Pasadena Presbyterian Church

 

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Alleluia Newsletter

December 2009

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From Me to You
Session Digest
Stewardship Ministry Update
Financial Secretary's Report to Session
Children's Church
Antioch Youth News
Fellowship Committee
Pasadena Presbyterian Women
Calendar
Library
Evangemissions
Faith Community Nursing
Preschool
Helping Hands Ministry
Great Gift Idea for Christmas
Sunday Worship Attendance
What's New at PPC
Birthdays

From Me to You:

“BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON,

AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which translated means,

"GOD WITH US."  (Matthew 1:24 NAS)

CHRISTMAS is all about God being with us.

--True:  God has always been “with us.”  God is Spirit (John 4:24) which means

1) God is invisible--we “see” God and His hand-at-work by faith--2 Corinthians 5:7; Romans 1:20; 1 Timothy 1:17; and

2)  God is also omnipresent--He is everywhere, at all times (Psalm 139:7).

BUT God made Himself knowable and known to us at one special moment in His-story:  when He came as “Immanuel”—God present in the person of His Son, Jesus, who became One of, with and for us (Galatians 4:4; John 1:14; Colossians 1:14; 1 John 4:9).

Being with us, and us being with God, has been God’s design and desire for us from before all time.  Our sin—choosing to disobey God, and not loving and honoring God in our lives (Genesis 3:1ff; 1 John 3:4)—separated us from God (Isaiah 59:2).  The result is that we were “without God in this world” (Ephesians 2:12), and so subject to death--physical and eternal (Romans 3:23, 6:23).

To bring us back, God came to us in Jesus, God the Son, who is the Savior for the world (Luke 2:11; John 4:42).  Jesus offered His perfect, sinless life for us, in our place, dying our death on a cross (Hebrews 4:15; Romans 5:8; 1 Peter 3:18), cleansing us from all our sin—past, present, future—by His blood (1 Peter 1:19; 1 John 1:7), and He rose again to bring us with Him into new, eternal life (Romans 6:5; Philippians 3:10-11).  The GIFT of Jesus—His birth, life, death and resurrection—is what God offers to each of us, and what we as believers in Him celebrate, at and as CHRISTMAS.

Of course, just because a gift is offered to us, it isn’t ours until we receive it. 

To have forgiveness of all our sins, and a new and eternal life with God, we need to accept Jesus personally, as our own Savior and Lord (John 1:12; Romans 6:23; 10:9-10).  When we do that—pray, confessing our sin and need for Jesus, and inviting Him into our lives (Revelation 3:20), Christmas really begins--and it never ends!  Jesus is IMMANUEL--God with us, and we will be with Him, now and forever! (1 John 5:24, Revelation 21:3).

Have you asked Jesus to be your Savior and Lord—God with you, so you can be in life forever with God?

May the joy of Jesus, His presence with us, and our being His and forever with Him, be the “reason for the season” and the witness of our lives, now and always!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Carl

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Session Digest: October 27, 2009

The Session met on October 27, 2009 in the Boswell room at 7 p.m. A quorum was present and the meeting was opened with prayer by Pastor Carl.

The following items were considered and approved.

1. Candace Yarbrough was received as a member by reaffirmation of her faith.columns

2. Quorum requirements of fifty percent for stated meetings and two-thirds for called meetings were approved.

3. Brenda Taylor gave a testimony of her Christian faith, correctly answered some questions from Pastor Carl, affirmatively answered the ordination vows, and was approved as an Elder. She was installed at the 8:30 a.m. service on November 1, 2009.

4. The financial report showed a positive balance of $40,072.71.

5. A new refrigerator for the kitchen was purchased and installed, replacing the old one.

6. Building 123, now called the Community House, will be developed by the Helping Hands Ministry and a canned food drive to fill the pantry and evangelism in the community are being planned.

