Dear members and friends of LCR,
Rediscover the Joy of Christmas – our Advent series – continues this Sunday, Dec. 16. I will share a message, “The Joy We Can’t Yet See,” based on the gospel story from Matthew 1:18-25. We’ll focus on Joseph, the father of Jesus, and discover that over and over his sorrows in life was followed by joy. The central theme of this series is the role of joy in the Christmas story, and how we can find joy in the midst of difficult times.
Christmas Caroling will be held on Thursday, December 20. We’ll meet at the church at 6 pm and return at 7:30 for cookies and cocoa. All ages are welcome, but children 8th grade and under should be accompanied by an adult. Bring a treat to share if you are able. Please sign up at the poster in the gathering space or let someone in the office know you plan to come.
Christmas Eve candlelight services will be held at 1:00, 3:00, 5:00, and 7:00. All will have holy communion. I will preach at all services on “Joy to the World, The Lord Has Come” as we reach the culmination of our Rediscover the Joy of Christmas sermon series. Note the need for help in the Serve section below.
Enough Appeal Update – Thanks to all who have responded so far – we have 207 commitments for over $502,000 for the 2019 General Fund. See the Enough Appeal section below for ways you can help LCR fund our mission and ministries in 2019. Your year-end gifts are needed to help us end the year on a solid financial footing. See the Give section below for details.
There are other unique 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.
Blessings to you,
Needed for Christmas Eve Worship:
- 1:00 – 4 readers, 2 greeters, 3 ushers, 6 Communion servers, acolyte, nursery
- 3:00 – 3 readers, 3 ushers, 7 Communion servers, nursery
- 5:00 – 3 readers, 4 greeters, 2 ushers, 8 Communion servers, acolyte, 2 nursery
- 7:00 – 3 readers, 4 greeters, 6 ushers, 5 Communion servers, acolyte, 2 nursery
Please note on your welcome card or by email (email@example.com.) if you can help and at which service.
Thanks to all who provided a wonderful Christmas to 7 local families in the Marion Independent district through our 2018 Giving Tree! – Madonna Putnam
Sunday School meets this Sunday, December 16. Confirmation, WNL, and EDGE will meet this Wednesday night at their usual times. Sunday School will then take Dec. 23rd and 30th off, resuming on January 6. Confirmation, WNL, and EDGE will not meet on Dec. 26th or Jan.2.
EDGE Service Crew is back! Need help shoveling snow or cleaning gutters? Putting up Christmas lights or moving things around your house? Call on the high school students to help as they work to raise money for their summer mission trip. Contact Katie with any jobs you may have: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adult discipleship classes this Sunday include:
- Faithful: Christmas Through the Eyes of Joseph- meets at 9:15 in the lounge. Faithful is a DVD/book course by Adam Hamilton. Pastor Miranda will lead this week’s discussion.
- Reading Biblical Literature– this video series, led by Bob Erlandson at 9:05 in the far end of fellowship hall, features Professor Craig Koester of Luther Seminary. This week’s topic is Revelation: Vision of a New Creation.
- Paul’s letter to the Romans meets at 9:15 in the conference room, led by Jim and Linda Cornally. This course features video teaching on Romans by Prof. Walter Taylor of Trinity Seminary.
Our 2019 totals stand at 207 General Fund commitments for $502,894 and 158 Growth & Outreach Fund Commitments for $117,302. These totals include 40 Simply Giving commitments for the 2018 General Fund and 24 commitments for the 2018 Growth & Outreach Fund that will carry over to 2019 unless we hear otherwise from the participants. Thanks to all who have responded so far by turning in your commitments for 2019.
Over 200 potential giving units have not yet responded. A letter was sent out last week to these families with another commitment card and return envelope. There are additional cards with return envelopes in the worship room chair pouches or at a tall table by the usher’s stand. You can also mail it in or drop it off at our church office.
On a practical level, we ask our members and friends to turn in Estimate of Giving Cards so that our Budget Team and Church Council is able to set a realistic ministry spending plan for the coming year. This allows us to make the most of every dollar given to the church. 75-80% of our resources for mission and ministry come from those who fill out commitment cards each year. Last year we received 227 commitments for 2018 totaling $533,338, so we are making progress. In 2013-2016 we received 244-262 cards. Every card counts, so please turn yours in before the end of the year.
Lifetree Café gathers on Friday noon for an hour of coffee, light refreshments, and conversation around relevant issues. We will meet on December 21st to discuss “Come Together: the healing power of friends and family.”
Fellowship hour – come early each Sunday for coffee and a Dunkin’ Donut or scone from Wit’s End or stay after either service to have some refreshments and conversation.
Year End Giving – in order to end the year in the black, LCR will need a very generous response to the General Fund in December. Through last Sunday, Dec. 9, General Fund receipts were $620,409. By the end of December, our goal is to reach $672,500 in General Fund receipts, which is 97% of our 2019 budget. Each year we strive to under-spend our budget by 3%, and we are on track to do that again this year. Several members have brought in their RMD’s (Required Minimum Distributions) from their retirement funds in recent days- thanks to those who have done so. A special mailing went out recently with information on how you can help. A return envelope was enclosed for your year-end gift. Over $1000 has been received from these special gifts.
Our Christmas Eve offering will be divided equally between Mission of Hope, Willis Dady Homeless Services, and Camp Chisomo.
November/December Mission Envelopes will be designated for the Marion Food Pantry. $1,334 was sent to the Willis Dady Shelter from Sept-Oct. gifts.
In addition to offering envelopes, other ways of supporting LCR include: Simply Giving – join over 90 LCR families who give regularly through automatic drafts from their checking or savings accounts. You can elect to give weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Enrollment forms are in your Enough packets. PayPal – there is a Donate button you can click on our website for giving. Our Giving Kiosk by the library will receive your credit card gifts. Give+ Mobile Phone App can be downloaded from Google Play or iTunes.