Chalice News
Round Rock Christian Church

Embracing our neighbors with Christ-like love 
December 15, 2020
In This Issue
This Sunday in Worship -- 
December 20, 2020

The Fourth Sunday 
of Advent

"How Do You Respond 
To God's Good News?"
Luke 1:26-38

A Message from the Pastor
Author Tom Hegg's wonderful 2004 book A Cup of Christmas Tea tells the story of a young man's reluctant visit to an elderly aunt at Christmastime, and the unexpected joy it brings. 

The book brings to mind in me a number of Christmas memories--visits to my grandmother Maxted's home in Oskaloosa, Iowa on Christmas day; Christmas caroling with church members in retirement homes and nursing facilities; and visits to the homes of elderly church members. Just like the visitor in the book, I always felt that I received a much bigger blessing from the person I visited than I was able to give to him or her. The older I get, the more I believe this.  

The message is beautiful and humbling. The gift of presence is priceless. 

The Word becomes flesh and proclaims, "I am with you!"

In Christ's love,
Pastor Mitch
Ilene Kiser

Ilene Kiser would love to hear from you!

4521 Winona Ave.
San Diego, CA 92115

RRCC Online Giving

Even though we are unable to meet in person,
RRCC has three ways you can still give your tithe:
  1. Go to the RRCC website and click on the "GIVE HERE" button at the top of the main page. Or use the link at the top of each newsletter. It will take you to the same place.
  2. Use your bank's electronic bill pay feature to have a check mailed directly from your bank to RRCC.
  3. Mail your check directly to RRCC.
Address your envelope to:
Financial Secretary
Round Rock Christian Church
22 Chalice Way
Round Rock, TX 78665
Christmas Eve Service 2020

Join Us Christmas Eve at 7:00 p.m. via zoom to celebrate the Birth of Christ!

Holiday Adoption - Union Hill Elementary

In a spirit of embracing our neighborhood schools, your RRCC Outreach Team purchased, wrapped, and delivered gifts for 12 students identified by Union Hill Elementary School.  Each child received a toy, a book, and an item of clothing/shoes.  Many thanks to our caring RRCC congregation for supporting this program, and to the volunteers who helped with the wrapping!

Wrappers extraordinaire:  Darlia Hunt, Anna Marie Blair, Mary Murray, Janette Johnston, Susan Kessler.  Not pictured: Linda Glover.  

Outreach Team members Janette Johnston and Susan Kessler delivered the Holiday Adoption gifts to Berna Miranda, Union Hill Office Specialist.

Sixteen RRCC women attended the monthly DWM meeting via Zoom on Monday, December 14, with special guest Venessa Harmel.  A member of Round Rock Christian Church since 1987, Venessa was that very day turning in her final paper in her seminary studies at Brite Divinity School.  Venessa is Director of Spiritual Life for Juliette Fowler Communities in Dallas, a Disciples of Christ-affiliated non-profit facility.  She gave an overview of the JFC history, mission, and many programs for more than 400 residents, ranging from children in foster care to seniors in the skilled nursing facility.  There were many questions and good discussion.
The group also reviewed November's financial report
and elected officers for 2021:

Susan Kessler
Interim Vice President (through May):
Tara Pollock
Tricia Mouser (as available)
Darlia Hunt
The next regular DWM meeting will be held as usual on the
2nd Monday of the month - January 11, at 9:30am. 
All women are welcome.
Mahomet Christian Church, Bertram, TX

To the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the Southwest,
We are saddened to hear of the tragedy that has taken place at Mahomet Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Bertram, Texas. On December 9, 2020 at 10:30pm the fire department responded to a call about a suspicious incident involving a fire and the church has subsequently burned down.

Regional Staff are currently in regular communication with the leaders of this church community and are doing everything we can to be as supportive as possible and help them as their needs arise. We understand and collectively feel the pain of this congregation, especially during the Advent Season. We ask that you hold this community in prayer as they grieve the loss of their church home and continue to navigate the path forward.
God in your mercy,
Rev. Dr. Andy Mangum & CCSW Staff
Splinters from the Board

Your Guiding Board.....

