Advent and Christmas are such beautiful seasons. They bring us joy and light as we head into the darkest part of the winter and into whatever challenges we face.What a gift that God comes among us in the incarnation.God was in Christ.
Many of our confirmation students wondered if prayer really works.What an important question.Prayer is trusting that God truly cares about us so that we can both talk to God and listen for God’s guidance.Christians believe that God wants to connect with our human lives for good.
We see this so powerfully in Jesus coming among us.Jesus’ entire ministry was prayer powered.He shows us what a human being fully in tune with God’s will looks like. Jesus shows us how God in Christ shares and understands our human challenges and fears.
No wonder we love Christmas.The gift of our Savior tops all other gifts. We have a lot to celebrate this December.And Christ is at the center of our celebration.
So pray for a friend, neighbor, or family member who does not have a church home and would benefit from knowing Jesus, the greatest gift ever given.Advent worship or Christmas Eve are some of the easiest times for people to feel comfortable giving us a try.The key is an invitation from someone they know and trust.
“Of all the creatures that I can see in this landscape the geese best represent the communion of saints. They depend on one another. The lead goose does the most work, but when it is tired, it falls back and another takes its place. To be able to rely on others is a deep trust that does not come easily. The geese fly in the wake of one another’s wings. They literally get a lift from one another. I want to be with others this way.” From Gunilla Norris in Journeying in Place: Reflections from a Country Garden
I see you faithfully flying and lifting others all the time. It is a joy to be the church in our area.
As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird behind it. By flying in a V-formation, the whole flock adds 71 percent more flying range than if each bird flew alone.
Lesson: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier when they are traveling on the thrust of one another.
When a goose gets sick, wounded, or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down. They stay with the goose to help and protect it until it is able to fly again or dies. Then they launch out with another formation to catch up with the flock.
Lesson: If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other.
Whenever a goose falls out of the formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front.
Lesson: If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed where we want to go.
When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies at the point position.
Lesson: It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership.
The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
Lesson: We need to make sure our honking from behind is encouraging- -not something less than helpful.
Wildberries are collecting new towel sets for the HOPE Christmas Shop through Sun, Oct 23rd. These towel sets benefit low income shoppers. Please leave your donations of new towel sets in the Upper Room. Thank you!
Fall is upon us and there are many good things happening.First, let’s brag about our Sunday school. We gave out many attendance awards Sept. 11th. Many of our award winners had well over 30 Sundays of attendance. Our top two kids attended 44 and 46 Sundays of the last Sunday school and summer worship year.That is amazing!In fact, with the summer programming and play ground in full use, we easily tripled the number of kids with us on summer Sundays.
We currently have Sunday school teachers who are aged 29-80 years serving as teachers in our Sunday school.This year we welcome Genia Curler to the preschool class. Genia said, “Thanks for asking me! It is such an honor to teach and I hope I can be as beloved as Lorna.”
We also welcome Betsy Brown to the 2nd/3rd grade class. She said, “I think it will be fun.”Please thank these new teachers and our experienced teachers: Lorna Brown, Genevieve and Chris Potter, Jeff Jeskie, Randy Gates and Margaret Roddy.
It is not too late to invite someone you know to try our Sunday school.We are blessed by our children, youth, and the adults who teach and help.
Our Summer has been filled with joys, but now we are faced with a challenge.No one wants to say good-bye to Lloyd, Shannon, Aidan and Jazz.Lloyd has been our amazing Music Minister. He has grown our choir, and added drums, guitar, and so much faithful spirit to every worship service.Shannon sings in our choir and she and Lloyd led a wonderful summer program for all ages this summer.Aidan plays our drums. Jazz charms one and all. So we won’t say good-bye, we will say “farewell”.
I love the meaning of this old fashioned word. It is more of a blessing. It says “do well” as you go into a new future.It says “God bless you”, and remember that we also know that you have so blessed us!It says, “we want the best for you and we know the opportunities for all in Massachusetts are fantastic.”We also know that Lloyd, Shannon, Aidan and Jazz will find a new church home and be a blessing there.
We will miss them terribly.However, they are promising to come back and visit!Shannon’s parents remain in Vermont.So we rejoice that we had Lloyd for over five years, watched him fall in love and get married, step-parent Aidan so well, and welcome Jazz into the family.Every moment has been a blessing.
May Lloyd’s loyalty, faith, and talent inspire us to invite others to experience these things in our church family!We are blessed and stretched by saying “farewell”.
The North Ferrisburgh UMC held a barbecue dinner for the Ferrisburgh Fire Department and their families on June 22nd. Below are photos of preparations, demonstrations by the Fire Department, the blessing, and sharing.
You are generous, and you outdid yourselves in 2015! Here’s our amazing 2015 mission giving totals:
Special offerings for One Great Hour of Sharing, Souper Bowl Sunday, Imagine No Malaria and others raised: $5,056
Mission Share giving that benefits our church, our conference, our nation and our world: $20,265
Middlebury Family pack to a family in need every month of 2015, and we sent supplies, donations and scholarships to a number of church campers and Mission trip attenders totaling: $3,220
Our grand total of mission giving for 2015 is $28,541. We also donated food for four Thanksgiving meals, a large number of Christmas gifts for Addison County families in need, food for our food shelf, and items to the Rummage and Plant Sale. Changing lives here and around the world – Priceless!
This is 18% of the budget we proposed for 2015.Congrats to all!For further break down of the categories or if you do not know what something listed here is, see our bulletin insert May 29 and June 5th or speak to Finance Committee Chairperson Lou McLaren at 425-7890.
Grace and Peace,
Sharing Christ's warm transforming love with our community, our state, our nation, and our world