3rd Sunday of Advent and Christmas Pageant at 9:30!
The Arkive: Ark and Dove's Newsletter
3rd Sunday of Advent , December 15, 9:30am & 11am
Christmas Pageant , December 15, 9:30am
4th Sunday of Advent , December 22, 9:30am & 11am
Christmas Eve Children's Service , December 24, 4pm
Christmas Eve Service: Band Led , December 24, 6pm
  Christmas Eve Service: Choir Led , December 24, 8pm
Message from Pastor Jon
Dear Members and Friends of Ark and Dove,

We are getting ready to tell the Christmas story, this Sunday, at our 9:30 Pageant and at three Christmas Eve services. It is a familiar story--both in secular and sacred circles. We may think we have already got it down. Do we expect to find something new in it?

People who read beloved books regularly report that they discover something new in them every time. Many say this is true about the Bible. There is much to uncover in what Karl Barth called the strange new world of the Bible. Yet, I think we only find something new when we enter the story of the Bible, and particularly the story of Christmas. This is a story that demands our participation, or else it is just another tale in a tome.

We can participate in the Christmas story by identifying or empathizing with one of the characters. Have you ever been vulnerable like Mary? Have you had to trust like Joseph? Are there people today like the holy family who flee from terror and how are their experiences similar and different? When have you been amazed like the shepherds? Are you curious about divine and celestial things like the Magi? What has it meant for you to wait on someone you long for or wait for something like salvation?

The importance of Christmas pageants and plays is that they help us get into the story. Many of us actually dress up and act as if we are one of the characters. Others of us hear the story anew as it is told by different people.

This Sunday, at 9:30 am, you have an opportunity to participate in the Christmas story. I hope you will come with open minds and hearts. (If you want to play an active role, you may still sign up and come to practice tomorrow 10-12 pm.) Also, on Christmas Eve, at the 4 pm service, you will hear this story retold in a funny way. Any who want to participate as characters, please contact me.

Let's get into the story. We might find a new hope.


PC(USA) Stated Clerk J. Herbert Nelson's pastoral letter commemorating Human Rights Day on December 10 included this prayer:

Indwelling God,

We are fearfully and wonderfully made in your image and born into one human family of great and beautiful diversity. Forgive us when we fail to show awe and respect for each other. Remove our suspicion of strangers and even neighbors that justifies neglect and violence. Strengthen our support for journalists, whistle-blowers and leaders of popular movements, who are frequently jailed, tortured, and sometimes killed.

Empower us to demand international courts that serve the cause of justice for the vulnerable and impose just punishment on governments and leaders who violate human rights laws and conventions for the sake of market access and personal corruption.

God of justice and love: Let us hear with you the voices of these oppressed persons and communities. Help us to break supply chains of oppression and halt aid and trade with those who abuse or expel those of religions and ethnicities they do not share. Strengthen your church to remember that “truth is in order to goodness …” Give us steady hope for that great day when your ‘world house’ becomes that ‘house of prayer for all peoples’ in the new Jerusalem. Until that day, let us not weary in well-doing.

In the name and Spirit of Jesus Christ, Amen.

To read the pastoral letter in it's entirety , please read here or receive weekly updates of PC(USA) News and Announcements, sign up here .
We are so excited to present our telling of the Christmas Pageant this Sunday at the 9:30 service! There's a little something for everyone, from the people who join us for the dress rehearsal on Saturday, the children's choir singing, the efforts of many people behind the scenes and even for congregation to do their part in carol-singing and prop waving.

We are so fortunate to have such eager and talented people at Ark & Dove. Stay tuned for great music of the season! 


Director of Music
Huge thank you to all the people that assisted with making the Christmas Revels concert a fantastic success! We had a wonderful time playing music for those who attended, enjoying fellowship after the concert, and really bringing in the holiday spirit with joy. This Sunday we continue our special services with the Christmas pageant happening at the 9:30 am service. Come and see our youth and kids take part in telling the nativity story. The band added a new congregational hymn this past Sunday, and I wanted to share the information so that you can enjoy the song, sing along in the car, and sing with us when we do it as a hymn in service. The newest addition is ' Move' by Jesus Culture.

Enjoy and God Bless!

Director of Contemporary Music
November Financial Status
YTD Expected Unpledged Income
Actual Unpledged Income


YTD Expected Pledged Income
Actual Pledged Income



393,300 .00


God loves a cheerful giver!
DONATE ONLINE ! Christmas Joy offering , one-time and recurring!

TEXT your donations! 410-983-3481
Text give to get started. Text commands for more options.

  Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. - 2 Corinthians 7
Holiday Sharing
Sharing Joy! All 86 Children Adopted!
This Sunday, December 15, is when we will gather the Holiday Sharing gifts in the Marshall Room and sort them for delivery after the 11:00 service. Please review the instructions for marking the gifts and bring them to the Marshall Room as early as possible. We have a lot of deliveries to make--all in Odenton--and will be grateful for lots of help. For more information or to volunteer to help with delivery, please contact Greg Makar (GLMakar@juno.com).
Bring in the Joy!
Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above...
- James 1:17
Please support the Christmas Joy offering during Advent. Are you looking for a meaningful way to participate in Advent, the time in the church calendar leading up to Christmas? Are you weary of the commercialism that dominates this season in our culture? The remedy could be supporting the Christmas Joy special offering , now through December 24.
What is the Christmas Joy offering? The Presbyterian Church, USA has 4 special offerings that are collected throughout the year that benefit different programs and causes, within the PCUSA, as well as our local congregation. The Christmas Joy offering will support the following endeavors:

It's easy to give to the Christmas Joy offering . You may use the special envelopes that can be found throughout the sanctuary; designate "Christmas Joy" on your check; or donate securely through our website. When you give to the Christmas Joy offering , you not only provide financial support to important programs, but you also take a step towards refocusing on what is really meaningful about Christmas! Cheryl Schafer, Mission Elder, csscas@verizon.net
Advent Devotional
Creating a Matthew 25 Advent season
During this holy season of Advent, we are invited to follow Jesus’s command epitomized by Matthew 25:31–46 to love one another and care for “the least of these.”

