December 13, 2019
This Sunday at Binkley
December 15, 2019
The Third Sunday in Advent
Christmas Coffee & Worship
9:45 am, Fellowship Hall

Worship
11 am, Sanctuary
Nativity Reenactment
Marcus McFaul preaching
Lovefeast in the Moravian Tradition
7:00 pm, Sanctuary
From Our Pastor
I spent last weekend at St. Francis Springs Prayer Center (near the NC-VA border) with thirteen others from Binkley. This annual Quiet Weekend is a favorite retreat for those who frequently attend and I observed some of the reasons for this 

The setting invites rest and reflection. The wooded landscape and well-kept grounds offer opportunities for long walks along trails, a Labyrinth experience, a meaningfully social-justice themed Stations of the Cross, and outdoor chapel for meditation. The indoor accommodations provided us with both tranquility and comfort; think "homey." It is a well-done conference/prayer center. The priests (Father Louie!) and staff are hospitable, welcoming, gracious and good cooks to boot.
Spiritual leadership and participation from all were stellar. Janet O'Neal, Lori Cahill, and Alice Glover facilitated our thinking on various aspects of awakening to care-full compassion (a year-long Binkley theme as you know) and invited us into quiet contemplation as well as reflective conversation. In an early session Janet posed this thoughtful question:  "How do I want to be different this Advent?" That query hasn't left my mind or heart since she asked it. Our leaders gave serious preparation in advance of the gathering and it showed. We are blessed beyond belief with profoundly mature spiritual leaders in our congregation. The sharing of their wisdom is true gift.
Groups can and do bond in mysterious and mystical ways. I marvel at how events bring folks together who don't always share the same traffic patterns. You look around the room and see people you may have some vague knowledge of, folks you believe you know well, and some completely unknown to you. Then, over time; shared space, dialogue on the daily and the divine, laughter, tears, prayer, and meals together (most of ours were in silence, yes it can be done!) sisters and brothers forge an identity. This is true for Sunday school classes, Kerygma bible study groups, choirs, and ministry teams. However there is something powerfully beneficial in getting away from familiar settings and into new spaces.

Next year when various retreats are scheduled, sign-up, pay-up, and go! We learn, see, feel, and experience the Holy differently when away from home and church building. Take some of the money you might spend on a Christmas gift and gift yourself with a down payment for either one of our church-sponsored retreats or another type you've found. You'll be glad (and rested, slowed down, befriended, calmer, less anxious...) you did. In the quietness you may be asked to ponder: How do I want to be different?

I return to the Binkley pulpit this third week of Advent and will preach a sermon on Mary's song of the magnificent mercy of God. It is Gaudete (Gow-day-tay) Sunday, meaning we light the lone pink/rose candle on the advent wreath. The Latin word means "rejoice!" Our children and youth will portray the Nativity Scene narrative in the service. And don't forget the Moravian Love-Feast Sunday night in the sanctuary at 7pm.

With joy, deep abiding joy for you,
Your Pastor,
Marcus
Practicing Compassion
Compassion allows us to use our own pain and that of others as a vehicle for connection. This is a delicate and profound path. We may be averse to seeing our own suffering because it tends to ignite self-blame and regret. And we may be averse to seeing suffering in others because we find it unbearable or depressing.
In contrast, compassion comes alive in us in the offering of kindness rather than withdrawal. Because compassion itself is open, abundant, and inclusive, we can meet pain more directly. With direct seeing, we know that we are not alone in our suffering and that no one else need feel alone in pain. 
The Binkley 411
Christmas Coffee & Worship
This Sunday, 9:45 am, Fellowship Hall
Please bring breakfast snacks to share.

Nativity Reenactment
This Sunday, 11:00 am, Worship

Lovefeast in the Moravian Tradition
This Sunday, 7:00 pm, Sanctuary

Advent Mission Opportunities
Bring new or gently used warm clothing for the Advent Tree of Warmth and canned/non-perishable food items between December 15-January 6.

