Inside This Edition>>>
  • This month’s newsletter focus is the Advent season.
  • Some regular newsletter sections are not in this edition but will be back January 2018…plus more!
  • If Sunday School classes or Bible Studies submitted their December plans, it is included in this edition. In the January 2018 newsletter, all classes and studies will again be listed.
  • MERRY CHRISTMAS from the newsletter committee: Donna Faulhaber, Barbara Fuller, Jesus Valdez, and Pat Briggs
The word advent in Latin means to come. When we sing the Christmas carol, O Come, let us adore Him, it reminds us that Jesus first came to us.

Some good questions for all of us to ponder at the beginning of the Advent season are:
  • How do we truly cherish the message the angels gave to us on that first Christmas morning?
  • How do we come to Him?
  • How do we adore Him?

Adore (v) – to love and respect someone deeply - synonyms include: to worship, glorify, praise, revere, exalt extol.

Adoration requires knowledge of someone, which requires spending time with them. When it is a relationship with God that we desire, prayer is an excellent place to start. A prayerful life is one spent in the presence of and developing a relationship with God.

The Lord our God is near to us whenever we pray to Him. Deuteronomy 4:7

Prayer is the nearest approach to God and the highest engagement of Him that we are capable of in this life. William Law

Prayer is the link that connects us with God. A.B. Simpson

When you sit down during this Advent season to make a list of all the things that need to be done, will you place prayer at the top of that list?

As a member of this congregation would you consider including in your prayers a request for our church, our leaders and our members?

Perhaps we could pray in this way:
Dear God,
I adore You, we adore You!
Help me to be the person You created me to be,
Help us to be the people You created us to be,
Help our leaders to be the leaders You created them to be,
Help us to be the church You created us to be.
Amen 

