Aldersgate United Methodist Church
A vibrant and inclusive Christian community 
growing in faith, love, health and service

www.Aldersgate-Church.org                                                               December 14, 2017
Aldersgate UMC
14230 SE Newport Way
Bellevue, WA  98006
(425) 746-9800
Email Links
Lead Pastor

Associate Pastor
Church Office

Children, Youth, Family

Preschool Director

Core Leaders
Calendar
Calendar
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Dec 14
Preschool Program
Last Day of Preschool
Dec 17
Blue Christmas Service
Youth Christmas Party
Dec 21
Christmas Story Time
Dec 24
Christmas Eve Services
Dec 25-Jan 1
Church Office Closed
Dec 31
One Service @ 10am
New Year's Eve Party
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Jan 1
Church Office Closed
Jan 2
Preschool Resumes
Jan 7
Bible Sunday
Jan 12-15
Young Adult Retreat
Jan 14
CRC Classes Begin
Jan 15
MLKJ Day of Caring
Church Office Closed
Coffee
Church Leadership
Click these links to read the minutes of the Core Leadership Team and the monthly minutes of the Ministry Teams.
Core Leaders (Nov)
Common Table (Nov)
Green Team (Nov)
Outreach (Nov)
Preschool (Oct)
Worship  (Oct)
Trustees (Oct)
Finance (May)
Staff Relations  (12/2016)


Scripture LessonJohn 6:16-25 
Sermon:  "Jesus: the Unexpected Appearances"
   
