From Pastor Don
For A Limited Time: Luke 2:10-12
The world can be divided into two groups of people. Those who love the McRib sandwich and those who don’t. I happen to be a member of the McRib fan club. A McRib, Dr. Pepper, and fries are my version of ambrosia. Unlike some McRib lovers, I appreciate the fact that this specialty sandwich is only available for a limited time. It leads to anticipation and celebration.
The season of Advent, like the McRib, is for a limited time. For four Sundays, prior to Christmas, we light the Advent Candles, read the traditional Advent scriptures, and anticipate the celebration of God With Us. The birth of Jesus is surrounded by wonderful stories of angels, surprises, and challenges. Even though we may have heard these stories many times, they continue to bring us hope. Like many of you, I look forward to our Advent worship services, Bible studies, and other activities. I especially enjoy our Christmas Eve service. The promise that unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord, makes the waiting worthwhile.
The Advent season, and the Christmas celebrations that follow, will come and go. The gift of God embodied in the child wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger is forever. There are no limits to God’s grace and mercy. The gift of Jesus is for eternity. Let us anticipate and celebrate that good news every day.
Grace and Peace,
Advent Offering: Wildfires in California
The current string of California wildfires have produced unprecedented devastation. UMCOR remains in close conversation with the disaster response coordinators of the California-Pacific and California-Nevada Conferences of The United Methodist Church and is supporting both conferences as they identify and respond to the needs of those affected by the wildfires.
UMCOR has approved a request from the California-Nevada Conference for a solidarity grant of $10,000 which will be used to help facilitate the replacement of personal clothing items and food through various resources. The conference Early Response Team (ERT) Coordinator has requested UMCOR buckets as well as hygiene and school kits. As the assessment of needs continues, UMCOR stands ready to provide additional support.
The recovery period for a disaster of such magnitude will be long, but thanks to your generous support, UMCOR and its partners will be able to provide hope and tangible assistance to those in need for years to come.
You can give in any Christ Church offering by marking your envelope or check: Advent or Wildfires. You also can give online here.
Turkey Lovers Unite
Our own Bob Chase is in charge of rounding up volunteers to carve and pull turkeys for the Community Christmas Feast on Christmas Day. This meal is held annually at 1st Presbyterian Church and is a ministry to those who otherwise would be without celebration or company on Christmas Day. Volunteers will meet on December 23rd at Danny and Renee Warren’s Holy Smoke Cafe in Whipple at 2 p.m. Please call Bob at 740-350-5176 if you’d like to talk turkey!
Christmas Cards for our Seniors
Christmas can be a lonely time for those who aren’t able to join us or their families during the holidays.
If you would like to send some joy this season, stop by the office and ask for our Seniors’ mailing list. You can also get the list by email request, just drop a line to Beth Ann.
Hats & Mittens
Have you stopped by the Education Wing to see our Hat and Mitten Christmas Tree? This is our way of collecting warm hats and mittens for local children. You can add your new hats and mittens to the tree any Sunday or during office hours. After Christmas, these will be taken to local elementary schools to help keep our children warm.
From Pastor Cheryl
Do you remember worship…without Power Point? Or our building…without an elevator? Change is inevitable—and, in hindsight, many changes make us ask how we functioned before those changes took place.
In my 20 years here at Christ Church, we’ve had seven different pastors, including one clergy couple, one deacon (by today’s definition), and one licensed local pastor. Worship music has been led by praise teams and two organists. Classrooms were renovated for Children’s Sunday School first upstairs, and then downstairs, and we’ve explored new ways of doing Vacation Bible School. Outreach ministries now include a tutoring ministry, a lay communion team, community meals, and a ukulele choir. We’ve had two secretaries/administrative assistants and their responsibilities changed with the times—this newsletter used to be printed on paper and mailed!
As Pastor Don retires, Christ Church will be changing yet again. But remember that the church is the people, not just one person. We will continue our strong tradition of lay involvement. We will continue offering a variety of small group studies, both on Sundays and through the week. We will continue to worship and serve God by serving others. In the meantime, I ask that you continue to pray for our church, our pastors, and the process that will bring our next lead pastor here to Christ.
Here’s some lay ministry updates…
After School, our tutoring/nurturing ministry with selected children from Washington Elementary, has 8 great kids so far this year—but the smaller number means the program runs differently than usual. We invite you to join us in praying that the remaining 4 slots will be filled soon.
