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Highlights This Week

Music This Sunday

Hymns:
#213 Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates
#209
Blessed Be the God of Israel
(9:00 am only)
#3170 What Feast of Love

Sanctuary Choir:

O Clap Your Hands
Ralph Vaughan Williams

Organ:

Prelude on Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland
( Savior of the Nations, Come)
Paul Siefert

Toccata on Savior of the Nations, Come
Paul Manz


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December 3, 2017

Rev. Claire Matheny, preaching
Mark 13:24-37

24 "But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26Then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in clouds' with great power and glory. 27Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven. 
  28 "From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. 31Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
32 "But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. 34It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. 35Therefore, keep awake - for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, 36or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. 37And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake."

Questions to Ponder
This passage in Mark is what some label, "the little apocalypse." Here the author of the Gospel relies on images and language from the Old Testament book of Daniel to emphasize the urgency of the moment for his community. He is writing around the turbulent time of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, about four decades after Jesus' crucifixion.

In the midst of social, political, and religious upheaval, Mark is pointing the eyes of his community to the image of a yet emerging Son of Man. That posture of expectation echoes for us in this season of Advent. The little apocalypse may at first draw us to a place of recoil or fear, but let us consider that Mark may have thought that followers could find comfort in the fact that the present destruction they were facing was giving way to newness of life. We are encouraged to keep watch for signs that God is yet with us.
 
What upheaval and unrest exists on your journey in this holy moment? 
 
What about Christian community shapes your courage and expectations in these days?
 
We are encouraged to "keep awake." How are you being called to "keep watch" in the doorway of today, holding a sacred place for the coming of God?

 

Dear friends:
 
Don't tell the men, but St. Paul's has a new tree. And, it's not one of theirs.
 
The United Methodist Men's annual Christmas Tree sale begins tomorrow in the church parking lot, and they've got a couple hundred fresh, fragrant trees to sell to the community. Picking out the perfect tree has been a tradition for many families over the decades, so be sure to come by and get one early while the selection is at its peak.
 
St. Paul's, however, has already bought a new tree. The men will disapprove, but it's an artificial tree. It's up in Heavener Hall now, already decorated and adding Christmas cheer to that space. This particular model comes with lights already installed, making it popular with the facilities staff. In addition, the lights are operated by a remote control, with more than half a dozen lighting options. The lights can be white or different colors, they can remain static or blink, they can even slowly dim and grow in intensity. We've come a long way since the simple candles that adorned the trees of old.
 
This tree will be only a small part of the joy that will happen in Heavener Hall in December, though. This use of this space will grow rapidly in intensity this month. In addition to our monthly Pancake Breakfast (12/2), Communion Collect food distribution (12/4), and the Friendship Club gathering (12/12), Heavener Hall will be the site of our annual Scattered for Service. Be sure to stop by this Sunday (12/3) and the next (12/10) to enjoy coffee, cookies, the many crafts from Fair Trade Winds, and the chance to make a difference in the world through the many alternative gifts in this year's Scattered for Service catalog.
 
The Youth groups are also sponsoring a Christmas Extravaganza fundraiser this year, offering desserts and music and performances by talented folks in the congregation. That will be in Heavener Hall, too, on the evening of December 15.
 
Finally, our annual Cookies and Carols party with the families of our neighbors in need will be held on Sunday afternoon, December 17. This will be in, you guessed it, Heavener Hall. It's a joy to see so many children doing crafts and inhaling all the cookies their parents will let them have.
 
St. Paul's is blessed to have a space as large as Heavener Hall. It allows us to share fellowship with one another and to do ministry within our community. Located at the other end of our building from our Sanctuary, it bookends who we are as disciples of Christ - a people called to worship, and a people called to serve.
 
Come see us at St. Paul's as the Advent season begins in earnest this Sunday, friends. From one end of the building to the other, on Christmas trees and in the hearts of those who call this place home, the lights will shine brightly.
 
