Pastor Connection
December 17, 2020
Poems of Preparation
We continue with our Advent Theme: Those Who Dream. Last week, we heard Mary's song of joy - the Magnificat. This week, we read about Elizabeth, the cousin who helped her find the notes to sing. Today's poem from Sanctified Art by Sarah Are sets the scene for the story and shares the importance of love. I look forward to worshiping with you on Sunday.
Peace, Pastor Amy

Joy Like Water

Mary went to Elizabeth’s house,
Because that’s what we do when the world falls apart.
That’s what we do when the script is flipped,
When the rug is pulled,
When it rains inside.
We go home.
We find friends.
We find love.

So Mary went to Elizabeth’s house,
Harboring good news that must have felt like water—
Something capable of helping her float or pulling her under.
And only then,
Only there,
In the presence of a face that looked like love,
Does the word “joy” appear.

Mary said, “How can this be?”
The angel said, “Do not be afraid.”
Mary said, “May it be so.”
But when Mary went to Elizabeth’s house
And Elizabeth opened the door,
Joy—like a tipped cup of water—
Spilled out everywhere.

I imagine that Elizabeth laughed.
I imagine that Mary framed her growing belly.
I imagine that both women pressed palms to stomach
When that baby began to kick,
A holy ritual as old as time.
I imagine that God smiled.
And I imagine, that for the first time,
Mary could float.

Isn’t it always that way?
I could harbor joy to myself.
I could tuck joyful moments deep into pockets,
Saving memories of better days for long nights.
But when I share my joy with you,
When you open the door,
Joy spills out everywhere,
And it is love that helps me float.

** Art Work: "A Dream Confirmed" by Lisle Gwynn Garrity, LLC Sanctified Art
Join us for an All Church Zoom Coffee Hour
Sunday, December 20 at 11:00 a.m. AND
Thursday, December 24 at 10:00 a.m.
Join your fellow church members for a bit of fellowship and fun! This will be a time to connect and wish each other a Merry Christmas. Pastor Amy will bring some fun holiday questions to keep the conversation going. We will sing Christmas Carols on Christmas Eve.

Here is the Zoom Meeting link for Dec. 20:
Meeting ID: 867 9608 1077

Here is the Zoom Meeting link for Dec. 24:
Meeting ID: 853 8982 7452
Christmas Joy Offering
God has blessed the Church with incredible leadership in every time and place, but those leaders often need to be supported by their communities as well. This Offering, which is one of four special offerings collected by the PCUSA, addresses the support needed by some of our leaders, including supporting leadership development for communities of color, and providing support for Presbyterian church workers in their time of need. As we celebrate Jesus’ love in our lives at this time of year, our gifts bear joyful witness to the power of that boundless love that helps to change people’s lives. Follow in the tradition of the wise men and give this Advent season. We will collect the Joy Offering through December 23.
Help Us With the Candlelight on Christmas Eve
During our online Christmas Eve Service this year, we would like to feature pictures of our church members lighting a candle from home. We are hoping to offer a glimpse what we experience each year - the glow of candlelight illuminating the faces of our faith community. Will you help us? Please email pictures of you and your family lighting a candle to Pastor Amy amy@1stpresby. org. You may also text pictures at Amy's phone number in the church directory. All Pictures are due by Monday, December 21.
Ways To Serve During Advent and Christmas
Thank you for giving to Good News Christmas!
Thank you to all those who gave to Good News Christmas! With your generous gifts, our church was able to give $505 to help provide gift cards to families at Cunningham, Irving, and Royal Academy Schools. Families can purchase items or meals at local businesses. Thank you again for sharing a bit of joy during this time of year.
Hat and Mitten Tree
Even though we are not decorating a tree, we are still collecting hats and mittens for those who need them. We will be donating items to Cunningham elementary and People's Clinic. You may drop off items at the church office Monday through Thursday. We will be collecting them all December.
Adopt a Family and Gift Drives
Would you like to adopt a family? Our church is not organizing purchases this year, but there are a variety of ways that you can still participate. Click HERE for a list of participating organizations and contact information to get involved. You can donate toys, coats, or offer some volunteer hours. Thanks to the Cedar Valley Volunteer Center for distributing this info.
Adam Hamilton Bible Study
We continue each Monday at noon for this year’s 4–week Advent Study. We will follow Adam Hamilton’s new study, Incarnation. Each week, Hamilton will guide us through a discussion on the names of Jesus. The zoom link is The meeting ID is 878 4477 3994

The Tuesday Morning Bible study will not meet during Advent. We encourage you to join on us Monday's at noon.
Giving and Stewardship Campaign
Every year, our church fills out pledge cards. We pledge to give of our time, talents, prayer, energy, and money to the church's ministry. Thank you to those who have turned in pledges already. It is not too late to send a pledge card to the church office. Click HERE for an electronic copy. Hard copies are available in the office. Please let us know if you need one. Remember that you can also give online. Thank you for your generosity and please continue to give as you can.
Final Deposit for 2020
The final deposit of tithes and pledges for 2020 will be made on Monday, December 28. Please have your donations to the Church Office before 2:00 p.m. that afternoon. Thank you!
Holiday Office Hours
The church office will be closed on Thursday, December 24 and Friday, December 25. Then, again the next week on Thursday, December 31 and Friday, January 1. Please make plans accordingly
Thank you
We would like to express our sincere thanks for your words of sympathy and your prayers both during her illness and after the loss of Mom. It is never easy to lose someone you love but the love you have shown for our Mother will never be forgotten and will help to make this Christmas season a little easier to get through. With love and gratitude, the Davis family.
In Our Thoughts and Prayers
Prayers of Joy:
Ella LeeAnn Sittig, granddaughter to Marsha and Richard Platt, was born on Wednesday, December 9. We have been praying for mom, Kaitlin. Both mother and baby are doing well.

With our Sympathy:
Rick Mananga's grandmother passed away last week in Congo.

Lorraine Baker's cousin, Keith Detts, passed away a few weeks ago.

Updates and New to the Prayer List:
Florence Ramsell is at Northcrest recovering from a stroke and receiving therapy

Mary K Williams is at home after surgery.

Kason (Connie Leeper's daughter-in-law's nephew) is having brain surgery on Friday.

Steve Miller has returned home from having another surgery at University of Iowa Hospital again.

Rita Campbell who is dealing with health issues

Jan Bellinger, recovering from knee surgery at home; Lori and Suzanne (members of the Bellinger's family) who continue to deal with health issues; Jim Clarke receiving treatment for cancer; Gerald Buls receiving treatment for lymphoma; prayers of safety for Barbara Benksin's son who is a trucker; Joe Fernau (Marie's son), who is recovering from lymphoma; Neva Kerr, New Aldaya (Hospice); Paul Holtz, Hospice Care

Add to the Prayer List
Click HERE to submit a prayer request online. Our pastors will be praying for you and sharing concerns with the congregation as requested.
Happy Birthday!
20 Jim Walker
26 Darlene Roberts
28 Frank Swallow
30 Penny Bunger
31 Jane Christensen

First Presbyterian Church | Waterloo, IA | 319-233-6145 |