Thursday, December 17, 2020
TO BRIGHTEN YOUR DAY

Your PGCC staff wishes you a Merry Christmas
Click on the arrow below to watch
A DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT by Barbara Latter

Do you ever think back to your childhood Christmases? Were you excited as the Christmas tree was decked out, lights and candles appeared and, best of all, presents began appearing under the tree? Do you remember looking at the tags to see who was the recipient of the biggest (and therefore it must be the best) gift? Did you taunt your siblings if it happened to be yours?

Yes, as children we think biggest must be best. It is only later we realize that little gifts can have big impacts.

One December, my aunt asked me to measure my hand against my cousin’s, who was three years older. I assumed she intended to buy me a new pair of gloves for the cold Minnesota winter. Imagine my surprise when on Christmas Eve I received a very small box. Inside was a gold ring with my initials engraved on it. I still have that ring. It reminds me of the first time I realized that special gifts can be contained in small packages.

I’ve often thought of the smallness of the very first Christmas. The Messiah’s earthly parents were from Nazareth, an obscure town not even mentioned in the Old Testament. The birthplace of record was a small, seemingly insignificant town. The prophet Micah described Bethlehem as “too little to be among the clans of Judah” (Micah 5:2, ESV). The birthing room was a tiny, cramped stable where the weary travelers lodged among the animals. It was a small space in a small place.

The Messiah Himself was small. After 400 years of waiting for a mighty prince, was it difficult to accept that this Infant was the Promised One?

Yes, that first Christmas occurred in smallness.

But then the Gift appears: God the Son, sent by God the Father and conceived of the Holy Spirit. It was the greatest gift ever given, wrapped in angel song and the light of a shining star. And suddenly there is an explosion of joy as the angel greets the shepherds with the beautiful message: “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” (Luke 2:10, ESV)

Christmas 2020 may seem very small to most of us. We miss all the stuff of Christmases past. Nothing is like how we have usually celebrated, and we cannot imagine how we can be joyful while all around us is chaos, changing directives and no family gatherings.

Our Christmas doesn’t have to be small.

The joy that filled the skies on Christ’s birthday is for all people. That’s us!
We don’t conjure up joy in ourselves; it is God’s gift to us by the Holy Spirit.

In Nehemiah we read, “And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Neh: 8:10 ESV).

And Paul’s message to the Romans resonates in our hearts today: “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” (Rom. 15:13, ESV).

We access this joy, hope and peace through reading and meditating on scripture and consistency in prayer. This year, without the press of the usual shopping, events and rehearsals, we have more time for me to reflect on the significant spiritual aspects of Advent and Christmas. I am dwelling in the wonderful tools for study that the staff at PGCC are providing through the email devotionals, Stations of Advent and The Christmas Code daily booklet. In addition there are some lovely thought-provoking Advent reading plans on my smart phone Bible apps.

Your Christmas joy does not need to be small. I encourage you to find Christmas joy in ways you’ve never experienced before. Boost your Christmas joy by asking God to illumine your heart and mind with new insights. Spread the Christmas joy by showing kindness everywhere you go. And smile, even if you don’t feel like it! Even when wearing a mask, your eyes can emit joy to someone you pass in the grocery aisle.

Above all, keep your mind centered on the amazing, miraculous Gift that came to us on that first Christmas. That alone makes this a BIG Christmas.
WHAT YOU CAN LOOK FORWARD TO THIS SUNDAY
Sunday's worship service will be filled with beautiful Christmas music followed by an Advent message by Pastor Phil. Click on the video below to get a quick sneak peek at what you have to look forward to.
CHRISTMAS FOOD DRIVE
This Week

We are collecting nonperishable food for our ministry partner, the St. Vincent DePaul Food Bank.

You can drop off your grocery donations TODAY and Sunday by 4:00 PM.

Drop off food under the Portico in the grey tote by the west side doors.
You can also call Nelson and Bev Schmidt to arrange a pick up of your donation by calling 916-872-4711.

Reach Out to Your Neighbors Using the Food Drive!
This is a way to introduce others to our church.

Use the link below to get a flyer you can pass around to your neighbors, or create your own. Once you collect your neighborhood donations, you can deliver them to the church or to Nelson and Bev Schmidt's house, 7605 Timberose in Sun City. Or, call them and they'll come by and pick your donations up.

To download a flyer you can print and hand out CLICK HERE. Add the day and time you will pick up groceries and put your name and address at the bottom and possibly your phone number. Afterwards, be sure to thank those who participated with you in this important drive.
TWO ONLINE CHRISTMAS CONCERTS
Today and Tomorrow
with our own Wyley Wilkin
performing in several songs

featuring a duet with
Wyley and Lyndsay!

partially recorded at PGCC

Today or Friday
December 17 or 18
7:30 PM

How to Watch the Show
Visit www.rsvpchoir.org on show night
Then, click the link to your preferred viewing platform either
YouTube or Facebook
Sing along as loud as you like!
WJU CHOIR
Christmas Concert

Friday, December 18
7:00 PM

How to Watch the Show
On show night, go to www.jessupmusic.com
and follow the instructions

Hear your favorite Christmas classics

We will be recording a wonderful Christmas Eve Service
that will provide the final touch in preparing your heart to
celebrate Christmas.

Watch for the email next Thursday, or go to our website or YouTube channel.
PASTOR PHIL TRIES MAKING YOUR RECIPE
Today, Pastor Phil tries making Barbara Latter's cookie recipe.
CLICK HERE for Barbara's recipe passed down from her mom.
Share your recipe for Pastor Phil by emailing it to 1730pgccoffice@gmail.com
CHURCH OFFICE CLOSES AT NOON on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

Also, THE OFFICE IS CLOSED on the Mondays after Christmas (12/28) and New Year's (1/4).
HOW TO GIVE TO PGCC

You can GIVE by:
  1. Mail addressed to the Church at 1730 Pleasant Grove Blvd, Roseville, CA 95747.
  2. Online through our website, www.pgcc.church, or by clicking on the blue button below.

If you need assistance setting up your Online Giving, please call Cyndi at the office, Mon-Thu, 916-771-4447. Leave a message if no one answers.
If you are not automatically getting these emails...
Pleasant Grove Community Church
1730 Pleasant Grove Blvd., Roseville, CA 95747
(916) 771-4447 www.pgcc.church
Email: 1730pgccoffice@gmail.com