Our “Good News from Christ” Radio Ministry is now also broadcast on WMOA 101.3 FM! Listen at 10 a.m. on Sunday mornings if you can’t be in worship, and tell others who can’t worship with us in person. You can also listen online.
I can’t remember the last time we did a church-wide study. Join us this Advent as we journey through Matt Rawle’s The Gift of the Nutcracker, learning to see this Christmas tradition through a Christian lens. After watching the film together, Don will lead the Thursday Brown-Bag classes at noon beginning November 29th, and our adult Sunday School facilitators will lead Sunday mornings at 9:15 beginning December 2nd. If you miss one, you can attend the other session and not miss anything.
How do you feel called to serve? Get in touch and we’ll try to help.
Pastor Cheryl Arnold
Waiting for a Sign?
What’s one way to affect our world’s future? Invest in a child.
During this Advent and Christmas season, would you make Children’s Ministry a matter of prayer? Pray for our children, our volunteers, our leaders…pray how you might be part of a child’s life in 2019.
Our Christian Education Committee is offering the opportunity for new volunteers in January. Yes, it is a time investment and can have its trying times. So why would people serve in Children’s Ministry? Here are real quotes from real folks who feel that this ministry is so worth it:
- The children always make me laugh and it reminds me of the joy we have in Jesus!
- I get to know our children and also their parents. I’m not sure I could’ve done that outside of children’s ministry.
- I love seeing children grow, being a part of their lives through their many stages.
- I love learning alongside the kids and being reminded of the richness of the simple gospel truths.
- It keeps me young and I love their openness and honesty when talking about Jesus.
- They are the future hands and feet of Christ. They exemplify child-like faith more than anyone I know.
- I know the outcome children’s ministries can bring from my own experience. Also, I just love kids!
- Children are precious and important.
We do all we can to provide what you need to be successful. Each lesson is pre-prepared and ready for your review ahead of time. Our teachers rotate weekly, usually serving once a month. What are you waiting for, a sign?
Join us in 2019!
Christian Education Director
Christmas Caroling Party
Youth, adults, children…everyone! is invited to our Dec. 16th Caroling Party with snacks and fellowship afterward. We will meet at the church at 2 p.m. to carpool around the community, blessing our Seniors and care facilities with the gift of Christmas joy. Bring along your guitar, ukulele, kazoo, or singing voice. It’s sure to be an afternoon that will put a smile on many faces.
Afterwards, bring your finger food to share in the Fellowship Hall with Bob & Ferguson has hosts. We’ll continue the festivities.
Staff Christmas Gift
Anyone who would like to contribute to this year’s staff Christmas gift may do so by marking the indicated box on your pew envelope or designating your check “Staff Gift”. You may give in any December offering, drop your gift by the church office, or mail to 301 Wooster St., Marietta, OH 45750. Please use this opportunity to express your appreciation and thanks to our staff for all they do to minister to us and with us.
Ukulele Choir Schedule
The Marietta Ukulele Choir is closing out its 2018 season with the following dates:
- Dec. 4th: Rehearsal
- Dec. 11th: Performance at The Pines
- Dec. 13th: Rehearsal at People’s Bank Theater
- Dec. 15th: Performance at the People’s Bank Theater
The choir will take a short break after the holiday season. Starting January 22nd, the choir will hold beginner’s classes every Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. The first rehearsal for the complete ukulele choir will be on Tuesday, March 5th.
From our Minister of Health
Several years ago a dear friend shared this poem with me and I believe it is worthy of a revisit every Advent season. I have been reading a powerful book by Bishop Will Willimon recently, ” Fear of the Other”, and this entry spoke to me in light of the poem I share with you now. May your advent be filled with peace and love.
by Alexander T. Coyle
© 1969 in What on Earth Happened?
your very soul,
But also daring and dangerous,
For it makes you vulnerable.
You confess your sins
And someone now knows
What you vowed you’d never tell;
Or your bitter tears,
Furtively wiped away too late,
Expose your wounded humanity;
Or, in sudden blazing anger,
Crying out your undiluted hatred,
Your heart is laid bare;
Or you exclaim, “I love you”,
And for once in your life
Your poise is shattered,
Your aloofness is destroyed,
Your singleness is gone,
Your defenses are down,
You are utterly vulnerable
And so it was with God.
