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

www.Aldersgate-Church.org                                                               December 21, 2017
Aldersgate UMC
14230 SE Newport Way
Bellevue, WA  98006
(425) 746-9800
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Lead Pastor

Associate Pastor
Church Office

Children, Youth, Family

Preschool Director

Core Leaders
Calendar
Calendar
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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 14
CRC Classes Begin
Jan 15
MLKJ Day of Caring
Church Office Closed
Jan 22
February Calendar Due
Jan 27
Core Leaders Retreat
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 7:1-13
Sermon:  "The Gift of Christmas Travel"
   
This Sunday morning we pause just before we get to Christmas to consider the role of travel in our holiday gifts, both received and given. Jesus traveled throughout the book of John, back and forth between Galilee which was the borderlands between cultures and peoples and Jerusalem which was the location of the Jewish Temple and the center of the Jewish hierarchy. Jesus was a border-crosser and came from a borderland area and he had a message for the power structures of his day. In his travels, he met people who were different from himself and he learned from them as well as teaching them. He spent time with his brothers and family who were like him, too. He learned from them and taught them as well. As we consider the many ways that we cross borders, literally in our travels across city, state, or national borders, and figuratively as we reach out to those who might live close geographically yet have different experiences from us, we'll consider what gifts those travels have for us and for each other. Read John 7: 1-13 to prepare. Pastor Laura will preach at 9am and Pastor Brad will preach at 11am. 

~~~ Pastor Laura
MINISTRY NEWS
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.
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.  Contact is Patty Ferguson.
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.
Office Closed
Due to the holiday season, the church office will be closed the last week in December, from December 25 through January 1.  The church office will be open again starting January 2 from 9:00am - 2:00pm.
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. 
Advent Wreath Recycling
If you made an advent wreath at our Wreaths & Treats event, please save the plastic base and return it to AUMC in January to reuse next year.
Worship Brainstorm for Lent
January 7
After worship on  January 7 from noon til 2:00, anyone interested in helping to think ahead to the Lenten season is invited to stay and dream together what worship might bring between Valentine's Day (otherwise known as Ash  Wednesday) and April Fools Day (otherwise known as Easter). Bring some snacks to share. 
Green Team Meeting 
January 9
Start your year off with a New Year's Resolution to live lightly on the planet and join the Green Team. Our first meeting of 2018 is  January 9 at 5:30pm in Room 21. A light meal will be shared. Let Pastor Laura know if you have questions or want more information.
The Way of Discernment Book Study
Several small groups within the church are interested in working through a book study in the New Year using the Companions in Christ Series called,  The Way of Discernment. The study is designed to be engaged by a small group over 10 weeks but many options exist for those who find their circumstances different from those envisioned by the authors of the book. From the introduction: 
As discerning people of faith, our journeys remain rooted in a bibleical understanding of God's wisdom and guidance. When we ponder scripture... we engage the stories with our whole selves- intellect, emotion, intuition, and will- as we draw on classic practices of scriptural meditation, prayer, and journaling. ... The study focuses on your daily experience of God and your growing capacity to respond to grace with gratitude, trust, love, and self-offering. 
Discernment is a practice that will be useful to individuals who face questions about the future as well as to our church as we listen deeply to where the Holy Spirit is calling us. If you or your small group would like to participate in a study of the Way of Discernment, see Pastor Laura so she can coordinate ordering enough copies for participants and leaders. 
Gospel of John Class
February 7
The Wednesday class on the Gospel of John taught by Pastor Brad will resume on February 7.  We will commence with chapter 6.  This class is offered at two different times, in the morning from 10:00-11:30am and also in the evening from 7:00-8:30pm - same class at two different times.  The weekly study is divided into three parts and runs through June with some breaks around the holidays.  Yes, the study will build week to week, but every week will also stand on its own, so missing a few weeks her and there will be OK.  Everyone is 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.
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.
Resource Library News  
Bob Olson's latest poems have been added to Aldersgate Poems , which is 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.   Also click here and read Bob's review of the book Open Heart, Open Mind by Father Thomas Keating.
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. 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
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 from 5:30pm - 7:30pm.   Contact is Jen Hoerber, CFM@aldersgate-church.org.
CHURCH & SOCIETY
Christmas Donations
A big thank you to each of you generous donors to Hopelink Christmas Gift Store and Vision House. You have helped dozens of people have a more hopeful 2018.
"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  
*Michelle Joyce's co-worker's son Miguel
*John & Geri Martinsen's friends Terri and Nick
*Norma Line's son Peter
*David James' sister Linda
*Ferrell & Lea Fox's grandson David
*Sue Black
*Bev Allott
*Flo Monkman
*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.