The Second Sunday of Advent

The angels proclaimed “Peace on Earth” when the Baby Jesus was born. However, reading the paper or watching the news, it's hard not to wonder, is peace possible? There are two kinds of peace we each need in our lives. We need inner peace and we need peace with others. God addresses both and tells humanity how to find the peace we so desperately need.

  • Inner peace begins in our relationship with God and continues to grow as we focus on God and it continues as we focus on allowing the strength and grace of God to fill us. God’s Word says, “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is focused on You because He trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3). Personalize that verse with your own name in it: “God will keep me in perfect peace as my mind focuses on and trusts God.” Inner peace hinges on our trust in God. If inner peace feels elusive, I get it. I have struggled at times also, especially of late. But the answer is not in hanging on for externals to change; it is in trusting in the strength and grace of God to fill us. In the times of greatest turmoil, grief, or anxiety we are invited to hold even tighter to the hand of the One who will walk with us in peace. When we wall ourselves off to walk alone we find the path much more threatening. Trust is a conscious decision and often one we must make repeatedly.

  • “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9). Peace with others comes as we live into God's call to be be peacemakers in our world. Is there some way you can be a peacemaker this Christmas? Is there a phone call that needs to be made, a letter that needs to be written to smooth over a fractured family relationship? Is there a silence to be broken that has stood as a barrier for too long? Is there an act of caring that you might extend to someone who is grieving or alone to be the instrument of God's grace for the one yearning for inner peace? Don’t miss the blessing God promises in your life as you respond to His call to be a peacemaker in your own circle. We can help bring peace to our world one heart at a time, one act of compassion at a time.

To make the most of this Advent week as we light the Candle of Peace this Sunday, would you join me in praying the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; and Where there is sadness, joy… Divine Master; Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

We will celebrate Holy Communion in worship tomorrow. Gather a bit of bread or cracker and some form of the cup for everyone who will worship in your household. We will break the bread, share the cup, and claim the peace that passes all understanding. It will guard our hearts and fill our minds.

With love and grace,
Pastor Lara
aka "The Vicar"
Apple Corps meets via Zoom at 9:30 every Sunday morning for casual fellowship. Class begins at 9:45.
The Zoom Meeting ID is 293-856-379 or click the link below to go directly to Zoom.
Branches meets via Zoom at 9:45 every Sunday morning. The Zoom Meeting ID is 213-928-173 or click the link below to go register and go to Zoom.
Genesis meets via Zoom at 9:30 every Sunday morning. The Zoom Meeting ID is 937 5166 7725 or click the link below to go register and go to Zoom.
"I CONNECT" meets via Zoom at 9:45 every Sunday morning.The Zoom Meeting ID is 963-430-720 or click the link below for Zoom.


Journey meets via Zoom at 9:30 every Sunday morning.The Zoom Meeting ID is 429-051-096 or click the link below for Zoom.
New Beginnings meets via Zoom at 9:45 every Sunday morning.The Zoom Meeting ID is 387-197-129 or click the link below for Zoom.
The Way meets via Zoom at NOON every Sunday morning.The Zoom Meeting ID is 450-965-323 or click the link below for Zoom.
Sunday School for preschool and elementary school meets via Zoom at 9:45. To maintain a secure site for our children, please email Ms. Robin for login information before Sunday.
Prayer Concerns & Sympathy
Please continue to check the Facebook Prayer Page for daily updates or concerns. To be redirected to the Martin UMC Care Team Prayer Ministry page, click here:



Our love and sympathy is extended to Denise Foley following the death of Les on December 4; to Lynn Greenho and family on the death of his sister, Neva Shocksnider; to Vickie Kelley on the death of her mother, Flossie Harris.

Martin Community: Nita & Paul Beckham, Debra & Isi Faletau, Doris Fash, Barb Herbison, Emily Herbison, John Longyear, Melissa Norton, Marcie Smith, Jim Shepherd, Jim Swinford


Family & Friends: Aunt Georgie (Priscilla Shipe's 100 yr. old aunt), Ryan Campanaro, Ronny Carter, Gwen Caylor, Cory Chalk, Jill Davis, Amy Ellis, Dealia & Anne Farmer, Diane Frazier, Susan Geddes, Will Hughes, Gloria Jackson, Diane Kunce, George Parker, Kathy Walton

Prayer Requests Specifically Regarding COVID-19: Nita & Paul Beckham, Michele Chalk's friends: Dan & Tami, Line Falahola, Don Formby's brother- in- law:Tommy Counts, Ted McIlvain's cousin Kathy and her husband Jimmy, Jim Shepherd's son-in-law, Cheryl Stark's mother, Phyllis, Robert & Carmen White

Names remain for two weeks
unless otherwise requested.