RECAP–WHAT DO WE HOPE FOR? from 1 PETER 5:4-10
The first Advent candle is hope. What do we really hope for? Kids might hope for a new toy. Teens might hope for a new phone. As adults might hope to get a new job, or see the Washington football team win the Super Bowl. But true hope is identified when we are in the midst of deep crisis, when our backs are against the wall and there is little chance of getting out of it without some help.
We in the United States do not know desperation. We do not know struggle or true hardship. But the early church did. They were desperate. They wanted to know it was all worth it. What did they hope for?
The crown of glory that will never fade away (v 4)–the promise of eternal life.
To be lifted up by God’s hand (v 6)–to be seen by God!
To overcome the evil one (vv 8-9)
To be restored in the midst of suffering (v 10)
Why did Christianity never fold? Because the Christ, who came as a child born in a manger, who died on a cross and was resurrected from a garden tomb offered a hope that Caesar could never take away. God so loved the world that he lived among us, died on our behalf, overcame death, hell and the grave so we could have unhindered access to God the Father. Life is hard, but God gave us all something to look toward! And that is hope!
Do we have the hope deep within? What do we hope for? We have the promise of eternal life. God sees us right where we are. He has given us the strength to overcome evil. We are not alone in the midst of the struggle. We hung the greens to remind us what Christmas is all about. Outside the walls of our church, a world needs hope–the unemployed, the homeless or about to be homeless, the addicted, the abused, the struggling marriage, the lonely, the refugee, the depressed, the one with a terminal diagnosis. We have the hope of Jesus in us–let us show hope to those who need it!
**The song, “Cry Out to Jesus” by Third Day was the song used during the service. You can find the link for the music video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLSKSlJ0-2s
Questions for reflection
1) What do you hope for most?
2) How can the knowledge of the truth that we are seen by God bring us hope?
3) What does Immanuel mean to you?
4) What areas would you like to see restored this year?
We will light the Advent candle of Joy. Pastor Ryan will preach the sermon titled, “Can We Find Joy?”, based on Isaiah 35. How important is joy when we are in the desert? And what does the desert have to do with Christmas? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for December 1 – 7
December 1: Isaiah 35 What is the hope that God can bring?
December 2: Isaiah 40 What was the hope of Israel?
December 3: Isaiah 60 What was the hope of Israel?
December 4: Isaiah 61 What is the hope for the world?
December 5: Isaiah 65:17-25 What is the hope of the world?
December 6: Luke 1:26-38 What was Mary’s joy?
December 7: Luke 1:46-56 What was Mary’s joy?
This Week’s Events:
Thursday, December 3–SNL Youth Planning Zoom @4:30 pm
Wednesday, December 9–Worship Team @ 7 pm
Thursday, December 10–Leadership Team Meeting @ 7 pm
Thursday, December 10–Leadership Team Reorganization @ 7:30 pm
Thursday, December 24–Christmas Eve service
Saturday, January 9–SNL Youth Ice Skating
We are still in need of a volunteer to serve for the Worship Team beginning in 2021. If you are willing to serve, please call the office and let us know!
Hanging of the Greens & Ornament Exchange
A very special thank you to all who participated in the Hanging of the Greens service! We have received a tremendous amount of feedback on the service. It was truly a delight to watch everyone participate! We hope it was a great way to kick off the Advent season!
Giving Tree Continues
We will still participate in the Giving Tree. Throughout the season of Advent, the Outreach Team sponsors a giving drive for the Bridgewater Area Food Pantry. Each Sunday of Advent will highlight a needed item, although any item can be brought any Sunday (see above). For Hanging of the Greens Sunday, place with the box in the narthex to be brought up. For every other Sunday in Advent, you can place them in plastic bags under the tree. The order for this year is as follows:
Joy (December 6)–Boxed Cereal, Peanut Butter
Peace (December 13)–Staple Items
Love (December 20)–Paper Products
Although this holiday season may be very different than what we are used to, may this be a time that uplifts our spirits. God is our Immanuel. Let us make room for him in our hearts!
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
As we look at the ability to reopen in the coming weeks, we are in need of both worship leaders and children’s story. We are looking for one person each week, rather than a month at a time. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Tammy Stine (children’s story).
Call to Prayer
Let us continue to pray for our nation in the following ways:
1) National return to God
2) Repentance of personal sin
3) Repentance of corporate sin
4) Healing for the brokenness of relationships
5) Our leaders
6) Restoration of the national church
Unfortunately, due to COVID and the governor’s restrictions on gatherings, the auction this year has to be postponed with a very heavy heart. Since the funds from the auction usually help with heating assistance, please consider making a donation to the women’s fellowship for heating assistance. The First Sunday offering for January will also be for that purpose.
This year, we will have two services for Christmas Eve due to COVID–a 7 pm service and the traditional 11 pm service. We are asking that you call the church office and declare which service you plan to attend in order to make sure we can accommodate everyone.
There is a draft of the 2021 directory in the narthex of church. Please check it and update any information that needs to be corrected.
This month’s First Sunday offering is for the Salvation Army. Last month, we raised almost $1000 for Friendship Industries between the First Sunday Offering and the Christmas Card donation.
The office has not yet received the forms for Messenger subscription renewals. However, please notify Tess if you intend to renew. Once we have the renewals and the price, we will pass that along.
Misti Wheelbarger is looking for volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour for next year. If you are willing to help, even if it is just for a Sunday, please reach out to her and let her know.
Please fill out those interest surveys and mail them back to the church office as soon as you are able. We want to target ministries for the youth in the months to come!
Five Ways to Give! With the extended closure, this is greatly necessary.
1) Direct Deposit–form available on the website**NOTE** This avenue of giving will phase out on December 31. If you are currently using this format, the Finance Team encourages you to use the online giving tool.
2) Mail your tithe into the church office
3) Drop it by the church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
4) Our online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
5) Drop off in the offering plate at the main entrance as you enter for church
Continue to Keep in Prayer:
Andy Anderson (COVID)
Mary Batterman (health)
Sam Carr (health)
Patsy Dastoli (health)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Heath Kimmell (health)
Alda Miller (health)
Shirley Miller (health)
Alice Over (health)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Evy Kaye Sandin (health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Carolyn Wine (health)
Tom Wilfong (recovery)
Charles Wright (health)
Owen Wright (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB