Worship and Youth Sunday School at 10:00 a.m.; 11:00 a.m. Adult Sunday School and Fellowship time; 1:00 p.m. Worship in Nepali.
Bible Studies: Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. and Wednesday at 1:00 p.m.
Xtreme Faith and WoW youth groups Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
With so much Christmas music available to us, and in spite of the fact that we sang every Christmas song in the hymnal that I know last year plus others from other hymnals, I understand that some thought we didn’t sing enough Christmas songs last year. So, Toni and I began a discussion about dedicating a whole Sunday morning to Christmas songs so we can be sure to include everyone’s favorites, so…
Hymn Sing and Children’s Christmas Program on Sunday, December 18. If you have a Christmas song you would like to sing that is not in our hymnal, you will need to submit your suggestion before the worship (ASAP is good) so Toni can prepare and we can project the words to sing along with.
Also, if you have a reading you might like to share, please let me know.
Would you like to sponsor a tree for $20? The cost of the electrical connections for the year comes to $20 for each of the 9 trees.
Christmas Caroling Monday, December 12, at 6:30 p.m. Please meet here at the church.
The Sermon Sunday is “You May Be the Only Bible Someone Reads“- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcLurshGqTU
Isaiah 11:1-10- Prophesy of the Messiah coming as a descendant of David (the line of Jesse, David’s father)
Romans 15:1-13- We are to follow the example of Christ, who is the hope of the world
“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be his glorious name forever.” Psalm 72:18.
Around Church this Week:
The Sanctuary was transformed in a couple of ways following worship on Sunday. Many pitched in to decorate the tree and put out other decorations. A special thank you to Judy Lewis for the many touches she adds around the building. I have already heard great comments about the poinsiettas. Also, the seating in the sanctuary was rearranged in a similar fashion to what we did during Advent last year as a way of reminding ourselves that Jesus Christ came down to earth to be among the people in very intimate and close relationships.
I planted peone bushes along the east side of the church on Monday. They had been donated by our nexdoor neighbor to the east on 6th Street. She brought them before the snow, but I was too busy at that time to get them in the ground.
Thank you to Jim St. Clair for bring a couple sections of snow fence and to Larry Anderson for putting it up to fill a gap that we discovered was too large to keep snow drifts off the sidewalk.
Bad news about the sanctuary computer is that it is just beyond warranty, and there seems to be permanent problems with the hard drive.
The Deacon’s Angel Tree will be decorated with “ornaments” with items desired from our congregation to bless a special family. Please check them out and take one or give a gift for this Deacons ministry.
We have fresh eggs at church again for 75 cents a dozen – it is a savings for you and 40 cents toward our parking lot project at the same time. Thank you to Larry Anderson for making arrangements with folks from the Hutterite Colony.
Friday morning was a busy time with Mary Ann Kjergaard and Sharon Robinson working in the office, Cheryl Melby making copies for Sunday School and Toni Healy practicing for Sunday.
Calendars are available on the table in the sanctuary for $7.00 to support our Youth ministries.
Chuckle: “The One whose throne is in heaven sits laughing. . . .” (Psalms 2:4)
Wisconsin winters are brutally cold. But that doesn’t stop hundreds of daring souls from jumping into the icy waters of Lake Michigan on New Year’s Day.
Yes, it’s the annual Polar Bear Swim in Sheboygan, where every January 1, at precisely 1 p.m., some 450 fearless folks dive right in for a frigid dip.
One description of the yearly splashdown says that “most are costumed, all are crazy.” I won’t argue with that, but I’m not about to tell these people to chill out!
“Strange World,” Campus Life, Vol. 55, no. 6.
Birthdays this Week:
Prayer Thought: “Prayer is the slender nerve that moves the omnipotent muscle of God.” ~ Charles Spurgeon.
The more you get in the habit of praying, the more you will accomplish through prayer and the happier you’ll be, because you will have learned the secret of staying in constant, close communication with your loving Savior and friend.
Please keep in prayer: Elvena Hyronimus, Dale Klutman, Jayden Ausland, Betty Peters, Jeanne Marsh, Jeff Lewis, Rose Thuringer, Esther Bakker; Ardella Kjergaard; Don Crichton, prostate cancer and will have surgery on January 6th and two spots on his lungs; Cami Kuchta- Cancer and radiation treatment. Candace Roelfsema-Stansbury- peace and strength dealing with long term illness.
I found some interesting insights in the following article. It is a little too long, so I will break it up and just share a portion today:
5 Things The Decline Of Radio And TV Can Tell Us About The Future Of The Church
By Carey Nieuhoff | November 28, 2016
When was the last time you sat down to watch a TV show (other than, say, a football game) when it aired live? And in the car, how often do you listen podcasts or your own playlists compared to the radio? Even just a few years ago, you likely would have answered very differently.
The world around us continues to change because people are changing with it. The church is never immune from cultural change, and the decline of radio and television give us a window into some of the changes the church is struggling with now and will continue to struggle with in the future.
The mission of the church will never change, but the methods have to. Otherwise, you die. Plain and simple.