This Sunday
A locked room, a garden after death, a well in Samaria, and even standing on the water in a storm on the Sea of Galilee, where do you find Jesus?  Two weeks ago I talked about taking some time each Sunday to stop, to pause, to pray, to remember that this time of year isn't simply about shopping, cooking, preparing for the arrival of family, traveling or anticipating the gift openings on Christmas morning.  Last week we were able to do some stopping, as we heard our children retell the story of Christmas, and heard the choir retell it with music and readings.  I certainly saw and felt Jesus in both of those events.  Sometimes, however, we find Jesus in some of the most unexpected places.  It was so for the disciples on that stormy night at sea.  Yet, in the midst of the storm, he was there. Notice how often God gave signs and symbols for just how to find him...the child that was to be born.   Story after story has God assisting humanity in finding their way to him. So, it appears that the only way to find Jesus is to look for him. As simple as that may sound, it still helps that God offers us signs of his coming.  The search for Jesus sometimes has him being seen in the most unexpected places.   Who could have expected a birth in Bethlehem, a night in a stable, or being laid swaddled in torn pieces of cloth and being laid in a cattle trough?  And yet there he was?  Each symbol we hold so dear this season seems to remind us that God is continually pointing us toward this Son.  So where are you looking right now, particularly in the midst of the storms? What is your focus?  Do you find him in unexpected places?  This Sunday we're going to be searching for Jesus, maybe in some of those unexpected places.  My hope is to give you some pointers, some directions, and then turn you loose to search in this final week before Christmas. 

~~~ Pastor Brad
MINISTRY NEWS
Mug Someone Today :-)
There are church mugs filled with goodies and information about our Christmas Worship Schedule ready to be handed out to visitors throughout Advent. Please find them at the narthex desk and feel free to hand one to any visitor you meet this month.
Christmas Eve Refreshments
Do you enjoy sharing some cocoa and cookies with family and friends after Christmas Eve services?  We are looking for a couple of people for each service to setup and replenish the Cookies, Coffee and Cocoa for the 5:00pm, 7:00pm, and 9:00pm services on Christmas Eve. Also if you have some holiday cookies to share that would be great.
Caroling with Sue 
Sunday, December 17 at Noon
A member of our congregation, Sue Black, remains at Mission Health Care after several surgeries and would welcome visitors from the church. You are invited to join Pastor Laura for some caroling with Sue and her family on  Sunday December 17  after second service worship. Carpools are available for those who would like to avoid unnecessary driving. Please let Pastor Laura know if you are interested.
Blue Christmas Service
December 17
Seasons of joy and  happiness can also contain feelings of loss and loneliness.  If you are in need of comfort this season, we welcome you to a service of healing and support on December 17 at 2:00pm.  All are welcome.
2018 Flower Calendar
The 2018 flower calendar is now posted on the bulletin board across from the office. Please sign up to provide Altar flowers especially in January and February. They are a lovely way to commemorate a special person or a special event with your dedication appearing in the Sunday bulletin. The Flower Committee will provide a flower arrangement for $35 or you may provide your own arrangement.
December 24 Services
On Sunday, December 24 we invite you and your family, friends, and neighbors to worship with us in the morning and the evening:
  •  9:00am & 11:00am - Regular morning worship services  celebrating the fourth Sunday of Advent
  •  5:00pm -  A child-oriented family friendly candlelight service.  Christmas carols will be sung and the children will be involved in the retelling of the Christmas story.  It will be a shorter service, meaningful and a lot of fun
  •  7:00pm - A more contemporary candlelight service centered on music by the worship band.  It will include the most beloved scriptures surrounded by the singing of some of the more modern Christmas carols..
  •  9:00pm - A joyful traditional candlelight service with carols, scripture readings, handbells, and communion.
Nicklett Memorial Service
December 28, 1:15pm
The memorial service for Thelma Nicklett will be on Thursday,  
December 28th at the Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent.  The Nicklett family invites those who remember Thelma to join them for a short graveside service.   The vehicle procession begins  promptly at 1:15pm.    Please arrive 10 minutes early to gather in your car at the visitor's center parking lot and then we will drive together to shelter #4 promptly at 1:15pm.  The service will be about a half hour.    The address for Tahoma is 18600 SE 240th ST, Kent.  Drive east on HWY 18 and take the exit to 256th Avenue. Click here for a map to Tahoma.   Click here for a map of the cemetery grounds.
Finance News
  • 2017 Contributions If you would like a donation reflected on your 2017 contribution statement, it needs to be received in the church office (or post-marked if mailed) by 12/31/2017. Questions? Contact Wendi in the church office.
  • Planning a Fundraiser? This is a reminder that all fundraising activities at the church need to be coordinated and approved through the AUMC Finance Team. Please contact Melinda Lilley, the Finance chairperson, with your fundraising plans, (melindalilley@me.com). Click here for a copy of the Aldersgate Fundraising Policy.
December 31 - One Service at 10:00am
