Safe In God’s Hands

As we read about Elizabeth and Mary in Luke 1, we discover that they were quite a pair.  Elizabeth was not a young woman!  After years and years of praying for a child, after becoming used to not having a child, and after getting to the age where giving birth to a child was not a good idea, she became pregnant with a baby she and her husband named John!  He was the one who would prepare the way for the coming of Jesus.

By contrast, Mary was a very young woman – maybe even as young as 14 or 15.  She too hoped for a child someday, when it would be appropriate.  But, not now . . . not before she was married.  Not while she was still a virgin.  So, we meet two women who are pregnant.  One of them is too old to be a mother and the other is too young.  But both are in the hands of God.

As the Bible constantly illustrates, God’s timing usually takes us by surprise. Sometimes, as with Elizabeth, God moves too slowly.  Sometimes, as with Mary, he moves too quickly.  Like Elizabeth, some of you have been praying for a long time for something to happen.  You think now that it may never happen.  Obviously, you can’t make it happen, because if you could have, you would have. Clearly, you are not in control.

Like Mary, others of you find that your lives are all disheveled this year.  God has conceived something in your life that you didn’t ask for.  It doesn’t make any sense.  You are frightened, confused, and, clearly, you are not in control either.  Friends, when we confess those real feelings, in spite of looking so different from Elizabeth and Mary, at least we share a common limitation of not being in control of our lives.  May we acknowledge that we, like Elizabeth and Mary, are safe in God’s hands!!    

Sunday Worship

Pastor Glen’s sermon on this Third Sunday of Advent is entitled, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” based upon the hymn on the hymn of the same name and Luke 2:8-14.  Please read this text in preparation for worship.

Adult Sunday School

Our Adult Sunday school class will meet this Sunday immediately after worship in the large Sunday school room.  Please join Janet Coiner and others for a wonderful time around God’s Word!!  We will be continuing a study of the Gospel of Luke.  This Sunday we will study Luke 6:12-49: The Sermon on the Plain.  Please bring your Bible!!

Church Choir

Our Hope Choir will be singing 12/18/22.  If you love to sing, please join us for our practice on Saturday, December 17th at 10:00 a.m., or Sunday, December 18th at 8:45 a.m.  You do not have to attend both practices to sing with us.  We will be doing familiar carols!  Come on out!!

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service & Christmas Day Service

Our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service will be at 5:00 p.m. at the church facility!  PLEASE COME and INVITE your unchurched friends to join you!!

We will also have a worship service on Christmas Day at 9:30 a.m.  There will not be Sunday school that day!

Tithes and Offerings

An offering box is available when you enter or exit the sanctuary.  Additionally, online giving opportunities are available on the website.

Prayer Concerns and Praise Reports

If you have any concerns you would like to add to the Prayer Concerns and Praise Reports list or give an update, PLEASE contact our prayer coordinator, Janet Coiner (540.447.0918) by THURSDAY at NOON!!  Thanks so much!!

Mission Corner

Giving Tree for Love INC

There is a special Christmas tree in our sanctuary with hearts, identifying various items to be purchased and then given to those needing assistance through Love INC. This will be the last Sunday to bring items.

Missions Team is active keeping in touch with our missionaries and other ministries.  Please keep updated!  You can visit our website and go to the Outreach page

November Financial Report

Offerings: Monthly: $12,692           YTD: $170,124.60

Expenses: Monthly: $14,029.31      YTD: $167,843.35

We have also received monies designated for our capital campaign and restricted giving.  In November we received $7,000.00 for our capital campaign.

Open House

The Holmans are hosting an open house THIS Sunday, December 18th from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. (152 Boyington Blvd.)  All are welcome, as we celebrate Kristen’s graduation from James Madison University School of Nursing!

Sent Lab

Lebanon Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Greenwood will be hosting an 8-week SENT LAB, beginning Wednesday, January 4.  Equipping opportunity for ways to witness to the Gospel and make disciples in the context of community.  The facilitator will be Pastor Shane Lilly, former associate pastor of Church on the Hill in Fishersville, who is currently practicing the principles of the LAB to bring non-church people into the Kingdom to be equipped to make disciples.   Cost is only $12 for the Send manual.

December Birthdays

Ron Layne (12/18); Kate King (12/21); Cliff Scott (12/28)