“Three Sacred Pauses” Advent Reflection
Weds., Dec. 18, 1-2:00 pm, in the Chapel


Blue Christmas Service
Weds., Dec. 18, 6:00 pm, Chapel

What can YOU personally do to help with Binkley’s next step in responding to the Humanitarian Crisis?
The Humanitarian Crisis Workgroup is convening an event at Binkley on Sunday, January 12 at 4:00 in the Fellowship Hall. We are hoping to have people from numerous religious and non-religious organizations in the area attend. We believe that in order for our country to stop the marginalization and the unjust and inhumane treatment of so many people, we must speak up with one united, visible voice. We are hopeful that each of you will make personal contact with one or two of these organizations and invite them to the event. After the 11:00 service on Sunday, December 8 or December 15, please stop by the table in the narthex where you can choose the organization(s) you wish to contact . A copy of the invitation, which includes all of the information about the event, will be given to you when you sign up. Personal contacts make all the difference! Working together to make this event successful will bring us one step closer to creating a unified, visible voice.
Christmas Message from Earth Ministries
One Blue Dot Called Home
This narrative of this video is an excerpt from Carl Sagan's book "Pale Blue Dot" (1994). It was inspired by an image taken, at Sagan's suggestion, by Voyager 1 on 14 Feb 1990.  The earth is shown from a distance of about 6 billion km. Voyager 1 had completed its primary mission, and was leaving the Solar System when, at the request of Carl Sagan, it was commanded by NASA to turn its camera around, and take one last photo of Earth across a great expanse of space. Sagan’s message is even more poignant in our present time.

“We are living on this planet as if we had another one to go to.” 
~ Terry Swearingen, Nurse & Winner of Goldman Environmental Prize in 1997
 
The Earth Ministries Team, Pearl Barfield, Linda Bourne, Charles Coble, Stephanie Ford, Herman Greene, Buck Horton, and Susan Ketchin, wish you a Merry and Sustainable Christmas!
Coming in January

Epiphany with Brad Berglund
Brad joins us to offer music during worship on January 5 and a Taize service at 5 pm. He will also offer two informational meetings for a walking/riding pilgrimage of the Camino de Santiago (May 26-June 5, 2020). Check your Sunday bulletin announcements for details.

Meredith College Chorale and Concert of Songs by Sue Klausmeyer:
On Sunday, January 26 the Meredith College Chorale will join us to sing for our 11 am worship service. Then, at 2 pm there will be a concert to premiere new vocal works by Dr. Sue Klausmeyer, including a piece commissioned for Meredith and pieces that Dr. Klausmeyer wrote for our own Binkley Chancel Choir during her interim last winter. Mark your calendar!
Our Wider Community
Click the links below for more information on each event.
We want to draw your attention to This week's e-news from NCCoC, which is chock full of great information on peace and justice events in our area and beyond.

Sun., Jan. 19, Friday Center, on Reception 5-6,Banquet 6-8.
Tickets are $30 dollars. See Lillian Lee.

Please help community members in need by donating your used furniture to The Furniture Project. The Furniture Project is a community-wide, all volunteer charitable outreach that collects gently used furniture, provides a tax donation receipt and delivers to the family in need that has been referred by an advocate. For more information, see the poster on the Binkley church bulletin board, or contact the Furniture Project Director Jane Hathaway at  jhathaway1@ncrr.com  or 919-612-2759.


Binkley Preschool Registration Open
Binkley Preschool is accepting applications for the 2020-2021 school year starting the first week of December. Children of Binkley Church members will receive priority admission when their applications are received by December 31, 2019. Please visit Binkley Preschool’s website for more information and the 2020-2021 application: 

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Revised November 2016
Church Office Hours

Mon.-Thurs.
8:30 am - 4 pm

Friday
8:30 am - 3 pm
Publication Deadlines

Submissions for the January
Newsletter are due by:

December 16

Submissions for the weekly bulletin and Friday Update are due by:

Wednesday Noon
The Olin T. Binkley Memorial Baptist Church
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