December 2018
Coffee & Donuts 8:30am
Adult Bible Study 8:45am
Worship w/Holy Communion 10:00am

College Lunch 11:15 

A Word from Pastor John
"So, a silent priest, a pregnant virgin, and her cousin walk into first-century Judea...." Thus begins this year's Advent sermon series which takes us through Luke chapter one during the Sundays leading up to Christmas Eve.  This year's Advent sermon series begins, and it sounds like a joke.  This may seem irreverent because Christians surround Christmas season with so much reverence.  However, I imagine that the Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary, and Joseph might have exclaimed, "You have got to be kidding me!  Is this some kind of joke? This is how God is going to change the world and deliver his people Israel?  How about something a little bit more flashy.  

     This is the time of year when we pastors get a bit grumpy about how flashy the Christmas season is. We moan over the Christmas music that gets played the day after Halloween. It is an easy criticism of our cultural consumerism.  On the other hand, I am grateful that there is plenty of space in our culture to point to the real reason for the season, namely the incredible birth of Immanuel.  God is with us because God has taken human flesh.  God became weak so that by his poverty we might become rich.  The manger wood leads to the wood of the cross.  

     Won't you join us in the Advent journey?  Rest in Jesus and take a break from the glitz, the flash, and the blaring Christmas music which has been piped into our brains since November.  Check out our midweek Advent services, and special Christmas and worship times too!  

Prayer Thoughts 

GOD the Father has a message 
 for you  at this time of celebration - 
His Son's birthday

 How can you say I'm a distant GOD who is too far away to be really concerned about you. " I have loved you with an everlasting love. I have drawn you with loving kindness" Jeremiah 31:3 I have loved you with a Father's heart. You're not a speck to me. I have created you in our image, in our likeness Genesis 1:26 I AM He who created you and formed you, have redeemed you. For you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Your frame was not hidden from Me when you were made in the secret place, when you were woven together in the depths of the earth. My eyes saw your unformed body. All the days ordained for you were written in My book before one of them came to be. Psalm139:15-16 I have summoned you by name, you are mine Isaiah 43:1 Although a mother may forget a child she has borne, I will not forget you for I have engraved your name on palms of my hands Isaiah 49:16 

     I have loved you so much that I sent my Son, Jesus Christ, whose birthday you are celebrating to be the sacrificial lamb for your sins that you might have eternal life. For I so loved the world that I gave My only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

     Call upon me and pray to me, I will listen to you. I will answer and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. Jeremiah 29:12, 33:3 When you are in trouble, I will hide you under the shadow of My wings. Psalm 17:8 For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

     I AM the LORD your GOD. I will be with you every step of your day. I am mighty to save. I take great delight in you I will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17 As your Father, I lavish my love on you so that you may be called children of GOD. I John 3:1

      As my children I ask that you spend time talking (prayer) to me and studying My words on a daily basis. There are many many many more promises in the scriptures for you to claim and to hid in your heart so that you can say Your promises have been thoroughly tested and you love them. Psalm 119:140 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. Mark 13:31 

Miriam Circle
Miriam Circle will meet from 10:00 to noon on Tuesday, December 11th in the church library.  At the December meeting, we follow the traditions begun by the early members of Miriam Circle years ago.  We with trimming a Christmas tree with the chrismons made by those ladies for the church Christmas tree.  They're not as pretty as they once were, but there's a special beauty about them in their history.  

We also, like they did, bring our December mission offering wrapped as an ornament that hangs on the tree until the end of our meeting when we combine those gifts with the rest of our mission offerings so far this year and divide the amount between our mission projects:  Lutherans in Jewish Evangelism, Bethesda Lutheran Homes, Lutherans in Indian Ministries, and LCMS World Relief and Human Care.  

Our study for the day will be "Grace Upon Grace" on page 16 of the Fall Lutheran Women's Quarterly.  In case you don't have the Quarterly, we will have a copy for you at the meeting.   Please join us.  

2018 Interest Rates
LCEF investments are designed to keep up with market trends while still aiding church growth. For current examples:

  • The rate on a 2-year Partner Plus Note for CURRENT investors is 2.375%.
  • The rate on a 2-year Connect Plus Note for NEW investors is 3.0%.
  • Have you heard about the special 40-month Note at 4.0%? Do you qualify?

How do these compare with your bank CD and savings account rates? Is there potential for a Christmas gift for someone in your family? Go to "" for details.

FLC Website Online Giving

The question was asked is there a place to give online if you're out of town or miss church and the answer is YES!  If you go to and on the front page on the top right hand corner there is an orange button that says GIVE ONLINE.  Click that button and follow the directions.  If you have any questions please contact Financial secretary Gail Mahnken.   

Campus Ministry  

December 4th - Cozy Christmas Get Together 

Tuesday  Night  Bible  Studies  " We Have the Eats" series  at  7:30pm

College Lunch, every Sunday 

Friday  Night  Chill,
Every Friday  around  7pm 
at  the  Campus House - games,  study,  snacks,'s time to hang! 

Contact Pastor Ken Chitwood via email for more information about Campus ministry.

Gainesville Community Ministry Food Boxes

Thank you to everyone who participated in the food box donations for GCM.  We were able to donate 850lbs of food.  Thank you again and hope we can do it again in March!
In This Issue


Prayer Circle - First Sunday of each month at 9:15am
Women's Book Club - Second Saturday of each month at 10:45am
Miriam Circle - Second Tuesday of each month at 10:00am
Phoebe Circle - Third Tuesday  of each month at 7:30pm


Click  here to see the December Birthday celebrations!
Click  here to see the December Anniversaries!