From the Pastor:
As we enter a New Year, what can you say? Welcome 2021, good riddance 2020!? With its pandemic, elections, protests, and riots it has certainly been a year to remember, and try to forget! And, with new hope, we turn to face what the New Year holds in store.

In her November article Deacon Tammy L. Devine, who writes for Portico Benefit Services, wrote:
Falling leaves remind us we are entering a season of letting go. Like those remaining leaves hanging on into December, we too try to cling onto the familiar that once nurtured and gave us life. We hold on tight not wanting to relinquish the comfort of our past…

Letting go of life as we knew it, is hard. COVID-19 has taken much, and we are exhausted and weary. These past months we’ve endured multiple tiny and significant deaths. We’ve lost connections, employment and loved ones. And we’ve had to manage new and multiple demands. Like the falling leaves, we too have plummeted into a season of dying.
Saying goodbye to our way of living and those we love puts us in a place of vulnerability.
With January we enter the season of Epiphany,
a time where all of our textual readings reveal, more and more,
little epiphanies about the infant child who has come
to save the world, to be “God with us,”
and to reign in our lives each and every day.
With the holidays of Thanksgiving and the Nativity behind us, it’s important to remember that giving thanks and celebrating the everyday coming of Christ into our lives remains, well, important. With January we enter the season of Epiphany, a time where all of our textual readings reveal more and more – little epiphanies – about the infant child who has come to save the world, to be “God with us,” and to reign in our lives each and every day.

Devine continues:
Whether we are ready or not, change is in the air. [We are reminded] to be thankful for the bounty of the season and to prepare for the season that awaits us. A season for introspection and reflection, naming our grief, and gratitude. We cannot move forward unless we are willing to leave something behind. In one of his poems, Rumi noted how a closed fist precedes the opening of a hand. He wrote, “If the hand is always open or closed, the hand is crippled.” There is a time to open and a time to let go [I’m reminded of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8].
I look forward to the time we can all be together once again. I long to hug, and shake hands, and pass the peace, and wave to something other than a camera on the balcony at church! “This too shall pass,” are words that have often crossed my mind and escaped my lips during this long season. But through it all, I know, and affirm and proclaim: “Jesus, Messiah, Emmanuel!” The One who saves, reigns as King, and promises to be with us always!

Power to you!
Pastor Pat
We are preparing for our Outreach Seminar
coming the weekend of January 8-10
with the Church Doctors Ministry.
This will be online once again and further
information will be forthcoming soon.
Please plan to join in!
I cannot overstate the importance of this event to the life of Gloria Dei
and our mission of “disciples making disciples who can make disciples.”
You are an integral part of that mission, called, and being equipped right now. Please don’t miss this!!

Our Prayers Are With You
To submit a prayer request:
Please contact Joyce Boddie,
Gail Castle, or Pastor Pat.
You may also email the church office
to add people to the Prayer List.
We Pray for many people
whose names are not published
Being Light in this World
The year of 2020 shook the world, our country and each of us in our families and neighbors. I will not take space to inventory the events of last year as I am sure everybody has their own list. I was saddened the other day when I heard a comment passing by, “I can hardly wait for this to be over so I can enjoy my life again.”

The whole world is suffering from the plagues and violence of this year bringing a sharp increase of famine in its wake, grief in forms of depression and anger like the deep clouds of smoke from the summer fires hanging over us. And this woman’s concern is her need to enjoy her life again. 

God has called us to be light for his people in this current darkness, but if we do not spend time in the Light of God’s love, through prayer and meditation in scripture we cannot be light in this world. This new year offers opportunities to learn, grow and become light bearers in this world.

Blessings to you in 2021,
Billy Graham’s organization is a good resource for Growing in God’s Grace
and Becoming Strong in Faith to be Light to this World. 
The following article can be found on his website

5 Ways You Can Respond in Times of Crisis
Comfort each other and edify one another.
—1 Thessalonians 5:11

What can we do in response to the violence and destruction around us?

1. Pray Deeply Prayer is the Christian’s greatest weapon.” —Billy Graham
When you don’t have any words, or when you feel like you’re beating down God’s door with the same prayer day after day, ask God’s Holy Spirit to help you. The Bible tells us the Holy Spirit is an intercessor for us and cries out to God on our behalf.

2. Immerse Yourself in God’s Word When you feel as if your very soul hurts from news reports of another shooting, evil act or disaster, how do you find comfort? There is a place of refuge. The Bible tells us, Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him (Proverbs 30:5).

3. Guard Your Heart “Grief can kill a person emotionally and physically. If not counteracted with God’s strength and power, our personal weakness may debilitate us.” —Billy Graham : Do our minds ever erase graphic images such as horrifying footage from tragic events? You may have experienced what’s called secondary trauma from viewing video clips and photos on TV and social media. It’s important to recognize how these lasting impressions can affect you, as they can be physically, emotionally and spiritually damaging.

4. Care for Others “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
—Galatians 6:2 : It’s important to guard your heart, but you can also support others experiencing secondary trauma—some who may be going through a personal crisis as well.

