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December 24, 2010

“In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3All went to their own towns to be registered. 4Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” ~ Luke 2:1-7

Come and welcome the Christ Child!

            5:00 Family Worship

            7:00 Traditional with Chancel and Handbell Choirs

Sunday will be a regular schedule with services at 9:30 and 11:00.  Sunday School children will be singing for the Call to Worship at 9:30.  Pastor will be speaking from Matthew 2:13-23.

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The January Good News will be mailed out next week.  In the mean time watch our website for an update in order to read it online.

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The church office will be closed Monday, December 27.  We wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas! 

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Please remember in prayer ~

Eddie Haldeman

Pat Castle

Dawn Duran and Family - bereavement

Family of Percy Williams

Flood and snow victims

Our service men and women

Those who are alone during the holidays

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Two in a Manger – Read Luke 2:16

We were overseas for a short-term missions trip and it was nearing the holiday season, time for our orphans to hear, for the first time, the traditional story of Christmas. We told them about Mary and Joseph arriving in Bethlehem. Finding no room in the inn, the couple went to a stable, where the baby Jesus was born and placed in a manger. Throughout the story, the children and orphanage staff sat in amazement as they listened.

Some sat on the edges of their stools, trying to grasp every word. Completing the story, we gave the children three small pieces of cardboard to make a crude manger. Each child was given a small paper square, cut from yellow napkins I had brought with me. No colored paper was available in the city. Following instructions, the children tore the paper and carefully laid strips in the manger for straw. Small squares of flannel were used for the baby's blanket a doll-like baby was cut from tan felt we brought from the United States.

The orphans were busy assembling their manger as I walked among them to see if they needed any help. All went well until I got to one table where a little boy sat. He looked to be about 6-years-old and had finished his project. I was startled to see not one, but two babies in the manger.

Quickly, I called for the translator to ask the lad why there were two babies in the manger. Crossing his arms in front of him and looking at this completed manger scene, the child began to repeat the story very seriously.

For such a young boy, who had only heard the Christmas story once, he related the happenings accurately -- until he came to the part where Mary put the baby Jesus in the manger. Then he started to ad-lib.

He made up his own ending to the story as he said, "And when Mary laid the baby in the manger, Jesus looked at me and asked me if I had a place to stay. I told him I have no mamma and I have no papa, so I don't have any place to stay. Then Jesus told me I could stay with Him. But I told him I couldn't, because I didn't have a gift to give Him like everybody else did.

But I wanted to stay with Jesus so much, so I thought about what I had that maybe I could use for a gift. I thought maybe if I kept Him warm, that would be a good gift.

"So I asked Jesus, 'If I keep You warm, will that be a good enough gift?' And Jesus told me, 'If you keep Me warm, that will be the best gift anybody ever gave Me.' So I got into the manger, and then Jesus looked at me and He told me I could stay with Him -- for always."

As he finished his story, his eyes brimmed full of tears that splashed down his little cheeks. Putting his hand over his face, his head dropped to the table and his shoulders shook as he sobbed and sobbed. The little orphan had found someone who would never abandon nor leave him, Someone who would stay with him -- for always!

And the Americans? They had learned the lesson they had come to teach --- that it is not what you have in life, but Who you have in your life that really counts.

Author Unknown

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This Week in Our Church . . .


              9:30 Sunday School & Worship

            10:45 Refreshments

            11:00 Worship  

Monday           Office Closed


              5:30 Weeknight Bible Study at Barbara Morgan’s

Saturday          New Year’s Day

              8:30 Doug Jablonski Men’s Fellowship


Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. - I Corinthians 13:7
The Presbyterian Church at Absecon
208 New Jersey Avenue
Absecon, New Jersey 08201