Dear members and friends of LCR,
On this coming Sunday, December 17, we’ll hear the familiar story from Luke 1:26-38 of the angel Gabriel’s visit to the virgin Mary, where he proclaims that she will give birth to a son. Mary is told by the angel, “Do not be afraid” and “nothing will be impossible with God.” In the midst of that fearful encounter, Mary responds with trust and worship. As we hear the good news of what God is up to, we too can trust in God’s promises and presence and respond by rejoicing in God our Savior. Pastor Miranda will preach on this remarkable story. In addition, the Resurrection Choir will share three anthems at the 8:15 service. At 9:45 & 11:00, our EDGE band will lead worship.
Christmas Eve is just one week away! As December 24th falls on a Sunday this year, remember that there will not be any morning worship that day. Christmas Eve services will be held at 1:00, 3:00, 5:00, and 7:00, all with holy communion and the singing of Silent Night by candlelight. For the third straight year, we will give away our offering to help children locally and around the world. 50% of the offering will go to Camp Chisomo to dig a well and build the first structures on their new land. 25% will go to Marion Cares for the children’s programs they carry out here locally. 25% will be given to Take Away Hunger to provide meals for hungry children in our community and state
Finally, I encourage everyone to consider a year end gift to Resurrection. You should have received a letter recently with more information and a return envelope. Each year we strive to limit our spending to 97% of the annual budget, with the hope that the receipts for the year will match that amount. Heading into this weekend, we will need about $60,000 in the next two weeks to reach that 97% goal. If you need to make an charitable distribution by year end from your IRA, we could really use your help. Or if you want to use our new giving kiosk by the library, text a gift, or use the mobile app, Vanco+Give, scroll down to the GIVE section below to learn how to give in those ways. Thank you in advance for your generous gifts.
There are other upcoming events and opportunities that we want to alert you to through this weekly e-note. Our website (www.lcrmarion.org) provide more details on each topic.
See you on Sunday,
Sunday School will meet on Sunday, learning about the Christmas story. After taking a two week break, Sunday School will resume on January 7. Thanks to the teachers, helpers, and children for your wonderful program last Sunday! Special thanks to our Sunday School director, Jessi Heidelbauer, for your leadership and guidance along the way.
Wednesday Night Live Christmas Party is this Wednesday, December 20 at 6:00 pm. Any 3rd, 4th, or 5th graders are welcome to participate, and friends from outside church are always welcome! After a two week break, WNL will resume on January 10th.
Confirmation (6th-8th grades) is off for the next two weeks, resuming on January 3rd. EDGE will meet at 7:30 in the YAC for their Christmas party.
Fellowship Time is held in the café on Sunday mornings from 9:15-11:00. The menu includes Dunkin Donuts, Kettel House pastries, juice, and coffee. Come and connect with your Resurrection family this Sunday before or after worship.
LifeTree Café continues this Friday, December 22 at noon, with a short film called “Mental Illness: Breaking the Silence.” Lifetree is an hour-long experience packed with interesting stories, fascinating people, and lively conversation that will feed your soul. Check out our new Facebook page for Lifetree – facebook.com/LifetreeCafe.Marion.
Christmas Caroling – Let’s meet at the church on Thursday, December 21st at 6:30 pm. Please sign up in the gathering space if you plan to come, or call the office. All ages are welcome. We’ll carol at the homes of homebound members. Wear a Christmas hat if you have one, and bring some cookies to share if you can! We’ll return to the church around 7:30 for cookies and cocoa.
Not a Silent Night: Mary Looks Back to Bethlehem concludes this Sunday at 9:45 . Our video and discussion is about the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. A new DVD/book course by Adam Hamilton called “Half Truths” will begin on Sunday, January 7th.
The Parables of Jesus, led by Jim & Linda Cornally, concludes this Sunday in the conference room at 9:45.
On Sunday, December 31, there is one service at 9 am. The theme that day will be “Carols Around the World.” We’ll sing some favorite Christmas carols from various countries and hear the story of the carol, such as: Hark, the Herald Angels Sing (England); Angels We Have Heard on High (France); I Am So Glad Each Christmas Eve (Norway); Infant Holy, Infant Lowly (Poland); Silent Night (Germany); and Away in a Manger (United States). We’ll also discover some Christmas traditions from each country. If you have a favorite Christmas treat from your family tree that ties in with the theme, bring some to share at the fellowship time following worship.
Older Hymns news – We are pleased to announce that a new director/accompanist, Brandon Waring, is now leading the Older Hymns. They rehearse on Wednesday nights at 6:15. Brandon will graduate with a vocal music degree from Iowa State this month. He has student taught this fall in the Mt. Vernon and Central City school districts.
We have received 207 commitments for the General Fund totaling $502,118. In addition, $115,202 has been pledged for the Growth & Outreach Fund. If you haven’t already done so, we ask you to bring your 2018 commitment forms on Sunday or mail them in to the office. As we’ve said since early November, prayerfully consider 3 key numbers: 5, 80, and 20. We’re asking everyone to consider raising their total giving by 5% in 2018. If you give $100 a month, or $100 a week, raise those amounts by $5 per month or week. Then, consider dividing your gifts in 2018 between the General Fund and a new Growth & Outreach Fund in an 80/20 ratio, with 80% designated for the General Fund and 20% to the Growth & Outreach Fund. Our year to date commitments are 81% for the General Fund and 19% for the Growth & Outreach Fund.
Giving through VANCO – We have three new ways to give to LCR. You can also give anywhere, anytime through the mobile app, Give+Vanco, available from Google Play or iTunes. Another option is to send a text message to the number (319) 320-1628 from your mobile phone. You will receive a one-time registration link to enter credit or debit card payment information. After that, you can simply text the amount you want to give and it will process automatically. Or check out our new VANCO giving kiosk by the library. It will accept your credit card for giving offerings to LCR.
November/December Mission offerings go to Camp Chisomo in Malawi, which will provide a place where kids can just be kids. It will be an environment where spiritual and physical needs are met, where childhood is valued and children are equipped. We’ll empower local children with skills and knowledge that they can use to impact their families, their village, and the world. 8 acres of land were purchased recently from last Christmas Eve’s offerings for the future home of Camp Chisomo in Malawi. The Camp Chisomo Bike Program is going strong! LCR contributions have been purchasing bikes for the last 3 years, helping bring dignity and hope to the children in Malawi.
Mission of Hope Lunch Team served 159 people on the 7th, supported by the $200 donation from the afternoon circle. Thanks to all who helped behind the scenes or serving. Next meal will be on February 1st. Make a note on your welcome card if you want to assist.
Marion Holiday Giving Project – Thank you for your generous gifts and monetary donations which helped provide a wonderful Christmas for 154 Marion families this holiday. – Madonna Putnam