Fourth Sunday of Advent and Christmas Eve!
The Arkive: Ark and Dove's Newsletter
Celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Advent with Zechariah's song,
at both the 9:30 am and 11:00 am worship services!
Advent and Christmas

4th Sunday of Advent
Zechariah's song
December 23, 9:30 am and 11:00 am

  Christmas Eve Children's Service Christmas Pageant
December 24, 4:00 pm
 
Christmas Eve Band Led Service
Angel's song
December 24, 6:00 pm
 
Christmas Eve Choir Led Service Angel's song
December 24, 8:00 pm

Message from Pastor Tim
Dear Friends and Members of Ark and Dove,

Christmas Joy is upon us. Well almost. As you celebrate the coming of Christ into the world, this Sunday and Monday, may you discover many blessings and be flooded by Angel grace.  Because of his boundless love, Jesus became what we are that he might make us what he is. (Irenaeus Third Century)

This Sunday we shall celebrate the fourth Sunday of Advent and complete the circle on the Advent wreath at both services. We have been focusing on the songs in the Christmas story this year, and the final Advent song is the song of Zechariah Luke 1:67-80.

On Christmas Eve we will light the Christ candle and celebrate with three services. The 4:00 pm service is our Children’s service featuring our Christmas pageant.  Our 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm services are essentially similar with music led by the band at 6:00 and the choir at 8:00 pm. Our musicians have put much time and energy into preparing special music; I am looking forward to enjoying the fruits of their labor.

Thank you to all the individuals and families in the church who participated in the Holiday Sharing program. We sponsored over 90 children in over 40 families. We appreciate your generosity. Thank you to the Mission Ministry and Greg Makar, Nicole Howe, Beth Stewart and Chery Schafer who headed up our effort.

Our annual congregational meeting will take place on Sunday evening January 27th. Save the date. Potluck dinner beforehand and childcare provided.

If you plan to attend The Longest Night Memorial Service, it will begin at 4:30, Whitmore Park, Calvert Street. The Henry Davis Lynching Remembrance has been moved to the Arundel Center and will start at 6:15 this evening.


Peace of Christ,
Tim
timsstern@gmail.com
Verse and Prayer
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;  for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins. By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
-Luke 1:76-79
Glory to you loving God for sending your son Jesus to teach us love and to show us how to be your people. In these last few hours before Christmas, give us the wisdom and the patience we need to slow down just for a minute to ponder what a miracle it was for you to place divinity and eternity into the human and finite. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. From his fullness we have all received grace upon grace, and, for that, we are deeply grateful. Amen.
As we transition from Advent to Christmas, we're looking forward to presenting some beautiful and timely music for worship. On December 23rd, the prelude music will be an atmospheric setting of Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent as we prepare to hear Zechariah's song, Blessed is the Lord, in both the introit and musical offering.

For Christmas Eve, our youngest members will be leading the 4pm service in a dramatic telling of Jesus's birth, complete with bell-ringing by the Dove Choir, Logos chime ringers and the Joyful Noise choir's rendition of Peace, Peace with the congregation joining in to sing Silent Night on the repeat. At the 8pm service, the prelude will begin with a charming rendition of two Austrian carols Silent Night/ Still, Still, Still followed by Patrick Sise's classical guitar solo, Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring. The choir is singing a gospel tune, Jesus, What a Wonderful Child, and a Swedish carol, A Thousand Candles, by Emmy Kohler.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of Franz Gruber's Silent Night and in celebration of both the music and its place in our collective imagination, the choir will sing a haunting version of Silent Night by American composer, Peter Anglea.

O come let us adore Him!

Peace,

Margaret
Director of Music
margaret.mcgillivray@gmail.com
The time is upon us! In addition to our normal service this Sunday, we have three services this Monday, December 24th, which is (you guessed it) Christmas Eve! Our Christmas Eve services are as follows: 4 pm is our kids' service and Margaret and Jon will be directing our Christmas Pageant, 6 pm will be our band led service, and 8 pm will be our choir led service. Please join us for our Christmas Eve services. We will have music from our youth, LOGOS, band, choir, and some classical guitar. I will even be singing in the choir!

