Pastor’s Desk 2015-12-22

Chuck Sheridan Avatar

Good Morning SCCC Family,        
 
* Other than someone borrowing the baby Jesus in the middle of the service, we were treated to a wonderful morning on Sunday. So appreciated hearing the Christmas hymns. Then the kids, accompanied by the worship team, presented the story of Christmas in such a great way! Did you see their costumes? The garb on those three kings would rival any nation’s Kings, as did the rest of the outfits – shepherds, angels and Mary & Joseph.  And all of these outfits were newly made by ladies in the church. New narrators tested out their “speaking voices” and came through marvelously. Lots of volunteers helping. Thanks Mayra, Ryan and teams for bringing it all together. A testimony by Heather Rix, particularly the part about serving in the Guaymas prison, grabbed each of our hearts , Another young lady from Guaymas came to the platform, and accompanied by Jennifer’s translation, shared her appreciation of the church with the 280 plus listeners in attendance. How neat to hear a little of her story. And to God’s glory the morning ended with 6-7 hands raised, each to invite Jesus into their hearts. It can’t get much better than that. Praise God for such a great day!
 
A few reminders for the coming days:
* Dec 25 – Christmas Morning Service at the church @ 9:00 am.
* Dec 27 – Last Worship Service of the Year with a special guest speaker @ 9:00 am
* Dec 29 – Memorial Service for Walter Forester at the church @ 2:00 pm, immediately followed by a potluck at the Yacht Club.
* Jan 15-16 — 24 Hours of Prayer for the church, missions and our community.
* Jan 21 – Church (Potluck) Fellowship Meal
* Jan 26 – Mark Mulligan Concert @ the church. Admission by donation, proceeds shared equally with SCCC Missional Outreach and Mark’s Ministries.
 
* People to be praying for: (see the Church Prayer Wall for others)
1. Nancy Dreiling’s mother – convalescing from a broken hip
2. Ephie Lennon – knee replacement last week
3. Pat Peterson – Hip Surgery
4. Bob & Catherine Gibson – family illnesses in Australia
 
* Greeted by “wanna be” Santas, who presented each of us with a candy cane, we had our last potluck of the year on Thursday. Aubrey led us in several Christmas carols and Christie tickled the ivory’s for the entire evening. What a great atmosphere once again to be together as a church family. Thanks for all of you who helped make this evening possible.
 
* So much fun for many of us to join Pastor David, Angie and the folks of the neighboring Spanish church for dinner on Friday. Along with a great meal, we also got to hear about the different outreaches their church is involved in and enjoyed having their team lead us in worship.
 
* We hope that many of you will have time together with family this Christmas. we did get to rescue one of our daughters from the weather of the Great North and so we’re glad to have her with us for Christmas.

* Jeannine and I were so encouraged Sunday by the gifts and words of appreciation we received from so many of you. Thank you for all the many acts of kindness you have shown to us this Christmas season. We are so grateful. We pray that each of you has a wonderful Christmas season and we look forward with you in seeing what God will do in our midst in the coming year. Merry Christmas to you all!
 
Enjoy your journey with Jesus,
Glenn y Jeannine

P.S. – Another bonus article for those who enjoy the facts!

Five unimportant, but really interesting Facts About Christmas from “The Weekly”
 
Christmas is the most widely observed cultural holiday in the world. Here are five facts you should know about the annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus:
 
1. No one knows what day or month Jesus was born (though some scholars speculate that it was in September). The earliest evidence for the observance of December 25 as the birthday of Christ appears in the Philocalian Calendar, composed in Rome in 336.
 
2. Despite the impression given by many nativity plays and Christmas carols, the Bible doesn’t specify: that Mary rode a donkey; that an innkeeper turned away Mary and Joseph (only that there was no room at the inn); that Mary gave birth to Jesus the day she arrived in Bethlehem (only that it happened “while they were there”); that angels sang (only that the “heavenly host” spoke and praised God); that there were three wise men (no number is specified); or that the Magi arrived the day/night of Jesus’ birth. Rather than being born in a stable, Jesus was likely born in a cave or a shelter built into a hillside. The hills around Bethlehem were dotted with small caves for feeding and boarding livestock. The exact site of Jesus’ birth is unknown, but by the third century, tradition had established a probable cavern. Constantine’s mother, Helena, erected the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem over the small space.
 
3. During the Middle Ages, children were bestowed gifts in honor of Saint Nicholas (the namesake for Santa Claus). In an attempt to turn away from the Catholic veneration of saints and saint’s days, Martin Luther devised a tradition of gift-giving in his household on Christmas Eve. He told his children that “Holy Christ” (Christkind) had brought their presents. The tradition caught on with many Lutherans, though later St. Nick would get the credit as often as Christkind. Martin Luther is also widely credited as the first person to decorate Christmas trees with lights. Walking toward his home one winter evening, composing a sermon, he was awed by the brilliance of stars twinkling amidst evergreens. To recapture the scene for his family, he erected a tree in the main room and wired its branches with lighted candles.
 
4. The X in Xmas was not originally intended, as some people believe, to “take Christ out of Christmas.” The written symbol X was frequently used to represent the letter in the Greek alphabet called Chi (the first letter in the Greek word Christos). In many Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, X abbreviates Christos (Xristos). This practice entered the Old English language as early as AD 1000 and by the 15th century, “Xmas” was widely used as a symbol for Christmas.
 
5. Origin of Christmas terms: “Christmas” is a compound word originating in the term “Christ’s Mass,” derived from the Middle English Cristemasse; “Nativity”, meaning “birth”, is from Latin nātīvitās; in Old English, Gēola (“Yule”) referred to the period corresponding to January and December, which was eventually equated with Christian Christmas; “Noel” (or “Nowell”) entered English in the late 14th century and is from the Old French noël or naël, itself ultimately from the Latin nātālis (diēs), “(day) of birth”. 

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