Dear members and friends of LCR,
Rediscover the Joy of Christmas – our Advent series – continues this Sunday, Dec. 23. Pastor Miranda will share a message, “Joy for the Lowly,” based on the gospel story from Luke 1:39-55. Mary goes to visit her elderly cousin Elizabeth, who is miraculously pregnant with a son who will become John the Baptist. Mary sings of her experience of God turning her life upside down, choosing what is poor and lowly over what is rich and powerful. Mary needed the faith and affirmation that Elizabeth gave her. We all need an Elizabeth we can turn to for advice, wisdom, and encouragement. And we’re often called to be an Elizabeth for someone else. In addition, the Resurrection Choir will share two anthems at the 8:00 service; holy communion will be served at 10:00.
Sunday School will take Dec. 23rd and 30th off, resuming on January 6. Confirmation, WNL, and EDGE will not meet on Dec. 26th or Jan. 2nd.
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.
Enough Appeal Update – Thanks to all who have responded so far – we have 217 commitments of $516,502 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,
We still are in need for Christmas Eve Worship:
- 1:00 – 2 ushers, nursery
- 3:00 – 2 Communion servers, nursery
- 5:00 – 2 greeters, 3 Communion servers, 1 acolyte, 2 nursery
- 7:00 – 1 greeter, 1 acolyte
Please email Emily if you can help and at which service (email@example.com).
No Wednesday Activities on December 26 & January 2 – This includes Evening Song Worship, Confirmation, Wednesday Night Live, EDGE, Galileans, The King’s Men, and Resurrection Choir.
“Carols Around the World” Service- On Sunday, December 30th at 9:00 am we’ll sing some favorite Christmas carols from various countries and hear the story of the carol. Holy communion will be served. Note that there is only one service on the 30th. Following worship, bring your Christmas cookies and share them at our fellowship time
Faithful: Christmas Through the Eyes of Joseph concludes this Sunday, meeting at 9:15 in the lounge. Pastor Dennis will lead this week’s discussion.
“Reading Bible Literature” study will not meet on Dec. 23 or 30. It will start again on Jan. 6 with an introduction to the Old Testament books and “Creation and Chaos” in Genesis (Chapters 1-11). Even if you haven’t attended before, please come and join the group. Hear how Prof. Craig Koester (Luther Seminary, St. Paul) uses the literary narrative approach to explain the Bible text.
Lifetree Café gathers on Friday noon for an hour of coffee, light refreshments, and conversation around relevant issues. We will meet on December 28th to discuss “How to Sniff Out a Scam: Practical tips for giving wisely.”
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.
Our 2019 totals stand at 217 General Fund commitments of $516,502 and 166 Growth & Outreach Fund Commitments for $121,854. These totals include 39 Simply Giving commitments for the 2018 General Fund and 23 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. Last year we received 227 General Fund commitments for 2018 totaling $533,338, so we are making progress.
A letter was sent out recently to those families who have not yet responded 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. Every card counts, so please turn yours in before the end of the year.
On January 8, our Budget Team will meet to draft a spending plan for 2019. Each year we ask our members and friends to turn in Estimate of Giving Cards so that our Budget Team and Church Council are 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.
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. 16, General Fund receipts were $636,251. 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 $2600 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.