Dear KCC Members and Friends,
Have you had a chance to look at our website? If you haven't, it's at kenwoodcommunitychurch.info. It's a marvelous thing! Thanks to the work of Anna, we have an updated website that reflects who we are and what we're doing. Right now there's a wonderful article on our upcoming Gingerbread Extravaganza. There's an archive of Notes and News, as well as information about current activities, weddings, our church's history, and the United Church of Christ in general.
In this day of high internet use and social media, an active and updated website is an especially important way to let people know about KCC. So if you're wanting to pass along information about our church, let your friends know about our website! And a heartfelt thank you to Anna, who volunteers her time and highly-experienced talent so that we can have this resource. Another example of why Kenwood Community Church is all about 'community' and is such a wonderful place to be!
TODAY, November 30, the Board of Trustees will meet in the Fellowship Hall at 3:30 p.m.
THIS SATURDAY, December 3, 2-4 p.m., our annual Gingerbread Extravaganza will take place in the Fellowship Hall.
THIS SUNDAY, December 4, is the Second Sunday in Advent and is Communion Sunday. We` will celebrate worship at 10:30 a.m. Choir will rehearse at 9:45 a.m.
Wednesday, December 7, the KCC Christmas Choir will have rehearsal from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in the Sanctuary.
Thursday, December 8, the Board of Deacons will meet at 11 a.m. at Dorothy's home.
Sunday, December 11, is the Third Sunday in Advent and we will celebrate regular worship at 10:30 a.m. This is also Second Sunday Potluck. Along with your potluck dish, please remember to bring canned goods and/or gently used clothing for distribution by Sarah Lee and Henry to F.I.S.H. (Friends in Sonoma Helping).
Wednesday, December 14, the KCC Christmas Choir will have rehearsal from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in the Sanctuary.
Sunday, December 18, is the Fourth Sunday in Advent and we will celebrate regular worship at 10:30 a.m. Choir will rehearse at 9:45 a.m.
Sunday, December 18, Charlie and Peggy will host an open house at their home from 2-5 p.m.
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.
Saturday, December 24, is Christmas Eve. We will have a Candlelight Service in the Sanctuary at 5:00 p.m.
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 6 - Fran
December 10 - Robin
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
“Ten Minutes Until Your Perfect Moment”. So said a billboard advertising an upcoming winery on my way home this afternoon to Sonoma Valley.
Sounds close, but why do we have to wait even ten minutes for the perfect moment? Why not right now? The perfect moment after all is not a destination; it is how we show up in the moment, it is how we fully appreciate the love and life around us, and how we express that joy to others. Same with Christmas. Advent has begun, but do we really have to wait twenty-five days to experience the magic of Christmas? Isn’t the best preparation for Christmas the early arrival of Christmas initiated by each of us?
As we enter into Advent, I am grateful for the community and the care that we have for each other and the generosity that we are sharing in multiple ways with those in need. May we revel and rejoice in the season. It is here. It is now.
From the Pastor
Dear Members and Friends of KCC,
This past Sunday morning the sun lit up the old stained glass windows and the chancel. The blue Advent banners were in place. Fresh flowers were there and the doors stood open waiting for you.
Hospitality is a wonderful gift. St. Paul refers to it as one of the great spiritual gifts along with prayer, administration, healing, teaching and others. Every Sunday it takes many people to be ready for those who arrive at 10:30 for worship. The Sunday 'hospitality team' -- those doing music, ushers, printed bulletins, flowers, a vacuumed carpet -- the list is long! Everyone has a part in this sacred choreography. It is a gift we give each other every week.
If we are invited into someone's home for a party, we rarely know what it took to get everything ready, but we do know the work behind the scenes is significant. I am honored to be invited to your party; to be one who receives your gift of hospitality.
The primary reason we provide hospitality on Sunday mornings is rooted in the Gospel itself. The story of Jesus' life and work and the wider story of God's hospitality in all of the Bible and Church history, is the account of the loving hospitality extended to all God's children.
Advent is like the hours of preparation we put into a worship service at 10:30 every Sunday. Christmas is when the doors open, and all is ready for the Savior to be born, once again, in us.
Bless you all.
