasts, and to be willing to give up all our possessions to follow Jesus.  It’s a call to radical generosity that doesn’t come naturally to us.  Then He calls those who do these things salt and those who do not He calls trash- and make no mistake, Jesus is talking about salvation here.   So the question is, how generous and how self-seeking are you really?  There is eternal significance to how you answer.

In Luke 15, Jesus is still at the dinner party that he was speaking at in the previous chapter.  Here we find the grace at the end of Jesus’ previous harsh words.  The story Jesus tells, called the parable of the Prodigal Son, is the story of incredible, undeserved forgiveness of an arrogant, ungrateful child.  It’s a reminder of how great God’s forgiveness is.  Hold this story up against the expectations Jesus has that you just read in Luke 14.  How do you think God’s forgiveness works?  What about the expectations Jesus describes?  Are there limits to God’s forgiveness?

By our Prayers…

Please remember the following people and situations in your prayers this week:
Terry Albers – Prayer for a good outcome from the surgeon for her pancreas.
Jane Golchert and family – The loss of Keith Golchert. Notes of care and concern may be sent to 110 Falls Point Drive, 3-B, Lake Ozark, MO 65049
Natalie Guzman – 1-year-old recovering from a liver transplant
Sigmund & family – Linda Johnson’s 11-year-old grandson, as he battles health concerns.
Samantha Marsicovetere – Recovering from surgery
Christy McField – Debbie Geasley’s sister-in-law who has breast cancer
Marilyn Sherfield – Undergoing treatments as she continues to battle lung cancer
Pat Stites and family – The loss of Bob Stites. Notes of care and concern may be sent to PO Box 3317, Camdenton, MO 65020
Ty and Meredith Stith and family – The loss of Ty’s sister. Notes of care and concern may be sent to 16 Oak Bend Road, Kaiser, MO 65047

(To be included in this list, please reply to this email or fill out a prayer request card during the service on Sunday.) 

Generous Giving
The final date to make contributions to Faithbridge in 2019 is Sunday, December 29th.  Please help our finance volunteers by submitting your tithes and offerings to be included in the 2019 tax year by this date.  

Connect, Grow, & Serve

Main Street Music Hall – Christmas on Main Street
If you were unable to use your tickets for last Sunday’s show due to the weather, you can pick them up in Tina’s office.  You can then call the theater at 573-348-9500 to use your ticket as a rain-check for any remaining Christmas show, or a regular-season show in 2020.
 
Christmas Cookies
As in past years, we will be collecting and distributing cookies to those people who serve the community by working the midnight shift on Christmas Eve. This includes fire, ambulance, and police stations, toll bridge workers, and others.  If you are able to bake goodies for the care packages which will be delivered on Christmas Eve or help with assembly or delivery, please sign up in the church lobby. All are invited and welcomed to help. All treats should be delivered to the church by noon on Monday, December 23rd. For more information please contact Ginger Henry at (573) 619-5204 or Samantha Marsicovetere at (573) 280-3198.

Covenant Bible Study
Pastor Andy will be leading the Covenant Bible study in 2020.  Covenant is a study that is great for all stages of faith- from the Bible illiterate to those wanting to take a deeper dive into the understanding and interpretation of scripture and how it forms our Christian faith.  Together, we will walk through the whole Bible in three 8-week modules (a total of 24 weeks) that will be spread throughout the year.  The first module will begin on January 7th and the participant’s guide costs $30.  Please let us know if you’ll plan to attend by Sunday, December 22nd so that we make certain you have the materials for the study.  For more information or to RSVP email Pastor Andy at pastor@faithbridgelakechurch.com.   

Ladies Bible Study
Mission Project – Join us on Tuesday, January 21, at 9:30 a.m. for another Prayer Bead making session.  We use the prayer beads to minister to our congregation as well as others in our community.

Bible Study – We will resume meeting on Tuesday, January 28 at 9:30 a.m. with a Bible Study based on the movie War Room.  This is a 5-week study that explores how the power of prayer can make an impact on all areas of your life.  Sign up sheets are in the church lobby or e-mail Betty McAdams at betmarkmc@yahoo.com. This group is open to all Faithbrdge ladies and invited guests.

Wednesday Night Bible Study Every adult is invited to join a book study beginning on January 8th from 7-8 PM.  They will be studying the book, “New Testament Stories From the Back Side” by J. Ellsworth Kalas. Everyone is welcome.

Holiday Poinsettias
Thank you to everyone who brought a poinsettia to celebrate the Christmas season. Following Christmas Eve service, you may reclaim your poinsettia. Any plants remaining after the holiday will be donated to our local nursing home. 

Office Hours
The church office will be closed next week to celebrate Christmas. We apologize for any inconvenience. We wish you a blessed holiday!

Mark Your Calendars         

A Travelers Christmas – Tonight! Wednesday, December 18th, 4:30 PM For those who will be traveling from the lake for Christmas Eve, join us for an early celebration. 

Christmas Eve Service Tuesday, December 24th, 6:30 PM –     Our traditional candle-light celebration.