God bless and Merry Christmas!

Pat
Director of Contemporary Music
psise11@gmail.com
EFT Giving
Establish or increase EFT here!
Wanting to increase or establish an EFT with Ark and Dove? It's easy to do. The forms can be found on the web site and here are the links: EFT Authorization Form and EFT Change Form.
Generosity Opportunities

DONATE ONLINE ! Christmas Joy Offerin g, Peace and Global Witness Offering for ACT: Anne Arundel Connecting Together , Pledged Giving , Capital Savings Fund and more! Many opportunities await you!
Christmas Worship
Christmas Eve Setup
A few willing helpers are needed to assist with changing the sanctuary over between the three Christmas Eve services. If you are willing to come early or stay after, the help would be greatly appreciated. The biggest job will be setting up the risers and chairs for the choir after the 6:00pm service. If you can help, sign up at arkanddove.org/ChristmasEveHelp . If you will be participating in multiple services and won’t be able to get dinner, you can sign up at arkanddove.org/ChristmasEveDinner , and put any dietary needs in the comments. I’ll have food available in the kitchen for anyone that needs it. If you’re interested in helping to provide food, or have any questions, please contact the Worship Elder, Ryan Stavely ( ryan@stavely.org  or 410-980-2307). Thanks!
Mission
The Guatemala Experience: Pockets of Hope
I must admit that many times on this trip my faith was challenged by hearing about the oppression of women in Guatemala. It was challenged by the horrible living conditions so many people face. It was challenged by talking to people in the caravan and wondering how people faced so much violence that they had to leave their homes and country. It was challenged by hearing about the corruption that takes place in the government.

So where is the hope and joy you might ask?

Please read , Mission Elder, Cheryl Schafer's reflections on the challenges of keeping faith in the face of so much injustice, while recognizing the pockets of hope, which shone in the darkness.

If you would like to learn more about the mission trip to Guatemala, plan on attending January 22 at 7:00 pm.

The Perfect Gift
Every generous act of giving is from above. James 1:17
 
In the lead up to Christmas, many of us spend time in search of the perfect gift-the gift that communicates to friends and family how much we love them. The Presbyterian Church (USA) reflects God’s gift to us, 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. 

•   50% to local mission activities at Ark and Dove (this year the proceeds will be shared equally by Communidad Presbiteriana la Trinidad and our Refugee Mentoring ministry);
•   25% to support current and retired PCUSA church workers in their time of need;
•   25% to developing future leaders at Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges.

Please support the Christmas Joy Offering during Advent. Envelopes can be found in the chair pockets, offering box or you may give online. Thank you for the gift of Christmas.
Cheryl Schafer, Mission Elder, csscas@verizon.net

