The Cold Springer - Week of December 9th, 2018
Sunday, December 9th, 2018 - Morning Prayer
Did John the Baptist Use Deoderant?
"The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:'Prepare the way of the Lord,make his paths straight.Every valley shall be filled,and every mountain and hill shall be made low,and the crooked shall be made straight,and the rough ways made smooth;and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'"
John the Baptist, one of my favorites. His decision to pursue a radical form of self-denial transformed him into, well...something. He was polarizing: magnetic and repulsive. For some, his teaching of repentance - of recognizing our selfish and divisive behavior, of reorienting ourselves towards God and one another - was easy to ignore. “What a freak!” It’s easy to disregard those who appear so radically different.
When those who strike us as outsiders - whether its by appearance, allegiance, or behavior - come unabashedly, or maybe timidly, into our lives… how do we respond? What is our stance towards those who look, say and act in ways that are so different from ourselves? It’s an important question. We’re folks who like to think of ourselves as welcoming. Are we?
Welcoming the stranger, and the strange, into our midst is virtuous because it is kind and compassionate; it’s good for the stranger. But it is also good for us. When we remain at arms length from folks, when we stand far off, we run the risk of missing out on a fresh perspective. The Good News, that God’s Kingdom was and is and is to come, arrives in all sorts of packages. By the voice of one crying in the wilderness and wrapped in camel skins. By the voice of one crying in a manger and wrapped in swaddling clothes.
John the Baptist is an integral part of the Kingdom of God and its presence among us. I’m glad that what he offered, a way to draw closer to God and one another, was headed regardless of his BO. Wait patiently for the Lord, keep your eyes and ears open, even if it means holding your nose.
Yours in Christ!
The Reverend Jesse Lebus
For children, the path to spiritual growth is about learning the stories of the bible. It’s also about developing small habits that when stacked together build the foundation for a Christian life. Saying we are sorry, forgiving other, saying grace before meals and praying the Lord’s prayer are a great start. This time of year we find ways to journey to the manger – Advent wreaths and calendars are great for this one – there are many ways to bring Christ into the family.
This week in Sunday School we are going to pave a felt road to the manger; the place where God came into the world, the place where God is born again in our hearts. Students will have an age appropriate discussion about the activity and all will personalize paper cobblestones which they will use to pave and make straight the way!
There will not be pageant rehearsals after the 10am service this week, but the children will be practicing the songs at the end of the Children's Chapel program. SUbsequent weeks we will have rehearsals at 11am.
Elements of Faith
For the season of Advent our Elements of Faith class will focus on the Sunday lessons as well as begin creating an icon mural to add some orthodox flavor to our holiday decorations. Each week different elements of the mural are introduced to the class. The long story of the Incarnation unfolds in the images of Ruth, King David, John the Baptist and Joseph’s dream.
The month of December has another Wednesday of Cold Springer Youth Group for ages 8-12. There is a concurrent parents class as well. It all starts with community dinner at 5:30. See below for more information.
There is no pageant rehearsal following the 10am service this week.
Wednesdays: Youth and Parents Night
Cold Springers Youth Group
Wednesdays in Advent (5, 12,19)
Children ages 9-12! Come to St. John's on Wednesday's in Advent for joy filled evenings making and baking! We will start at 5:30 with dinner and then jump right into the activities. On December 5th they will create baked goods for our Chistmas Fair on the Saturday that follows. On December 12th they will make custom disc sleds for winter downhill fun. And on December 19th the Cold Springers will create a special Christmas gift for their parents. If your children are choir members just stick around.
Parent's Circle Book Group
Wednesdays in Advent (5, 12,19)
Parent's, you want to do this! Come together to discuss entertaining and helpful books about faithful parenting without feeling indoctrinated or "wierd." We decided to kick off this group in the season of Advent to run concurrently with our Cold Springers Youth Group. So basically, if your kids are 9-12, then you get some faithfilled baby sitting, too. We are looking to get some space for kids who are younger.
The evening begins with dinner at 5:30 followed by discussion until 7pm or so. For the three Wednesdays in Advent we will take a look at the Rev. Tim Schenck's book: What Size are God's Shoes; Kids, Chaos, and the Spiritual Life. You can purchase and read it, or you can just show up. The entries in this quick read are brief and we will look at a few of them during each get together.
St. John's Annual Christmas Fair
Saturday, December 8th
This year's fair is coming soon and we could use some youth volunteers. The evening before and the morning of the fair we will need help setting up and when the fair closes we will need help wrapping it all up! There is also some assistance needed in kitchen. Of course all hours can be put towards community service. If you have a youngster whose interested, please contact The Reverend Jesse Lebus,[email protected].
Toy Drive Sunday
Sunday, December 16th
We'll be gathering toys for the Family Service league through mid-December but we wanted to have a special Sunday where our young members could bring toys in for families that are in need. So start thinking, looking buying now and have your kids bring a present in to offer.
Family Friday - Greening of the Church
Friday, December 21st
St. John's Church
This will be a very fun time at St. John's. Youth and their families will join our Flower Committee to help decorate the church for Christmas. They will also put up all of the seasonal crafts that they have made through Advent. And that's just the beginning. There will also be food! Good food. Come families and help own the church this Christmas!