W Encourager Header
Welcome to EFC-ER's Weekly Encourager. We trust that this will become a bright spot each week in your emails. The purpose of the Weekly Encourager is to provide up-to-date information about region-wide events, prayer requests, and helpful resources from the local churches.
  We have put up our Christmas tree at the World Outreach Center and would love your help with ornaments! Thank you for sending some wonderful, unique ornaments last year (pictured above). If you didn't get a chance last year, please send a nativity scene ornament - possibly one that is unique to your area or special to your church. Ornaments may be sent or delivered to the WOC. Thank you for your help in being a special witness this Christmas season! 
Upcoming Events:
* December 11 and 12 
- Christmas at Malone
presents Handel's Messiah at 7:30pm. Visit www.malone.edu/christmas  to purchase tickets. 
* December 11 and 12 
- Live Christmas Drive-Thru Nativity
at Sebring Friends Church (615 South Johnson Road, Sebring, OH) from 6-8pm. 
* December 12 
- Live Christmas Nativity Scene 
at North Olmsted Friends Church (5665 Great Northern Blvd., North Olmsted, OH) from 5-8pm. Details to the right.

Save the Date: The 2016 National Friends Church Multiplication Conference will be held August 3-5, 2016 at Barclay College. More information to come! 

* The World Outreach Center will be closed Thursday (12/24), Friday (12/25), Thursday (12/31), and Friday (1/1). We hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

We trust that every church is sharing these prayer requests within their local prayer community. Here are this week's request: 

1 - Continue to lift up Dave Aufrance as he undergoes testing with probable surgery next year. Minor correction: he did not have a heart stent put in last week. 
2 - Please pray for Wayne Evans, General Superintendent, as he travels to visit our missionaries in four districts in India over the next two weeks.
Celebrating Stories with Friends!
Pastors' Mini-Conferences 2015
On December 1st and 3rd, pastors and their spouses gathered in two locations for a time of fellowship and inspiration at the Pastors' Mini-Conferences. Around 125 people gathered in Wooster, OH last Tuesday and around 30 met last Thursday in South Hill, VA. Michael Clifford (pictured top right with Wayne Evans)  from the Apprentice Institute at Friends University shared, "If you deeply and truly know Jesus and who He is, you can interact with any person of any age. He also expressed the importance of restoring the majesty of the Gospel and Christ as the center of our story. Thank you to Alex Feldman and Mike Barnes who shared devotions and to Andy Black, Pete Fowler, Jacelyn Jones, and Regina Evans for leading the groups in worship!
News from the World Outreach Center
There are pastoral openings at  Urbana (part time);  Barberton (part time) currently welcomes Vicki Breckner as Interim;  Portsmouth, RI; and  Gilead. Contact Randy Heckert (rheckert@efcer.org) for more information.      

Pastors, we encourage you to communicate the information from the GCB hand-out at Mini-Conference with your churches. If you were not able to pick one up, they will be mailed to you. 

Camp Gideon has a new number for reservations. You can contact Julie Martin at (330) 247-2474. 
In lieu of the CE Board giving out curriculum materials this year, they have gifted each church with a $25 gift certificate to Lion & Lamb Bookstore. These gift certificates need to be used by Monday, December 28. You can either visit or call the store (330) 332-8501 to make your order. Even if you don't need it until January, you can still make the purchase, pay now, and receive it in January.  
Keeping It Fresh: Communication Tip
O ne of the great ministries of the Church is its ability to collectively pray for those in need, but how do we get the word out?  The options are many:
  • Posting prayer needs in the bulletin.
  • Passing prayers person to person.
  • An old fashioned prayer chain list. Each person on the list is responsible to call the next one on the list. This works until someone is not home. 
  • Facebook and social media, but be careful, it is difficult to control how far a prayer request travels. 
  • Make use of email groups.
  • Send prayer needs to weekly prayer groups in the church. 
  • Automated phone services such as "One Call Now". This is a fast way to contact lots of people, works well for small and large groups and is useful for sending announcements and cancellations. For more info go to onecallnow.com.
  • Regardless of which methods used a written policy is a must.  This lets people know who to contact with prayer needs and what to expect. 
  • If the pastor is not managing the prayer chain make sure she or he is informed of prayer needs so they are aware of pastoral care needs within the congregation.
World Outreach Center
5350 Broadmoor Cir., NW
Canton, OH 44709
Julia McDonald, Editor
A Little Extra.... QUOTES  FOR THE WEEK:

The Advent season is a season of waiting, but our whole life is an Advent season, that is, a 
 of waiting for the last Advent, for the time when there will be a new heaven and a new earth." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 
God Is In the Manger

"And again Isaiah says, 'The root of Jesse will come, even He who arises to rule the Gentiles; in Him will the Gentiles hope. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."
- Romans 15:12-13 (ESV)

We hope you've enjoyed catching up with news from the EFC-ER office.
More information and news will be coming each week. 
Please send Julia ( jmcdonald@efcer.org ) any of your suggestions, quotes,  and/or ideas for weekly encouragement .