Peace,
A.B. Snell

Upcoming Events


Sunday
12/3/17
9:00 am

Nursery - 202
9:00 am

Worship with Communion - Sanctuary
9:30 am
Adult Sunday School - Parlor
9:45 & 11:30 am
Scattered for Service - Heavener Hall
10:30 am

Worship - Sanctuary 
10:30 am
Nursery - 202
10:30 am
Opening Chapel & Children's Sunday School (age 2-grade 5) - DuVall Chapel, classrooms
Children begin with a worship moment in the Chapel and will then transition to their classrooms with their teachers.
10:30 am
Youth Sunday School - classrooms 
11:45 am
Food Sorting - Parlor
11:45 am
Youth Choir - 211
11:45 am
Christmas Pageant Rehearsal - MPR
6:30 pm
Senior High SPY - Youth Lounge, MPR
Monday

12/4/17
7:00 pm
Communion Collect Distribution - Heavener Hall
Tuesday

12/5/17
10:00 am
Prayer Lift - Chapel
10:45 am
Lectionary Bible Study - Library
7:00 pm
Journey Group - 211
7:00 pm
Disciple I - Library
Wednesday

12/6/17
10:30 am
Martha Circle - Octagon
6:30 pm
Joyful Ringers! Rehearsal - 109, Sanctuary
6:30 pm
UMM Supper - Heavener Hall
6:30 pm
Lydia Circle - off site
7:00 pm
Still Wednesday - Octagon
Thursday

12/7/17 
7:30 pm
Sanctuary Choir - 211
Friday

12/8/17 
12:00 pm
Christmas Tree Sale - parking lot
7:00 pm
Middle High SPY - MPR, Youth Lounge
Saturday

12/9/17
9:00 am
Christmas Tree Sale - parking lot
10:00 am
Sanctuary Choir Special Rehearsal for Music Sunday - Sanctuary
Sunday

12/10/17 - Music Sunday
9:00 am

Nursery - 202
9:00 am
Worship with Communion - Sanctuary
9:00 am
Joyful Ringers! - 109
9:30 am
Adult Sunday School - Parlor
9:45 & 11:30 am
Scattered for Service - Heavener Hall
10:30 am
Nursery - 202
10:30 am
Worship - Sanctuary
10:30 am
Opening Chapel & Children's Sunday School (age 2 - grade 5) - DuVall Chapel, classroom
Children begin with a worship moment in the Chapel and will then transition to their classrooms with their teachers. Youth will be in worship for Music Sunday.
11:30 am
Christmas Tree Sale - parking lot
11:45 am
Christmas Pageant Rehearsal - Sanctuary
11:45 am
Giving Tree Gift Sorting - Parlor
11:45 am
Youth Choir - 211
3:00 pm
Jochebed Circle Tea - off site
6:30 pm
Senior High SPY - MPR, Youth Lounge

Parent's Night Out

Parents! Would you like to have a night to go out to dinner, see a movie, or do some Christmas shopping - without your kids? St. Paul's Youth is holding a babysitting fundraiser here at the church. The deadline to sign up has been extended through Thursday, November 30! Then, on Saturday, December 2, 5:00-9:00 p.m, Youth babysitters and some parent volunteers will provide snacks, crafts, games, and age-appropriate holiday movies for a night of fun for children 5th grade and younger, so parents can enjoy a night out. Suggested donation is $40 for one child and $20 for each additional child. Sign up online at https://goo.gl/KXs9RT or contact Micah Smartt (msmartt@stpaulsk.org).
Community Pancake Breakfast

Our Community Pancake Breakfast will be Saturday, December 2, 8:00-10:30 a.m. As a special treat, we will feature chocolate chip pancakes in addition to regular pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon, ham, fruit, and grits. All are welcome!  Instead of charging a fixed price, families are asked to make a generous goodwill donation. (As a guide, the suggested amount is $8 for adults and $2 for children under 12, or $20 for a family of 4.) Proceeds from this breakfast will be given to the St. Paul's Improvement Fund and to help feed those in need in the Kensington area.
Advent Craft Workshop

girl_by_christmas_tree.jpg
St. Paul's annual kids' craft event will be held Saturday morning, December 2, 9:30-11:30 a.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room. Children will have the opportunity to make a variety of Advent- or Christmas-related crafts. Suggested donation is 50 cents per craft. For more information or to assist with this event as a volunteer, contact Meg Baker ( mbaker@stpaulsk.org).
Sunday School Details

For Sunday, December 3, all students age 2 through grade 5 will begin in the DuVall Chapel at 10:30 a.m. for a moment of worship and music, and will transition to their Sunday School classrooms with their teachers. Youth Sunday School for grades 6-12 will meet in the downstairs classrooms at 10:30 a.m.
Youth Choir

The St. Paul's Youth Choir, led by Director of Music Tom Pedersen, is back after taking a short break over Thanksgiving!  We will rehearse in the Choir Room at 11:45 a.m. on Sunday, December 3. All youth - grades 6-12 - are invited to come join in song and praise as we prepare music to share in worship later this month. We love to see (and hear) you!
Holiday Giving: The Giving Tree

winter-gift-holding.jpg
We need your help to make the holidays special for our neighbors in need. There are many opportunities to participate throughout this season. Please read below for details!
 
The Giving Tree: We will once again be providing gifts for our neighbors in need this Christmas. The Giving Tree is in the Narthex and decorated with tags for children whose families need a little extra help to have a happy holiday. We hope you will stop by this Sunday, December 3 to select a child for whom you are willing to provide a Christmas gift. We are asking that all gifts be delivered to St. Paul's by Sunday morning, December 10. We will also be giving a $25 gift card to our families, and you may wish to make this your contribution. For more information, please contact Meg Baker at mbaker@stpaulsk.org or Jean Langbein at jeanlangbein@gmail.com.
Christmas Pageant Coming Up!

This year's Christmas Pageant, Carriers of the Light, will be presented during the 10:30 a.m. worship service on Sunday, December 17. The musical, featuring passages from Isaiah, Matthew, and Luke as well as some familiar Christmas carols, celebrates Jesus as the Light of Salvation.  Come hear afresh the Christmas story as told in verse and song by the children of St. Paul's. Children involved in the pageant will have rehearsal on Sunday December 3 and December 10 (11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.) and Saturday December 16 (time TBD).
SPY Notes: Regular Meetings This Week

St. Paul's Youth (SPY) groups will be back to our normal meeting schedules for December 1 & December 3 Check out stpaulsk.org/community/youth for more info on upcoming activities including the Christmas Extravaganza, the combined Youth Christmas Party, and ROCK retreat in Ocean City MD!
Still Wednesday Worship Experience

Looking for a pause in the midst of busy motion? Bring your desire for stillness and God's loving and eternal presence in this weekly worship offering of candlelight reflection, silence, and prayer. We meet in the St. Paul's Sanctuary, 7:00-8:00 p.m. every Wednesday night through December. All are welcome.
Christmas Tree Sale

The annual UMM Christmas tree sale will be held Friday, December 1 through Sunday, December 17 (plus or minus a day or so depending on when the trees sell out!). We will again only be open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Sale hours are Fridays 12:00-8:00 p.m., Saturdays 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., and Sundays 11:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. The sale will feature Douglas, Fraser, and Canaan firs. Pine roping and wreaths will also be sold by Boy Scout Troop #439. Volunteers are needed to help staff the sale! To simplify things for the volunteers and customers, trees are priced according to size only rather than variety and size. If you can spare a few hours to help your neighbors find the perfect tree, please sign up in the church office to volunteer.
Scattered for Service

This year, shop Scattered for Service and give the gifts you've always wished you could give: peace on earth, an end to hunger, preservation of the environment, education for a child, and more! Visit Heavener Hall after worship on Sunday, December 3 and Sunday, December 10 to place orders for these "alternative giving" programs. The Scattered for Service catalog is filled with 20 programs that provide valuable assistance to our neighbors close to home and around the world. A personalized acknowledgement card is provided for each gift, and the ministry or agency you choose receives your financial support. Explore the gifts for every price range and area of interest - as little as $5 can provide a playground ball for West River Center campers or a journal & pen for a girl in Haiti; $100 can provide a local family with beds & dressers from A Wider Circle. Additionally, our Craft Market tables will have some beautiful products from Fair Trade Winds that promote the world's craftspeople and their cultures. To learn more or to assist, contact Athena Gaalswyk at athena_gaalswyk@yahoo.com.
Communion Collect

We serve 110+ families in the 20895 ZIP code who face hunger, providing hungry neighbors over 2,450 food items per month, and we need your help to do it! In addition to our special holiday projects, we continue to provide essential pantry staples each month. The next Communion Collect is this Sunday, December 3. You can donate non-perishables any time by placing items in the bins in the Narthex. All donations are gratefully received. We will gather in the Parlor to sort food following the 10:30 a.m. worship service on December 3 and will distribute essential grocery items to our neighbors in need on Monday, December 4. To volunteer, contact Dawn Ely ( dawn.c.ely@gmail.com).
Poinsettias

Our sanctuary will again be decorated with poinsettias at Christmas this year, and our doors with wreaths. P lan to stop by the Narthex on Sunday, December 3 or Sunday, December 10 after either worship service to place an order with Betsy Sanford, coordinator. The cost for poinsettias will be $12 each. Plants are available in either red or white. You are encouraged to provide a brief dedication in honor or memory of someone special. If you wish to keep your poinsettia, please pick it up after the Christmas Eve service on Sunday evening, December 24, or in the Narthex the following week. Wreaths are $30 each and only a limited number are available, so order early. Checks should be made out to St. Paul's UMC with "poinsettia" on the memo line. An online order form will also be available on our website stpaulsk.org starting December 4 for those who are out of town or prefer to pay by credit card. Please contact the church office if you have questions.
Advent 2017: Worship in the Home

Advent, which begins Sunday December 3, is the season of hope and renewal, a time to prepare with joy for the birth of Jesus and his message of peace.  St. Paul's has two resources for use in your family and personal devotional time.

Advent 2017: Worship in the Home is a booklet containing five weekly reflections written by families at St. Paul's.  Each week's reading includes a Scripture passage, a meditation, a prayer, and a hymn.  It may be used in conjunction with the lighting of the candles on your Advent wreath. 

Advent: A Calendar of Devotions 2017, available through the United Methodist Publishing House, contains readings for each day of Advent, including a passage of Scripture, a devotion, and a closing prayer.  In honor of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, the selections reflect the writings of the Protestant reformers.

Copies of both booklets, as well as instructions for making an Advent wreath, are available in the Narthex. You can access digital download versions at http://stpaulsk.org/worship/advent-in-the-home We hope these resources will be helpful to you in celebrating this glorious season.
UMM Supper

The United Methodist Men are having their annual potluck supper with friends meeting on Wednesday, December 6 at 6:30 p.m. in Heavener Hall. This is your opportunity to practice or show off your culinary skills and share your favorite spaghetti, pizza, chili, stew, soup, casserole, salad or bread or whatever else you think the men would enjoy. The UMM will provide dessert (from Jenny Cakes of course!) and beverages. There is no charge for those bringing something. If you do not bring anything, the fare will be $6.00, payable at the door. Men are encouraged to bring their sons along. After a little business, we will sing a few Christmas carols with musical accompaniment. A sign-up sheet is in the church office. Don't forget: We include all male members and friends of St. Paul's as members of The United Methodist Men. There are no dues or fees to join, so come and be with us!
Holiday Tea

The Martha Circle is sponsoring a trip for Holiday Tea at Gypsy's Tearoom in Westminster MD. To reserve a spot, contact Ginny Hagberg at 301-770-7624 by Thursday, December 7. Tea will be held on Thursday, December 14, 12:00-2:00 p.m. All men and women are invited to join us. The cost is $35 (no refunds).
Christmas Extravaganza

The Youth are holding a Christmas Extravaganza, a variety-show-type event full of music, warm drinks, desserts, and holiday hijinx. We are excited that several musical acts from our church community have already signed up, but we are still looking for more presenters! Do you sing, recite poetry, or have other talents? People of all ages who are interested in sharing your talents should contact Micah at msmartt@stpaulsk.org by December 9. The Extravaganza will be held on Friday, December 15, 6:30-8:30 p.m., to help fund-raise for future Youth travel opportunities. Youth will begin selling tickets soon after church, so be on the lookout!
Food with Friends

The Food With Friends large group dinner will be held on Sunday December 10 at 5:00 p.m. in the home of Jim and Beth Hitchcock. Beth Hitchcock and Arceli Suley are preparing the meal. Please RSVP to Beth Hitchcock (301-871-5055) or Edie Kirk (301-260-1157) letting them know how many are coming. Please bring your favorite Christmas cookies (2 dozen) or favorite beverage, or just come to enjoy the festivities. All are welcome.
Register Now for Confirmation

St. Paul's is now accepting registrations for the 2018 Confirmation Class. All youth in Grade 7 or above who have not been confirmed are invited to join. The deadline to register is Sunday, December 10. Classes will be held on Sunday evenings beginning January 7, 2018, 4:30-6:00 p.m. Confirmation class is a serious commitment including regular required class attendance, an overnight retreat at Camp Manidokan, participation in specific worship services, and a rehearsal on Saturday, May 19. Participants who choose to become full church members will be received into membership during the 10:30 a.m. worship service on Pentecost Sunday, May 20, 2018. For more information, please contact Meg Baker at mbaker@stpaulsk.org or 301-933-7933 ext. 104. To register online, visit http://stpaulsk.org/community/youth or follow this direct link: https://goo.gl/QHpxo1.
Biblical Archaeology: The Library of Alexandria

The Biblical Archaeology Forum is a local community group offering monthly lectures that bring together leading Bible scholars and archaeologists to enlighten our understanding of Biblical texts and the Biblical world. December's lecture, Rediscovering the Lost Library of Alexandria, will be held on Wednesday, December 13 at 8:00 p.m. at Bender JCC (Montrose Rd, Rockville MD).  For more information, please visit the event page at http://www.benderjccgw.org/event/lost-library-alexandria.  Admission is $10. St. Paul's is a sponsoring organization of Biblical Archaeology Forum.
2x4s Thursday Book Club

Folks in their 20s-40s will meet December 14 at the Sama-Miller home to discuss My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok. This modern classic novel follows Asher Lev, a young man caught between the cloistered Hasidic community he loves and the artistic gifts he feels compelled to express. This is our annual book exchange as well. Bring a used, gift-wrapped book to share. Contact Rev. Claire Matheny (cmatheny@stpaulsk.org) for the address or other details. New readers welcome!
Holiday Giving: Cookies and Carols

We need your help to make the holidays special for our neighbors in need. There are many opportunities to participate throughout this season. Please read below for details!
 
