Saint Paul Lutheran Church

 December Newsletter 2015

As we enter the Advent Season and prepare for the birth of the baby Jesus, we hope this e-newsletter will welcome you to be a part of the many activities here at Saint Paul, and help you to feel even more connected with God, each other and the world.

In Christ,
Saint Paul Lutheran Church Staff
Everyone is welcome!
Welcome to St. Paul's Holy Communion worship. We extend a special welcome to those who are single, married, divorced, widowed, gay, confused, filthy rich, comfortable, or dirt poor. We extend a special welcome to wailing babies and excited toddlers.
We welcome you whether you can sing like Pavarotti or just growl quietly to yourself. You are welcome here if you're "just browsing," just woken up or just gotten out of prison. It does not matter if you're more Christian than the Pope, or haven't been to church since Easter ten years ago.
We extend a special welcome to those who are over 60 but not grown up yet, and to teenagers who are growing up too fast. We welcome athletic moms, football dads, starving artists, tree-huggers, latte-sippers, vegetarians, and junk food eaters. We welcome you regardless of your political party, profession or the language you prefer to speak. We welcome those in recovery or still addicted. We welcome you if you're having problems, are down in the dumps or don't like "organized religion." (At times we're not that keen on it either.)
We offer a welcome to those who think the earth is flat, work too hard, don't work, can't spell, or are here because granny is visiting and wanted to come to St. Paul's.
We welcome those who are inked, pierced, both or neither. We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now, had religion shoved down their throat as kids or got lost in the midst of wine tasting and wound up here by mistake. We welcome pilgrims, tourists, seekers, doubters . . . and you!  

with us  in December

First Sunday of Advent, Nov 29 ~  9:30 a.m.  ~  Peace

The Advent Season begins as we enter into a period of anticipation and joy. Yearning for God's peace to come to the world and into each of our lives.

Second Sunday of Advent, Dec 6 ~ 9:30 a.m.  ~  Hope
Blessing of the Greens occurs as the worship space becomes decorated in anticipation of the Birth of Christ. 

Third Sunday of Advent, Dec 13 ~ 9:30 a.m.  ~  Joy
Lighting of the Tree - The Christmas Tree is lit on this Sunday of Joyous anticipation that Christ is coming.

Fourth Sunday of Advent, Dec 20 ~  9:30 a.m.  ~  Love
Lessons and Carols - We gather and read scripture and sing Advent Carols in anticipation of the coming of Christ. A day of beautiful music.

Christmas Eve, Thursday, December 24 
                    5:00 p.m. Children's Liturgy
This worship is for everyone but it is especially meant for children and young families. The children's sermon is the sermon. The hymns and liturgy are all chosen with children in mind. This service is for those who want to worship with children and see Christmas come alive through their eyes. This service includes the blessing of the Nativity.
7:00 p.m. Silent Night Holy Night
This worship seeks to capture the quiet beauty of the long journey of the wisemen, the quiet night of the shepherds accompanied by the singing of the angels, and the holiness of St. Mary as she pondered what it would mean to be the Mother of God. This service will be entirely by candelight.
                  11:00 p.m. The Christ Mass
This is the traditional Midnight Mass. It begins quietly and ends with the joyous pronouncement to the world that Christ is born! Candelight, Communion, Carols and Special Music make this a wonderful tradition for every family

Christmas Day, Friday, December 25
                  9:30 a.m. Worship
Christmas Day worship we come together to ponder what it means that God became one of us. This is a worship that is celebrated in the midst of the wrapping paper piles and the leftovers from Christmas Eve. Many blended families appreciate this opportunity to worship together.

Christmas 1, Sunday, December 27
9:30 a.m. Worship - Carols and Communion - Cookie Exchange to follow!
The twelve days of Christmas Celebrations continues with a communion service based entirely on Christmas Carols. Following worship we will come together and exchange "leftover" cookies. The way this works is we bring our left over cookies to coffee fellowship in a kind of "cookie potluck." In this way we get to enjoy each other's cookies as well as take some new one's home! Come and enjoy and celebrate Christmas for twelve days!
"God so loved the World that He gave His only Son"  John 3:16
Our school year has been rich and full.
We look forward to this month, filled with many opportunities to tell the Christmas story with family and friends.
Our Christmas program will take place on Thursday, December 17, at 6pm.  This year we will sing, dance, and share a favorite book, "B Is For Bethlehem."  We are beginning rehearsals now and know this will be a very special performance.
Our themes for December will be:  Religious Christmas, Christmas observations around the World.  Our alphabet letters will be:  Nn, Oo.  Our Shape is the:  Star. Our colors will be:  Silver and Gold.  Our number is 4.  In science we will study:  Magnets.
December 18 will be our last day of school this month, and we will return on Monday, January 4.
Thank you for your love and support this past year.  We look forward to sharing our days with you in the new year.