5. Support Crisis Ministry “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” —Philippians 2:4 : No matter how out of control the world gets, taking action and selflessly serving others can allow God’s perfect peace to fill your heart. If you feel God leading you to help people but can’t be there in person, you can still share hope with others worldwide.
Leadership Team Meeting
was held on
December 24, 2020
Here are some highlights
Our annual December Congregational Meeting was held December 6th, via Zoom.
We had 22 members in attendance.
We will hold another Congregational Meeting on January 31st, 2021.
Healthy Churches Thrive Wendy Kromrey is working hard, coordinating with the Church Doctors Team. Our Outreach Workshop will take place online January 7-9  We’ll send out details soon. Feel free to invite friends and family to join.

Solar Project—  K-12 Energy has submitted plans to the City of San Jose for approval for permits. Still waiting.

ELC— School continues. New windows were donated to the ELC and have been installed.

Lord’s Pantry— The Pantry continues to be busy. Plans are in the works for a special Christmas Toy Giveaway in December.

Caring Ministry— Donna continues to serve our community through home visits, and hundreds of phone calls. Health Ministry Corner articles are emailed each week via Constant Contact.

GDLC Finances/Budget— The 2021 Budget was approved at the Zoom Congregational Meeting held on December 6th. Please contact our Treasurer, Barbara McCalment if you have any specific questions. As always, members are encouraged to use the “digital” platforms to make their tithes and offerings. If you need help with any of the plans, feel free to contact Dan Rinerson, who can help!

Worship Activities— Sunday worship has included Advent Candle lighting this Advent season. The sanctuary has been beautifully decorated; thanks to the Kromrey family for their hard work. Our Small Group Studies continue through Zoom. We continue to do “drive through” communion the first Sunday of each month.

We continue to worship online, either by live-streaming the service at 9:30 am Sunday, or later by Facebook or YouTube from the Churches website.
Hebrews 9:22

In fact, the law requires
that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and
without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

Blood was used in old testament times as a sacrifice. It's not used now for that since Jesus sacrificed Himself for us. Blood is still important today to save lives for many reasons.

January is National Blood Donors Month

The following information is from the website:
According to the American Red Cross, winter is “one of the most difficult times of year to collect enough blood products to meet patient needs.” That’s because of, among other things, busy holiday schedules and bad weather often resulting in canceled blood drives. Furthermore, seasonal illnesses such as the flu force potential donors to forgo their blood donations.

That’s just one of the reasons that National Blood Donor Month, which has taken place each January since 1970, is such an important observance. Donating blood saves many lives and improves health for many people. According to the World Health Organization, “blood is the most precious gift that anyone can give to another person — the gift of life. A decision to donate your blood can save a life or even several if your blood is separated into its components — red cells, platelets and plasma.” 

Not just in honor of National Blood Donor Month, but in the simple spirit of providing the stuff of life to those who need it most. Donate now. Donate again in eight weeks. Repeat.

National Blood Donor Month can inspire people to donate. And those donations can in turn inspire others to donate, creating an exponential increase in blood donations when and where they're needed the most.

Learn and remember your blood type
What's your blood type? Some examples: O positive donors are needed more often than other blood types. O negative donors are considered "universal donors." AB positive donors are "universal recipients."
JANUARY OBSERVANCES ~ Cervical Health Awareness Month, National Birth Defects Prevention Month, National Blood Donor Month, National Glaucoma Awareness Month, National Radon Action Month, National Slavery and Human Trafficking Month, Thyroid Awareness Month,
National Folic Acid Awareness Week 1/1-6, Healthy Weight Week 1/14-20
For All the Beautiful Poinsettias in Our Sanctuary

We Thank You for Your Generous Donations

Dr. and Mrs. David K. Bakken
In Memory of
Orley and Joann Bakken
Kenny and Millie Oftebro
Esther and Dolores Bakken

Joyce Boddie
In Memory of Skip

Lynn & George Carroll
In Honor of our son-in-law
Tejas Naik

Gail Castle
To the Glory of God and in Memory of loved ones

Mildred Chen
For the Homeless

Jane Hendricks
In Memory of Bill Hendricks

Ernie Moore
In Loving Memory Naomi

Dick & Libby Nelson
In Honor of our Parents
Gordon & Virginia Nelson and
Odis & Kay Stepp

Danny & Sandy Shewey
In loving memory of Lois Swanson

Donna Zimmerman
Our Sanctuary in all its Christmas Glory
Emmanuel — God With Us

12 Ernie Moore
13 Kimberley Stern
15 Holly Hawkes
Claudette Rezos
27 Rosa Maria Livesay
Raina West
28 Libby Nelson
29 Jean Rinerson

Welcome the New Year 2021

A New Year's Resolution
of Triumphant Hope
from the Apostle Peter

"Now This is the Goal to live in harmony with one another and demonstrate affectionate love, sympathy, and kindness toward other believers. Let humility describe who you are as you dearly love one another. Never retaliate when someone treats you wrongly, nor insult those who insult you, but instead, respond by speaking a blessing over them— because a blessing is what God promised to give you."
1Peter 3:8-9
[TPT The Passion Translation]
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