Dear KCC Members and Friends,
What joy there is in our church! Right now there are so many opportunities to enjoy fellowship together and to celebrate the true meaning of the Christmas season. Along with the benevolence opportunities we've participated in -- the Giving Tree, the Christmas Fund, the pillowcase fundraiser, and our donations of food and clothing -- we have time together. We just had a wonderful potluck last Sunday, the Ensley's open house is this Sunday, and the WOW Christmas party is on December 21. There is an opportunity to sing Christmas Carols at Santa Rosa Convalescent Hospital on the 22nd, and the highlight of the season is our wonderful Candlelight Service on Christmas Eve. In addition, look around the church -- it's never more beautiful than it is at Christmas. Listen to the choir and enjoy the beautiful, traditional Christmas music we've all been singing. All of this is something to appreciate and be grateful for. This is our community, this little place called Kenwood Church. It truly brings comfort and joy, and aren't we glad to be part of it.
On the calendar--
Sunday, December 18, is the Fourth Sunday in Advent and we will celebrate regular worship at 10:30 a.m. The KCC Christmas Choir will have rehearsal at 9:45 a.m. The choir will sing their Christmas anthems during the service.
Sunday, December 18, Charlie and Peggy Ensley will host an open house at their home in Oakmont from 2-5 p.m.
After the open house, there is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy Christmas music at the First Presbyterian Church in Petaluma at 6:30 p.m. (See article further in this newsletter for details.)
Wednesday, December 21, Women of the World (WOW) will have their annual Christmas Party at noon in the Fellowship Hall. (See article further in this newsletter for details.)
Thursday, December 22, Christmas caroling at Santa Rosa Convalescent Hospital at 10:30 a.m. (See article further in this newsletter for details.)
Saturday, December 24, is Christmas Eve. We will have a Candlelight Service in the Sanctuary at 5:00 p.m. The KCC Christmas Choir will sing two anthems: "Love Came Down at Christmas" and "This Peaceful Night." Joyce Grabarczyk, harpist, will be Guest Musician.
Sunday, December 25, is Christmas Day and we will not have church services. Regular services will resume on Sunday, January 1.
Wednesday, December 28, the church office will be closed. Notes and News will not be published this week, but will resume the week of January 2.
Happy Birthday to our members and friends with birthdays coming up (or just past):
December 26 - Mark
Other news of the church--
Please remember the following church members and friends in your prayers:
Donna and family
A prayer for recovery from sickness:
Almighty and merciful God, you are the only source of health and healing; you alone can bring calmness and peace. Grant to us, your children, an awareness of your presence and a strong confidence in you. In our pain, our weariness, and our anxiety, surround us with your care, protect us by your loving might, and permit us once more to enjoy health and strength and peace; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
Happening now (or recently)--
From the Moderator
Doubt and Affirmation
Christmas and Easter always have been profoundly spiritual and magical times for me. At the same time, they also have been times when I have wrestled with my faith. What exactly is it that I believe? I always have doubted the biological and factual challenges of the Immaculate Conception and the Virgin Birth. My dad was an obstetrician and from and early age, I understood thoroughly the biology of procreation as well as the miracle of childbirth.
And yet... Jesus Christ was and continues to be one of the most powerful forces for peace, hope, joy, and love that the world has ever seen. His birth ushered in an enduring pathway open to all, and for me, I cannot think of a better guide. For me, that is the blessing and the miracle. For now, on my journey, that is enough, and I am extraordinarily grateful. May the celebration continue!
From the Pastor
When we squeeze in tight Christmas Eve for our traditional Candlelight and Carols service, I will quietly celebrate the many ways you express hospitality to visitors who will be with us.
As in our own homes, when company arrives, we prepare with our best. You are doing this again this Christmas Eve, with the choir, decorations, greeters at the door and your heartfelt singing of favorite carols. Following the service, I stand at the foot of the stairs as people leave to go home. I wish you could stand there with me to hear person after person express thanks to the congregation for this beautiful night. All who come, especially the visitors, know we have done our very best to make Christmas Eve a special night just for them.
Those saying "Merry Christmas" to me as they leave are saying to all of you how much they appreciate your gift. The hospitality you extend is a sacred gift. Lives are made whole, broken hearts mended, and for one night, the sorrows of the world are held at bay, as we raise candles and voices, to the new born Christ child.
Bless you all.
Welcome New Members!
We're delighted to welcome Laura and Max as the newest members of Kenwood Church. Laura and Max have been active in church events since they first came to KCC a couple of months ago, with Laura joining the choir right away (thank you, Laura!). Their warmth and friendship are most welcome here!
Our heartfelt thanks for your generous gifts to our Christmas Family via our Giving Tree. Thanks to you, they will have a joyous Christmas. If you've not already done so, please bring your wrapped gift to church this Sunday.
Dorothy and Peggy
Ensley's Open House
This Sunday is the date! Charlie and Peggy Ensley invite the congregation to their Annual Christmas Open House on Sunday, December 18, 2 to 5 p.m. at their Oakmont home. Yes, there will be homemade egg nog!
After the Open House -- a Christmas Concert!
Kay Fish invites you to the 7th annual Christmas Concert at First Presbyterian Church, Petaluma, 6:30 p.m.
WOW Christmas Party
Ladies, it's that time of year! The Women of the World (WOW) Christmas party will be held on Wednesday, December 21, at noon in the Fellowship Hall. We'll begin with a potluck luncheon -- with so many Christmas goodies -- followed by a gift exchange. You never know who will end up with what. The exchange is lively and lots of fun! Please sign up in the Fellowship Hall and plan to bring your potluck dish and gift to exchange ($15 limit, please). Questions? Call Cathy Valerga.
Come sing Christmas Carols on the 22nd!
Come join us on Thursday, December 22, to sing Christmas Carols at Santa Rosa Convalescent Hospital. Our friend Donna is a resident there, and this affords an opportunity to bring Christmas cheer to her and the other residents of the home. We'll meet at the convalescent hospital at 10:20 am for a 10:30 a.m. sing-along. If you'd like to carpool, please let Cathy Valerga know by Wednesday morning next week. If you can bring a plate of cookies, it would be welcome. We understand the residents and staff would appreciate the treat!
Christmas Eve Soloist
Joyce Grabarczyk will be featured as harp soloist on Christmas Eve. Ms. Grabarczyk earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Northern Michigan University. She teaches harp and piano out of her Petaluma studio and her home in Sebastopol.
Women of the World (WOW) will have their very first retreat next October at Westerbeke Ranch. Fran Threewit has provided the following information on registration and deposits.
October 10 - 11, 2017 (Tues./Wed.)
Day one - 10 am -10 pm
Day two - 8 am- 3am
$248 (see below for deposit information)
At least 10 ladies
lunch and dinner day 1
Breakfast and lunch day 2
In order to get the 2016 prices, Fran has been asked to send a deposit to Westerbeke Ranch by the end of December. Please give her your deposit check for $125 before that date so that we can meet our deposit commitment to reserve space for the retreat. Deposit checks should be made payable to Fran Threewit; she will write one check to Westerbeke Ranch. Final payment won't be due until next October, when we have the retreat.
Checks can be given to Fran at church or mailed to her home.
If you have questions, please let Fran know. Fran wants us to know that church women who can't make it to WOW meetings and are interested are welcome and invited to come to the retreat.
Vist the Westerbeke website to learn more: www.thewesterbekeranch.com
Have a wonderful week, and we hope to see you in church soon.