Your Preschool Staff
It is that time of year for purchasing Poinsettias. These can be purchased in memory of, or in honor of someone special in your life, and adds a great deal to our sanctuary decor for Advent and Christmas. Each plant costs $9 and will be used to decorate the sanctuary until Epiphany. Order forms can be found in your bulletins or by contacting Chris in the church office, 368-2747.

Thank you for helping to make our sanctuary beautiful for Christmas!
S.A.D.   Christmas
CHRISTMAS-  A word that brings memories to almost everyone.  Family, food, fragrances, laughter and my   best memories, music.  I love the music of Christmas.  I could go on and on about the different memories we each have of Christmas . However, for some people Christmas is a time of feeling depressed, tired, and grouchy.  They question, what is wrong with me and why am I in such a funk?  You, along with many other people may be experiencing (SAD),-seasonal affective disorder.  This is a type of depression that is related  to changes in season.  It typically will start in the fall and continue through the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.  With spring and summer, you begin to feel better and the symptoms go away.    There are steps you can take to make your mood and motivation   steady throughout the year.
Although the specific cause of SAD remains unknown, several factors seem to play a role.  One of the major factors appears to be the diminished amount of light.  A decrease of sunlight may offset your internal clock, triggering bio-chemical changes that can lead to depression.  A decrease in the production of Serotonin can lead to an increase in appetite, cravings for carbohydrates and lethargy can occur.
Treatment typically includes:  light therapy.(phototherapy).  This involves being exposed to   bright light  within the first hour of waking in the morning.  Light therapy mimics natural outdoor light and appears to cause a change in brain chemicals linked to mood. It  generally starts working in a few days to two weeks and causes few side effects.  Light therapy boxes are available without a prescription, however, you may want to talk with your physician about the best one for you.
There are things you can do on your own to help, too.  Make your environment sunnier and brighter, sitting closer to bright windows ,open your blinds, trimmimg tree branches that block sunlight or adding skylights to your home.  Being more fit can make you  feel better about yourself, too, which can lift your mood.
Advent is just around the corner.  Did you know that the liturgical color for Advent is blue?  This color in the church represents hope, expectation and waiting.  Some of these words are the opposite of depression.  Therefore, In the Church,  Blue Christmas is actually talking about a time of hope, expectation and waiting for the Good News.  So, if you hear people talking about Blue Christmas, they are speaking of the opposite which this article has been addressing.  Maybe remembering this, can help us when we feel down and we can turn around to remember what it is all about.
Merry Christmas and may you have good memories.

Remember you are loved.   
Marilyn (Parish Nurse)          

Salvation Army Bell Ringers Needed
Our church is ringing the bell for the Salvation Army Christmas Drive again this Year!!  Each year, our St Paul  members help the Salvation Army  raise money for the needy in  our community. What a special way  for us to help spread the Joy  of Christmas!
Sign-ups will be taken this Sunday after church (in the breezeway) Our Church has been given the weeks of   Nov 30- Dec 11   at the Downtown Lodi Post Office. This is a great location where you are sure to see many friends and acquaintances.

Sign-ups are for   2 hour shifts 10am- 4pm Monday through Friday. This is a wonderful l activity to share with a friend or family member.
Thank you for your participation
Angel Tree Program
Tis' the season of giving and we again are trying to provide for children in need through the Salvation Army Angel Tree.  Just select an angel tag, purchase some of the things listed and return it to the church by December 4 Be sure to include the bottom of the tag with the unwrapped gift.  If you have any questions call Ruth Ann Eichele at 334-6030.
Advent Dinner for Octogenarians:
Octogenarians, please plan to join us for a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, entertainment and a time to connect with each other.  Our annual Advent Dinner for St. Paul Octogenarians will be held, in Morton Hall, December 6th  following the 9:30 service.  If you need a ride please let us know when you call in your reservation at 209-368-2747.

