Pastoral Note – December 12, 2014

Dear Friends,

This morning, after the last of the kids got bundled up and sent out the front door, Hannah and I sat down together at our dining room table for our morning devotion. We read a passage from one of the letters of Paul that really struck a chord in our hearts. He describes what new life in Christ actually looks like. It was one of those moments when God’s word hit us in a fresh new way. I believe that these words are important and relevant for the Frankfort United Methodist Church family as well. God has been revealing to us the new and the glorified life in Christ. Paul reminds us what that looks like. I hope you will take a moment to meditate on these words.

“As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,
clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.
Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another,
forgive each other;
just as the Lord has forgiven you,
so you also must forgive.
Above all, clothe yourselves with love,
which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,
to which indeed you were called in the one body.
And be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly;
teach and admonish one another in all wisdom;
and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him”
(Col. 3:12-17).

With everything going on around us in the world, this is the message we as God’s people are to embody and practice.

Now, let me draw your attention to some exciting things happening in our church community. This Sunday (12/14) during the 9am worship service, after months of rehearsals and anticipation, Shirley Drobnak and the God’s Kids Choir are presenting their fantastic musical, “Miracle at the Christmas Cafe.” According to my count, the cast comprises of a whopping 23 of our children and youth. It’s a big deal, folks! You don’t want to miss it! Invite grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and neighbors to come see our kids perform and tell the good news of our Savior’s birth.

As soon as the worship is over, a group of our children and adults will head on over to Juan Diego Community Center in Chicago to fellowship with the families there. This is our annual tradition during Christmas time. If you have decided to sponsor a gift, please bring it wrapped to the Sunday service.

The following Sunday, on 12/21 at 4pm we are going caroling! So get your winter coats out and singing voices ready to sing some songs of good tidings on the streets of Frankfort!

After the caroling, we are gathering at the Clarkin household for our annual No Stress Christmas Party. It turns out we’re not quite ready to head on over to Estes Park, CO to the Elgins’ new home. Suzanne and Bill Clarkin graciously took the baton, at least this year, to host. So this will take place right after the caroling on the 21st. Their address is: 8344 Callista Dr in Frankfort. Here’s a message from Suzanne:

“Bring something to share . . .this is the “no stress” part! Run into Jewel and get some cookies, stop into Walgreens and grab a bag of Kisses, try that new recipe that might not turn out right and bring it anyway! Sweets or Appetizers! There’s enough stress out there this time of year . . . PLEASE don’t let a simple get-together push you over the edge! It’s being together that counts, not who spent the most time in the Kitchen! RSVP (suzanne.clarkin@gmail.com) if you think about it! We’re not gonna stress over it!”

Lastly, a few words about our Christmas Eve service. Historically, we’ve had services at 4:30 in the afternoon, at 7:30 in the evening, and at 11 at night on Christmas Eve. After last year’s services, the worship design team met together to evaluate whether a church our size needs to have multiple services on Christmas Eve. The 7:30 service was well attended. A handful of people joined the 11pm service. What made the 11pm service special was that it was initiated and led by our youth. But because there was no such initiation and expressed interest this year and based on the attendance at last year’s late night service, the worship design team made the decision to concentrate our efforts for the 7:30 service. We believe it will be a beautiful service and hope that you will join us at that time. So, to be clear, this year, we are only having the 7:30pm Christmas Eve Service! And of course, in the future, if there is a communicated desire to restore the 11pm service, we’d certainly be open to that.

May God’s gracious presence fill you with hope and joy in this season.

In Christ’s service,

Pastor Ken