Have a peaceful and wonderful Advent and Christmas.
Advent Services, Activities, and Studies
For the kids...Church for Kids during the 11:00 service 
Be looking for the descriptions of Advent activities each week in the CTL, we will announce what is coming up for C4K for the following week! We are continuing with Church 4 Kids which is where all activities for Christmas/Advent Season are taking place (Advent wreath, and more!).  
Christmas Eve Services:
  • 8:30am and 11:00am Sunday Advent Services
  • 8:00pm Lessons and Carols
  • 11:00pm Candlelight and Communion
New Year’s Eve Service:
  • 8:30-10:00am – Breakfast Potluck, Life Center
  • 10:00am – Worship Service
Church Wide Potluck & Family Advent Wreath Making (Youth Sponsored)
December 3rd, 2017 at 12:30pm in the Life Center. Please bring a potluck item to share and gardening gloves. All Advent wreath supplies will be provided, (One Wreath Per Family)
New Year’s Eve Potluck Breakfast Fellowship
December 31st, 2017 at 8:30am—10:00am in the Life Center.
Combined service @ 10:00am in the Sanctuary (No Sunday School)
CUMC Offices Will Be Closed
  • December 25-29th 2017
  • January 1st, 2018
An Advent Study
An Advent Study, “Down to Earth”, with Pastor Kelly will be every Wednesday starting on Wednesday, November 29th – December 20th, 11:00am-12:00pm, at the Starbucks on Lomas and Washington. Please contact Pastor Kelly for more information
Handel’s Messiah
December 1st @ 7:30pm in the Sanctuary Just in time for the holiday, the NMPhil is proud to bring back Handel’s story of the birth of Christ. Experience a transcendent tour de force—Handel’s beloved masterwork the way it was meant to be! Reserve your tickets today by calling (505) 323-4343 or by visiting www.nmphil.org
CUMC Nativity Advent Calendars
Calendars will be ready for pick-up on December 3 at the Welcome Desk. The calendars include a daily scripture reading and a photo of a CUMC member’s Nativity set.
CUMC Giving Tree
This year, CUMC will be collecting gift cards for Family Promise and Saranam. The CUMC Giving Tree will be located in the Welcome Center and we will be collecting gift cards at the front desk until Sunday, December 10th. Please see Pastor Kelly for more information.
Poinsettias
Honor or remember someone this Christmas by ordering a poinsettia. Flowers will be delivered to our homebound following the 11am service on December 17. If you are interested in delivering flowers, please contact CUMC church office. (Information in Pew Backs or church office)
Christmas Past
Christmas Service at the Central and Arno church, 1950
Youth making luminarios for Christmas Eve, 2005
Christmas Eve Service, 1980
Christmas Memories From Central Members
As we look back at Christmases of yore we savor the memories of our Central Children's Pageants - the joy of the hours of preparation, the delight in the children's' eyes as they performed, and the humor shared by the adults. It was our family tradition to attend these shows on Christmas Eve every year. At the end of the Kids' performances we held lighted candles and sang 'Silent Night'. When we came to the third verse, "Son of God, love's pure light, radiant beams from Thy holy face....' everyone lifted up their candles. We could see all the faces as light danced away to the shadows. The faces were beautiful. We always look forward to seeing the light of Christ in each Central face on Christmas Eve.
Schifani Family
There were years when I was needed to do sound for 4 Christmas services between 5 and 12. When the soundboard was in the balcony I got a great overview as we moved through 4 services. What was most impressive was the energy and determination of the participants to pull together a meaningful experience for those attending. Sometimes there were new performers just for one service, but often it was the same people returning to lead the service or attending to experience another birth story.
You might think this metamorphosis was limited to musicians, but the sync of church staff rearranging the altar, choir seats, vacuuming, adjusting flowers or decorations; a steady flow of both staff and volunteers eager to help or anxious to prepare their part would come and go as well as rehearsals for different music, speakers, lay readers, dancers, pageant performers and ministers trying to coordinate the flow of the upcoming service. You get the picture!!
Sometimes the intensity and need to be ready when worshipers arrived was a little chaotic but as families arrived and caught up with friends they hadn't recently seen, the mood turned to an eager anticipation of celebrating Christ's birth. When things didn't go as expected, the service would go on and at the end it didn't matter; it was a new reminder of God's love for the world in the gift of His Son. I feel blessed to have felt the energy and devotion of all who participated.
Chris Briggs
My most treasured CUMC Chrismas memories are based on our children's involvement. Matthew and Rachel are now adults.
  • Advent devotional books - written by church members and staff - to read every day during Advent.
  • Ornaments made in Sunday School - a handmade angel still graces the top of our tree.
  • Buying gifts for the Christ Child tree (for children of prisoners) and later, for Saranam families.
  • Christmas Eve services with Grandpa from St Louis who visited every Christmas.
  • Luminarias outlining the church
  • Youth group parties and gift exchange
  • Attending New Day contemporary services - with snacks and very excited children
  • Attending several services each Christmas Eve that would include worship, singing, lighting candles, children's plays and choirs
  • Lighting candles during Silent Night with our children helping when they were older
  • We are blessed to be a part of the CUMC family.
Pat Briggs
I remember one Christmas at Central when the Nativity re-enactment was processing up the 
aisle with the usual children playing the parts. It was somber and delightful as ever. Our daughter, Marine, was three and was familiar with the Jesus story, having been read it many times. 
When everyone was in place at the altar she yelled loudly, "WHERE'S SANTA?" She knew 
Santa didn't come until after Jesus was born!
Kathy Falk
We have so many wonderful memories at Central UMC starting in 1964 - with our marriage in the Chapel on December 23, 1964 - with Dr Fenn officiating. We remember all the wonderful music, the candlelight Silent Nights and the Christmas Scriptures and carols and the various musicals. Joy sang in the choirs and women ensembles for 27 years. Tom ushered for a good many years. Our 6 children grew up in the church and son Max and wife, Molly, remain active. Tom and I have never missed a Christmas Eve service in the past 53 years. All the pastors who have presided over these beautiful services and all the volunteer and staff members have played a huge role in their success.
Tom and Joy Hayes
When I was young I remember Christmas Eve at Central as a magical time. I was always a member of the choir and the children and youth choirs sang together at the first service of the night. We were under the direction of Louise Spohr who also accompanied us on the organ. The choir loft was full of teens and the steps to the altar filled with children. I remember Mrs. Spohr's tiny hand reaching up over her music while seated at the organ, giving us the cue to start. She taught me to appreciate not only the music but the words and their meaning in everything w sang. I still know most of the words to the Messiah. At the next service I always sat with my Dad while Mom sang in the choir - it was a sleepy, dreamy time. I'd lean into my Dad as I gazed at the Christ window - Come Unto Me. Both services ended with the beautiful 'Silent Night' and candles - it was fun to see who could carry theirs out into the dark, crisp cold night before it was extinguished. Such beautiful long-lasting memories of peace and joy and hope.
Barbara Fuller
Christmas at Central......as much a truism in our life together as Christmas in December....inseparable! Our Christmases at this church have followed our Christmas traditions in their meaning and involvement. We came with Mother and Daddy as early Sunday morning preludes to lovely Christmas lunches all over Albuquerque; we brought our son so he could sing in the choir and play his part as, usually, the tallest of the Wise Men in the Christmas Pageants; we 'lent' our daughter as Baby Jesus and held our breath that she wouldn't drown out the words of her mother, Mary; we made the wooden donkey on wheels the year our 'baby' was old enough to play the role of Mary - making sure she knew how to ride that 'donkey' down the center aisle on her way to the manger; we marched down that same aisle on an Advent Sunday as a 3 generation family to light one of the Advent candles; we fidgeted through Christmas Eve services and then rushed home to welcome dozens of merry folks to our annual Christmas Eve party; we made Christmons, fluffed bows and hung wreaths; we bought and wrapped gifts for children in need; we filled paper sacks with sand with the youth - if Central was doing it in December - so were we - and we loved it!! However, slowly, patiently over those years of fun and busyness, God taught us the deeper meaning of Christmas - and He taught it to us in this place. The peace in the midst of everything, the joy that undergirds the fun, the blessing that is and always has been our family, the rich depth of our friends, the wisdom that sees Christmas miracles throughout the year - Christmas at Central is indeed, as we hear so often, central to our life!!
George and Donna Faulhaber
Share Your Year-Round Memories

