December 2012 Crossroads

Christmas Eve Service

A Family Tradition with Crèche, Carols and Candlelight

Saturday, December 24 – 7:00 p.m.

It’s a long-lived tradition at BPC. There will be nativity tableaux vivants (or living scenes) featuring young folks in the roles of Mary and Joseph, angels, shepherds and wise men. Choir and congregation will join in many carols. The service will end with a spreading of candlelight throughout the sanctuary. Mr. MacDonald will give a brief message. The Christmas Joy Offering will be received. This service is a wonderful way to introduce friends and neighbors to the church – and maybe to make a difference in their lives.

Deacons Corner

People Helping People
We will be participating in the pajama and underwear collection for People Helping People. This helps provide clothing for low income families. We have cards showing the items needed. The clothing needs to be brought to church by December 9, and should be unwrapped. Please see Anne Denier if you would like a card.
The final day to order Christmas poinsettias is Sunday, December 2nd. The money raised will be going to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.

“Wish Tree” Volunteers Needed
Our church is asked to provide volunteers for the Wish Tree table at the Burlington Mall on 3 days: Thurs., Nov 29; Tues., Dec 4; Sat., Dec 8.
There are 2-hour shifts from 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

The “Wish Tree” gives shoppers the opportunity to provide gifts for children in need in Burlington.

To everyone who brought Thanksgiving food donations, helped staff the wish tree and purchased pajamas, underwear and sweatshirts, thank you for helping to make this a happy holiday season for everyone in our community.

Community Christmas Sing-a Long
December 1, 2012
6:30 p.m.

Please come! Invite family, friends and neighbors!

Family Advent Event
December 2, 2012 after Worship

All Sunday School families invited! There will be a hearty coffee hour for everyone that day. Then Sunday School children, youth and parents may help create a “homemade” Nativity scene (crèche) for the church.

Come A-Caroling!
Sunday, December 16  2:45 p.m.
Fun for all Ages

The rallying time will be 2:45 p.m. in the church parking lot. Join a caroling caravan that will take us to various places such as senior residences, nursing homes, and homes of shut-ins. If you have suggestions for places to carol this year, speak to Rod soon! We will finish by 5:00 or 5:30 with a simple but nose-and-toes warming supper. If you’d like to be our host for supper this year, and you live not far from the church, we’d love to have an invitation. Otherwise we will share a meal at the church. It’s a truly intergenerational and heartwarming time. Look for signup on church bulletin board.

Good News of Great Joy
A cherished Presbyterian tradition since the 1930s, the Christmas Joy Offering is one of the four special offerings designated by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Because Advent and Christmas shine a light not only on our world’s greatest hope but also on our world’s greatest need, the PC(USA) provides this timely opportunity for congregations to support causes specifically designed to bring Good News of Great Joy to the poor in circumstance or spirit. Alongside the message of promise and fulfillment in Luke’s Gospel, we also hear the clear call to God’s people to respond in faith as Christ calls us: “From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded” (Luke 12:48).

Undesignated gifts to the Christmas Joy Offering will be distributed equally to the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions and to support student scholarships at Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges.
What is the Christmas Joy Offering?

For more than 70 years, Presbyterians have given generously at Christmas to support the unmet needs of families who have devoted their lives to the mission of the PC(USA). Today this Offering is shared equally by the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions, which provides critical assistance to Presbyterian church workers and their families, and Presbyterian-affiliated racial ethnic schools and colleges, which enable students to develop their gifts and find their calling. The Offering dates back to the 1930s, when the former Presbyterian Church in the United States began an offering to supplement inadequate retirement income and provide supplemental medical insurance for former ministers, missionaries, church workers, and their families.

Although its roots trace back many years, this special offering remains just as essential today. Equally important to the financial help provided is the spiritual benefit received. Again and again, the individuals and families helped by the Offering say that as crucial as the financial assistance is, what really sustains them is the knowledge that the church is standing with them in their time of need.

Our Christmas Eve offering will go to “Christmas Joy”. There will be envelopes in the pews for use at other times.

December Crossroads

Annual Gingerbread House Party!
When: Sunday, December 6, following Coffee Hour
Who: All are welcome – Children grade 3 and younger must have grownup assistance
What: We’ll have a quick ‘pizza’ lunch, then get to ‘building’

Bring some candy for trimmings and to share .

Please sign up in Fellowship Hall.

Come A-Caroling!
Sunday, December 13 – 2:30 p.m.
Fun for all Ages

Two-thirty will be the rallying time in the church parking lot. Join a caroling caravan that will take us to various places such as senior residences, nursing homes, and homes of shut-ins. If you have suggestions for places to carol this year, speak to Rod soon! We will finish by 5:00 or 5:30 with a simple but nose-and toes warming supper. If you’d like to be our host for supper this year, and you live not far from the church, we’d love to have an invitation. Otherwise we will share a meal at the church. It’s a truly intergenerational and heartwarming time. Look for signup on church bulletin board.

Christmas Joy Offering
Christmas Joy offering is in existence for the last 71 years.
50% of the money will help college students at:

Barber-Scotia College
Cook School for Christian Leadership
Knoxville College
Menaul School
Presbyterian Pan American School
Sheldon Jackson College
Stillman College

The other 50 % of the money will be used by the Board of Pensions to supplement income for retired workers and emergency financial assistance for current/retired church workers.

Look for more information on the above mentioned groups in our bulletin in the weeks to come. Christmas Joy offering envelopes will be available in the pews. Happy Christmas!

Christmas Eve Service
A Family Tradition with Crèche, Carols and Candlelight
Thursday, December 24 – 7:00 p.m.

It’s a long-lived tradition at BPC. There will be nativity tableaux vivants (or living scenes) featuring young folks in the roles of Mary and Joseph, angels, shepherds and wise men. Choir and congregation will join in many carols. The service will end with a spreading of candlelight throughout the sanctuary. Mr. MacDonald will give a brief message. The Christmas Joy Offering will be received. This service is a wonderful way to introduce friends and neighbors to the church – and maybe to make a difference in their lives.

All youth are reminded to return the letter sent last month with their choices for roles right away!

Deacons Corner
It is hard to believe that we are starting the Advent season and 2009 is winding down.

Deacons’ projects for December include People Helping People’s pajama and underwear program and the Wish Tree. If you have taken cards for pajamas and underwear, please get your unwrapped gifts to Betty Doubek no later than December 13. Volunteers are needed to staff the Wish Tree on December 3, 8, and 12 from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. There are sign-up sheets in Fellowship Hall.

Orders for poinsettias must be in by the first week of December. Order forms are available in the Sunday bulletins. Deacons Trish Briggs and Annelies Rots are in charge of flowers in case you have questions. For those who wish to make a donation in honor or memory of loved ones, but do not wish to buy flowers, any extra gifts will be added to the Emergency Fund.

We wish you a blessed Advent.