Every Sunday morning an elder is in the prayer room during worship praying for our church and those in worship. If you have any special prayer concerns you can leave them on the table in the prayer room. Please be discreet about your concerns.
Based on historical contributions and expenses in December, we project a loss of slightly under $1,000 for 2017. Please help us eliminate this loss with your December giving.
MONTHLY FINANCES AT A GLANCE
$ - 4,323
CHECK YOUR CUPBOARDS
Did you see our stainless steel steamer trays in your kitchen cupboard? They belong in the church kitchen cupboard. Would love to see them appear on the counter in the kitchen. Thanks for your help in recovering them.
A WORD FROM THE PEWS
At this time of the year I usually think of the birth of Christ as just that. Mary had a baby that was conceived of the Holy Spirit. But this year it has taken on a new deeper meaning for me that I can barely express in words. Not that the true essence of the meaning was not always true or present, or understood, but God revealed himself to me in a special way through His incarnation. Wow, the incarnation of God, how profound a doctrine! He, El Shaddai, Almighty God, came and wrapped Himself in flesh to show us how much He loves us. “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us…” (John 1: 14a) To take that thought, and internalize it and meditate on it lets me know how much God loves us. Jesus’ love for us is also incarnated to us through many different ways.
- Love shown to us through our family and friends
- He restrains the worst consequences of our sin from us
- At times He keeps our sins from being fully exposed
- He teaches us about real love
- He gives us the body of Christ (His Church) to build us up and show love
- He answers prayer, He is our advocate
- He provides salvation and eternal life through
- His death on the cross
All of this and more incarnates His Mercy, Love, Patience, Forgiveness, and Compassion to us which ultimately is meant to not only draw us closer to himself, but to change our hearts and conform us to the image of His son.
As my heart is changed through His incarnation, I ask myself how am I incarnating love to others? Am I incarnating love to others both within the Body and without? My prayer for not only myself, but for everyone I know is that we gain a deeper more intimate understanding and realization of the depth of His redeeming love. “Greater love hath no one than this, that one should lay down his life for his friends.” (John15:13)
Thanks be to God for His unspeakable Gift!!
GIVING GIFTS TO THE CHURCH?
If you make a contribution, i.e., books or toys, etc., to the church or to a group within the church, please let us know who you are so we can send you an acknowledgment and to make sure the item(s) are given to the correct party. We have received items and we really need to know who is supposed to receive them. When you are contributing anything, please either tag it with your name or notify the office. Please leave items inside the lower entrance, near the bench.
Thank you for helping us help others.
Chancel aides for the month of January are Robin G. and Dorothy C.
The deadline for the February “News From the Mount” is January 15. Anyone needing to put an article in the newsletter for the month of December must turn the article in to the office no later than Monday morning, January 15.
CHURCH OFFICE HOURS
Office hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and closed on Fridays. The office will be closed on December 25 – 26, and January 1, 2018, due to the holidays.
For God Alone: A Primer on Prayer
by Bonnie Thurston
The Bible tells us to “Pray without ceasing” or as the NIV says “Pray continually” (I Thessalonians 5:17). The word “pray” appears 121 times in the NIV & that’s just pray, not praying, prayer or any other form of the word. Shouldn’t this be an emphasis in our lives then? And yet, it isn’t quite as simple as that. Bonnie Thurston starts her book on prayer with a quote from Luke 11:11 - “Lord, teach us to pray…” and then acknowledges that no one is an expert on prayer. “We are all beginners in the life of prayer, & will always be so, because God is vast and God’s gift of prayer has infinite dimensions for exploration,” she says. That being said, she has written what she calls a primer, an introduction to prayer.
Dr. Thurston is a New Testament scholar and prolific writer, so one might assume that this book would be dense, technical and hard to read. It isn’t, however. It is very readable. She begins with a definition of prayer, which she is careful to explain is one definition and gives a theological background and explanation. Then the chapters describe several different styles of personal prayer, including “Oratio” or praying with words, praying the name of Jesus, praying with the physical body and praying contemplatively. She is careful to say that not all types of prayer are required or are comfortable for everyone and what is helpful to you at one point might later be less so.
This book gives the reader much to think about, but as Dr. Thurston says in the introduction, “We learn to pray by praying. Prayer is a relationship that takes time, but you can’t do it wrongly.” If you are struggling with your prayer life, this book would be a good way to move forward.
Review by Ellen L.
USE OF CHURCH PROPERTY
If you borrow tables or chairs from the church, remember, please make your request through the Fellowship Committee call the office at 412 751-8479.
If you are interested in contributing to the Newsletter with an article for publication please submit your notes to the office. Since this is a “forum”, there might be some give and take if folks are interested. Also, good Christian book reports are greatly welcomed. The deadline is the 15th of the month except for December when it is the 10th.
If you are moving to a new address, please notify the church office as early as possible. When we receive a newsletter back from the post office, we are assessed a fee of $.61. Thank you for your consideration and assistance.
Even though you may be on vacation – the church is not. We still must pay utilities, insurance and etc. Food Bank items may be deposited in the box in the Narthex or at the lower parking lot entrance. Paper products are especially welcome. Continue to visit the Abitibi bin with your recyclable papers.