It’s beginning to look (and sound) a lot like Christmas! Advent and Christmas festivities are in full swing. People are heading to the shops and stores looking for that perfect gift for those they love. Neighbors are donning their homes with lights and colorful Christmas characters. The sights and sounds remind us that the Advent and Christmas season is upon us.
These preparations fill our time with decorating, purchasing, wrapping, traveling, and celebrating. Parties, special events, and gatherings help us experience the joy and good cheer of the season, but also make a full schedule even fuller. Sometimes we might wonder if we will have the time to get everything done before December 25th. We may even start looking past Christmas, yearning for Christmas to be over so we can finally rest and relax.
Those of us who follow Jesus want to make sure that all the Christmas celebrations and preparations don’t crowd out the true reason for the season: Jesus. In our pursuit to celebrate Christmas, Jesus sometimes gets left out. With all the hustle and bustle, we have to be intentional to keep Jesus at the center of our celebration. If we don’t pay attention, Jesus can slip out of focus and we might not even notice.
Our theme in worship for December will be about all the ways in which the Gospel compels us to cross over into new life. Working with the theme of new life in Jesus, we move through the Sundays in Advent by: standing in a life of grace, love and abundance; refining our hearts to fulfill God’s reign; doing justice work with God; welcoming those who are on the fringes of society; and arriving in dark places to hold God’s light for all to see.
We have several things happening at both congregations for spiritual growth and community building that will help enhance our worship theme: Crossing Over into Life. We will offer 3 learning opportunities (we’re calling them “Journey Groups”) based on Brian McLaren’s book, “We Make the Road By Walking.” One is specifically geared toward families with children. Connecting worship and our discipleship groups, will be a journal which will include a weekly question. Hopefully you’ve already received yours in worship, but if you haven’t, you can stop by the church office to get one! We also have lots of hustle and bustle to add meaning to the season – so be sure to check those activities out in the newsletter!
Those who encountered Jesus would never be the same. The world would never be the same. God loved the world so much that God gave… gave the one and only son. While celebrating the miracle of Jesus’ birth may we also not ever be the same!
May you keep Jesus at the center of your celebration and may God bring you hope, love, joy, and peace.
Upcoming Events! All are welcome!
Each Advent Journey Group is using the book “We Make the Road By Walking” by Brian McClaren. The book is available on Amazon.com here. Everyone is welcome, Sunday evenings are geared toward Families with Children! Hope to see you there!
December 31st – Family New Year’s Eve Game Night at TLC at 6:30PM! Come have food, play games and HAVE FUN!!
Silverton Area Resources that are Available NOW!
Trinity Lutheran Church has an outreach in the community of Silverton, and because of that outreach we were invited to attend a gathering of information of what each organization in the community was providing and how we could work together in providing the services.
Trinity has been serving an average of 75 plus free lunches each Saturday. Thankfully to the members of Trinity, a grant from the Oregon Synod and generosity of the Silverton Community the Saturday Free Lunch has been a sustaining outreach for our community.
Following is a summary of the meeting led by Sarah White on November 27th. The members from Trinity at that meeting were Nancy Ohren, Ray Kaser and myself, Loretta Kaser. We met with representatives from Trinity, Oak Street, First Christian who provide free meals; the Thursday Food cart, which began using the Trinity’s kitchen to make coffee and pack meals for the homeless and distributing them in the Trinity parking lot on Thursday mornings. They provide all of the Food/Coffee and needed supplies. They are using a shelf in the kitchen to store some of their goods. They, were most grateful. Other members attending were from the Silverton Area Warming Shelter, which uses the Oak Street church and is now open each night for shelter and a meal until the weather returns to a warmer temperature in the spring. Silver Creek Fellowship had a representative from their Mission of Hope. They graciously said that we as Trinity could use some of their food surplus items to serve from their food from Marion/Polk County Food Share. They have been providing services for Food through Mission of Hope in Silverton and Salem and until recently under the bridge at Salem until it became unsafe for the providers. First Christian will also contact Nancy Ohren when they receive extra food from Marion/Polk Food Share.
The Silverton Area Warming Shelter is now open every night in the Winter, a hot meal and a safe place is provided at Oak Street. The meals will be provided by Oak Street and Silver Creek Fellowship.
The Silverton Sheltering Services Resource Center provides coffee, snacks and regional services for the homeless or those on the fringe. The location is in the Community Center and is open from 10am to 2pm each week day.
Just some added information: Clothing/Household items by Seventh Day Adventist Community Services; Clothing by Silverton Assembly of God; Showers by the YMCA pool showers and Laundry Free Wash Day every Tuesday at the laundry Depot are resources.
To date free meals are provided on Monday, Wednesday, Saturday, Thursday at noon from the Food Cart and Free meal at the Warming Center during the cold weather season.
Servers for Next Month
Lay Leader – Ray Kaser Altar Guild – Nancy Ohren Usher – Jill Lounsbury