WE ANTICIPATE SUNDAY, December 21
Fourth Sunday of Advent
A weekly e-mail from
Plymouth Congregational Church
UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
232 E. Onondaga Street, Syracuse NY | 13202 | 315 474 4836
Welcoming All, Growing in Faith, Working for Justice and Peace
Preparing for Sunday’s Worship
We will light the fourth candle of Advent.
We will receive the United Church of Christ’s Christmas Fund special offering. Your contribution to this offering goes to provide ongoing and emergency support to retired clergy and clergy in crisis. Please use the red envelopes in the pews to contribute to this offering; any offering not in a red envelope will go to support the ministries of Plymouth Church.
After worship, children will create gingerbread houses for their own homes and decorate Christmas cookies to deliver to Rescue Mission.
Sunday Morning Bible Study follows worship. This is a weekly examination of the following week’s preaching text(s). Grab a cup of coffee (but don’t worry about a Bible, we’ll provide those!) and join us downstairs in the Scout Room at 11:15 a.m.
The choir and organ join in presenting music by Bach and Handel, as well as the popular song Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. (There’s a reason for singing this secular song in the service!)
In Our Church Community
Focus Scripture Matthew 1:18-25
Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel’,
which means, ‘God is with us.’ When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.
We give thanks for the 9 households that offered pledges last week. We have received 94 pledges for $224,677. Your gifts will be used to support Plymouth’s many ministries of love, justice, and peace in 2015. We will be blessed to receive additional pledges. You may place your pledge card in the offering plate on Sunday or mail it to the church office. Pledge cards are available on the table in the back of the Sanctuary.
Christmas Day is best celebrated together. We are planning a Christmas dinner meet up at a local restaurant, and would love to have you join us. Please get in touch with Leslie Lawrence at 315-446-913. If the cost of a restaurant is prohibitive for you, be in touch with Quinn Caldwell.
A Message from the Church Treasurer
Thank you for your faithful support of Plymouth Church through your pledge. As we approach the end of the year, when the tax reporting of your generosity becomes a consideration, I urge everyone to complete your pledge to Plymouth before the end of December. All checks for 2014 pledges received by January 4, 2015, will be recorded as a 2014 donation. After this date, checks received will be entered as prior year pledges and will be recorded on your 2015 giving statement. To help us credit the correct year please write “2014 pledge” in the memo line of the check, or on the envelope if the contribution is cash.
If you have any questions about your pledge balance, please contact me at 315-481-9148 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advent and Christmas
Here is the Plymouth calendar for Advent and Christmas:
December 21, fourth Sunday of Advent; after worship, children will create gingerbread houses for their own homes and decorate Christmas cookies to deliver to Rescue Mission.
December 24, Christmas Eve, 5:30 p.m., family candlelight service and unrehearsed Christmas pageant; 11 p.m., candlelight service with Communion.
Ushers, Greeters, Liturgists and Community Time
Consider signing up! We’ll give you all the training you need, and great partners as well. To sign up as a greeter, email Craig Greczyn at email@example.com. To be an usher, email Jared Titus at firstname.lastname@example.org. To proclaim the word and share your voice as a Liturgist, call Jackie Manier at 760-3177 and leave a message. To host Community Time, email Linda Milosky at email@example.com.
Plymouth on YouTube
Did you know that Plymouth Church has a YouTube channel? You can find recordings of sermons given at Plymouth on it, along with some of the choir’s anthems. Our YouTube channel is one way that Plymouth is reaching out to folks who missed a Sunday or who want to listen again to a sermon or anthem, and letting the wider community and world know about us. You can search YouTube for Plymouth Church Syracuse or use this link: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu4UIrL4OR_uGDy8EkopF_A.
You can also listen to any sermon since November 28, 2012, on Plymouth’s website at http://plymouthuccsyracuse.org/sermons-from-plymouth/.
Plymouth Is on Facebook
If you are on Facebook and you haven’t “liked” the church yet, please do! http://www.facebook.com/#1/groups/109573419061867
Help Plymouth When You Shop
Want to help Plymouth when you’re shopping? Here are two ways.
Staples office supply store has a Rewards Program that allows Plymouth to benefit. When you purchase anything at Staples, tell the checkout person the church’s phone number (474-4836) to activate a reward and Staples will direct 5 percent of that sale to Plymouth. Joan Fogarty has copies of the church’s Rewards card if you would like to present that at Staples. Ask her for one.
