FROM THE PASTOR
The calling of Christ’s church is to protect and help grow your spiritual health. In the midst of the pandemic, churches’ callings have taken on the responsibility to do all we can to protect your physical health. Throughout the pandemic, the Elders and I have made decisions about opening the building based on what was best for the physical health of our congregation and those we serve. It is our calling to serve the most vulnerable among our community.
We have been strongly suggesting wearing masks during our gatherings. This was comfortable as I was aware of everyone’s vaccination status. Even as a strong suggestion, you all wore your masks knowing your call was to protect your neighbor.
We hope that we will invite guests into our sanctuary on Christmas Eve. However, we will not know their vaccination status; thus, not know how susceptible they could be to the spread of germs. This year, we want to share Christ, not COVID.
At the Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship Service (Friday at 7:30 pm), we will require masks. In hope of protecting our guests and the most vulnerable among us, we will require everyone to wear a mask before, during and after the service that properly covers your nose and mouth. We will not be serving communion. We will be using electric candles during the candlelight service to reduce the spread of germs if we were to all take off masks and blow out the candles.
Here are a couple tips to protect your health and the health of your neighbor:
- Full vaccination includes getting your booster. If you need help with getting your booster, please contact me and I’d be glad to help.
- Wear your mask when you are in public.
- Practice social distancing.
- Take advantage of curbside pickup and delivery options for your shopping and dining.
- If you are feeling sick, have a temperature or cough, please stay home and take care of yourself.
Thanks to technology and the gifts of our audio/visual team and Trustees, we have amazing sound and video quality for our hybrid worship experience. You can join us live from home via Facebook Live, YouTube or the church’s website. In the hybrid worship experience, you can check in to Facebook, post comments, prayer concerns and greetings.
I will be taking vacation December 27th – January 2nd. Please contact Pastor Sheri Jackson, Marie Lancaster or Brenda Staggs should you need pastoral care or other assistance.
Happy Advent, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Lori will be on vacation through the end of the year. Alex Gallenstein will be covering administrative needs for the next week. The church office will be closed next week. Please contact Alex if you need assistance.
CHRISTMAS EVE – Friday, December 24th at 7:30 pm
CHRISTMAS PAGEANT will be a video of a play written by Rev. Lisa Smith, edited by Alex Gallenstein and staring several youth, young adults and friends.
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.
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.
CHRISTMAS SEASON DEVOTION
Rev. Joe Michael from Church as Folk will be making and posting a series of videos to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas and Epiphany. The videos will be to encourage reflection and engage discussion on how God may be making something new in us and in the world. The series will begin Dec 25th and end on January 6th with Epiphany. You can track the videos through churchasfolk.org/holyfeast or by subscribing to the Church as Folk YouTube channel.
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.
Char Bowling The Unkraut Family Shane Zeis
Tim & Sandy Taylor Jerry Bargo
SATURDAY NIGHT DINNERS
FCC Covington will be serving the meals on Christmas 12/25, New Year’s Day 1/1 and 1/31. We need help serving our guests. If you would like to help, please contact Sheri Jackson: Sherijackson562@gmail.com or 859-240-7817.
Members will be receiving a mailing about the congregational meeting had on Sunday, December 19th. Please watch your mail for details.
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.
FCC BOOK CLUB
Come and join our book club as they discuss “The Secret Keeper of Jaipur” by Alka Joshi on January 19th, 2022 at 2:00 pm. This will be a Zoom meeting and will not be in person.
Please contact the church office for the Zoom meeting link if you are interested in joining!
WOMEN’S CHORAL RETREAT
Our very own Sheri Jackson will be serving as the Pastor/Chaplain/Spiritual Guide during the March 2022 Women’s Choral Retreat! The retreat will take place March 4th – 6th with registration due by January 31st. Additionally, please note:
- Each individual is responsible for reserving their own room for the weekend. A block of rooms is being held at the Holiday Inn Express Louisville East until January 31, 2022 at a rate of $139.99/night.
- A registration fee of $50.00 is due for each participant. This fee covers the cost of new music, a new binder for first-timers, a catered lunch on Saturday, honorariums, and additional expenses.
- Plans may change due to COVID-19, as needed. A final decision will be made by February 15th, 2022. If cancelled, registration fees will be refunded in full.
More information regarding registration will be made available in next week’s newsletter – so be on the lookout if you are interested!
NEWS AROUND THE KENTUCKY REGION
A letter from our Regional Minister, Rev. Dr. Donald Gillett:
I would like to express my continued thanksgiving for the prayers and support you have offered our sisters and brothers in the western part of the state who were impacted by last weekend’s tornadoes.
As we continue sharing our prayers and support, we see the CHURCH at work showing the LOVE of GOD. The following is an update from Rev. Rachel Nance Woehler, West Area Minister.
- First Christian Church, Hopkinsville sent a group to Dawson Springs to sort clothes donations on Saturday, Dec. 18.
- Second Christian Church, Mayfield has invited District 1 Disciples church groups to come to their building on Tuesday, Dec. 21, to help deliver (and possibly off-load into storage) the donated items that are currently housed in their Fellowship Hall. I’ll know more tonight if any of our District 1 churches respond to the call.
- First Christian Church, Madisonville has organized a group of volunteers to go to Dawson Springs when the rain lets up (hopefully next week).
- Millbrooke Christian Church, Hopkinsville has collected a load of items and is currently striving to get those to an in-take location (most locations are not accepting items right now).
- Members at Second Christian Church, Mayfield worked with Jim Michaels of DCEF to help set up donated generators in their church building to get them through the weekend. They are hoping that power might be restored in the next few days, as utility workers are in the neighborhood.
- In addition to helping preserve and clean First Christian Church, Mayfield’s archives, Ruth Ragovin at First Christian Church, Murray is helping St. Matthews By the Lake Lutheran Church in Benton recruit volunteers to staff gift-wrapping booths at the state parks for all of the donated toys that are coming in. She has emailed many of our area pastors to see if their churches want to join in.
- Pembroke Christian Church opened up their Cornerstone Ministry to give away items to those in need in the Pembroke and Christian County community
- First Christian Church, Bowling Green is hosting a work crew (Hope Force) in their basement and expanding their food pantry ministry.
- I believe that First Christian Church, Benton hosted or will be hosting a blood drive.
- First Christian Church, Paducah is connecting with several local ministries that they have partnerships with, since their town has received many of the displaced people from Mayfield.
- First Christian Church, Princeton organized groups along with First Christian Church, Madisonville to help two of their members retrieve items from the wreckage.
- First Christian Church, Madisonville is taking up a monetary collection at their Live Drive-thru Nativity on Sunday.
- Ilsley Christian Church has been helping members and neighbors at their homes.
- First Christian Church, Earlington is hosting utility workers in their building.
Let us continue to: Pray, Give, and Get Organized
I will continue to provide updates on the regional website as they become available, so that we may all stay on top of this situation.
Let us pray. Lord as you are love, we are thankful for the love expressed so far to our brothers and sisters in the western part of our state, and across other states that were impacted by the storms, by those who understand the nature of love. Lord we say thank you, that you are right here with us as expressed in Emmanuel. We ask for your peace and joy and continued strength in Jesus’ name. AMEN.