Pasadena Presbyterian Church

 

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Alleluia Newsletter

December 2010

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From Me to You

"I am the One who is and who was and who is to come.”
(Revelation 1:8 NLT)

Revelation 1:8 probably isn’t the first verse that comes to mind when we consider Christmas. 
It doesn’t talk about stars or shepherds, mangers or magi.  But if we look at it closely, we just might see a wonderful and clear picture of the One whose birth Christmas is really all about:  Jesus.

There are a lot of idols—“God-wanna-bes” in and around anytime we celebrate who God really is; Christmas is no exception with elves impersonating the True God who gives and saves by grace (not because we earn or deserve it), gifts which themselves become the “reason for the season” supplanting God, and a “spirit of Christmas (make that “happy holiday time”) that offers temporary self-satisfaction in place of the Holy Spirit’s gift of joy.
How do we show—and how does the world come to know—who the True God is?

Jesus is “the One who is.”  That identification is directly derived from the personal Name—“Yah” translated “I am”—which God revealed to His chosen people in the Old Testament (Exodus 3:14), by which they could know Him as the One, True, Living, Eternal and Almighty God, and distinguish Him from all idols.  Several times in the Gospel of John, Jesus claimed that same Name to identify Himself as “God who (always/eternally) is”  (cf., John 4:26, 6:35-51, 8:12-9:5, 10:7-36, 11:25, 13:13-19, 14:3-20, 15:1-5, 19:21).  God is:  He exists; He created time, space and everything in the universe, including us!  He is life--the Source, Sustainer and Savior of our lives--Jesus is!

Jesus is also the “One who was.”  He always was—the “Eternal Word” John’s Gospel calls Him:
“In the beginning was the Word; and the Word was with God; and the Word was God…
and the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:1, 14).
Jesus was on earth—God in person, born into His-story as One of us and for us:
“The virgin will conceive a child: She will give birth to a son,
and he will be called ‘Immanuel,’ meaning, ‘God is with us.’"
(Matthew 1:23, quoting Isaiah 7:14)
He was the One who came to “Save us from our sins” (Matthew 1:21):  only God could do that; and do that He did—in the Person of Jesus His Son, who died for all our sins, was raised in power and victory over sin, death and the devil, and who is also:
“The One who is to come.”

So much of Christmas is about anticipating things:  gifts to be wrapped, unwrapped, given and received; decorations to be put up; lights to be lit; parties, celebrations, and services to be attended; and family reunions.  Yet the greatest reunion will be when Jesus returns, and we see Him finally face-to-face! 

Could this be the final celebration of Jesus’ coming before He comes again?
Rejoicing in the One who is and was and is to come with you:  His precious saints at and as PPC!
MERRY CHRISTMAS!

In Christ,

Carl

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Session Digest: September 28, 2010columns

The Session held their stated meeting on Saturday, Oct. 30 from 8:30 am to 10:00 am in the Boswell Room. The following items were discussed or acted on.

1. The resignation of Patty Burrows as an active elder was reluctantly approved.

2. A financial status response proposal from the stewardship committee was approved.

3. Mary Watson was removed from the active roll at her request.

4. Judy Oliver was approved as the speaker of the Presbyterian Women Thank Offering service on Nov. 21 at a single service. A painting of the Last Supper, painted by Yvonne Long will be dedicated that day.

5. Baby bottle campaign for New Life Solutions/Pregnancy Center, Toys for Trinidad, and Samaritans Purse Shoe Box campaign were approved.

6. The fellowship committee will set up once a month lunches after church with church members and Pastor and Mrs. Crawford. This was approved.

Subsequent to this meeting, a retreat along with the Deacons, Leslie Hughes, and Pastor Anthony Oliver was held until about 2 pm. Various concerns were discussed and prayed for.

The full minutes are available to be read in the church office by any member of Pasadena Presbyterian Church.

Larry Oline, Clerk

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Stewardship Ministry Update: Finishing the Year with Thanksgiving

Pasadena's annual stewardship campaign ended November 14th. I’d like to thank all those who turned in your pledges on that commitment Sunday and remind the rest to get them in to the office. We use the pledges to estimate the budget for 2011; so, they are very important.

I’d also like to thank you for your gifts. We ended October “in the black” for the month thanks to your outpouring of gifts. The harder the times, the more your gifts mean. And this year has been another tough one for the country, Pasadena and its members. In spite of a good month, we still have a deficit for the year of over 10%.  It would be great to see God’s people here at Pasadena catch up and finish 2010 in the black.

During the Exodus, the people were so thankful for all God had done for them and so eager to have a place to worship that Moses had to say thanks, we have enough for the tabernacle. Exodous 36:2-7 says “Then Moses called Bezalel and Aholiab, and every gifted artisan in whose heart the LORD had put wisdom, everyone whose heart was stirred, to come and do the work. And they received from Moses all the offering which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of making the sanctuary. So they continued bringing to him freewill offerings every morning. Then all the craftsmen who were doing all the work of the sanctuary came, each from the work he was doing, and they spoke to Moses, saying, “The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work which the LORD commanded us to do.”