....Commends the behind-the-scenes labors of love of a host of faithful servants of the Lordwho slip in and out of our buildings routinely these days, working without fanfare to maintain the buildings, financial accounting, beautify and prepare for our return to 22 Chalice Way....

....Worship team members Mildred Adair, Sally Kelley and Amy Tucker who decorated the sanctuary to bring some of the symbols of Advent into our online zoom worship services through photographs that we enjoy each Sunday.

...Gary Collier as he continues to install equipment and learn the ropes of an incredible array of state-of-the-art technology that will continue to connect us virtually in worship services now and post-pandemic.

....Library renovation team lead by Gary Tucker, who along with Perry Mouser, Dan Knight, Mike Kelley, and Jim Kessler who prepped, painted, and otherwise prepared the area for plumbing and flooring companies to make-ready this special gathering place of solitude.

....Property Team, led by Perry Mouser and assistants Anna Marie Blair, Jim Kessler, Mike Kelley, Dan Knight, Tricia Mouser, and Gary Tucker as they clean, repair, and beautify the buildings and grounds.

....Steve Osteen and SOS Mechanical as they installed a UV purification system on the air conditioning units purchased recently.

....Outreach Team lead by Janette Johnston, Susan Kessler, and Tricia Mouser as they purchased and delivered sixty gifts for twenty students identified in the Adopt-A-Child program at Hopewell Middle and Union Hill Elementary, along with gift-wrappers Anna Marie Blair, Darlia Hunt, Mary Murray, and Linda Glover.

....Financial gurus....

....Irene Jenkins and the weekly financial counters-Phyllis Wilson, Lisa Breeding, Susan Kessler, Jim Kessler, and Katie Maybaum for their rotating weekly counting sessions, keeping track of the numerous special offerings and methods of giving.

....Gary Collier, Darlia Hunt and Molly Salzwedel as they make disbursements and meticulously maintain records of an enormous number of accounts.
So then, obey the commands that I have given you today; love the Lord your God and serve him with all your heart.  Deuteronomy 11:13
Stony Point High School Winter Choral Concert

We welcome you to tune in for the 2020 Winter SPHS Choir Concert tomorrow evening, Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 7:00pm.  The concert will be broadcast on YouTube using the link posted below.  Even though we can't be together, we hope you'll enjoy our "Starry Night of Music"!   

Year-End Giving Opportunity


The Permanent Fund of Round Rock Christian was established several years ago through the Christian Church Foundation to expand witness and mission of Jesus Christ and to serve the human needs in our community and around the world. It provides a means to invest by giving gifts and bequests that enable RRCC to expand ministry beyond the general budget.

The account is managed is by a team of five members who hold the positions of immediate past senior trustee, the two current trustees, treasurer, and financial secretary as well as the moderator and senior minister who are ex-officio members. This team reports to the Guiding Board, which is the managing entity on how funds from this account will be withdrawn for ministry.

The Christian Church Foundation planned giving investment program includes two separate entities: congregational and personal (family or individual). In early 2020, the Permanent Fund Task Force reviewed and revised the operating policy and procedure for the fund and planned to host a planned giving seminar to provide information for church members to set up their personal account.; however, it has been postponed until 2021.

Our RRCC account has grown more than two thousand dollars this year by giving by members and reinvesting in a higher yield account to a current balance of over eight thousand dollars.

Prayerfully consider your 2020 gift to this fund. Each of us may contribute to the congregation's account via online giving or by mailing a check to our church, 22 Chalice Way, RR, 78665, attn. Financial Secretary, with memo: RRCC Permanent Fund. As with other giving these gift amounts are confidential and are included on members annual statement of giving.

Should you need more details please contact trustee, Patricia Mouser.
2021 Worship Leader Sign-Up

The 2021 Worship Leader Sign-Up is available to view!