And you can raise money by shopping with GoodShop and GoodSearch:
GoodSearch.com has added a new feature to expand the ways you can shop and donate a percentage of each purchase to Plymouth. You can use Goodswipe, a credit card rewards program. By linking your card with one signup, you can earn donations to Plymouth for every in-store purchase at 50,000 stores. Goodswipe uses bank-level encryption to keep your information safe. To learn more about Goodswipe, go to http://www.goodsearch.com/
When shopping online, you can use GoodShop.com and benefit Plymouth. For more information on that, go to www.goodshop.com, enter Plymouth Congregational UCC in the box labeled “Who do you GoodShop for.”
The Rev. Quinn Caldwell is available to respond to emergencies, to visit those with special needs, or for conversation and prayer about whatever’s on your mind or heart. You can reach him at 315-474-4836 or firstname.lastname@example.org. In an emergency, you can reach him at 617-851-0158.
Food Pantry Offerings
The Food Pantry requests your participation is its “toiletries of the month” collection. Contributions of deodorant are being gathered in December. Please put your donations in the box in the back of the Sanctuary. Do you ever go outside in the winter without gloves? Of course not. You wouldn’t think of it. But many of our clients come to the Food Pantry without them. Men’s XL gloves are especially needed. Please help.
The Week Ahead
Tue. Dec. 23 Food Pantry, 10 a.m. to noon, Parlor
Wed. Dec. 24 Christmas Eve
5:30 p.m. – Family Candlelight Service and Unrehearsed Pageant
11 p.m. – Candlelight Service with Communion
In the Wider Community
A Season of Prayer, a Message of Justice and Peace
The latest video in the Reflections series from UCC General Minister and President Rev. Geoffrey Black. http://www.ucc.org/news/reflections.html?utm_source=kyp&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=kyp121614
50 Years On, Remembering Dr. King’s Nobel Prize
How his Nobel Prize speech explained his philosophy of nonviolence. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865617295/After-50-years-Kings-Nobel-Prize-speech-sheds-light-on-lasting-nonviolent-legacy.html
Nebraska Church Passes Proclamation Accepting LGBTQ People
UCC church in Lincoln, Neb., acts. http://journalstar.com/lifestyles/faith-and-values/vine-congregational-church-passes-proclamation-accepting-lgbtq-people/article_4ecee2a1-0bfa-5e27-b419-9e06b5b1f501.html
How to take care of your spirit the six days of each week you don’t go to worship? The UCC has launched a new area of its web site designed to support people in their individual spiritual journeys: Feed Your Spirit. Daily prayers, a biblical personality test, advice column from God-lovers, and magic 8-ball await. Check it out at www.ucc.org/feed-your-spirit.
God in Your Inbox
The Stillspeaking Daily Devotional is written by UCC pastors and leaders, including Quinn Caldwell. Subscribers are sent a daily email containing a Scripture passage, short reflection, and a prayer. Sign up at http://www.ucc.org/feed-your-spirit/daily-devotional/.
Joys and Concerns
In the week ahead, you are invited to pray for ….
For the repose of Agatha Partridge’s soul and for her brother, Kent, and sister-in-law, Pat. Agatha died Tuesday. Services are 1 p.m. Friday at Church of the Holy Trinity (Anglican), 3528 E Genesee Street, Syracuse, at the chapel of Slavic Full Gospel Church. You can read her obituary here: http://www.newcomersyracuse.com/obituary/95807/Agatha-Florence-Partridge/Syracuse-New%20York. Cards may be sent to Kent at 8511 Tuttle Road, Bridgeport NY 13030 …
The families and friends of those killed this week in shootings in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania …
Nilda Rodriguez …
Kathy and Keith Ciarpelli and family …
Linda Milosky, recovering from back surgery …
Mack Richardson, recovering from hip surgery …
Ellen Wright, undergoing treatment for breast cancer …
Betsy and Don …
Noni and Harold Bristol …
Stan Reeves …
Dorothy, a dear friend of Joan Fogarty …
Jamie Shavers …
Cath and Barbara …
Lee Dreamer, continuing with cancer care …
Michelle Diegoli …