“So Moses gave a commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, ‘Let neither man nor woman do any more work for the offering of the sanctuary.’ And the people were restrained from bringing, for the material they had was sufficient for all the work to be done—indeed too much.”

Thanks again for your gifts. They are an encouragement and where we put our treasure shows  where our heart is. Thanks for your sacrificial gifts and hard work. It’s been a tough year but, together, we can honor God here at Pasadena.

Tom Smith, Stewardship Chair

Pasadena Presbyterian Church Wishlist
Nature of Project Estimated Cost Received
Youth Sound Equipment (speakers, etc.) $1,500 New item
Sanctuary Projector $4,000 New item
Youth Projector $1,000 New item

 

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Financial Report: October 31, 2010

The Financials for October show actual income $35,396.52 with expenses of $33,931.40 leaving us $1,465.12 in the black.                  

Year to Date 2010
Actual Income   $299,675.19
Actual Expenses $340,461.39
Red $  40,786.20
Financial Notes
PPC Foundation 
Pasadena Foundation $ 27,767.31
Wahl Scholarship   $ 49,959.36

Cash Available

Checking Account Balance: $43,165.06

Cash Reserves            

General Reserve MM                $29,426.61

Total Cash                    $ 72,691.67

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Evangemissions

Sent to the Tent

We will have had the Metropolitan Ministries Donation Tent open for almost a month by the time you read this but you may still have a few questions about what it is all about.  Please take time to read about our outreach.

Each year, Metropolitan Ministries serves more than 25,000 families with 35,000 children in 60 days in their holiday tent in Hillsborough County.  In Pinellas County where Metropolitan Ministries is fairly new, they served more than 3,000 families last year.  We have an opportunity to be a big participant in expanding Pinellas County.

The holiday donation tent is so much more than providing food and toys to struggling families, it is a time when the community comes together and brings hope to those who need it most.  Not only are the families who need the assistance benefited but hope is given to those who give of their time and donations and it’s a great way to meet our neighbors and let them know Pasadena Presbyterian is here to serve our community.   

The other part of the Metropolitan Ministries opportunity is that we are registering and serving 50 families that are in need this year and will be bringing them to our church to distribute boxes of hope and bags of joy.  For the most part these are not homeless families but families that are struggling to keep their home.  They are unemployed or underemployed couples with children, or single parent families or struggling seniors who are doing everything they can to hold things together.  The hope and joy that we give with the gifts food and toys combined with just loving these hurting families just could make a difference in their struggle.  If we share the love of Jesus with them we are confident that it will make all the difference in their lives when we put Jesus’ second commandment to action.

We are asking every single person who attends this church to contribute to this effort.  If you do, we believe it will bring hope, joy and maybe even increase our attendance at PPC.  Every single one of us can do something to be part of this united effort and we pray that you will.

  • Contribute food:  Frozen turkeys, box of cereal, cans of fruit, cans of vegetables, cans of yams, bag of dry beans or rice, stuffing mix, box of potatoes, black beans, cranberry sauce, and desert mix.
  • Contribute toys:  Infant crib and stroller toys, early learning toys, strollers and car seats – ages 1-4 - preschool play sets, bouncers and push toys, dress-up clothes, baby dolls, make believe play sets – ages 5-11 – radios, remote control cars, electronic games, arts & crafts, fashion and baby dolls, play and building sets – ages 12-17 – board games (Monopoly, Checkers, Chess, Dominos, Manacle, Outburst, UNO Spin, Scrabble, Trouble, jewelry, make-up, hair accessories,  footballs, basketballs, soccer balls, socks shoes, writing materials, sketch books, pencils, journals, DVD and CD players, music CD’s Silly Bands, teen books, gift cards from Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Hot Topic, Vans, Claire’s Game A Stop, Footlocker, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Payless, Bicycles, tricycles, scooters, skateboards, pre-paid cell phones.
  • Work the tent: Tent hours are 3:30 – 7:30 Monday through Friday and 10:00 – 2:00 on Saturday.  You can sign up on our www.pasadenapc.com website or by calling 727-345-8572.  If you call just leave your Name, phone number and the date you will be working your first day and the time you will be arriving and the time you must leave.  We won’t call you back unless we already have that day and time filled with other volunteers.  Just let us know the FIRST day you will be working - if you can work other days you can sign up for those at the tent during your shift.

We thank God for you and your willingness to serve!  Come prepared to work a little, wait a little and to love and be loved a lot!  It’s very encouraging to those working with you if you will bring something to donate when you come to your shift – just a can of veggies from your shelf, fruit, small toy will do but we wouldn’t turn down a turkey or a gift card either.  If you would serve on the distribution team, we need you for that too.

