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IN THIS ISSUE

The God on the Margins

The days after Christmas can feel like a letdown. Not only are all the excitement, gift-giving, big feasts, and special church services with carols and candlelight gone, but the ordinary world quickly intrudes upon our holiday feelings. The demands of work, life, and home, and the continued evidence of the brokenness of the world can make dull our Christmas glow.

The same thing happens in our biblical stories, where the Christmas story is quickly followed by a tragedy of violence and oppression, as we read about the massacre of the innocents at King Herod’s command. It is a sudden, jarring change from a story we find so sweet and uplifting. Can’t we linger a little longer with the magi and their gifts before we witness Jesus, Mary, and Joseph driven from their home, fleeing persecution and death, and watch as the women of Bethlehem mourn their slain sons?

But this reminds us that the Christmas story is not simply about a baby born in a manger in a charming tableau. It’s not even just about a baby born to poor parents with nowhere else to go. It’s a story that demonstrates that Christ is among those who are the most marginalized—the oppressed, the refugee, the persecuted. It is at the margins where we find Jesus, and thus, where we find the heart of God.


Rev. Mark Schaefer, Pastor

Ecclesiastica


SUNDAY’S WORSHIP SERVICES
Thanks to everyone who participated in worship services Sunday. Thanks to Jeff Griffith for leading us in worship and for reading our scripture lessons, and to Chiara Griffith and the Choir for providing our beautiful music.
         Sermon: “Rachel Weeping for Her Children,”  Rev. Mark Schaefer
         Sunday's attendance: 34
         Collection: $ 3,503

NEXT SUNDAY SERVICES, JANUARY 5, 2020, 10:00 a.m.—EPIPHANY SUNDAY
Sermon: “Who Are These People?” Rev. Mark Schaefer
Scripture Lessons: Isaiah 60:1-6, Matthew 2:1-12

Want to help out in worship? Use our online sign-up to be a greeter, usher, liturgist, lector, or communion server.

Community Events & Information


COMING SOON: PASTOR’S WEEKLY BIBLE STUDY
Beginning in January, Rev. Schaefer will be offering a weekly Bible study. The text for the study has not been decided, so if you are interested and would like to vote on some possible options, visit the SurveyMonkey poll to let him know your opinion! Watch this space for details and updates.
 
Contact: Rev. Mark Schaefer, cumcpastormark@gmail.com
Link: http://bit.ly/CUMCstudy

SIGN UP TO HELP OUT IN WORSHIP
Have you ever wanted to join the fast-paced world of church ushering? Or have you ever been intrigued by the action around serving the eucharist? Or have you ever thought to yourself, “I’m good at reading—I bet I’d be great at reading aloud!”? Then we have the opportunities for you! Sign up to help out in worship as a greeter, usher, liturgist, lector, or communion server. We have set up a quick and easy sign-up sheet online. You can also email Pastor Mark at the email address below.
 
Contact: Rev. Mark Schaefer, cumcpastormark@gmail.com
Link: http://bit.ly/CUMCsignup
 
 
CHOIR & BAND PRACTICE CANCELED WEDNESDAY
Because of the New Year Holiday, choir and band practice will be canceled this week and will return next week. If you’re interested in singing in the choir or helping with the music ministry, contact Chiara at the address below.
 
Contact: Chiara Griffith, chiaraselby@aol.com
 
MEETING WITH THE NEW PASTOR / PASTOR’S SCHEDULE
Getting a hold of our new pastor is easy. While Pastor Mark will have his day off and Sabbath day Thursdays and Fridays, he will be available most of the other days with a couple of days having specified, set office hours for drop-in appointments. In addition to holding office hours at the church, Pastor Mark is looking to hold regular office hours out in the community, so if anyone has a good coffee shop or diner to recommend, feel free to do so! In addition, you can use this handy online tool to schedule a meeting with him or contact him at the email address below. 
 
Contact: Rev. Mark Schaefer, cumcpastormark@gmail.com
Link: http://bit.ly/CUMCbookme

Regular Weekly Calendar

  • Monday
    • Monday Methodists, 9 a.m.
    • Knitting Circle, 10 a.m.
    • Church Council 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday
    • Cheltenham Academy, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
    • AA and Al-Anon, 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday
    • SLOGGS Meeting, 11:30 a.m.
    • Band, 6 p.m.—Cancelled this week
    • Choir Rehearsal, 7 p.m.—Cancelled this week
  • Friday
    • Pastor’s Sabbath
  • Sunday
    • Sunday School, 9 a.m.
    • Sunday Worship, 10 a.m.
    • Fellowship, 11 a.m.

Prayer List


Elsie Taylor, in the hospital
The friends and family of Jennifer Creech, mourning her death
The Sawez family, mourning the death of their father Ehsan
Michael Kidwell, in need of surgery after a fall
Ellie, in need of a hip replacement
Marilyn, recovering from a heart attack
The family of baby Lindley, at St. Jude's

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