Cookies & Carols Party: St. Paul's will be hosting its sixth annual Cookies and Carols party for these families on December 17, 2:00-4:00 pm in Heavener Hall. Please join us in celebrating the season with our neighbors that day! There are many opportunities to volunteer, such as baking treats, decorating Heavener Hall, and helping with children's crafts. For more information, please contact Kim Longsworth at kimberlylongsworth@gmail.com or 301-320-3684.
SPY Christmas Party

On Sunday night, December 17, both the Senior High and Middle High SPY groups will join together for a Christmas Party! Come to the Multi-Purpose Room, 6:30-8:30 p.m. and enjoy Christmas-y desserts, drinks, and other holiday fun. We will have an Ugly Sweater Contest and an Ornament Exchange (so remember to bring a wrapped ornament, valued at $5 or less.) This will be the last Youth night of 2017, so let's make it great!
Old-Fashioned Christmas Caroling

Come out for an old-fashioned Christmas Caroling adventure on Friday, December 22, 6:30-8:00 p.m. - all ages are welcome!  We will gather in Heavener Hall to map out our route, then head out onto the streets of Kensington to sing joyful songs of our Savior's birth. We will return to St. Paul's for hot cider/cocoa, cookies, and fellowship. In the event of extreme cold, the singing will be moved indoors. For more information, please contact Meg Baker: mbaker@stpaulsk.org or 301-933-7933 ext. 104.
Altar Flowers in 2018

The sign-up calendar for sponsoring Altar Flowers in 2018 is now available in the church office. January 14, 21, and 28 are currently open along with a number of other days throughout the year. Simply write your name on the Flower Chart to reserve your date. You can fill out a yellow form with your dedication and payment any time before your chosen Sunday. Following worship, you may take flowers home with you or have them delivered by a volunteer to church members who need a little extra good cheer. Please contact the church office if you have any questions.
Worship Participation

Would you like to read Scripture or help serve Communion at the 9:00 a.m. Worship Service? We are looking for Liturgists and Communion Stewards to assist in the first worship service on Sunday mornings. There are dates available from now through Easter Sunday on April 1. To sign up online, please follow this web url: goo.gl/Xz5T79. Contact Rev. Claire Matheny ( cmatheny@stpaulsk.org) if you have questions.
Changes to Hungry Harvest

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Because of shifts in their donation model, Hungry Harvest will no longer be able to supply monthly produce for our Hunger Ministry. If you remain subscribed, you are supporting Hungry Harvest's good work in partnership with Baltimore City Public Schools to bring much needed produce to food deserts. St. Paul's Hunger Ministry is investigating alternative ways to provide a reliable stream of healthy produce to our 20895 families.
Single Parent Group

parent teen dinner
St. Paul's is looking to form a Single Parent Group in 2018! The group will be a care and support group welcoming all single parents. Whether you are divorced, widowed, never married, or a single grandparent raising grandchildren, you are welcome! If you know of anyone who may be interested, please help spread the word. Membership is open to all single parents. If you are interested or know of anyone interested, please connect with us by filling out the interest form: https://goo.gl/forms/NLcpVCx31ZaSfDm72
Babysitting Co-op

Do you babysit? Are you a family in need of a babysitter list or want to swap kid-minding with other St. Paul's families? We are looking to help connect potential sitters and families. Please connect with us by filling out the interest form. Follow this link: goo.gl/3vUdqo or go the St. Paul's Babysitting Co-op section under Calendar & Events http://stpaulsk.org/community/calendar-events

Online Prayer Form

Upcoming surgery? Have a joy or concern? In need of prayer support? Submit a prayer request online, day or night. You have the option to share your request with the Prayer Lift team or only share directly with the pastors. Visit our new online prayer request form linked on our website at http://stpaulsk.org/community/prayer-requests.
 

Thank you for staying connected to St. Paul's UMC through this weekly publication.  The email addresses used in this mailing were provided by the addressees for church use.

 

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