December 2, 2020
Advent 2020 Has Begun!
Welcome to the season of Advent! We began last Sunday with the first week in our "Hope and History" series, and invite you to join us for the remaining three weeks. Learn more behind the series here.

There's still time to join the mailing list! Enhance and deepen your own at-home Advent journey with special devotional resources. Please complete this short form to get Shadow Rock Advent sent with love right to your mailbox, old school style. Contact Karen for more details.

A full Christmas letter is in the works and should be coming to you next week. Watch for more details about Advent and how we will celebrate Christmas Eve in new ways this year.
This Week Online
Wednesday (12/2): Connections Count on Zoom at 7:00 p.m.
A combination of celebrations and prayer requests, plus a chance to connect with our Shadow Rock family. Click here at 7:00 to participate.

Thursday (12/3): Spirituality Thursday
In December, Spirituality Thursday comes home for Christmas. Look for a new Spirituality Thursday video on our Facebook page each week with the theme "Leaning Into the Holidays." This week, it's Leaning Into Decorating.

Monday (12/7): Small Group Ministry on Zoom at 6:55 p.m.
Our focus for this small group series is mindful and safe holiday celebrations. You can expect supportive discussions and a welcoming Zoom space. This is the last small group gathering until after Christmas. Have ideas or areas of life in which you need the support of your church family? Email Karen to get the Zoom link!

Sunday, December 6
Virtual Worship is delivered to your inbox first thing in the morning.
Due to increasing positive COVID test results in our local area, we have returned to a Zoom-only worship experience. Click the Zoom link at 11:00 am in the worship email for music, prayer, sermon with discussion, and celebrations! Our Advent journey - toward the point of the wedgeblade of history and toward the manger of Bethlehem - continues this week. The Advent sermon series is "Hope and History." Re-visit Ken's explanation here.

Adult Spiritual Formation is at 10:00 a.m. on Zoom. The link is in the worship email. For Advent, we are exploring four songs in the gospel of Luke. This week's song is the sometimes overlooked prophecy of Zechariah, father of John the Baptist. Spiritual formation is a time to connect our values to our experiences. Expect fun and spirited conversations and an atmosphere of encouragement and welcome. 
More to Explore
Every year, we decorate our sanctuary with poinsettias for Christmas. Many people sponsor a plant in honor of a loved one. Because we are virtual this year, our flowers will also be "virtual." For 2020, we're simply asking people to let us know who or what they are celebrating, remembering, or lifting up this year. We're compiling the list and will publish it on Christmas Eve. No donation or money is necessary - we want to make sure everyone is heard during this unprecedented Advent season. You can send us your requests by using the form here by December 18th so we have time to compile the information.
The national UCC is offering a four-week webinar series during Advent called "A Season of Preparation: Faith-based Organizing Training for Justice." It asks "What will the world look like when justice comes? And how do we prepare for its arrival?" You can learn more about this event here. If you are interested in attending please email Pastor Ken. He will forward the link that allows you to join the classes. Contact him if you have other questions.
The holidays are usually a joyous time, but for some, it can be a difficult and troubled season. Southwest Conference Lay Minister for Disability Education, Advocacy, and Awareness Michael Curry has put together a document that might help. These resources for mental health range from general to specific niche groups, and are all free to use. Please reach out!
Our Church Family:
Please keep Misael in your thoughts and prayers as his asylum hearing is fast approaching on December 7th. Surround him and his family with love and support at this next step in their journey.
In case you missed it.... The Southwest Conference has made the video available from their "Decolonize Thanksgiving" webinar. You can find it here.
Heidi has recently created a new giving portal on our website! Now giving online is easier to use and navigate. You can find it here.

If you are an e-giver, you'll want to use the email address already associated with your giving in order to avoid creating multiple profiles. Contact Heidi if you want to double-check your address, or if you have any questions about e-giving.
Our Stewardship campaign "Together" continues. Thanks to those who have completed their Estimate of Giving Cards electronically. You have saved us much time and guesswork! If you are still waiting to complete your card, please do so as soon as possible. You can find the form to complete by clicking the yellow button below.
A quick reminder that Angel Tree gifts for A Stepping Stone Foundation are due back at their office by December 10th. Your tag should have had information about wrapping and labeling the packages. Please see the yellow button below for contact information if you have any questions about your Angel tags.
So many masks, so many choices! Which mask is best? Our Minister of Wholeness, Rev. Dr. Patricia StandTal Clarke breaks it down for us! Read her latest letter by clicking here.
Reminders While the Campus is Closed
  • Our mail service is on hold and being picked up more sporadically. If you have important mail that needs our attention, please contact Heidi and she will give you an alternate address so we can receive it quicker.
  • If you need any assistance securing groceries, medicine or toiletries, please contact us via email. We want to do our best to make sure everyone is safe and well.
  • One of the most important things we can do for each other during this time of isolation and distance is to keep in touch. We're a very social church family, and it's hard to be apart from one another! Try to take time every day or two to call, text, or email one of your Shadow Rock friends. 
Supporting Shadow Rock
Thank you for your love and support of Shadow Rock! Your financial support and donations are more important than ever as we go through this unprecedented time of uncertainty. If you have questions about giving electronically, please reach out to Heidi and she'll be happy to help! You can also give to our Pastor's Charitable Fund or Facilities Improvement Fund by clicking the yellow donate button below.

Miss a week? You can find previous Virtual Worship services as well as older editions of Rock the Week by going to our website and clicking "News" at the top of the page.
Rock the Week is published each Wednesday, and covers the upcoming week and future special events. To submit content for Rock the Week, please email no later than noon on Monday. We welcome all comments, criticisms, concerns, critiques, and compliments at the same address.