7. A congregational meeting was called after the single service on November 15, 2009 for the published purpose of electing six new Deacons. These Deacon candidates are Caesar VanArdoy, William Schellhaas, Judy Bloomfield, Deborah Saathoff, William Wyess, and Vicki Danz.

8. The next stated meeting of the Session will be on December 15, 2009 at 7 p.m.  

The meeting was adjourned with prayer at 7:30 p.m.

Larry Oline, Clerk

+++Complete Session minutes are public record and are available for review in the Church Office by any PPC member +++

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Stewardship Ministry Update

Thanksgiving

It's time for all of us to give thanks: Stewardship season is over. Not only the pledges have been generous but so has the trend in giving. We are finishing the year in the black and the Lord has used your faithful gifts to bless so many here and around the world. It's as true in the 21st century in St. Petersburg as it was when Paul wrote in the first century to the Corinthians. (2 Corinthians 9:12) "This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!"  Many thanks again for all you do for God's glory here at Pasadena.

Please, Remember the Samaritan's Fund
Several of our fellow Pasadena members are in need; so we'd like to remind everyone that the Samaritan's Fund was set up to help church members and the Deacons' Fund is for those outside the church. At the moment, the Deacons' Fund is doing very well (maybe because it's printed on the pledge offering envelope), but the Samaritan's Fund is getting low as we help our members in need. When filling in your offering envelope, please consider writing in "Samaritan's Fund" so that we can continue to help those who belong to our church.

Cold Season Is Upon Us 
No, this is not another dire warning about colds and flu. Our new refrigerator and ceiling fans are bringing a most welcome chill to Fellowship Hall. Our old loyal refrigerator has seen much better days so the Session authorized buying a new one and new ceiling fans for the Fellowship Hall. We also have some new tables, thanks to the Pasadena Presbyterian Women's generous donation.

Wish List Update 
The purchase of a 12 passenger church van took a big step toward reality with a generous endowment from the Beth Talbert Memorial fund of $6,293. This puts us within striking distance of getting a van that anyone with a valid driver's license can use (no commercial endorsement would be required). Youth could travel together, Helping Hands could have a helpful van, and we could reach out into the community and to our members who'd love to come but can no longer drive. Until then, please remember your fellow members who might need help getting to church and make your own car into their church van.

Tom Smith, Stewardship Chair


Wish List

Nature of Project

Estimated Cost

Received

Church Van  

$20,000   

$12,593

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Financial Secretary's Report to Session: October 31, 2009

The Financials for October show actual income $26,295.96 with expenses of $33,958.52 leaving us $7,662.56 in the red.                                          

Year to Date 2009
Actual Income   $337,946.07
Actual Expenses $305,535.92
Black $  32,410.15
Financial Notes
PPC Foundation 
Pasadena Foundation $  26,473.33
Wahl Scholarship   $  49,945.67

Cash Reserves             $131,588.65

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Children's Church

Children's Church

“’The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’  -- which means ‘God with us.’”  Matthew 1:23

 The December worship in Children’s Church will center around the Messiah, and about His presence in our daily lives.  The children will also be rehearsing songs that they will sing for the congregation on Christmas Eve as well as at the Preschool Christmas Pageant on December 16th.

 Children’s Church is a worship service specifically for children in kindergarten through grade 5.  The children are dismissed from the Sanctuary during the 8:30 AM service each Sunday, with the exception of Communion Sunday.

 Have a blessed Christmas.  “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift.”  2 Corinthians 9:15

Leslie Hughes

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What's Happening in the Antioch Youth Group

Greetings Everyone!

I hope that everyone has recovered from their Thanksgiving Feast!

Now with Thanksgiving over and Christmas knocking on our doors, it’s time for Caroling! We would like to invite everyone to go Christmas Caroling with us on December 20th at 5:00pm! Bring some goodies to share with everyone afterwards. We will have hot apple cider, chocolate and tea to go with our treats! Come and join us and bring your voices, wear your Santa hats and jingle your bells!

Merry Christmas to all!

Brenda Taylor standing in for Rob Taylor

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Fellowship Committee

Hello again everyone from Fellowship!

