December 8, 2023
We are happy to report that during our last blood drive, which was held on November 27th. The Red Cross was able to collect 11 units of blood. This is enough blood to help up to 33 people. Our next blood drive will take place on Monday, December 22nd from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
This year our church will be 3 families, with a total of 12 children, to provide Christmas dinner and gifts for their children. The children’s needs and wish lists are posted on the bulletin board in the hallway. If you would like to take one of these children to buy gifts for, please take the top paper as your reminder and sign your name to the paper left on the bulletin board.
Family #3 is a family with 4 children of their own plus 3 foster children. This family enjoys giving taking all of the children to different places, some of which the foster children have never had a chance to go to. We would like to help this family by purchasing some yearly passes to places such as the State Parks, Wonder Lab, the Terre Haute Children’s Museum and the Evansville Zoo. Envelopes can be found on the top of the bulletin board to place donations in to help us provide these passes for this family. They have asked since we are doing the passes, that the children only receive one or two gifts. If you have any questions, please see Deb Cullison or Alicia Holt.
We are asking that all items for these families be brought to the church by Sunday, December 17th. Please leave a note with the family number and child with your gifts so that we can make sure that all the gifts to get to the correct family and child.
Along with the families we also have the students of the Life Skills Class at Bloomfield High School posted on the bulletin board. We will be providing the students of this class with a small gift for their Holiday Party. We ask that these gifts be brought to the church by Tuesday, December 12th. Please leave a note with your gift as to which student this gift is for.
We would also like to supply their treats and goodies for their Holiday Party. Please have these treats to the church by the 12th. Contact Deb Cullison with any questions.
We still have Christmas Poinsettia Memorials available. Cost of the flower is $10. Envelopes can be found on the narthex podium. Please write your loved one’s name(s) on the envelope along with your name and place it on the secretary’s desk.
The Soup on Saturday Christmas Dinner will be taking place on December 16th at the Methodist Church. All the participating churches will be providing a cooked and sliced turkey, we are in need of someone to bake our turkey, please let the church office or Deb Cullison know if you would be willing to do this. Our church will also be providing enough fresh fruit to fill 125 bags. The fruit needs to be at the church by Thursday, December 14th. We will then sack the fruit on Friday, December 15th at 5:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall.
Our Annual Sunday School Christmas Program and Party will take place on Sunday, December 10th starting at 6:00 p.m. Following the program the Local Service Committee will be providing a taco bar dinner in Fellowship Hall, donations of cookies and other treats to go along with the tacos is greatly appreciated. Word has it that there might be a very special guest making an appearance during the party.
Are your stockings hung yet? No! Well Elf Connie and Elf Bobbie have been very busy making sure that the Sunday School children’s stockings are hung in Fellowship Hall with care. If you wish small gifts may be placed in these stockings that the children will receive during the Christmas party on December 10th.
We will be holding a Blue Christmas Service on Wednesday, December 20th at. 6:00 p.m. This service reminds us that all of our Christmases, even the darkest ones, can be filled with honesty and hope if we are first willing to sit in silence and bring our deepest fears to God.
Our Carols and Candles service will take place on Sunday, December 24th starting at 7:30p.m. Plan on coming out for a wonderful service full of Bible readings and Carols.
It is better to light one candle than to curse the dark.
This Chinese proverb is an appropriate one for this season of growing darkness and shrinking light in the northern hemisphere. When I traveled to Sweden during this season, there was hardly a window that didn’t hold an electric candelabra or a star-shaped light.
But I have also celebrated Christmas in the Philippines where, close to the equator, the days and nights don’t vary much in length.
And I’ve celebrated Christmas in New Zealand where it is the opposite—the days are growing longer, and the nights shorter.
Everywhere, there are extra candles and lights, brightening up the darkness.
But it’s always the first candle, the first light, that makes the biggest difference.
The first light that most calms our hearts.
The first light that most brightens our spirits.
The first light that best shows the way forward.
The first light that illuminates where we are.
We can rage against the darkness that surrounds us, but that won’t get us very far. And we will still be in the dark. It is better by far to shine a light into the darkness. Even just one small light will do wonders for our hearts, for our spirits, for our sense of direction.
Even better, the light we ignite will be seen by others as well. I think of the way that we spend less time looking at the lights we string on our houses than our neighbors or passers-by do. Every time another sees the light, its effect is magnified. Maybe they will even reflect the light back to us.
How can you be light in the darkness in this season? How can you calm the heart of another who is lost in the night? Brighten another’s spirit? Illuminate the path forward? Provide comfort and grounding?
In being such a light, we ourselves are reflecting the one about whom John’s gospel proclaims:
In him was life, and the life was the light of the world.
In Jesus, God lit a candle. We could do worse.