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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
                                Monday, December 6th   at 10:00 am                            Communion at the Springs
                                Tuesday, December 7th  at 10:00 am                             PW Council Meeting - Boswell
                                Tuesday, December 7th   at 11:00 am                            Bible Study Helps w/Pastor Carl
                                Monday, December 13th  at 6:30 pm                             Rachel Circle – Doris Macomber’s Home
                Tuesday, December 14th  at 12:00 noon       Esther Circle – TI Yacht Club
                Tuesday, December 14th  at 12:00 noon       Ruth Circle –  TBA
                Thursday, December 16th at 7:30 pm                            Hannah Circle – Library
               
Please note above that anyone who is leading their study in their circle should come to the council meeting on Tuesday, December 7th at 10:00 a.m. and then at 11:00 a.m. Pastor Carl will come in to the Boswell room to give us “helps” with the Revelation study.  He will help us each month thru May.

The Sock Tree will again be available Sunday, November 28th through Sunday, December 12th.  Please bring new socks (all sizes) for men, women and children.  These then will be taken to Bethel Mission to be distributed in time for Christmas.  Thanks so much to all of you who cooperate in this mission each year.

Love, Peace & Joy.                                                              
Patricia Watts, Moderator

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Library News

BOOKS AND DVDs ARRIVE TO BLESS YOUR CHRISTMAS SEASON

For the Youngest:

  • Getting Ready for Christmas (Browne, Girouard) Each day's listing has Scripture passages, illustrations, a prayer and Advent activity (ages 4-8)
  • St. Nicholas: The Real Story of the Christmas Legend (Stiegmeyer) "Combining museum-quality artwork and family-friendly language, this book clearly articulates how God showered His love upon us through Christ and helps children see that our own gift-giving is a grateful response to the sacrificial gift of God s Son." (product description)
  • The Legend of St. Nicholas: A Story of Christmas Giving (McKall) A 10-year-old boy who is "dragged to the mall" on a last-minute Christmas shopping trip learns "why we give gifts in remembrance of the greatest gift of all."
  • The Little Fir Tree (Margaret Wise Brown) With new illustrations, her Christmas classic comes alive for today's children.
  • Christmas Gifts (O'Keefe) The wonders of Christmas, including caroling, special church services and the love shown in gift-giving are simply told and written in rhyme.

For ages 9-12

  • The Gift of the Christmas Cookie: Sharing the True Meaning of Jesus' Birth (Mackall) The setting is the Great Depression, when many people could not get special treats. Jack learns the true meaning of giving from his mother.

DVD

  • Christmas Unwrapped-The History of Christmas (History Channel) 1997 documentary covers both Christian and secular aspects of the day.

Laurie Smith, Librarian

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Faith Community Nursing

Faith Community Nursing ~ Health and Wellness Ministry
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights…” James 1:17 NIV

A harried woman and her children were ending their day of holiday shipping. To express her frustration and stress, she stated that whoever created Christmas should be strung up and shot. A bystander brought to her attention that someone had already crucified Him. Before you get caught up with your tasks, lists, and expectations, put them into perspective. Ask yourself what you should be celebrating: the hectic, stress laden, financially burdened holiday season, or the gift of peace and hope.

Even though God gives us all we need for a healthy, happy life, we tend to disturb it by “spending” and “observing” the holiday on human terms. Look at the holiday traps that take up your time. Categorize your holiday tasks as “need to do”, “should do”, “want to do”, and “expected to do”. Which ones really address the Christmas spirit? Just because you are invited to attend an event or have habitually participated in an activity doesn’t mean you have to continue that activity. Prioritize all of your activities by weeding out those that distract you from the true meaning of Christmas, you will find less stress and more enjoyment from your choices.

“Give and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” Luke 6:38 NLT    Not all gifts are material. Sharing your time with others is a gift that can be given all year round. Look for community agencies or projects that need manpower. Homeless or abuse shelters, food pantries, meal sites, tutoring projects, hospice programs and many others need manpower to provide their services. Research shows that volunteering is also good for you physical and mental health so choose a project, commit your time, and make it a family event. It will improve the lives of others while it reaps unexpected spiritual and family benefits.

“Be sure to give to the LORD the best portions of the gifts given to you.” Numbers 18:29
The holidays are times of joy but also times of change. Children grow into adults with lives of their own. Families lose loved ones to death through illness, old age, or accidents. Young adults marry and move away from home, changing the comfortable family traditions of their youth. Your gift to your family is providing loving presence during the changes in your family’s life, and helping them develop new traditions and relationships that incorporate the changes that have occurred. This season, remember the best gift you can give is yourself—be loving, be supportive, be present.

