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Welcome to Emmanuel United Church of Christ

In the ancient world, various peoples lit fires to mark the turning of the light into winter’s season and to pray for the return of the light. The church has Christianized that practice in the lighting of the Advent wreath.

Our Advent scriptures are often filled with foreboding shadows, but never without a glimpse of the promise of light. The ultimate reality is to communicate that, even in the midst of lengthening night, the elements of our faith (hope, peace, joy, love) offer light to our lives and to our world. To us, these candles are signs of the growing light of Christ who is coming again. Until the dawning of that Great Day, we watch and wait for Christ’s coming in all fullness into the darkness of our world. As we watch and wait let us do so remembering the promises of God with prayer.

November 30 is the first Sunday of Advent which continues through Christmas Eve. We will be looking inward and upward as we ready ourselves for the coming of Christ. We will see the candles on the Advent wreath lit each Sunday symbolizing Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love and finally the Christ candle – the light — which will be lit on Christmas Eve. Members of our church family will be lighting the candles which is a very meaningful time for them. Let us pray earnestly to prepare ourselves for Christ’s coming into our hearts and lives.

Another tidbit about Christmas wreaths. The wreath is of course a circle – reminding us of the perfection and eternity of God. Many wreaths are decorated with evergreen branches. The evergreen, like the circle, is a symbol of eternity – but also of life. Holly is sometimes used instead of – or with – the evergreen. The sharp points of the leaves of the Holly remind us of Christ’s crown of thorns. The red berries remind us of his blood. There is a story that holly berries were white until Christ’s blood fell on them – causing them to be red ever since. And the candles that are used with the wreaths? — Christ is, of course, the light of the world – hence the candles.

During this time of year when all is hustle and bustle and shopping and holiday get-togethers are in the forefront of minds — just take a few minutes every day to lift up your voices in thanksgiving to God for all that we have been given and keep a smile on your face and in your heart.

Merry Christmas to all!


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Gift Card Fundraiser

We have Gift Card Fundraiser
through Great Lakes Scrip Center
and includes tons of cards – from
Advance Auto Parts to Wet Seal
(young women’s clothing). By
purchasing the gift card through Great Lake Scrip, our church
earns a percentage of the sale price. With this newsletter is a
copy of the list and more copies are on the bulletin tables.
Just write in the quantity of the cards you want and give the
list and the amount due to Jim Rinehimer. He will order
them and distribute them as they arrive. If you have any
question, please see Jim. If more lists are needed, please tell

Great Lakes Scrip Center

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The Annual Meeting of the Congregation will be held on
Sunday, December 7, after our Worship Service. The
proposed 2015 Budget was approved by the Consistory
for distribution in the weekly bulletins and extra copies
are available on the table in the Narthex.
ASSOCIATIONS: In accordance with our Constitution
Article 10, All committees should have a report prepared
for the Annual Meeting of the Congregation.
organizations and societies of the Congregation are
subordinate to the Consistory and shall make an annual
report (Activities and Financial) to the Congregation.”

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Pork Dinner Update

This was a great fundraiser that
we haven’t had in many years.
It really will help with our expenses and
we can all be proud of the way we work together!

Ticket Sales
Adult 134 @ $10.00 1,340.00
Children 3 @ $5.00 15.00
Adult 245 @ $10.00 2,450.00
Children 1 @ $5.00 5.00
Surplus 236.50
Donation 40.00
Total Income 4,086.50
Milk & Bread 48.30
Pork, Paper Products, Sugar,Flour, Punch Mix 303.48
Pork and Potatoes 208.32
Total Expenses -560.10
TOTAL PROFIT $3,526.40

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Christmas Photo Fundraiser During Advent

One of our “Photographers in Residence”, Sharon
Moyer, is offering to take photos of you and your
family following Sunday Worship during Advent,
November 30 through December 21. With our church
decorated for Christmas, you will have a beautiful
keepsake. She will put together a 5” x 7” collage of
the pictures she takes which will cost $10 for two
copies. All money will go to improving our church
finances. Please see Sharon if you would like some
memorable pictures for the holidays.