Merry Christmas and Praises to our Lord!!! We have received our new refrigerator in the Fellowship Hall!!! (Just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas!) Don’t hesitate to stop by and check it out!Fellowship

 The Thanksgiving Breakfast has not happened yet at the time of this writing, so I will report on it next month! Our Christmas Potluck Dinner will be Wednesday, December 9th at 6:00pm! The meat, (ham/turkey) will be provided by Fellowship, so we are asking that everyone bring a side dish and a salad, or dessert that you would normally serve at Christmas. YUM!!! Don’t forget to RSVP so we have enough meat for everyone!

The November Food Drive for the new Food Pantry got off to a good start! The first week brought in almost 400 items! We have been stocking the shelves at a steady pace almost daily! Thank you all so much who have volunteered or donated in any way, and those who have offered prayer. We constantly and consistently need prayer support to reach those in need spiritually, as well as physically.

Sunday, November 29th, will be Open House at the Helping Hands Food Pantry! Please stop by and see the blessings that God has poured out to get this ministry up and running! We encourage you to pray and anoint the house with the Holy Spirit as you walk through, dedicating this ministry back to our Lord! Donations will gladly be accepted on this day as well!

We will always be in need of the basics, but we are also asking for some special items for the month of December. Those items include, but are not limited to: canned hams, instant mashed potatoes, gravies, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes or yams, stuffing mix, pumpkin or the pie mix and nonperishable pie crust mix.

We may hand out small stockings with a candy cane or some type of candy to each member of their household. See me before buying any of these items.

 Some staples that we are in need of are diapers, baby wipes, baby food and formula. Ravioli and the like, with pop tops are great for the less fortunate!!!  For now, we will also be accepting breads, but only on Thursdays to be used for the next day!

Remember, when buying items for the pantry, think of who is going to benefit from it. If you were the one needing help with food for yourself or your children, what would you buy?

Thank you all for your dedication and your commitment to serve this church and especially our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
Merry Christmas!

Brenda Taylor

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Pasadena Presbyterian Women

THE PURPOSE OF PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN:

FORGIVEN AND FREED BY GOD IN JESUS CHRIST AND EMPOWERED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, WE COMMIT OURSELVES. . . . .
To nurture our faith through prayer and bible studyPresbyterian Women
To support the mission of the church worldwide
To work for justice and peace
To build an inclusive, caring community of women that strengthens the Presbyterian Church (USA) and witnesses to the promise of God’s Kingdom.

 Activities for Month of December at Pasadena
                              Tuesday, December 1st at 10:00 am                             Council Meeting – Boswell
                                Monday, December 7th at 10:15 am              Communion at The Springs
                                Tuesday, December 8th at 11:30 am                              Esther Circle -       Treasure Island Yacht Club
                                Tuesday, December 8th at 12:00 pm                              Ruth Circle – Thai Restaurant
                                Monday, December 14th at 6:00 pm                              Rachel Circle – Doris Macomber’s Home

PW Thank Offering Service was held on Sunday, November 15, 2009.  Liz Cabot was our guest speaker and she told us how to express true thanksgiving everyday by explaining that being grateful is an attitude of the heart.  We can express our gratitude to the Lord by living our lives as He wants us to: to meet together and worship as a church family; to tell others of God’s love and all He has done for us; to give our tithes and offerings and give our very best to the Lord, material things also; our service to the Lord by being active in church and to live by faith.  Trusting in the Lord, being dependent on Him for all things.  The service was a combined worship with the Praise Band and Praise Chorus, which joined with the Sr. Choir in a special   anthem.  After the worship service, approximately 100 were served a light lunch in the Fellowship Hall.  The Thank Offering collected (which will be sent to Presbyterian Women to further their mission work) was  $1320.00.  Praise the Lord!  Mandy Brandt gave a Minute for Mission telling of her work with Tree House Ministry in MN.  Mandy is supported by the Faith Promise ministry of the church and Presbyterian Women.  It was a very challenging and passionate service.

