Christmas 2016; The GOOD NEWS from All Souls
The weekly Newsletter of
ALL SOULS ECC
A Welcoming Family of Faith!
Come Lord Jesus, Come!
Wow how time flies! Advent is over its almost time for the Christ Child’s arrival. We hope you will join us for our midnight mass!
We will not have our normal 1 pm service on Christmas Day – but we will have our 1 pm service on New Years Day, January 1. We invite you to share your blessings from 2016 and your hopes and dreams for 2017! We will pray over these and each other as we start the new year. Please join us for this special service.
Please take the time to read the articles and information in this week’s “GOOD NEWS” including clicking on our prayer list and pray for the requests listed there.
Feel free to forward this newsletter to a family member or friend, or share it on your facebook page or twitter by using the “like” and “share” icons at the top of the page.
This weeks readings and question of the week:
Take time to mediate on God’s word and prepare for worship this Sunday. And as you meditate on them, consider the Question of the Week:
For whom and how can I “prepare a manger,” by offering Christ’s own welcoming and nourishing love this Christmas season?
Psalm 96:1-3, 11-13
The angel said to them,
“Do not be afraid;
for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people.
For today in the city of David
a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.
And this will be a sign for you:
you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes
and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel,
praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Thus the birth of God’s long-awaited redeemer was introduced to a darkened, weary, and exhausted world. History tells us that the time of our Lord’s birth was indeed a time of weariness and widespread despair among men and among the nations of the earth. The civilizations of that day had all played themselves out.
It is striking that the human emotion that was first encountered by the angelic messenger was that of fear. Men were afraid in that day. They were afraid of many things, as they are today. There was Herod the Great on the throne. Herod was cruel, and was able to accomplish his wrath upon whoever was the object of his disfavor. He had personally put to death many, even in his own family, because of their antagonism to his plans. Also there were the Romans, too, with their proud legions, marching up and down across the face of the earth, holding everything in a severe and iron bondage. Many wars broke out and the economy was uncertain. The people were afraid.
Perhaps the most striking thing to us about this story is that we can so easily put ourselves back into that situation of fear, for by far the dominant mood of the hour today is that of fear.
No matter what the trial may be, the promise of this verse is that we have a Savior, a Deliverer, especially designed to handle that problem, a Savior who is with us always. If we remember that, and look to him, he will take us through it. He does not promise to take the problem away, but he says he will take us through it. He will strengthen us to face it and will give us courage and peace and joy in the midst of it. Therefore the promise of the angel was “Do not be afraid, for I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people [not to everyone, automatically handed out, but to anyone]. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”
This is what Christmas must mean to us. And all the days of the year that lie ahead are to be met by the fact that we have in our midst and in our hearts, if we have come to know him, a Savior, a Deliverer, a Rescuer, Christ the Lord. All authority has been given unto him, in heaven and on earth. No event and no circumstance can come into our lives that will be more than he can handle, more than he can take us through. It is that knowledge that gives the heart peace and puts joy upon the countenance.
CHRISTMAS EVE MIDNIGHT MASS – December 24
11:45 pm – Music
12:00 Midnight Mass
Reception Celebration to follow.
Bishop Francis’ Advent Message
January 1 – 1:00 pm
A Service of Prayer, Blessings, and Hope
Please Join Us!
YOU GIVE THE SERMON!
BRING YOUR PRAISES FOR 2016 and your Hopes and Dreams for 2017.
We will share as the All Souls Family and pray for each person, All Souls, Reading, and our Country as we begin the New Year.
SAVE THE DATES
2017 POT LUCKS & Other Socials
Please mark your calendar for these dates in 2017! Pot lucks all begin at 6:00 pm in the Pine Room (basement of Calvary).
Themes and/or activities will be announced for each month – so watch for those in the Good News! If you have ideas for activities, games, or themes for the pot lucks, please contact Wendy or any board member!
Saturday, January 21
Saturday, February 18
Saturday, March 18
Saturday, April 8
Saturday, May 20
Saturday, June 20
Saturday, September 23 – ANNUAL PICNIC
Saturday, October 21
Sunday, November 5 – Annual Meeting & Potluck
December 9 – Cookie Bake
How are you doing answering this past week’s question of the week?
The angel spoke to Joseph: “Do not be afraid!” Who in my life needs to experience from me compassion and tenderness?