Click here to reserve your date to serve:

December Special Day Offering

DISCIPLES MISSION FUND SPECIAL DAY OFFERINGS provide an opportunity to highlight specific ministries as part of our faith celebrations. There are six Disciples Mission Fund Special Day Offerings received each year during Easter, Pentecost, Thanksgiving, and Christmas seasons, plus Reconciliation and Week of Compassion.
Our 2020 Christmas Offering supports the work of regional ministries. Our own Southwest Region benefits the ministry and mission of Round Rock Christian Church by working to:
  • Connect congregations to each other
  • Foster faith development
  • Gather Disciples in camps, conferences, and assemblies
  • Nurture the development of a new generation of pastors
  • Assist churches in calling new ministers
  • Interpret the global mission of the Church
  • Represent the Church in ecumenical gatherings
  • Counsel and pray with those who are troubled of spirit
  • Lead the Church to address racism
  • Inspire leaders to experiment and create
  • Witness to the power of God to make things new
The Christmas Special Day offering is being received on December 13 and 20. You may give by check or online at, designating your gift as Christmas Special Day Offering.
Free Devotional Resources for Advent

If you're looking for some devotional resources for Advent that you don't have to pay for or print, but rather can simply download and view on your computer or tablet, here are three options for you. Let Rev. Maxted know if you have any trouble accessing any of them. 

Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary offers an Advent devotional in pdf form (36 pages) that you can download for free. This year it is called "Singing Our Advent Joy." Faculty members of APTS share messages of inspiration based on sacred music. 

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary offers an Advent devotional in pdf form (22 pages) that you can download for free. The devotions in this resources are written by alumni of PTS.

The Vanderbilt Divinity Library of Vanderbilt University offers an Advent devotional in the form of four PowerPoint slide shows.  After clicking on the link, you'll see a section called DAILY SLIDESHOWS FOR THE ADVENT SEASON. Here you can click on each of the four weeks of Advent for a PowerPoint slide show. 

Staff Love Offering   

Annual monetary love gifts of appreciation for our senior minister and staff are a tradition at Round Rock Christian Church. Serving with Pastor Mitch are Molly Salzwedel - Administrative Assistant, Randy Preston - Director of Music Ministries, Jimmy Horowitz - keyboard, and Katie Maybaum - nursery. Each person will receive a portion of the giving.
With all of the changes we have experienced this year, we are especially grateful for the extra creativity and effort our faithful staff has contributed to our worship and church life.
Contributions may be sent in two ways: If you have registered to use the online offering link at just click on the "Give Here" button at the top of the home page. Indicate in the "Other-1" comment box "staff love offering." Or you can mail your check with "staff love offering" indicated on the memo line to:

Financial Secretary
Round Rock Christian Church
22 Chalice Way
Round Rock, TX 78665

Please complete your love offering so that it is received
no later than TODAY, December 15, 2020.
Upcoming Events 

There will be no events/meetings held in the RRCC facility until further notice.  
Many RRCC activities and events have been cancelled until further notice. Some are continuing online.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020
7:00 p.m.
- Shalom Congregation (via Zoom)
7:00 p.m.
- Stony Point Choir Concert Link HERE

Wednesday, December 16, 2020
1:00 p.m.
- Caring Hearts Prayer Group (via Zoom) Link HERE
5:00 p.m.
- Join our General Minister and President, Rev. Terri Hord Owens on her facebook page for prayer time
7:00 p.m.
- Chancel Choir (via ZOOM) Link HERE

Thursday, December 17, 2020
11:00 a.m.
- "Shall We Pray" Small Group Study (via ZOOM) Link HERE

Friday, December 18, 2020
Luke 1:30-33
30 The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." 