Please see articles elsewhere with regards to the Presbyterian Women’s Sock Tree and the Christmas Card Greeting Trees  We appreciate your help in both of these mission outreach projects.

A very blessed Christmas to all!

In Christ’s Love,
Patricia Watts, Acting Moderator

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Gather the Kids or Grandkids to Learn About Jesus' Birth Through Fun DVDs

  • The Very First Noel  The company that makes BOZ,The Green Bear Next Door™ computer animates the story of the Three Wise Men, including Melchior, who is voiced by Andy Griffith.
  • God Made Christmas (3-36 mos.) The story of Jesus' birth alternates with other visuals for short attention spans.
  • The First Christmas and Other Stories (Clay Classics) Visually beautiful "Claymation" version of the birth of Jesus with Christopher Plummer as one of the voices. Also includes The Chimrd by Charles Dickens and A Christmas Gift by Peter, Paul & Mary .
  • The Jesus Series-Read and Share DVD Bible  "Departing from the 3-minute, bite-size story format of the Read and ShareTM DVD Bible Volumes 1-4, this story of Christmas is an uninterrupted half-hour presentation of Jesus' arrival on earth.  With enchanting art style, warm narration, and gentle musical underscore, children will experience the Christmas story in a powerful way. Ages 3-7."
  • A WowieBOZowee Christmas (BOZ) and Saint Nicholas, A Story of Joyful Giving (The latest Veggie Tale) and The Toy That Saved Christmas (Veggie Tales) are other choices.

Also, this season for grownups:

  • The Christmas Card A soldier receives a Christmas card from a woman he vows to find when he returns to the states.
  • Thomas Kinkade's Christmas Cottage;
  • The Christmas Blessing.

Laurie Smith, Librarian

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EvangemissionEvagemission

“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”  Luke 2:11
 As we celebrate this Christmas season with our family and friends, let us reflect on the ultimate evangelist, servant and missionary, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Have a wonderful Spirit and Christ-filled Christmas.

Leslie Hughes, Chair

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Faith Community Nursing

The Health and Wellness Ministry is off to a great start.  Blood pressure screenings were started in October before and after Sunday School and will be scheduled every three weeks. We had a wonderful response in October and November and are looking forward to even more people taking advantage of the service this month on December 13, before and after Sunday school. You will receive a card with your blood pressure recorded on it to keep with you. Blood pressure trending tells your primary care physician so much more than just an isolated blood pressure taken at your yearly physical. If you’ve not yet had yours taken and received your card, come and see us on the 13th before or after Sunday school.  If you’ve already had your baseline blood pressure taken, come back for your follow-up check. We hope to have more nurses available on the 13th so you will have less of a wait ~ our goal is to get you in and out in less than 5 minutes.

In addition to the blood pressure screenings, we have also started a series of health and wellness programs to be presented on the third Tuesday of every month from 7 to 8pm in the chapel.  Mark your calendar and bring a friend.

The topic for November’s program was Stress Management. Part of taking care of others is learning how to take care of ourselves. I would encourage you to make a commitment to yourself to minimize your schedule for just one week so you can practice and master one of the six stress management techniques we learned. Or, if you simply feel you don’t have enough time for stress relief, try some mini-relaxations.

  • If you only have 1 minute: Place your hand just beneath your navel so you can feel the rise and fall of your abdomen as you breathe. Breathe in slowly. Pause for a count of three. Breathe out. Pause for a count of three. Continue to breathe deeply for one minute, pausing for a count of three after each inhalation and exhalation.
  • When you have 2 minutes: Count down slowly from 10 to zero. With each number, take one complete breath, inhaling and exhaling. For example, breathe in deeply saying “10” to yourself. Breathe out slowly. On your next breath, say “nine” and so on.  If you  begin to feel lightheaded, count down more slowly to space your breaths further apart. When you reach zero, you should feel more relaxed.
  • When you have 3 minutes: While sitting, take a break from whatever you are doing and check your body for tension. Relax your facial muscles and allow your jaw to fall open slightly. Let your shoulders drop. Let your arms fall to your sides. Allow your hands to loosen so there are spaces between your fingers. Uncross your legs or ankles. Feel your thighs sink into your chair, letting your legs fall comfortably apart. Feel your shins and calves become heavier and your feet grow roots into the floor. Now breathe in slowly and breath out slowly (Harvard, 2009).  