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Our Christmas Program this year
is “Christmas – by the Book”
and will be presented during
worship on December 14. We
will hear the prophesies that
foretold Jesus’ birth, starting at the beginning, Genesis,
and continuing throughout the Old Testament. As we
celebrate Christmas, it is especially important to recall
that this event was predicted ages before it took place.
How many prophecies can we remember offhand?
Usually Isaiah’s comes to mind: For unto us a child is
born, unto us a Son is given. But there are many more
and we will hear several of them as the children and
youth present the story of the Nativity during the
course of their program.
If you would like to be a part of our program, please
see me. We also welcome anyone who would like to
be part of the Christmas Choir.
Practices for the Christmas Program are scheduled for
the following dates:

Wed., 12/3 6:30 to 7:15 pm Christmas Choir
Fri., 12/5 6:30 to 7:30 pm Speaking Parts
Wed., 12/10 6:30 to 7:15 pm Christmas Choir
Fri., 12/12 6:30 to 7:30 pm Speaking Parts
Sat, 12/14 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Dress Rehearsal
Sun, 12/15 9:00 am (during
Sunday School)

Everyone involved in the program is urged to come to
practices. We need just an hour here and there and this
will be a great program.
Thanks to all who volunteer to make our program
possible. You are a great bunch of kids and adults and
I am always so proud of the way you make our
programs come to life.

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Christmas Caroling

We will meet after Worship on December 14 for
caroling. We’ll raise our voices and spirits as we sing
songs of the season to residents of our local nursing
homes and to our homebound. Come with us and sing
glory to the newborn king!

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Special Music :: Christmas Eve

Anyone wishing to present music prior to the Christmas
Eve Early Service is asked to see Denise Dean. We will
begin at 7:00 pm and conclude at 7:30 pm. If you are
more inclined to read a poem or selection, that would be
very welcome also.
Christmas Eve Music

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Our Christmas Party will be held on December 13 from 11 am to 12 pm. We are asking all the kids to bring a piece of fruit for the baskets for our shut-ins and a new or “gently used” stuffed animal or toy to be wrapped for the children of the McKinney Clinic. We are also collecting care packages for distribution to the people served by the McKinney Clinic. Bernie, the director of the clinic, continues to need more men’s packages. She says that they minister to more men than women and so there is a greater need for men’s gifts. The packages should include: new white socks, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, comb, razor, hand lotion and a candy cane. If you would like to add anything else, please feel free (only nothing with alcohol in it). Also appreciated are gift cards from Walmart and K-Mart. A freezer bag holds the items very well. Attach a card signed by your family and send it with your child(ren) to the Christmas party or drop it off in the narthex under the Christmas tree before Saturday, December 14. Thank you for all your generosity. When making your care package, please talk with your child(ren) about how wonderful it feels to know you will make someone’s Christmas brighter by giving! Thank you for all your support,

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The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree has been set up in the Narthex. Just take an ornament, purchase the item listed on it, wrap it, tape the ornament to the package and place it under the tree. You may also include a card from you and your family.

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There are sign-up sheets on the tables in the Narthex
and next to the fellowship hall doorway for you to
purchase poinsettias to decorate our sanctuary. The
last day to sign up is December 15.
The chart for the altar flowers is on the table in the
Narthex. The price is still $12.50 per vase. Please pay
Mary or Jim Rinehimer for the dates you sponsor.


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Bethany Christmas List

Copies of the 2014 Christmas Wish List are on the table
in the Narthex. Please note that the children at Bethany
are teenagers. Specific gift items are included on the
Christmas Wish List or if you prefer, the children love to
receive gift cards to department stores, craft stores, area
malls, etc. Please choose age-appropriate gifts with
consideration for parental warnings, modest clothing and
safety. The gifts should not be wrapped since Bethany’s
staff will do that. Just drop them in the box wrapped in
Christmas paper in the Narthex.

Bethany Children's Home


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Youth Achievements

Our youth are showing off their smarts again. Check out
these Honor Rolls.
Crestwood High School
Principal’s Honors: Hunter Rinehimer
High Honors: Michelle Heller, Aaron Kleger
Honors: Brad Kotarsky
Crestwood Middle School
Principal’s Honors: Nate Kamowski, Michelle Bernetski,
Kristen Kania
Honors: Morgan Rinehimer.
There is a box in the bell tower for Christmas Cards for our
local veterans who are residents at the VA Hospital. The
last day to put cards in the box is December 21. Thank
you for remembering those men and women who served
our country.

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And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. — Luke 2:8-11 (NIV)