A Gift -- and A Fundraiser
Continuing this Sunday... a Christmas gift for every KCC member and friend! Kenwood resident Louis Sclafani has donated his inventory of Thai silk 18”x18” pillow covers in six different Christmas and Holiday designs and colors as a gift and fundraiser for our church. Each household in the congregation can have one free pillow cover with the opportunity to purchase others for a donation. The pillow covers will be available for the congregation and the community this Sunday and next, December 4th and 11th. Louis is advertising them in the Kenwood Press and stating they are available at the church from noon to 2:00PM. Your Benevolence Committee will distribute all donations to local needy causes. Questions? Call Jenny or Linda.
A note from Dale McCoy
Dale McCoy sent the following message to Jim this week:
"Today I delivered the Christmas tree for the holidays. My family and I have a tradition of gathering together for Thanksgiving and the day after going to pick out our trees. This year (as in previous ones with Sue in tow) we also chose a special tree for KCC to honor all of the congregation and most especially our loved ones who have left us. May the joy and love of the Christmas Spirit be with each of us throughout this holiday season. Thank you for the love and support you have extended me and my family."
Our heartfelt thanks to Dale and his family for this generous gift that we will all enjoy.
Christmas Benevolence News
In our final appeal of 2016, your Benevolence Committee is once again offering the opportunity for you to contribute to “The Christmas Fund for the Veterans of the Cross and the Emergency Fund.” The funds provide direct financial assistance to individual United Church of Christ retired clergy and lay church employees.
Last year we contributed $579 to this cause and hope to match or exceed that amount this year. In 2015, a total of $1,528,481 was contributed by participating churches. Of that amount 64% went to Pension Supplementation, 19% went to Health Premium Supplementation, 9% went to Christmas "Thank You" gift checks, 4% went to Emergency Grants and 4% went to Administrative Costs.
You can read more about this global charity on our Ministries page. Checks can be written to KCC with “Christmas Fund” on the memo line. We will be receiving this Benevolence on Sunday, December 11th, and we thank you in advance for your generosity!
Christmas Family Update
Thank you all for opening your hearts and making the wishes of our Christmas Family come true. All of the ornaments were taken from the tree. Please remember to return the gifts by December 18, wrapped with the ornament on them. If you did not get a chance to participate in this Christmas project and would like to, we are still accepting money or checks (made out to the Deacon’s Fund, with Christmas Family written on the memo line). You may give these to Dorothy or Peggy. This money will be used to purchase gift cards for food or other necessities the family may need.
With much gratitude,
Dorothy and Peggy
KCC Christmas Choir
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. on the following dates: December 7 and 14.
This Saturday is the day for our annual Gingerbread Extravaganza! Fellowship Hall 2pm - 4pm. Holiday activity fun for all ages. It takes a lot of elves to make this happen, so please let Linda Salomon know if you can help. Begin the holiday season and plan to join in joyful festivities and take home your very own mini-gingerbread house.
Ensley's Open House
Mark your calendars now. 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!
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
Those of us who are not very social media savvy will find the following a breath of fresh air as we begin a very commercial holiday season. After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it turns out there is Giving Tuesday, "a social movement that helps people give back by donating time, money, or influence to a cause that they feel passionate about. Giving Tuesday is celebrated as a day to encourage kindness and generosity." (Source: YouVersion Bible App blog). Just passing this along to make you smile. As a community, you each practice 'Giving Tuesday' every day the year!
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 on gifts). Questions? Call Cathy Valerga.
We've received the following invitation from St. Patrick's Episcopal Church:
We have all been affected by this past year's presidential campaign and elections, so St. Patrick's Episcopal Church is hosting an interfaith prayer vigil.
Please join us on December 12 at 6:30 pm as we pray for reconciliation within our nation and healing in our lives.
St. Patrick's Episcopal Church
9000 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood, CA
Coffee Hour Snacks Welcomed
While the Board of Deacons takes responsibility for making the coffee and setting up for coffee hour each Sunday, there is no one assigned to bring snacks. Any one may do so, and your help would be most welcomed!
New Flower Chart Up
The 2017 Flower Chart is posted in the narthex. Sign up for your special dates. You may provide one altar arrangement, or two matching ones. The church has some vases available if needed.
The Upper Room is here
The January-February 2017 issue of The Upper Room has arrived and can be picked up in the Narthex.
Have a wonderful week, and we hope to see you in church soon.