Featured item for December is 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!    
Christmas Pageant
Christmas Pageant: December 24, 4pm
The Christmas pageant is taking place on December 24th at the 4pm service, and all children of the church (big and small) are welcome to participate. The Joyful Noise and Dove choirs will be presenting short pieces during some of the tableaux, while the congregation will participate in the singing of carols during the pageant. Our main rehearsal takes place on December 22nd from 2pm-4:30pm in the sanctuary. We are in need of adults to act as costumers, prop finders, child-wranglers, shepherds, wise men and to help with blocking and direction. Children’s and youth's roles include angels, sheep and shepherds. Margaret McGillivray, Director of Music, margaret.mcgillivray@gmail.com
Equipping the Saints
How do we fulfill our mission at Ark and Dove?
Why does Ark and Dove have teams instead of committees? What’s the relationship between team leads and elders? How many teams do we have at the church? What do they do? How do new teams get started? Like any other institution, the organization of Ark and Dove can be confusing and sometimes intimidating – deacons, elders, session, and the teams, what do they all do and how? And this not-knowing sometimes makes it harder to find your role at the church. Join us at the next Equipping the Saints class on Wednesday, January 9th, where Pastors Tim and Jon will try to explain away these “mysteries” of Ark and Dove. We start with dinner at 6:30 and follow with discussions from 7:00-8:30. Childcare and special meals can be provided. Please sign up in the lobby and contact contact Bruce Sanders (brusanders@aol.com) or Steve Debus (steven.debus89@gmail.com) about any questions.
The Longest Night: December 21, 4:30 pm
Stewardship
Consensus Building
As we have mentioned in our last few announcements, we are using the data from our consensus building to determine our best path forward based on the information provided during our listening sessions and the survey info. By not asking for new pledges, we are relying on everyone to continue to meet their existing pledged obligations through year end and into next year to continue that same level of giving. This is also a last chance to get donations in prior to December 31, which may qualify for charitable deductions for tax purposes for this tax year. One of our strengths as a congregation is our generous giving of our time, talents and treasures. As we receive the gift of the Son during the Christmas holiday, let's also remember to give of our gifts to support the vision for our church. Julia Kirby, maybe_soon98@yahoo.com.
Refugee Resettlement
Save the date! Baby shower, January 6!
The Refugee Resettlement Team is giving a baby shower for Rose and Koko who are expecting their 2nd child in February. Htet Htoo is 5 now and was born in Malaysia while they were refugees from Myanmar, so they have nothing for this new baby. And it’s a GIRL! We will be following up with a sign-up soon. It will be a potluck luncheon held after the 11:00 service. If you haven’t met the family, this is a wonderful time to meet them. Any questions, please call Debbie Arey at 508-579-7748 or email, debarey@hotmail.com.
Prayer Requests
Please keep the following people in your prayers this week:

PRAYERS OF HEALING AND SUPPORT for Patrick Sise’s mother, Carol; Joan Berry’s son, Bryan Flom; James Franklin’s father, Homer; Jay Olson; Kameron and Kamarii Miller; Karen Dodson; Cliff Wellington’s father, Roy; Cheryl Walcutt’s sister, Judy Walsh; Amanda Wehage’s family; Jon Nelson’s aunt, Linda, and grandmother, Peggy; Chip Burnett; Laura Doughty's aunt, Marie; Ylonda Fauntleroy's aunt, Bernice Taylor and Ylonda Fauntleroy’s and Michelle Schoonmaker’s aunt, Alice Turner; Diane Johnson's aunt; Brooks Emrick and her sister, Susan; Vaughn Brown and his sister, Kathie, and brother, Jim; Ann Hirschy; Christy Yeager's father, Leon Jordan; Donna Anderson's brother-in-law, Tom; Frances Keyes; Dot Forloines; Helene Marchand-Stancil; Laura Willoughby's father, Norman; Julia Kirby's mother, Margaret Floyd; Amy Carskadon's nephew; Erika Sealing's son, Trip, and grandmother, Margaret Schade; Sue Hanburger's grandson, Enzo; Laura Rockwell's friend, Adam Hurst; Edie and Richard Budd; Dotty Kaufmann's grandson, Nathan; Amy Benson's family; Lisa Mezaache’s friend, Pearl McNamara; Annetta Fenstermacher’s sister, Margaret; Dorene Chen’s grandfather, Tian Tao Li; Christy Hipchen’s cousin, Corey; David Michels; Dakota Miller; Clarence Scott; Marlene and Doug DeHaven; Mike Stefanick; Jerri Webb’s friend, Mary Van Orten; Rob Yeager’s co-worker, Wayne Sweet; Mike and Charlotte Davie’s friend, Dave Page; Matthew Hagemann’s friend, Michael Prosperi; Miranda Holjes; Dough Mattingly’s mother; and Matthew Fellows.

PRAYERS OF SUPPORT go out to the guests and churches involved with Winter Relief this week: Mt. Zion UMC Magothy, St. Christopher’s Site Only, Temple Beth Shalom.

PRAYERS OF SUPPORT AND GUIDANCE for those who are struggling with challenges of health, finance, safety and liberty.

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.
The church office will be closed on December 25-26 and December 28, with limited office hours on December 24 and 27.
A prayerful, peaceful and meaning-filled Christmas to you!
Ark and Dove Presbyterian Church | 410-674-6400 | admin@arkanddove.org | www.arkanddove.org | 8424 Piney Orchard Pkwy. Odenton, MD 21113