FROM THE PASTOR
The lesson for the Tuesday afternoon Bible study this week was about hesed. Hesed is often translated as kindness. But, hesed is more than kindness – something gets lost in translation. Hesed is loving kindness. It is also grace, mercy, charity and steadfast love.
It is rooted in the covenant love God established with Abraham and his descendants. God said, “I will bless you so that you may be a blessing.” The Hebrew people were chosen to be blessed in a manner that through them God would bless the world. This blessed to be a blessing is the kind of charity, goodwill and kindness that is the spirit of the Advent and Christmas seasons.
I am so grateful for the loving kindness, steadfast love, and charitable grace you show to one another and our community, not only during this season of goodwill, but throughout the year. You are truly a gift.
Lori will be on vacation through the end of the year. Alex Gallenstein will be covering the office next week. The church office will be closed the week following Christmas.
ADVENT: The Season of Traditions
Fourth Sunday of Advent: 12/19 **The Feast of St. Nicholas**
Christmas Eve: 12/24 ** Christmas Pageant **
1st Sunday of Christmas: 12/26 – “A Humble Birth”
2nd Sunday of Christmas: 1/2/22 – Rev. Joe Michael
Pastor Tracy will be on vacation. Thank you to our member Rev. Joe Michael for filling the pulpit.
Epiphany Sunday: 1/9/22 ** Star Sunday **
We’ll receive star words for 2022 to be your guides through the next year. You are invited to bring gifts like the Maji to the Christ child: food donations will be collected for the Panorama food pantry.
The Leadership Council has called a congregational meeting for Sunday, December 19th following worship. The meeting will be a hybrid meeting for those who have worshipped in person and a Zoom meeting that will be integrated into the media in the sanctuary. Members will receive further details including a Zoom link later this week.
CHRISTMAS OUTREACH PROJECTS
JOHN G. CARLISLE CHRISTMAS GIFTS
Thank you to all who helped provide gifts for the students at the local elementary school. The family resource coordinator said that the need had doubled from last year.
WELCOME HOUSE GIFT CARDS
Our Christmas Eve outreach project will be gift cards for Welcome House clients. Gift cards may be purchased for: $25 for Walmart, Kroger, Dollar Tree, or Target or $5 – $10 for any fast food restaurants. You can leave your gift cards in the offering tray or mail them to the church. If you choose to give a cash or check donation on Christmas Eve, your gifts will be used to purchase gift cards.
Thank you for your donations of blankets for the Emergency Shelter of Northern Kentucky and Mental Health America. We collected lots of blankets.
HOME IMPROVEMENT PROJECT
Thank you to everyone who has pledged gifts for the home improvement fund. We have received $7500 toward our goal of $15,000 to purchase a new air conditioner for the 2nd floor and for the repairs to our front doors.
Thank you to everyone who has helped with the home improvement projects. If you have some free time in the coming weeks, there remains a few things to do. Contact Pastor Tracy for a current list.
NEWS AROUND THE KENTUCKY REGION
We were glad to welcome Rev. Dr. Don Gillett, Christian Church in Kentucky regional minister, on Sunday, December 12th. On the Communion Table a candle was lit in honor of First Christian Church of Mayfield and in memory of Kentuckians lost and displaced in the recent tornadoes.
Picture thanks to Sterling Staggs
CHRISTIAN CHURCH IN KENTUCKY
WEST AREA STORM UPDATE
As our Sisters and Brothers continue to deal with the devastation of Friday’s tornadoes, our West Area Pastors are asking that you continue to:
- Pray for all of the people whose lives have been overtaken by this storm.
- Give to the Week of Compassion and designate your gift for Kentucky-tornado relief: https://www.weekofcompassion.org/donate.html.
- Do not attempt to come to Western Kentucky to assist, until there is a request for such assistance.
Here are the updates I have received. Please know that conditions are changing and the attempt is to provide as much information as quickly as possible.
Dawson Springs continues to be in a Search and Rescue phase. Structures are either standing or are being bulldozed. Electricity is being restored slowly. There are 14 fatalities for Dawson Springs – First Christian Church has at least five displaced families and two persons that are seriously injured.
Princeton, is attempting to salvage what is left from the damaged homes. Electricity is slowly being restored, members are being contacted and Pastor Jonathan reported the church was not damaged, but there was damage to some members’ homes.
Mayfield is attempting to salvage what is left from the damaged homes.
First Christian Church – On Monday, Pastor Milton and church members were able to remove the communion table and other important documents from the church building.
Second Christian Church – Pastor Sherrill continues to reach out to and contact church members.
Rachel Nance Woehler, West Area Minister, was with Pastor Milton and members of First Christian Church, Mayfield Monday as they were trying to clear out important items from the building including historically significant items and important church records. Rachel joined First Christian Church and First Presbyterian Church in worship in the parking lot that sits between the two demolished church buildings. She also stopped by Second Christian Church in Mayfield to see the downed trees on their property. Thankfully the building was spared, but many members have had damage to their homes and are without utilities.
Bowling Green is cleaning up from the tornadoes and several families are displaced. First Christian Church is okay.
Other areas in Western Kentucky are still being affected by the lack of electricity, downed trees and electrical wires. Several churches did not hold online or in person services today, due to the impact of this storm on local infrastructure.
The Christmas Special Day Offering for the Disciples Mission Fund blesses and supports regional ministry. Your gift to the Christmas Offering benefits ministry across the life of the Christian Church in Kentucky. Ministries such as:
- Search and call processes and transition planning
- Gatherings like our regional assembly
- Sharing news from across the region
- Building ministry with Disciples Men and Disciples Women
- Providing camp experiences for children and youth
- Guidance and recommendations for congregational life
- Bringing pastors together for study and support
- Support for Green Chalice
- Preparing candidates for ordination or commissioning to ministry