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December 5, 2008

There’s only one service at 10:00 a.m. this Sunday!  Many have been rehearsing, building props, memorizing lines, checking costumes and more for weeks and now we will see the result of all that hard work.  So wax up your dreadlocks, put on your brightly printed clothes and come on out for “An Island Christmas”!

Following the play we will gather in Madden Hall for a special luncheon and Birthday Party for Jesus.  There will be games and events for all.  Remember to bring gifts of hats, scarves, gloves/mittens, socks, etc. for Sister Jean’s guests. 

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Those of you opting to pick up your Good News will find it in your assigned box in our Holiday Mailbox System.  The mailboxes will be available until Annual Meeting for you to exchange greeting cards, thank you notes, etc.  The 2009 offering envelopes have already been distributed, and the office will be using them to distribute an updated church directory later this month.

Check early, check often!

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The December Good News was mailed today.  Due to new postal procedures for bulk mailing, those living in the Absecon/Galloway area may notice a delay in receiving these mailings from now on.  Those living outside of this area should expect no change. 

Anyone wishing to change the way they receive information from the church can fill in the Survey for Reducing Mailing Costs or contact the church office.

As always, Louise is faithful in updating our church website.  Follow the links to past and current issues of the Good News, the monthly calendar and even The Presby Post for information at your fingertips! 

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Tom Sooy will be playing a concert of Christmas music at St. John’s United Church of Christ, 200 London Ave., Egg Harbor City this Sunday at 4:00 p.m.  Tom will be playing the Moeller pipe organ and will be joined by Tom Piccirilli on flute as well!  The concert is free and open to the public with a free will offering that goes toward restoration of the organ.  So plan on coming out and celebrating the Christmas season with music and song.

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Friends of Jean Webster, Inc has a brand new website.  Check it out!

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This just in…

A receipt from the Community Food Bank arrived in today’s mail for our Harvest Home Sunday donation.  A total of 1,002 pounds of food was received in that collection!!!!  Many thanks to all who helped with this project.  Outstanding! 

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Please remember in prayer ~

            Doris Whitaker – hospitalized this week

            Jean Webster - hospitalized

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Fresh Start – Read Mark 1:1-8

Columnist Erma Bombeck claimed that over 19 years she lost 784 pounds...the same pounds over and over.  The Greeks had a myth of Sisyphus, fated to push a huge stone up a hill, only to have it roll down, over and over.  Our cynical worldly wisdom nods, "No matter how much things change, they remain the same."

Except at Christmas.  Then God changed everything.  The first words of the Gospel of Mark announce, "The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God."  Christ was God's fresh start.  Life's not a futile circle.  God came to be with us, so we are on our way to be with him.

This tinsel-world of sugar plums and fat red-suited elves tries to persuade us that this is a world made for shopping.  But, as God knows, it's the kind of world where a woman in labor is shunted off to a cow stall to have her baby.  We are anxious too – about jobs, kids, the stock market, our weight, etc.  When we suffer ill­ness or loss, we tremble at our vulnerability.  We can honestly ad­mit that we always remain part of this futile, very real world.

But at Christmas God came to be with us in this very real world.  Through the Christ Child, God establishes a relationship between us and himself, so that we have God with us as we live out our days.  As a result, even as fearful persons...with God, we trust!  Even as selfish persons...we love.  Even as we despair...we hope in God.  No matter how things remain the same, all is new with "Emmanuel," when God is with us.

Robert C. Hereth, from Good News! Great Joy!

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This Week in Our Church . . .


              8:45 Breakfast

            10:00 Worship with Christmas play

            11:30 Luncheon and Birthday Party for Jesus


              1:15 Bible Study

              6:00 Senior Youth


              6:00 Elders dinner at manse

              7:00 Session Meeting


            11:30 Lunch Bunch to Shore Diner

              2:00 Cemetery Committee


              9:00 PB & J

            10:00 Martha Circle

            12:00 Serve at Sister Jean’s

              4:30 Lions & Lambs

              6:30 Handbell Choir Rehearsal

              7:45 Chancel Choir Rehearsal



              5:00 Meatloaf Dinner

              7:00 American Boychoir Concert






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