On Sunday, December 31 , we will have one worship service at 10:00am.   Pastor Laura will preach as we consider the promises of a new year and the new things that God is doing in our midst, as well as ask God's blessing on the gifts we have given and received during the Christmas season. It will be an informal service. Pajamas not required. Come as you are. 
Sunday Refreshments
Sunday Refreshments Every Sunday morning after services we enjoy coffee, juice and treats. We encourage everyone to take a turn at serving the refreshments. We are happy to pair you with someone who has experience who can show you how to do it. The sign up sheet is posted on the kitchen counter. Please sign up.
Resource Library News
Please click here to read a book report on Thomas Keating's Open Heart, Open Mind.   A copy is displayed on the library mobile cart and is available for checkout.

Bob Olson's latest poems have been added to Aldersgate Poems: Inspired by Junior Church and Sermons, displayed on the library mobile cart. Copies of  "Either/Or...and in Between", "The Word", "Kindness", and "Change" are found on pages 146 through 149, respectively.
Necessitous Fund
At our recent Charge Conference, we had the opportunity to donate to the Necessitous Fund which covers pastoral emergencies in churches in our district. Our District Superintendent, Rich Lang writes, "we can celebrate a very successful  Necessitous  Fund drive.  We've raised several thousands of dollars in the Seattle District, and more via a Conference appeal to all pastors.  We were able to fund our emergencies, and, as of this writing, two more similar moments of crisis are before the Cabinet.   Health wise it's been a tough year."
Considering Becoming a Reconciling Congregation
Update on Process to Consider Reconciling Congregations (CRC)
The committee that has formed to design a process for our church to use as we consider whether to become a Reconciling Congregation would like to invite you to participate in some upcoming events in 2018. The committee felt strongly that this process should not detract from our celebration of the holy seasons of Advent and Lent, so we will not schedule events during those seasons. 

In January, 2018, the pastors will offer a series of Bible studies for anyone interested in participating. For each of three weeks, a series of five or six studies per week will engage with Scripture passages that have traditionally been interpreted to mean that homosexuality is not compatible with Christian teaching and Scripture passages that have been interpreted in the opposite way. There is no need to attend more than one session per week as all six sessions will address the same passages. The dates of the Bible study are listed below. 

After Easter, the current plan is to hold two evening panel discussions or speaker events. One would be to hear the stories of other churches who have considered becoming Reconciling and decided either way. The other would be an opportunity to hear from parents and families of children who identify as LGBTQIA+ in Christian churches. 

In addition to these events, the committee has been collecting your questions and researching to find answers to them. The first set of answers to questions posed to us by congregation members is attached here. Please read it and keep the questions coming. The committee will continue researching and finding answers as long as there are more questions. 

Bible Study Dates (all sessions will last approximately 90 minutes):
  • Sunday January 14, 21, and 28 at 12:30pm, child care available, both Pastor Brad and Pastor Laura co-lead, bring a bag lunch and lunch for your children who are staying for child care.
  • Sunday January 21 and 28 at 5:00pm Pastor Brad and Pastor Laura will co-lead these sessions, intended to include youth and families of youth
  • Wednesday January 17, 24, 31 at 10:00am Pastor Brad will lead.
  • Wednesday January 17, 24, 31 at 7:00pm, Pastor Brad will lead.
  • Thursday January 18, 25, and Feb. 1 at 7:00am with pancakes prepared by Dave Carver, Pastor Laura will lead.
  • Thursday January 18, 25, and Feb. 1 at 4:00pm - these sessions are family friendly for families who have children they wish to include in the conversation. Pastor Laura will lead.
FUN EVENTS
Youth Group (6th-12th Grade)
Youth Group meets on Sunday evenings from 6:00-8:00pm.  All youth in 6th-12th grade are welcome.  If you have questions about the youth program, contact  Jen Hoerber.  Here are some upcoming events:
*Dec. 17 -  Youth Christmas Party, PJ Style, 6:00-8:00pm
*Dec. 24 - No Sunday School. No Youth Group.  Come with your family to a candlelight                                service  at 5:00pm, 7:00pm or 9:00pm
*Dec. 31 - One worship service at 10:00am. No Sunday School. No Youth Group.  
                 Bring your family to the church  New Years Eve party!
*Jan. 7 - Youth Group, 6:00-8:00pm
*Jan. 14 - Dinner, 5:00pm, Youth Group, 6:00-7:30pm
Christmas Storytime
December 21, 10:00 - 11:00am
Join us around the Christmas tree in Friendship Hall for the reading of a few of our favorite Christmas stories and some singing and dancing of our favorite Christmas songs. There will be coffee, water, and a Christmas snack waiting for you.  
Family New Year's Eve Pizza & Game Party
December 31
Come ring in the New Year at Aldersgate with homemade pizza, games, crafts for the kids, and lots of fun!  We will create pizzas starting at 6:00pm and end with ringing in the New Year at 9:00pm (12 midnight Eastern Standard Time,)  What to bring:  Your favorite pizza toppings(s), leftover Christmas cookies and treats, your favorite games, and any noise makers (pots and pans, etc.) for our "midnight" celebration.  Please sign up on the back of the attendance form.  If you have questions contact Colleen Olleman, 425-746-1696, colleman@comcast.net.