The archives still needs help with updating our Church History. Everyone has wonderful memories of the church. Please share them by email to ricknelson30@comcast.net or leave at the office attention the Archives.  
Did You Know?
November 15, 2017 Lowell Food Bank:
  • Total Families: 55 (28 new families, 27 existing families)
  • Total Adults: 118 (59 new adults & 59 existing adults)
  • Total Children: 110 (48 new & 62 existing children)
  • Total Seniors: 10 (5 new & 5 existing seniors)
Watch For More Details...
Coffee Ministry
December 11th-15th is Final's Week for the students, professors, and teachers with the University of New Mexico. Help us wish them a good week by volunteering with our Coffee Ministry. We will be handing out cups of coffee and offering a word of prayer and encouragement every day from 8am-10am in the parking lot. Please contact Pastor Kelly with any questions: KellyB@centraltolife.org
“Spring 2018 Ministry Focus” CREDO
Registration Due No Later than December 3rd
  • In January we will be having an all-church retreat at Sacramento Methodist Assembly. This retreat is for all ages and will have corresponding curriculum. In some ways this retreat is like a confirmation retreat, or maybe a confirmation refresher retreat. In addition to learning a lot about our church heritage, there will be time for worship, enjoying camp, and having a great time in fellowship. The dates are January 12-15.
  • In May, Central is embarking on a 10-day trip to England to experience the historic birthplace of John Wesley, and what would become the Methodist movement. This trip will be an exciting and faith-growing adventure.
For more information and registration materials, please contact Pastor Kelly at kellyb@centraltolife.org or pickup at the welcome center.
Adult Ministries
If Sunday School classes or Bible Studies submitted their December plans, it is included in this edition. In the January 2018 newsletter, all classes and studies will again be listed.
Arts, Literature, Faith (ALFIES)
Sunday at 9:45 in the Conference Room
Contact: Anne Downing; drdavrome@gmail.com
All interested adults are welcome. See our Open and Reconciling Statement below the program listings.

12/3 Peace Corps in Indonesia presented by Rex Allender
12/10 "Fences" movie presented by Anne Downing
12/17 Christmas/Holiday music, poetry, stories shared by all class members/attendees
12/24 and 12/31 No Class

1/7/2018 Program Planning by all class members/attendees
1/14/2018 "Evolution: Sister Joan Chittister" presented by LaVerne Steven
1/21 and 1/28 Racism/Hate/ACLU presented by Barbara Allender

We, the Alfies Community at Central United Methodist Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico, declare ourselves to be an Open, Affirming, and Reconciling Sunday School Class/Community. We are committed to living and actively promoting the United Methodist’s Credo: Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors.

“Although we cannot think alike, may we not love alike? May we be not of one heart, though not of one opinion? Without all doubt, we may. Herein all the children of God may unite, notwithstanding these smaller differences.” John Wesley
On-going Bible Studies

Friday Fellowship
Friday from 9:30am-11:30am in Room 311
Friday Bible Study Group begins 3 session study Dec. 1-15 on The Purpose of Christmas by Rick Warren (hardcover book plus study guide $12.00).
Contact: Joan Gustafson, 615-2853
Communications Team Information
Visit the Welcome Desk in the gathering area for: answers to your questions from a member of the governance team, printed copies of the newsletter (also, in the Narthex), and other written information. Classes and ministries consider placing informational flyers for a study or event at the desk. Connect cards are available at the desk and in the pews to update your contact information for the church and so we can email the newsletter to you.

Phone #: (505) 268-1009 [Briggs Family]

Co-Chairs: Chris Briggs & Pat Briggs

Current Team Members:
Donna Faulhaber, Barbara Fuller, Jesus Valdez,
Rev. Scott Sharp, Rev. Kelly Brooks