Once hidden by the storm,
In the burning bush,
Beyond the snow-topped mountains,
Too terrible to look upon,
Aloof from human ways,
God, with daring and dangerous abandon,
Bared his heart to people
Laying himself open
To accident and disease,
To insanity and poverty,
To human ridicule and rejection
And wounding and killing.
God became vulnerable on
As do all who say, “I love you”.
Mid-Ohio Valley Ringers Christmas Concert
Saturday, Dec. 15th, 4 p.m.
All are invited to the MOVR Christmas Concert: Ring We Now of Christmas, held at Emmanuel Baptist Church, 1710, 23rd St., in Parkersburg. There is no charge, but there will be a free-will offering. Come out and enjoy an evening of beautiful Christmas music and support our own Beth Payton who rings with the group.
A Note of Appreciation
I would like to extend my most heartfelt thanks and gratitude to all of those individuals who visited me in the hospital, who sent cards, who provided food, who offered prayers of support, who offered rides for my follow-up treatment, and who assisted Cheryl and me in so many ways during this “adventure” in my life!
Most of all, I thank God for giving me this chance to continue my life in service and mission. For me, this has certainly been a time of spiritual renewal, as well as a time to recognize, be thankful for, and celebrate those things that truly matter most: life, God, Cheryl and family, my church family, and friends. God bless all of you, and may this season provide you with reflection, thanksgiving, and celebration, as well!
Trustees 2018 Summary Report to the Church Family
The Trustees have been busy with efforts to maintain and enhance our church facilities. Our greatest efforts this year have been on the operation of the elevator. Funding for all improvements comes from Trustees’ resources which are separate and apart from the church budget. Contributions to the Trustees efforts are always welcomed.
Inside our church building
- Safety & security is critical to all using our facilities. Established a Safety Committee to begin discussion of an Active Shooter Preparedness program to hopefully avert any such situation.
- Provided funding to Education Committee to decorate classrooms.
- Following annual fire inspection, made all repairs necessary to meet the fire code.
- Purchased and mounted an LCD television in the Fellowship Hall.
- Provided for annual maintenance and thorough tuning of pianos and organ. Additional warranty work was necessary for the organ this year to maintain slider seals, couplers, and foot pistons.
- Provided maintenance for ovens, range, and refrigerator in kitchen. Had floors professionally cleaned several times.
- Elevator maintenance included installation of new hydraulic plunger, flex hose, electric conduit, and new sump pump with alarm system when pump malfunctions. Established maintenance agreement with Arrowlift, a company specializing in elevators like ours. Successfully passed the annual inspection of elevator.
- Applied for 501 (c) 3 non-profit status with the State of Ohio for all eligible CUMC properties.
- Repaired front doors early in year as they were not closing properly.
- Repaired plumbing issues in bathrooms.
- Maintained the five HVAC systems. Contracted for semi-annual inspection of systems.
- Tightened wobbly chairs in Fellowship Hall and Library.
- Cleaned carpets and tile flooring throughout the church.
- Reviewed insurance coverage for programs conducted in CUMC; special consideration for Safe Sanctuary policy.
- Continue to provide Room 202 as office space for staff of Harvest of Hope.
- Planning to repair sanctuary walls that have bubbled due to water leaking through the walls.
Outside of our church building
- Worked with landscaper and a donor for memorial tree celebrating the life of Eileen Hutchinson.
- Strahler & Sons waterproofed the exterior brick wall of sanctuary along Third St.
- Added bench to front of church through a gift from Bob Kelley.
- Maintained contract to have gutters cleaned twice a year.
- Replaced roof of “garage” in the alley. Cleared out overgrown brush. Graveled the area adjacent to alley.
- Had storage building painted.
- Completed annual inspection of roof.
- Maintained landscaping around building and lawn care contracts.
- Maintained contracts for snow removal of sidewalks and parking lots.
- Maintained contract for pest control.
- Passed the annual back flow test for water and sewer required by city.
- Completed tests of alarm security system.
431 Third Street
- Plumbing repairs were made as necessary.
- Updated agreements with those using the building.
- Maintained landscaping.
Special thanks to all who helped the trustees throughout the year with your concerns, service, gifts, and prayers. Thanks, too, to Bill Beebe, Jim Bir, Rod Carr, Bob Chase, Bob Ferguson, Werner Knight, Barney Ott, Jim Roberts and Vicki Schwartz McCoy for their service in 2018.