4th Sunday of Advent!
The Arkive: Ark and Dove's Newsletter
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 Tim
Dear Members and Friends of Ark and Dove ,

               Advent now comes to a close, as on Sunday, we light the fourth candle on the Advent Wreath and we complete our waiting for the celebration of Christmas. One more verse of, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel and our Advent work is complete. And yet, the Lucan story about the birth of Jesus raises a question. There was no place for Mary and Joseph in the Inn (or the spare bedrooms) there was no room for Jesus in Bethlehem. As much as Mary and Joseph loved their son, is the telling of the inn, illustrative of the state of our hearts? Have we done enough to be ready? Are all the lights up and all the bows in place? Will everything be just right for Christmas? Have we offered our prayers and worked through our devotions? Probably not completely. Sometimes even though the fourth advent candle is lit, we are not quite ready for Christmas. 
               You know what? God comes anyway. You know what? Angels swoop in anyway. You know what?  Shepherds come and bend their knees anyway, for the light of Christ shines in the darkness and the shadows have not overcome it.  Christmas is the celebration of Emmanuel, God with us whether we are ready or not.   God descends and enters into the pain and wounds of the world everyday. Christmas is the story of God knocking on the doors of our hearts, no matter the state of our affairs. Maybe the more tumultuous the December and the less ready we are, the more we need the stories, the carols, and old friends ready to comfort us and renew our hearts.
                And that is why we invite you to worship on Sunday at 9:30 or 11:00 and at Christmas Eve at 4:00 or 6:00 or 8:00.  God comes anyway, but maybe worship on Sunday and Tuesday will heighten your spiritual awareness or touch you in unexpected ways. Maybe a seed will be planted or an insight revealed. We hope so, that is why we work with care to unwrap these presents at church. May Christmas joy descend upon you.
 

Peace,
Tim
timsstern@gmail.com
Verse and Prayer
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.   Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.   But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people:   to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.   This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”   And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
-Luke 2:8-14



I will light candles this Christmas -
Candles of joy - despite all sadness.
Candles of hope - where despair keeps watch.
Candles of courage - for fears ever present.
Candles of peace - for tempest-tossed days.
Candles of grace - to ease heavy burdens.
Candles of love - to inspire all my living.
Candles that will burn - all the year long.
by Howard Thurman

This week we look forward to a service full of music-making! The choir is joined by a few special singing guests, as well as the Ark Ensemble, an instrumental ensemble made up of high school and adult players. We are so fortunate to have so many talented people in our congregation. The choir is singing Hurry to Bethlehem, an original composition by Don and Nancy Besig with echoes of the American spiritual style. The text for for Elaine Hagenburg's All Praise to Thee is based on Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ from a chorale written by Martin Luther and first published in 1524. The Ark Ensemble starts the service with a gentle arrangement of Gustav Holst's In the Bleak Midwinter by David Catherwood.

For Christmas Eve, we have a more intimate array of pieces. Prelude music will include an expressive version of See Amid the Winter's Snow by Lloyd Larson and our own Lydia Doughty playing a lyrical What Child Is This by Lloyd Conley. There will be percussion and bass for our opening introit, African Alleluia by Benjamin Harlan, and a Dan Forrest work later in the service. Our offertory is Thou Who Was Rich, an arrangement of a French carol ( Quelle est cette odeur agréable). The text was written by Frank Houghton in 1934 and based on the passage in II Corinthians 8: "that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor." Molly Ijames takes great care with this choral setting, shaping each phrase with tender nuance and carefully resolving each cadence. The result is a compelling, thoughtful moment of worship that allows the believer to contemplate again the great mystery of Christ's coming to earth as a tiny child.

Peace,

Margaret
Director of Music
margaret.mcgillivray@gmail.com
Christmas Eve services are just around the corner! . The children's service will be held at 4 pm, the band led service will be at 6 pm, and the choir led service will take place at 8 pm. The band and choir have been working diligently on preparing some lovely offertory anthems for both services, and we are excited to share them with you during Christmas Eve worship service. To those who are out of town during the holiday, I wish you all a wonderful Christmas, and safe travels to your destination!

God Bless!

Pat
Director of Contemporary Music
psise11@gmail.com
November Financial Status
YTD Expected Unpledged Income
Actual Unpledged Income

Ahead


YTD Expected Pledged Income
Actual Pledged Income

Behind
25,700.00
35,700.00

$10,000.00


424,000.00
393,300 .00

$30,700.00

Generosity!
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.
For Christmas Joy Offering, text amount followed by joy.


  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
LOGOS
Ark and Dove LOGOS
Join other Ark and Dove families for fellowship and dinner during LOGOS! Come on Tuesday, January 7th from 5:30-7:30pm for a weekly program that engages children and youth in the life of the church, providing opportunities to learn about God, to have fun and to create lasting relationships with others. There will be no LOGOS on December 24th or December 31st. For questions about the program please contact Julie Devers at jbdevers@gmail.com
Bring in the Joy!
Every generous act of giving,
with every perfect gift, is from above...
- James 1:17
The Presbyterian Church (USA) reflects God’s gift through the Christmas Joy Offering . We can never match God’s perfect gift in Jesus, but through the Christmas Joy Offering we can testify to who we know God to be. Our perfect gift comes from above. One half of this offering goes directly to local missions at Ark and Dove. Please support the Christmas Joy Offering during Advent. Envelopes can be found in the chair pockets, in your offering box, online here . or you can text an amount followed by joy to   410-983-3481 .

Thank you for the gift of 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! Please join Lori Kronser and Linnie Girdner in studying the book How to Be An Antiracist by award-winning author Ibram X. Kendi. On several best sellers lists, this book combines personal memoir with history and cultural analysis in an effective way. 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 in the Ark and Dove Room from 12:30 - 2:00 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. 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
Understanding Difficult Books of the Bible: Romans
Join us as we wrestle with some of the more difficult passages of Paul's letter. We will talk about what it means to be justified , who gets saved , who is the Holy Spirit, and more Tuesday nights 7:30-9 pm , January 14, 21, 28 .
Pub Theology
Creation or Big Bang? Made or Evolved? Science or Religion? Join us January 16, 7 pm , at Frisco Taphouse for a lighthearted discussion on the thornier issues that animate some science and theology debates.
Mission
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!
Prayer Requests
Please keep the following people in your prayers this week:

PRAYERS OF HEALING AND SUPPORT for John Rolewicz, Bernabe Solano and Griselda Solano's sister, Irma; Karen Dodson’s brother, Ron; 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’s friends, Kim Nolet and Pastor Virginia Studer of Faith Presbyterian Church; Jessica Vander; Louise Haist; the family of Stephen Carlisle; and Doug Mattingly’s mother.

PRAYERS OF LOVE AND SUPPORT for the guests and congregations involved with Winter Relief this week: Mt. Zion Magothy UMC, Kol Shalom, St. John the Evangelist and Temple Beth Shalom.

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