a little birdie told me...
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Just Around the Corner - December

Pastor’s Pen

While visiting friends and family in Michigan back in September, Sara and I were able to grab dinner with someone who was a great mentor during our first calls. Rev. Larry Farris was the person I turned to for anything from spiritual direction, preaching guidance, and answers to the many ‘what should I do’ questions that come with church ministry.

At dinner, Larry asked if I had any thoughts for an Advent series this year. It being September, I did not! Well, that got him excited, because he quickly asked if I’d like to hear something that he felt would make a great Advent sermon series.

Last Advent, while visiting one of his children in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Larry and Pat, his wife, visited the Unitarian-Universalist Church there, pastored by Rev. Cassandra Hartley. It happened to be the Sunday that the Christmas story was being told through a children’s play. The play was lively and colorful; a mix of preparation and improvisation as many Christmas pageants are.

At it’s end, Rev. Hartley stood up and said, "The age old Christmas story teaches us that young, unmarried mothers can be superheroes; that angels visit third shift workers ignored by all others; that undocumented foreigners come to us bearing needed gifts; and that love topples tyrants.”

I’d like to explore these lessons this year, so instead of focusing on some of the more traditional Advent texts, we are going to jump right into the story as told by Luke.

December 2 - Luke 1:26-38 - Mary is a superhero. A young woman hearing news that she is
pregnant - news that would cause great damage to her reputation if not her life - embraces this
annunciation. How do we appreciate those unseen superheroes in our midst?

December 9 - Luke 2:8-14 - Angels announce to forgotten, third-shift shepherds this earth shattering news. Why choose them? How does God choosing them affect our own perception of worth and worthiness?

December 16 - Luke 1:39-56 - Mary sings out for a world that is about to turn and tyrants who are destined to fall. Her proclamation is not rooted in violence, but rather a compelling love that cannot be overcome. How do we embrace and embody that love?

December 23 - We will experience the Christmas story told by our own children.

December 24 - Christmas Eve Candlelight service at 5:30 pm.

I pray you have a blessed Advent and will join in worship throughout this holy season.

Rev. Will

Stewardship Season Is Upon Us!
We’ve achieved 51% of our budget goal for 2019. We can get there together, and we can get there today. Pledges help churches plan. They help families prioritize giving. They’re a simple tool used to a great effect. Please fill out a pledge card today!

Christmas Greenery
Please stop by the office to pick up and pay for your wreaths and garland.

Advent devotional booklets are located in the narthex.  Thank you to everyone who contributed their personal devotional and to Peggy Wilson for gathering and organizing the devotionals.

Sunday School
Held every Sunday at 9:30am in Room 13.
Children & Youth Sunday school meets during worship.

Team Meetings
Will meet Sunday, December 2, after worship.  Please consider joining a team!

Tai Chi for Health
The last class of 2018 will be Monday, December 3, at 6pm in the fellowship hall.  Classes will resume meeting January 7.

PW Day and Night Circles
The Day and Night Circles will meet at the home of Kitty Cannon, December 4, at 7pm.  Her address is 160 Azalea Garden Way.  Tea and cookies will be served and Rev. Will is leading the discussion on lesson 7.  Carpooling is encouraged.  Please remember to bring warm fuzzies (socks and undies for children) for the Memphis Family Shelter.

Our next sausage/biscuit fund raiser will be held before service on December 9. The cost is $3.  Monetary donations are also welcomed!

Baby Shower for Sara & Will
Please join us Sunday, December 9, after refreshments, in the Fellowship Hall to help celebrate the upcoming arrival of their new baby boy!  They are registered at

The session has called a congregational meeting for December 16, 2018 following worship.  The agenda for the meeting will be election of elders, election of a nominating committee, review of the pastor’s call, presentation of the budget for 2019, and discussion of the church’s Designated Gift Policy.  

The knitting group will resume meeting in January.

Mustard Seed
Don't forget to do your Christmas shopping and support fair trade products in the process.  We just received a new shipment, including Advent calendars, and will be open for business after church service!  The store will be open Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30 until 1:30.

Food Pantry
At this time, boxes of macaroni & cheese are needed.  Also, plastic grocery bags and reusable bags are needed.
Treasurer’s Notes for October, 2018
Below is a summary of Shady Grove’s actual revenue and expenses as of October 31 st .
Peggy Wilson, Treasurer
2018 Actual Amount Received through October 31st:
$273,562 – Pledges
$ 18,275 – Building Rentals
$ 13,437 - Misc. (plate offerings, memorials, etc.)
$305,274 – Total Revenue through October 31st

2018 Actual Amount Spent through October 31 st :
$ 213,273 – Minister and staff salaries and benefits
$ 61,723 - Maintenance for building and grounds
$ 9,698 – Office expenses
$ 9,047 – Formation (children, youth and outreach)
$ 3,941 – Nurture (church dinners and hospitality)
$ 1,330 – Worship
$ 1,972 – Presbytery per capita
$ 300,984 – Total Expenses through October 31st

Please remember Shady Grove in your will.
St. Lukes' Christmas Party
Advent is upon us and we’re going to throw a big Christmas Party at St. Luke’s on Saturday, December 15th. We will serve a home-cooked meal and present each guest with a backpack filled with goodies.  Emily Kearney has purchased items for all of the backpacks.  It seemed to work better for everyone to receive the exact same items (all adults receive the same items, all children receive the same items).  

We need an army of volunteers!  We will meet at St. Luke's at 3:30 PM for meal preparation and begin serving food at 4:00 PM.  St. Luke's UMC is located at 480 S. Highland St. on the corner of Highland and Mynders.  Please contact Susan Baldwin at 605-7704 or if you are interested in joining us!

Shady Grove Prayer List

Prayers for Healing and Wholeness
Claudia Rutkauskas
Sandra and Ned Smith
Avalon and Sonny Robinson
Laura Flippin
Teresa Robinson
Steve Alsobrook
Janet Baldwin (Susan Baldwin’s mother)
Chuck Cambell (Friend of Sonny and Avalon)
Anges Sanders (Avalon’s sister)
Jane Sohm (Sarah Strong’s mother)
George and Darlene Gray (Nancy Gray)
Sandy Smith (Ned and Sandra Smith)
Polly Heimburg
Lynn Douglas (Shelley Gray)
DeAnn Pace (Ann Miller)
Rosalind Walker (Ann Miller)
Amy Waddell (Ann Miller)
Marie Johnson
Tim Russell (Angie Wagner’s father)
Sharon Harrison
Bill Christians (Rev. Will's father)
Gaye Hazel (Angie Wagner's aunt)
Shelley Gray
Louise Mildred Brown
Darrell Willis (Carolyn King's friend)

Prayers for the grieving

Prayers for Peace and Comfort
Tree of Life Congregation
   and the wider Jewish community
Meredith Walsh and Kyle Tingley
Bill Tracer
Ethan King

Prayers for the Human Condition
All affected by gun violence
Immigrant communities and families seeking asylum
Copyright © 2018 Shady Grove Presbyterian Church, All rights reserved.

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