Blessings and warm wishes for your health and wholeness this holiday and always
—Revs. Rodger and Laurie
December 3 Worship: The first Sunday in the season of Advent, including the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.
FOR YOU DURING ADVENT
The season of Advent, when we prepare ourselves for the coming of Jesus, runs from December 3 to December 24 this year. We have a variety of Advent daily devotional booklets displayed on the table in the hallway, and invite you to take your pick! There is also and online daily devotional, at pts.edu/devotional.
2023 Christmas Joy Offering
It has been the Presbyterian tradition to give a special offering during the Advent season for over 70 years. This offering is one of the four special offerings designated by the General Assembly of the PC (USA) to provide congregations direct ways of supporting specific causes that help those in need. Those who are helped by the offering:
1) Retired pastors and church workers and surviving spouses through the Board of Pensions receive 50% of this offering. The Board recognizes that some church workers don’t make enough to save adequately for retirement. By offering them income supplements, they can live modestly and independently.
2) The PC (USA) has long promoted education through establishing and supporting racial/ethnic colleges and schools. They receive the other 50% of this offering. The Christmas Joy Offering provides much needed scholarships to racial/ethnic colleges including schools like Cook College and Theological School in Tempe, AZ and Knoxville College in Knoxville, TN.
You can give by using the envelopes provided in the Sunday bulletins December 17 and 24, or the envelopes on the big table in the hallway, or by marking any envelope “Christmas Joy Offering.” Please make out your check to Paris Presbyterian Church, and write “Joy Offering” on the memo line.
The Christian calendar
December brings two of the most well-known and treasured seasons of the Christian worship year:
ADVENT begins on December 3 and runs until December 24. In this season before Christmas, we prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ anew into our lives.
Favorite Scripture texts include Isaiah 7:14: “Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel, God is with us;” and John the Baptist’s words in Luke 3: “Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.”
We remind ourselves that “getting ready for Christmas” doesn’t mean only shopping, wrapping, decorating, baking and sending cards; but also examining our hearts and lives to make sure we are prepared to greet the Lord when he arrives. In worship the main feature of this season is the lighting of an Advent Wreath.
CHRISTMAS is also a season, not just a day, in the worship calendar, running from December 25 until January 6.
Now we celebrate the birth of the Christ Child and the beginning of God’s saving activity in Jesus of Nazareth.
The Bible stories we concentrate on are Luke 2:1-20, Matthew 2:1-12, and John 1:14: “The Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.” Or as one of the favorite carols puts it, “Christ was born to save!”
Once again we will have our church doors and a Christmas message of hope at the: Holiday in the park (Twin Lakes Park) yearly light festival. Don’t miss out on warming your heart for the holidays. Each year more and more lights are added.
December 24 at 11 P.M.
Christmas Eve Lessons and Carols service is so meaningful. It features wonderful special music and the telling of the Christmas Story through a series of lessons read from the Bible, as well as a candle lighting ceremony sung to “Silent Night.” What a way to bring in Christmas Day as we finish at midnight If you are willing to take a reading, please tell Rev. Rodger. All ages are welcome to read.
Please remember, as you send your Christmas cards this year, members and friends of the Paris Presbyterian Church who are at least temporarily unable to join us for worship:.
Bob and Alice Sprague
Horizon Health, Room 124
721 E. Court St. Paris
Mary Anna Ludington
520 E. Madison, Paris
Twin Lakes Rehab, Room #3
310 S. Eads, Paris
1 Charles Ruff
2 Ryan Clawson
3 Jane Asher
4 Debbie Benefiel
5 Serena (Hoff) Rush
14 Caitlin Blair
17 Isaac McVicker
18 Christie Russell
21 Morgan Jipp
22 Jane Blair
24 Ken Gough
26 Carol Collier
27 Kathy Smilie
29 Michael Hebermehl
24 Alvin & Juanita Kimball
27 Robert & Jani Howrey
SANCTUARY CHOIR NEWS
The “Christmas Spirit” comes to us more easily some years than others, I think. Sometimes it arrives full-blown the day after Thanksgiving. Other years we don’t feel it until the Christmas Eve candlelight service. But it is out there around us, available to be received any day of the season.
Illness, injury, and travel have played havoc with our choir attendance. However, we hope that each of our December anthems – whether sung by six or sixteen—help you find that Christmas spirit mentioned above.
The Advent service on December 3 was wonderful as always. Both the choir and the congregation represented many congregations in the community. May we all sing and worship and celebrate as a church family in this very special season.
Jesus is the original Christmas gift. Everything we give is because god first gave to us.
“For God so loved the world that He GAVE His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not die, but have eternal life.” John 3:16
NEWS FROM SESSION
Business at the November meeting of the church Session included:
- A review of the Treasurer’s Report showing that income and expenses are on schedule as budgeted through October
- Finalizing the schedule for putting up the Christmas decorations
- The 2024 Budget is being developed, piece by piece
- A report from Rodger on the Nov. 9 Presbytery meeting. Session will be looking at some of the items more closely next meeting
- Setting the next meeting for January 9, 5:00- 6:00
GREETINGS FROM THE SEITZ’S
(The Seitz Family in Taiwan, Christmas 2023)
Dear Siblings in Christ, May God’s light illuminate your path and may God’s grace fill your life. Christmas is a time when we are reminded that God loves us. May you feel God’s love on this special day and share that love with others. ‘May the God of hope fill your hearts with all joy and peace through faith. May you have great hope through the power of the Holy Spirit!’ (Romans 15:13)
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year! (Adapted/translated from Taiwan Seminary’s 2023 Christmas Letter from Jonathan, Emily, Samuel, Eva, and Eli)
Excerpts from thank you notes recently received:
“Thank you for the beautiful flower arrangement. –from the family of
“Dear Friends: Thank you for asking me to preach on Sunday, Nov. 26. I had a lovely time sharing God’s Word with you. With love and prayers, Jeanette Levellie”
“Thank you for your continued support for those in need here in Edgar County. The Edgar County Slvation Army Board.”
“As we embark upon this season of Thanksgiving, we too give thanks because of your sharing the gospel. On behalf of Presbyterian Church USA Ministry Engagement and Support (which includes Special Offerings and Disaster Assistance), please allow me to express our appreciation to you for your gracious & faithful support.”
“Thank you for the funeral flower swag. That was very thoughtful of each and every one of you. From the family of Elizabeth and Gary Sallee (Mike Craun’s daughter).”