Dear KCC Members and Friends,
Last Sunday we had the blessing of rain and the joy of seeing our sanctuary in its Christmas beauty, with poinsettias and Advent candles combined with beautiful flowers at the altar. Christmas songs, organ music, and a visit from Brenda, our former music director. If you are wondering who was responsible for the beautifully decorated tables in the fellowship hall, it's Earla, who surprised us all. Thank you, Earla! In the afternoon many of us enjoyed the Ensleys' hospitality at their open house. A lovely way to spend a rainy afternoon--in the company of friends in a gracious setting. Thank you, Charlie and Peggy, for this special time. In the busy-ness of this season, it's nice to take a moment to appreciate not only the season of Advent and what it means, but also the very special people--and that is all of you--who make up our church community.
On the calendar--
TODAY, December 16, Women of the World will hold their annual Christmas potluck and gift exchange at noon in the fellowship hall.
TODAY, December 16, the KCC Women's Choir will rehearse from 3-4:15 p.m.
Sunday, December 20, is the Fourth Sunday in Advent and we will celebrate regular worship services at 10:30 a.m. Marjorie MacLeod and Charlie Ensley will present a dramatic reading of “The Prayers of Mary and Joseph in the Year of Jesus’ Birth.”
Sunday, December 20, at 6:30 p.m., the First Presbyterian Church in Petaluma will present their annual Christmas Concert. Five musical groups will participate.
Thursday, December 24, is Christmas Eve and we will hold a Candlelight and Carols service at 5 p.m.
Friday, December 25, is Christmas Day.
Sunday, December 27, we will celebrate regular worship services at 10:30 a.m. Worship will be led by Charlie Ensley, and will include a carol-sing-along, where you get to choose the carols.
Wednesday, December 30, there will be no regular office hours and Notes and News will not be published for the week.
Happy Birthday to our members and friends with birthdays coming up (or just past):
December 24 - Bo
December 26 - Mark
January 14 - Brenda
January 24 - Daymon
Other news of the church--
Please remember the following church members and friends in your prayers:
Betty and Don
Frank and Michael
Preston and Donna
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.
From the Moderator--
As we actively wait and prepare for Christmas, we also must begin to think about how we can keep the Christmas spirit alive most joyfully and effectively all year long. Specifically as we anticipate the needs and opportunities of the church in 2016,how should we be allocating our resources? What should our budget look like? In January and in anticipation of our annual meeting in February, the board of trustees will be putting our 2016 budget together. Now is the time for your input. If you have any recommendations or requests regarding how we should be investing the gifts we will be making, please share your thoughts with me or our treasurer, Dave Crockett. With gratefulness and best wishes for a warm and wonderful Christmas,
From the Pastor--
Dear Members and Friends,
Do not be afraid, said the angels to the shepherds who were 'keeping watch over their flocks by night. Glowing angels then appeared, as Luke tells it, and 'a great company of the heavenly host' - the ultimate church choir! - singing, "Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth peace...."
I choose not to be afraid. The angels, St.. Paul, Jesus and a few thousand times in the Bible, all admonish us to cast out fear. I am fortunate to have been spared some (certainly not all!) phobias about daily activities which cannot be avoided - like going out of the house. These fears are more powerful, deeply rooted, and probably don't go away by someone, even an angels, tells us to not be afraid. It's not that simple.
Nevertheless, many fears we can simply choose not to have. The Christian Church has a deserved reputation for peddling fear. Some warnings are real and true, while others are ginned up. Fomenting fear -( 'Your child will be condemned by God for being gay...") - is wrong.
Stirring up fear of divine judgment, or fears of 'foreigners" who wish to destroy America, are fears we can chose to reject. Vigilance yes, but fear no. 'Do not be afraid" proclaimed the angels. When fear controls us, we may give up hard-won freedoms, and, the peace which passes all understanding.
Peace be with you, and all of us,
Christmas Fund Offering
The Benevolence Committee is once again sponsoring the Christmas Fund offering, which will take place on December 20. It's theme this year is "Love Shines Through." The Christmas Fund is for Veterans of the Cross (retired clergy and lay church employees) and the Emergency Fund (assistance to clergy or lay church employees in need) and Christmas "Thank You" gifts to hundreds of annuitants; administered by the Pension Board. Members of the Benevolence Committee will give brief information on this offering during church services in December.
Usher and Flower Open Dates
For next month, no one has yet signed up to usher on January 3, 10 or 31. For flowers, only January 17 is signed up. See the charts in the narthex to pick dates convenient for you.
Have a wonderful week, and we hope to see you in church soon.