Debbie Rivard, RN

“Do not be anxious [stressed] about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6,7

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Preschool

At the preschool ministry, November was a month for giving thanks to God for all He has blessed us with. We prepared our own Thanksgiving feast and celebrated together and gave thanks to God. Our Thanksgiving family night was wonderful. Thank you to Leslie Hughes for inviting the various ministries of the church to be present at our family night. It was wonderful to have such a warm welcome for our families.  After dinner and a slide show presentation of the children, the children walked down the center aisle in the sanctuary with their Samaritan’s Purse shoeboxes and placed them at the “foot of the cross.”  What a blessing to see these beautiful children giving to needy children with their families support. The evening ended with songs of Thanksgiving.

You are all invited to join us for our annual Christmas Pageant on Wednesday, December 16th at 6:30 p.m. in the sanctuary. The Praise Band and the children of PPC will be joining us this year. Come and see the children tell the Christmas story and sing praises to our Newborn King. Wishing you a blessed Holiday Season as you prepare for the celebration of the Birth of our Savior.

Laura Woodard

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Helping Hands Ministry

Pasadena Presbyterian Church has started a new church-sponsored outreach ministry called the “Helping Hands Ministry.” We are providing the following services to those in our congregation and eventually to the community at large. We will initially provide, but not be limited to, the following services:

  • Specific home maintenance projects
  • Specific yard maintenance projects
  • Specific home cleaning projects
  • Rides to and from church functions

We are looking for volunteers of all ages to assist in this important giving ministry. Everyone in our church family is strongly encouraged to participate by providing services according to your abilities. Your gracious help is most appreciated.

If you would like to volunteer, or are in need of any assistance, please contact Bill Wyess at 360-7095.

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Great Gift Idea for Christmas!

Virginia “Ginny” Rhoades has published a compilation of her faith-based poems and stories in her new book By The Way…    Our Session previously received Ginny’s gracious donation of 100 copies to PPC to help raise funds for our on-going mission through short-term trips (like the one coming up in 2010 to Ecuador).  Copies are available through our church office; a $10 donation is suggested. 

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Sunday Worship Attendance

Sheep
  8:30 a.m.    11:00 a.m.  Total
November 1 121 58 179
November 8 147 68 215
November 15 Combined Service 182
November 22 91 65 156

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What's New At PPC

Christmas Greeting Card Tree

Presbyterian Women of Pasadena Presbyterian Church will be having a Christmas Greeting Card Tree on their bulletin board in the hallway to the Boswell Room and also a small one in the Narthex.

This project is in lieu of members and friends of Pasadena, whom you see all year round (does not include our shut-ins) and would like to extend your personal Christmas greeting – you would take a card from the box by the trees, put your personal greeting on and hang it on the tree in the Narthex or on the bulletin board.  The money you would spend on cards and postage you would put the cash or a check payable to Presbyterian Women for this amount in the receptacle by the tree.

This is open to all members and friends of Pasadena PC.  The purpose is to help others at Christmas.  We have selected this year to send the proceeds to CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse) right here in St. Petersburg.  More information will be posted by the tree on the bulletin board.

If you have any questions, call Pat Watts.News

Sock Tree

Presbyterian Women's Sock Tree will be available to hang your socks on it, located in the Hallway to the Boswell Room from Sunday, November 29th thru Sunday, December 13th.

These Socks will be taken to the Beth-El Mission to be distributed among the children and adults.

This has been an on-going mission for many years and we thank you for your contributions.

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