We look forward to seeing you,
St.  Paul Friendship Ministry Coordinators
Christmas Play Extravaganza

Christmas Play rehearsals are happening on Sunday mornings during Sunday School (8:30) and we are very excited about this year's production. It is simple, allows for children of all ages to participate, and will be a lot of fun! We will be presenting this Play on Thursday, December 17 at 6pm, in the sanctuary. If your child is interested in participating, please leave a message with the church office, or email Monica.
E-Newsletters happening now!
Starting with November and December's newsletters we will be making a transition to an electronic newsletter.  During the two month transition you will be receiving the newsletter via email as well as regular mail. After December we will no longer be mailing them out. This will save us a couple hundred dollars a month in postage alone not including the cost of paper and printing. Printed copies will be available in the Narthex and church office.  You will notice a special card in the pew racks, asking for your name and email address please take the time to fill one out and put it in the offering plate. Thank you!
St. Paul Senior Connection Notes
The Mission of the St. Paul Senior Connection is to provide, with God's guidance, opportunities for ministry by and for senior adults in spiritual, service and social areas of our church and community.  We welcome seniors and friends to join events and activities on the Senior Connection calendar.  We welcome your ideas for future social, spiritual and service projects.

Calendar of Events:  2015
Festival of Trees Senior Day     Friday, December 4th    Museum, Micke Grove
Our annual Holiday Season event where we the many decorated trees throughout the San Joaquin County Museum.  Tickets:  $5.00   Contact:  Lorene Freggiaro, 931-3188
Ongoing activities
Book Club:  4th Wednesday of the Month.  Next meeting is November 25th at 2pm in the Fireside room. Come prepared to discuss your favorite book of the year that you've read. Each person will get 5 minutes or more to tell about their book.  Remember no meeting in December. Contacts:  Betty Roget, 365-7266 or Lorene Freggiaro, 931-3188
Knitting Group  1st and 3rd Wednesday Every Month beginning in September
Contact:  Pat Fredstrom, 268-2261
Calendar of Events:  2016
Game Afternoon                                 Sunday, February 21st             Morton Hall
Community Concert                            April                                        Lodi
Tour of UC Davis Arboretum              To be announced       
1776 The Musical                               Sunday, June 26th                    Stockton Civic Theatre
December Birthdays
Marie Boyd, Alexandra Burkhardt, Katherine Burkhardt, Joshua Churchill, Kim Churchill, William Churchill, Cameron Daley, Luella Dietz, Marilyn Dorr, Rick Engelhardt, Holli Erlenbusch, Christopher Faszer, Michael French, Nikki Froehlich, Craig Gallego, Marilyn Garcia, Rosilyn Gaudet, Joann Geiszler, Jonathon Gilbert, Leanne Goldhahn, Elsa Gross, Kylie Hall, Kara Halligan, Faith Harper, Patrick Hazen, Susan Heberle, Colleen Herzfeldt, Hines Josh, Robert Jaymot, Gary Kielhold, Randy Kirchhof, James LaRoe, Elmer Lautt, Richard Ledterman, Tarek Maier, Dustin Marzolf, Theresa Marzolf, Gavin McKeown, Jason Meyers, Nick Meyers, Nichole Peavy, Marlene Peterson, Glenn Pillsbury, Glenn Jr.Pillsbury, Rowan Pillsbury, Victor Plunkett, Walt Plunkett, Katie Price, Louise Pulliam, Erwin Rall, Karin Rogero, Ryan Rogero, Rachel Roth, Abby Rusch, Stacy Schafer, Kathy Schulz, Debbie Sharp, ElJoan Shealor, Clara Simpfenderfer, Hannah Simpfenderfer, John Stewart, Ken Takeda, Kenneth Theilen, Elizabeth Tobeck, Elizabeth Vincent, Mary Vincent, Hilary Wagner, Daryl Weisser, Brian Weist, Carl Wohl, Alice Wolff, Scott Woznick, William Wright, Michael Youdall.

December Anniversaries
Jeff & Paula Bennett
Paul & Liz Evans
Todd & Connie Fabian
Willie & Jan Flanery
David & Treva Fuso
Frank & Marilyn Garcia
Dan & Katie Graves
Harold & Janice Herdrich
Gary & Leigh Kielhold
Dean & Lenora Lagomarsino
Raymond & Arela Jean Ring
Leland & D'Arlene Rosenau
Jeff & Julie Thompson
Staying connected as a family, in the church and in the world, is important to us at St. Paul. Thank you for being a part of our church family.

In Christ,

Your Church Staff
Saint Paul Lutheran Church

The  mission of St. Paul Lutheran Church is to
Connect with God, each other and the world.  

The priorities in that mission are outreach to families with children and youth, deepening spirituality, strengthening stewardship, and developing leadership.  

The vision for St. Paul is to be an oasis, a place of refreshment, respite and renewal.
If you would like to be a part of this mission and vision, please contact the church office at 368-2747 or
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