Saturday, December 19, 2020
8:00 a.m.
- Shalom Congregation (live stream)

Sunday, December 202020  
Special Day Offering
9:45 a.m.
Explorers Sunday School (via Zoom) Link HERE
9:45 a.m.
- Open Circle Sunday School (via Zoom) Link HERE
11:00 a.m.
- Worship (via Zoom) Link HERE
1:00 p.m.
- Elders Meeting Link HERE
- Manantial de Vida Congregation (off site)

Monday, December 212020 
Luke 1:34-35
- 34 Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" 35 The angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2020 
7:00 p.m.
- Shalom Congregation (off site)

Events and details can be viewed on the RRCC Calendar
Keep Round Rock Warm
Some members have asked about this year's Keep Round Rock Warm, a program of the Round Rock Area Serving Center for children within the RRISD who need a coat for the winter. In past years, the Serving Center has placed coat collection barrels in the community for donated coats. This year, because of the pandemic, only new coats will be distributed. These are funded through donations and the "Coins for Coats" collection cans placed each year in RRISD school libraries. Donated coats and other gently-worn clothing items are always welcome, and are placed in the Center's "Treasures" thrift store.
Remember to include your monetary donations for the Serving Center's Food Pantry and other services in your regular donations to Round Rock Christian Church.
"Shall We Pray" Study is Thursdays at 11:00 a.m. via ZOOM
Katherine Cratin is leading these class sessions, which will continued to be held on Thursday mornings at 11:00 a.m. through December 17th. 
Those interested in this series please let Katherine know via text (281) 728-6448 or email

You can still participate in the last two sessions.
RRCC Newsletter Deadlines

Please submit your
Tuesday Newsletter articles and pictures 
before 10:00 a.m. on Mondays.
 and your Friday Reminders articles and pictures 
before 12:00 p.m. on Thursdays.
Thank you!
Chancel Choir

Chancel Choir meets via ZOOM Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m.:
Did You Miss a Newsletter?

Past newsletters dating back to mid-March 2020 are currently archived under the "ABOUT US" tab on the RRCC Website.

Upcoming Birthdays

December 17
- John Claymon
December 17
- Deborah Roberts
December 17
- Bea Whitley
December 18
- Steven Glover
Prayer Needs

1. Our Guiding Board, Ministries Council, Elders, Deacons, Ministries and Teams 
2. Our staff: Jimmy, Mitch, Katie, Randy, and Molly
3. Our music ministries and their leaders: Randy Preston, Rod Walker, and Jimmy Horowitz
4. Our tech team: Gary Collier, Tara Pollock, Katie Maybaum, Randy Preston, Rod Walker, and Dan Knight
5. Our "Reopening" Task Force--Perry Mouser (chair), Gary Tucker, Gary Collier, Mildred Adair, Amy Tucker, Pam Knight, Amy Osteen, Tricia Mouser, Pastor Maria Rosario of Manantial de Vida, Omar Roque, Juan Pena, and Carlos Cortez of Shalom, Pastor Mitch Maxted, and Linda Glover
6. Our Caring Hearts Prayer Group
7. Our Stephen Ministries (Care Receivers and Caregivers)
8. Our partnership with Shalom Seventh Day Adventist & Manantial de Vida congregations (and their pastors Edy Rosa Paez and Maria Rosario) 
9. Reverends Christal Fisher (South Texas) and Andy Mangum (CCSW)

1. Acree, Mary -- ongoing fall concerns
2. Davis, Marilyn
3. Glover, Linda -- pain management
4. Greene, Emmiline -- sister-in-law Matilda Dunn is now receiving hospice care
5. Guilbeau, Rick & Cynthia. Cynthia's  father, Harold Hubbard, is receiving hospice care
6. Habtemariam, Solomon and Meaza
7. Mouser, Tricia -- rheumatoid arthritis infusion treatments and side-effects
8. Plough, Paul 
9. Pollock, Chris -- chest pains
10. Rilda and Charles Scarborough
11. Sherry, Bea
12. Shrader, James (husband of Patti) -- continued recovery from heart and leg surgeries; also Patti's sister is now receiving hospice care (lives in Missouri)
13. Terry Tucker, brother of Gary Tucker -- upcoming surgery
14. Walker, Lisa -- siblings Dale and Connie with health concerns (Dale recent brain surgery)
15. Wilson, Garvid -- had his first chemo/immunotherapy treatment yesterday; the first several are scheduled three weeks apart