The television and radio industries have adapted better to the changing world than, say, newspapers have, but as this Pew Research Centre report makes clear, the industry is changing dramatically.
Here are 5 changes I see happening both now and in the future and some implications for the church.
- Disappearing Radios Create a Value Crisis
One mainstay of the car dashboard in the last 60 years has been the radio. But that’s changing.
As this article so insightfully points out, the car radio is now disappearing off of dashboards. Instead, a media console is appearing that basically resembles your phone. You now have to scroll several screens deep to find any AM/FM or even satellite stations.
The question, of course, is will anyone listen to the radio if they have to work to find it? Or, asked another way, did we really only listen because it was the only option?
In many ways, the church was to the community what the radio was to the car dashboard. Churches dotted the countryside, towns and cities and people went. Now you’re just as likely to find antique stores in those historic churches as you will people worshipping God. Or, if you pass by the local church, the assumption is that it’s become a club for people of similar views and persuasions to which the public is not really invited, despite what the sign says.
So how will radio get heard when it’s not front and centre in the future car? Only one way: by providing sensational content no one else is producing.
In an age of customized playlists, podcasting and on-demand content, I’m not sure how that one’s going to go. (If you’re interested, I did an interview for a broadcasting student on the future of radio that you can listen to here. As a former radio DJ, I find the subject fascinating.)
So what about the church? Our buildings aren’t the key to the future. Nor are our signs. Nor is merely being there.
The greatest statement to the community any church makes is through the lives of its members. And as you know, sometimes that works for us and sometimes it works against it.
When the Gospel displayed in the lives of a church’s members becomes irresistible, the church will grow.
- Set-Hours Programming Only Really Applies To Live Events Anymore
The change goes far beyond having a radio on the dashboard or a TV in the family room. It’s much more sweeping than that.
Some of you remember having to be home Thursdays at 8 or Mondays at 9 to catch the latest episode of your favourite show.
And if you do, chances are you’re over 40.
The idea of having to be home to watch a show at a set hour is fading quickly. VCRS, DVRS or as we call them in Canada – PVRS – and now on-demand programming have made traditional ‘don’t miss’ moments easy to miss.
The exception? Live events. Sports, award shows, or live shows like The Voice make instant, real-time results meaningful. Otherwise, you can watch Suits or The Walking Dead whenever you want.
The challenge for the church, of course, is that we’ve almost always done live, scheduled programming for which you show up at a set hour. Even with multiple service options, churches are still largely run off of a “be-there-at-10 a.m.” approach to gathering.
And yet every church leader has noticed that it’s getting harder and harder to fill rooms. While there are many reasons for this, we’ve already seen that even people who attend church attend less often.
These 10 reasons were referred to as a link, so I include them here as well. ~ Dave:
10 Reasons Even Committed Church Attenders Are Attending Church Less Often
By Carey | February 16, 2015
It comes up in a surprising number of conversations these days. And no one’s quite sure how to respond to it. The issue? Even committed church attenders are attending church less often.
Sure, the trend has been happening for years (gone are the days when people attended 50 out of 52 Sundays), but the issue is reaching a tipping point in the church today.
This isn’t a post about why people have left the church (that’s a different subject.) This is about church attenders who love God, appreciate the local church and are even involved in the local church, but who simply attend less often.
It impacts almost every church regardless of size, denomination or even location.
It probably marks a seismic shift in how the church will do ministry in the future.
Of course, church attendance is never the goal. But attendance a sign of something deeper that every church leader is going to have to wrestle with over the next few years.
The first key to addressing what’s happening is to understand what’s happening.
So…why are even committed attenders attending less often? There are at least 10 reasons.
- Greater Affluence
Money gives people options. If your church is at all engaging the middle class, the upper middle class, or a suburban demographic, an interesting trend is developing. The middle class is shrinking, but as this New York Times report shows, it’s shrinking (in part) because more of the middle class is becoming upper class. Both US and Canadian personal disposable incomes are at all-time highs.
There are simply more affluent people than there were decades ago, which may in part explain why so many “average’ people indulge their obsessions with granite counter tops, designer homes and decent cars, even without being mega-wealthy.
Naturally, this leaves a huge theological void about ministry to and with the poor, but it helps explain what’s actually happening in the suburbs and increasingly with the re-urbanization of many cities as the affluent move back downtown. Please…I’m not arguing things should be this way. I’m simply showing that this seems to be what’s happening.
And again…people with money have options. Technology options. Travel options. Options for their kids. And, arguably, that affluence may be one of the factors moving them further away from a committed engagement to the mission of the local church. It’s perhaps fuelling some of the reasons outlined below.
- Higher Focus On Kids’ Activities
A growing number of kids are playing sports and are playing on teams that require travel.
Many of those sports happen on weekends. And affluent parents are choosing sports over church.
It’s as simple as that.
- More Travel
Despite a wobbly economy, travel is on the rise, both for business and pleasure.
More and more families of various ages travel for leisure, even if it’s just out of town to go camping or to a friend’s place for the weekend or a weekend at the lake.
And when people are out of town, they tend to not be in church.
(To be continued next week)
Pastor Dave Ullom <*}}}<