The Advent devotionals are available in the lobby! $2.00 donation.
Adult Christian Education
Mid-week Bible Study
This is a “come as you are” discussion group that meets most Wednesdays, 10 am . To learn more, please contact Pastor Jon, jgnelson1985@gmail.com.
Exploring the Way
For those beginning the spiritual journey. Tuesdays, 7 pm , January 14 through February 25 . Calvin room. Please contact Pastor Tim, timsstern@gmail.com, for more information. This group will have an interesting twist—we are looking for people who will commit to leading a 5 to 8 week small group in the next two years: so a small group to help us grow personally and in skills needed to lead a small group.
Book Study: How to Be an Antiracist
Begins January 5! Ark and Dove’s Antiracism and Social Equity team invites you to join us in studying the book  How to Be An Antiracist  by award-winning author Ibram X. Kendi. The New York Times  described it as "the most courageous book to date on the problem of race in the Western mind." We will meet from 12:30 - 2:00 on Sundays, 1/5, 1/19, 2/2, and 2/16, which is every other Sunday. Buy yourself a copy of the book wherever you like to purchase books. We will meet in the Ark and Dove room and you are welcome to bring a brown bag lunch. Feel free to invite friends and neighbors. 

“Kendi dissects why in a society where so few people consider themselves to be racist the divisions and inequalities of racism remain so prevalent.  How to Be an Antiracist  punctures the myths of a post-racial America, examining what racism really is—and what we should do about it.”— Time
CAP Featured Food Item for December
Featured item for December—BAKING MIXES (bran muffins, Bob's Red Mill pancake mix, etc). Please drop off food items in the Mission Zone bin. Thank you for your donations!
Christmas Flowers
To decorate our sanctuary for the celebration of Christ’s birth, we will purchase individual poinsettia plants and greens. Suggested donation amount is $7-10 dollars. Please fill out the form in the bulletins and place with your donation (checks made payable to Ark and Dove with Flowers annotated on the memo line) in the offering plate or place in the Flower Committee box in the workroom. You can also text FLOWERS, preceded by an amount, to 410-983-3481. If you have any questions, please see Paula Griggs, paulagriggs32@gmail.com or 443-510-6687.
Prayer Requests
Please keep the following people in your prayers this week:

PRAYERS OF HEALING AND SUPPORT for Bernabe Solano and Griselda Solano's sister, Irma; Kathy Miller’s sister, Beth; Lisa Mezaache’s father, Bo Blanks; Dotty Kauffman; Greg and Diane Makar's mother LeeAnn, Aunt Adeline, and cousin Michael; Fred Barrow’s aunt, Lee; Laura Doughty’s brother-in-law, Carl Hahn; Bob Johns; Hollis Butterworth’s brother-in-law, Brian Smith; Cindy Knott’s mother, Madeline Knott; Debbie Saylor’s uncle, Wayne; Laura Willoughby's father, Norman; Frank Dakai; Jose Lopez’s mother, Queta; Bill Ruble’s mother, Mary Jane Weathers; Stan Houck and Ann Hirschy; Edie and Richard Budd; Christina Nelson’s grandmother, Pat Dole; Jon Nelson’s grandmother, Peggy; Chip Burnett; Kelly Burnett’s nephew, Justin; Debbie and Bruce Arey’s daughter, Allison; Debbie Arey’s aunt, Linda Rose; Dot Forloines; Declan Steward’s father, Daryl; Lewis and James Shorter; Janet Dabbs’ sister, Diane Maloy; Archer and Honor Bauman’s grandfather, Larry; Lori Kronser’s father Cliff Corn; Amy Tardiff’s father-in-law, Richard Tardiff; Brian Boudreau’s cousin, Valery Householder; James Franklin’s father, Homer; Kameron and Kamarii Miller; Cheryl Walcutt’s mother, nephew, and sister, Judy Walsh; Amanda Wehage’s father, Dave; Ylonda Fauntleroy's aunt, Bernice Taylor; Brooks Emrick and her sister, Susan; Vaughn Brown; Frances Keyes; Julia Kirby's mother, Margaret Floyd; Erika Sealing's son, Trip, and grandmother, Margaret Schade; Amy Benson's family and Amy’s friend, Brian Shriner; Thomas and Judy Kochis; Margaret McGillivrary and Margaret’s friends, Kim Nolet and Pastor Virginia Studer of Faith Presbyterian Church; Johnetta Thuston; Chuck Mabry and family; and Doug Mattingly’s mother.
PRAYERS OF LOVE AND SUPPORT for the guests and churches involved with Winter Relief this week: St. Philip Neri and Gloria Dei Lutheran.
PRAYERS OF THANKSGIVING upon the birth of Gianna Eleni, born to Karin and Armando Valencia.
PRAYERS OF THANKSGIVING upon the birth of Dawson James born to Alison and Kyle Brown.

If you have prayer concerns or blessings that you would like to share, please contact Deacon Patriceo Green at patriceobgreen@gmail.com and he will add your concern to the prayer partners email chain.
Ark and Dove Presbyterian Church | 410-674-6400 | admin@arkanddove.org | www.arkanddove.org | 8424 Piney Orchard Pkwy. Odenton, MD 21113