1. All who don't know Jesus
2. COVID-19 (the ill, their families, medical professionals, essential workers, treatment and vaccine researchers, the logistics of distributing and administering the vaccine safely and efficiently)
3. Those who have lost jobs during the pandemic; businesses that are struggling
4. A transition of power in Washington that is marked by good communication and good will
5. All people who are persecuted for their faith throughout the world 
6. Our military personnel and families
7. International cooperation in responding to climate change challenges
8. Development of an immigration policy for the U.S. that is fair, just, and responsible 
9. For all efforts toward affordable health care for all Americans; that pre-existing health conditions not be a barrier to securing health insurance coverage
10. U.S. lawmakers and community leaders to work together to solve the problem of frequent, deadly mass shootings
11. All teachers, administrators, students, and parents. Our neighborhood schools: Union Hill Elementary School and Hopewell Middle School.
Sunday School Classes
[There will be no Sunday School classes at the church for the foreseeable future. Some classes will be meeting via Zoom during this time of social distancing.]
Early Childhood Class (ages 4-7) -Taught by Lisa Walker

Intermediate Class (3rd - 5th grade) - Taught by Jennifer Kienzle 
Chi Rho Class - (6th - 8th grade) (studying the book, "Middle School TalkSheets" for ages 11-14.  "These TalkSheets present every aspect of Jesus' life in a way that young teens can connect with as they learn to apply the lessons to their own lives.")
CYF Class (9th - 12th grade)  
Open Circle (primarily adult women) - 9:45 a.m. Sunday mornings via ZOOM, Studying The Cherry Log Sermons by internationally recognized preacher and accomplished teacher Rev. Fred Craddock. "These sermons on a variety of topics and texts show Craddock's deft use of storytelling, an astounding ability to interpret the biblical text for our day, and a keen pastoral sensitivity to the everyday needs of listeners." ALL ARE WELCOME!  Link HERE
Explorers (mixed adults) - 10:00 a.m. Sunday mornings via ZOOM, Facilitator is Mildred Adair; studying the New Testament Book of Acts, using the resource by John MacArthur. Link HERE
RRCC is on Social Media

Follow us on Social Media!

We can be found on:
Twitter as @ChurchRound
Instagram as rrccdisciples
Photo Submissions

Submitting a photo? Awesome! 
We love pictures of congregational life!
Please remember to include
identification (who, what, when, where, why) 
 for each photograph submitted to the office.  
Also, please indicate where you would like the photo to be used (RRCC website, social media, weekly newsletter, etc.)
Please email photos to the church office:
RRCC Office Hours

9:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

9:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

9:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

9:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Elder's Prayer Corner/Closing Message

Gathering at the Creche

Matthew 2:1-12 

The 'wise men' or 'magi'  are not named or even numbered in the Bible and make an appearance only in the Book of Matthew. Tradition refers to three wise men because they brought three gifts. Later, they were assigned names, ages, and ethnicities. Paintings by one of the Old Masters,  Peter Paul Reubens (1577-1640), portrayed three men coming from different continents and representing three stages of life. Balthasar is depicted as a young African man bearing myrrh. Melchior is portrayed as a middle-aged man from Asia carrying frankincense. Gaspar is shown as an old European man holding a gold dish filled with coins.  
The three gifts had spiritual meanings:
  • Gold - a symbol of kingship on earth, 
  • Frankincense - representing holiness and righteousness, a symbol of deity,
  • Myrrh -an ingredient in holy anointing oil, a symbol of death
Although gift-giving has its roots in pagan winter rituals, when Christianity incorporated these rituals into Christmas the justification for gift-giving was redirected to remind us of the presents given to Jesus by the Wise Men. A gift is something given voluntarily without payment in return,  to show favor toward someone, to honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance.  It is something bestowed or acquired without any particular effort by the recipient or without its being earned. The Magi brought gifts to the Child,  but the Child was God's gift to us.

Prayer: Lord, in this season of wonder amid chaos, help us remember why we celebrate, light candles, hang wreaths, decorate joyfully, and give gifts. Be with us as we choose the intangible gifts that give testimony to Your Holy presence in our lives. Amen.