Yoga Classes Begin January 6
Got a New Year's resolution? Vince Fratello can help with his introductory series of yoga classes at Aldersgate after the New Year.  The classes will be taught at the most basic beginner level and will be organized to accommodate all body types and physical abilities.  Class 1 always starts at the beginning so don't worry.  If you have any concerns, ask someone who has already come!  The series will tentatively be eleven Saturdays January 6 to March 17.  Class time will be 9:00-10:15am.  Students will be asked to bring a sticky yoga mat (ask if you are unsure) and Vince will supply the rest of the props.  The cost will be $50 per student for the entire series-you can try out the first class with no financial commitment and scholarships are available if needed.  If you have questions you can contact Vince at vjfratello@gmail.com.  We hope to see you there!
Club 345 (3rd~4th~5th Grade)
January 14
Kids in 3rd, 4th and 5th grades meet once a month on Sunday evening for food and a fun activity. 
The next meeting will be January 14.   Contact is Jen Hoerber, CFM@aldersgate-church.org.
CHURCH & SOCIETY
Christmas Giving Opportunities
Please consider giving to the following worthwhile organizations.  If you have any questions contact   Dorothy Bennett, 425-641-0971.
  • Vision House  This wonderful organization gives  transitional housing to homeless families and provides support services and childcare as the family becomes self-sufficient. To help the process, gift cards for groceries, clothing, gasoline, and personal items, etc. are invaluable and provided year round.  Your purchase of a gift card during the Christmas season is so appreciated and will brighten the lives of children who have been homeless.   A gift card tree is in the narthex for your choice of a gift card from $10 to $50. Please return the gift cards to the church by Sunday December 17.
  • Hopelink  The Christmsa gift store at Hopelink provides gifts for children from infant to 18 years old.  Each client family can apply for a voucher to choose one gift for each child from the store.  . Aldersgate focuses on teenagers because gifts for them are often in short supply at the gift store.  Suggestions are  - sweatshirt, sweat pants, jacket,sweater, gift card to stores, warm scarves, dressy scarves, makeup, sports equipment, movie gift cards, hair care products etc.And of course, gifts for any age are happily accepted.    Starting November 26, drop off your donation in the donation box located in the narthex near the drinking fountains.  Please return donated gifts to the church by December 17. 
  • Sophia Way   Do you have someone you would like to remember with a Christmas gift but they have everything?  Give a gift to Sophia Way in their name.  Jean Harris has cards she is selling that you can give as an acknowledgment of the donation. Contact Jean  at 425-747-0727  or jean7439@comcast.net.
"Doughnations" from Panera
We are now in our 3rd month of picking up "Dough-nations" from the Factoria Panera.  Experience is showing us that we normally have enough breads and some pastries to give to 5 locations every week (Sophia Way, Griffon Home, Congregations for the Homeless Day Center, Union Gospel Mission, and Tent City 4).  We need more help with deliveries on Thursday mornings so that people only service every other week.  Also we'd like to train 1-2 people to help with pickup and sorting in case we need a substitute.  Pick up and sorting is Wednesday nights from 8:45-10:30pm. If you can help, please contact Ruth Carver (carver.ruth@gmail.com) or Kelly Carver  (kellymcarver@gmail.com).  Thank you for your help.
Pillowcase Dresses & Shorts
Jo Fritze and the Grinning Grannies are expanding their mission, from not only sewing feminine hygiene kits, to also sewing  pillowcase dresses for girls and shorts for boys.  Jo and the Grannies need donations of pillow cases and help making the dresses and shorts.  The patterns are simple to make so they can teach the ladies in Malawi to make them in their villages.  A return trip to Malawi is planned for June 2018. If you would like to help, contact Jo Fritze at 425-777-5892.  You can donate pillowcase, sew dresses and shorts at home, or join with the Grinning Grannies on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1:00-4:00pm.  
A Light in the Dark: Grace Boarding's Christmas Wish List
After two years away, Kara Bennett will be traveling back to Thailand to celebrate Christmas with Grace Boarding. Audra and Wally Bennett will also be joining the trip!  During their stay, they will be assisting in upgrading and expanding the solar electric system. The system powers lights and provides running water for Grace Boarding, the local church, and several neighbors. You can help! They are seeking donations towards a larger inverter ($135) and new DC water pump ($250).  Support Grace Boarding via check to Aldersgate UMC specifying "Grace Boarding" or via Paypal to graceboardingthailand@gmail.com.  Click here to read the latest Grace Boarding newsletter.
PRAYER REQUESTS
People with Health Concerns  
*John & Geri Martinsen's friends Terri and Nick
*Norma Line's son Peter
*Heidi James' sister Linda
*Ferrell & Lea Fox's grandson David
*Sue Black
*Bev Allott
*Flo Monkman
*Stormie Cruz's sister Brandi
*Garnet Ormsby
*Cindy Wheeler

Additional Prayers
*Missionary Katherine Parker
*Janice Zahn

To submit a prayer request to the Prayer Chain, email Dorothy Bennet t, the Prayer Chain Coordinator.  You can also fill out a pew prayer card on Sunday and put it in the offering plate, or you can contact the church office with your prayer request.   All prayer requests will appear in the church newsletters unless you request otherwise.