Blessings of peace, joy and love,

Debbie Rivard, RN, FCN

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Preschool

November was a month for giving thanks to God for all He has blessed us with. We prepared our own Thanksgiving feast, celebrated together and gave thanks to God. Our Thanksgiving family night was wonderful. Thank you to the fellowship committee for showing your hospitality and serving ice cream for dessert!   Everyone enjoyed a slide show presentation of the children after dinner.  Next 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.”  Our staff and families contributed over 90 boxes to this ministry. What a blessing to see these beautiful children giving to needy children with their families support. The evening ended with songs of Thanksgiving.

Please join us for our annual Christmas Pageant on Wednesday, December 15th at 6:15 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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Fellowship

December 5th the Monday Hobby & Craft Group will have a Christmas Craft Sale in the Fellowship Hall.

Fellowship will meet for its monthly meeting on December 6th at 11:00am in the Fellowship Hall.

Due to the PreSchool Pageant and the Women in the Word Dinner there will be no Fellowship Dinner in December.

Please pray about helping out on the Fellowship Committee.  We are in desperate need of helping hands.  Many hands make the work light.

We, on the Fellowship Committee, pray that you will have a Blessed Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Patti Strong, Committee Member

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Praise Kids

November's lessons centered around being thankful, as well as about giving.  The children learned that “giving” does not always center around giving material things.  We can give of ourselves, and God has given each of us gifts that He wants us to share with others to build up the body of Christ.

Throughout the month of December the children will practice songs, as well as rehearse for the skit, for the Christmas Eve service.  They will also be singing one song prior to the Preschool Christmas Pageant on Wednesday, December 15th.  CD's of the songs to be sung are available to help the children practice at home.  Please contact Leslie Hughes through the church office for more information.

December's Wednesday evening lessons will center around the birth of our Messiah.  Praise Kids will meet on Wednesday, December 1st and 8th only.  The children will be singing on Wednesday, December 15th, and there will be NO Praise Kids on December 22nd or 29th.

Have a joyous Christmas season as you celebrate the birth of God's gift to us -- our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Leslie Hughes, DOFM

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Youth

The congregation is invited to join the Youth as they sing Christmas Carols throughout the neighborhood surrounding the church.  We will meet in Fellowship Hall on Sunday, December 19th, 5:00 PM.  Hot chocolate, mulled cider,  and cookies will be served in Fellowship Hall at the conclusion of the caroling.  Please help us spread the joy of Jesus' birth to our neighbors, just as the great company of the heavenly host said, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

The Youth group will also be involved in a couple of service projects throughout the month of December, including "Hanging of the Greens" on December 4th, and the Metropolitan Ministries food and toy distribution on December 18th.  Please feel free to come worship and serve with us!

Leslie Hughes, DOFM

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Sunday Worship Attendance

Sheep

                   

  8:30 a.m. 11:00 a.m Total
November 7 91   54 145
November 14 89  53 142
November 21    (Combined)  (Combined)  135

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What's New At PPCNews

Youth Christmas Caroling

PLEASE JOIN THE YOUTH FOR CHRISTMAS CAROLING throughout the neighborhood surrounding the church.

WHEN: Sunday, December 19th, 5:00 PM
WHERE:  Meet in Fellowship Hall
WHO:  All are welcome!

Songbooks will be provided. Hot chocolate, mulled cider, and cookieswill be served in Fellowship Hall following the caroling

Pasadena Presbyterian 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 28TH THRU SUNDAY, DECEMBER 12TH

THESE SOCKS WILL BE TAKEN TO THE BETH-EL MISSION TO BE DISTRIBUTED AMONG THE CHILDREN & ADULTS

THIS HAS BEEN AN ON-GOING MISSION FOR MANY YEARS AND WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS

Monday Hobby and Craft Group

Please join us in the Fellowship Hall on December 5th for our Christmas Craft Sale.  All proceeds will be going back into the church.

Thank you for the support.

Thank You Note

On behalf of Kairos 21 Men's Mission to Hardee Correctional Institute, I would like to sincerely thank all the Children of the church for decorating both the Letter Bags and the Place Mats that were presented to the residents of Hardee CI who attended our weekend mission. I cannot begin to describe their looks of joy and gratitude when they received them. It was truly heart warming and a genuine gift of love done in Gods' glory.

Heartfelt thanks in Jesus name,

Bill Schellhaas, Kairos 21 AGAPE Coordinator

Thanks

Thank you all for volunteering to work the donation tent. We still need volunteers for December 1st – 22nd You can sign up on line at www.pasadenapc.com   or if you prefer there will be a hard copy book available at the visitors booth or you can come by the tent sometime before December to sign up.  Also, don’t forget we need your donations which are also listed on the website.  Thank you to the many of you who have brought donations by during this month.  Don’t forget to ask your neighbors, friends and family to donate.  Let’s show God’s love in a really big way.

Thanks, Gene

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