The Life and Times- December-2013

December, 2013

Be still, and know that I am God

—Psalm 46:10a (ESV)

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Advent has come around again this year.  I am sure that many of you, like me, are finding that this season brings with it an increased level of activity.  As a congregation we have dinners to share, bowling balls to toss down lanes and a Christmas Pageant coming in the next few weeks.  We have had crews of sisters and brothers decorating, planning, cooking and praying.  We are gathering up candles, practicing music and preparing for our Christmas Eve service at 5:30 p.m.  All in all, you could say that just given the plethora of church activities, leaving aside the many events in the community and in your families, we are pretty busy.

Being busy is a part of living our life together in Christ.  We have seasons that are more hectic and seasons that are more serene.  The challenge we have is making sure that in the midst of our busyness we do not fall to the temptation of the idolatry of our busyness.

You see, sisters and brothers, we make much of those who do much in our culture.  Our calendars, when full, can become a source of pride for ourselves and a tool to demand the respect of others.  We can say that we are very busy and this seems to cover over a multitude of other sins.  We can even go so far as to begin to worship and serve our sense of busyness rather than the Lord and Creator of all things.

In the 46th Psalm, God calls us to be still.  In the context of the Psalm the earth itself is in tumult—rapidly shifting and changing the physical landscape, the cultural landscape and the political landscape.  One could say that the time describe in Psalm 46 is very busy.  Yet, the call in the midst of the Psalm is to worship (one of our four values as a congregation).  In the midst of the turmoil, the busyness, the distress and plain old stress, God calls us to be still and know that He is God.

So in this season of being busy, remember that you belong to God.  Take time to rest, to be still, to resist the urge to tell others how busy you are.  Take time to worship the God who sent His only begotten Son to be born in the most humble of circumstances to be our Emmanuel, the God who is with us, and all of this to save you.  Be still, worship and find your rest in the Lord.

Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Pastor Bill

News You Can Use:

CareNet will host an open house at their new location at 4 S. Main St. in Omak from 4 PM-7PM on Saturday, December 14th during the Christmas Parade. They will have hot cocoa and cookies to share. They are also raffling off a quilt donated by Buena Vista quilting. There is a picture of the quilt on CareNet’s Facebook page under CareNet Okanogan.

Operation Christmas Child – Community Presbyterian Church collected 187 boxes this year. A new record! Okanogan County as a whole collected 828 boxes in total.

A Church Bowling event has been planned for Saturday, December 7th, at 10:00 am at the bowling alley. Come out and enjoy some fun and fellowship!

A weekly brown-bag Men’s Bible Study is ongoing in the church library. It will begins shortly after noon on Mondays and ends at 12:45 pm.

Carol Michelsen has moved to Wenatchee. Her new address is 1401 Walnut St., Wenatchee, WA  98801.

The Christmas Eve Service will be at 5:30 pm on Tuesday, December 24th.

Salvation Army Bell Ringing – Manfisher Ministries, one of our supported missions, is the local outlet for the funds raised during the Salvation Army Kettle Drive. If you would like to ring the bell this year, please indicate “bell ringing”on the Friendship Register while in church or contact the church office. There will be opportunities to sign up for particular time slots on particular Sundays.

“Christmas in Reverse”, our 2013 Christmas Program will be on Sunday, December 22nd at 4:30 pm followed by an outreach soup dinner. This delightful and inspirational program explains the meaning of Christmas by going back to the Old Testament and God’s plan for mankind.  If you would like to volunteer with this program, see Director Stephanie Lamb.

Session Highlights:

At the November 12th meeting:

  • Lyslea Mizer was approved as a member of the congregation.
  • The new youth program is going well.
  • October’s giving was $16, 316.
  • A proposed 2014 budget was submitted for review.
  • The baptisms of Tonni, Ryan, and Kyle Payne were approved.
  • A plan to remodel the youth room downstairs was approved.