The Messiah Minute
The Messiah Minute is a weekly message e-mail to highlight news and upcoming events. If you have a special church-related item that you would like to include in The Messiah Minute, please contact Sandy Cooper at (or call the office at 598-1188) prior to WEDNESDAY.
As we all know, Messiah is known for being a friendly congregation, and that begins every Sunday morning when we arrive for worship and are welcomed by one or two of our greeters. A new Greeter roster for 2021 is being prepared. If you would like to be a part of this important ministry, please contact Randi VenHuizen at or 403-216-3067.
The thirteen bishops of the class of 2019 will be leading a joint synodical Epiphany of Our Lord service. This service will be streamed on all the synod social media platforms and on the Southeastern Synod’s Facebook and YouTube channel. Join in as we confess, lament, lean into the light of God shining brightly in Holy Scripture, proclamation of the Word, and musical offerings from across the church. Tune in on Wednesday, January 6 at 8 pm on the ELCA Southeastern Synod's YouTube channel:
Beginning January 10th and into part of February, we will do a sermon series entitled “When Life Gives You Lemons,” which aims to address common struggles in the faith: Why does God allow us such hardship? For example, why is there suffering? Why is life unfair? Why do I have feelings of insignificance? “Why does God allow such terrible things like a virus?” We will examine what the bible says about these things and seek to find God in the midst of hardship. The series will conclude on Sunday, February 14th, Transfiguration Sunday.  
Please mark your calendars to join the Men's Club to take down the Messiah Christmas Tree on Saturday, January 9, 2020, at 8:30 am. 

If you can help take down the remaining Christmas decorations, please be at the Church on Friday, January 8, 2020, at 8:30 am.  The Nativity scene in the Sanctuary and the decorations on the window ledges and in the Narthex all need to be taken down, packed away, and labeled for easy access next year.  Questions? Call Jill Poole 912-441-7170.
Ladies...we are GO for the Epiphany Tea. We will meet in the Fellowship Hall on Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 10 am. There will be round tables with 2-3 people per table. We will have tea and our usual assortment of “goodies”! 

Our special “entertainment” this year will be Making Mats for the Homeless. We ask that you bring a pair of scissors. We will do our Secret Pal reveal and assign another year of pal sharing. If there are ladies who would like to “Zoom”, please let the office know; and we will see that you get link information. Let’s welcome the New Year together.  
Many of you enjoy the devotionals in the booklets The Word in Season and Christ in Our Home. The Word in Season booklets for the first quarter of 2021 have yet to arrive. A call to the publisher Augsburg Fortress revealed that the shipments are still somewhere in the U.S. Postal Service system. If they still have not arrived by January 4, Augsburg Fortress will reprint them and ship them again.

While you wait, you can sign up to receive a daily devotional in your email inbox beginning January 1. Following is the link for individuals to sign-up for a temporary email delivery of the devotionals until your booklets arrive:

There is still an opportunity to donate flowers for January 24 (one vase).

Now is the time to sign up to donate flowers and the eternal candle next year—there are lots of open slots!

Call or email the office to reserve a vase if you are unable to sign up in person (598-1188 or
January's food is Mac & Cheese.
The next live streaming and in-person regular worship will be at 9 am on Sunday, January 3. 
To attend in person, register for the service by contacting Sandy Cooper, our office administrator, no later than Friday at 9 a.m. (; office telephone: 912-598-1188). You and your party will be assigned a seat in the sanctuary, which has pews cordoned off for social distancing. The usual COVID-19 safety guidelines are followed.

This service will be live streamed at 9:00 am at Messiah's You Tube page, then taped and posted to YouTube shortly after 10:30 am Sunday, for those you prefer to continue watching the service online. Messiah's YouTube page is available here.

A link to the YouTube service will be posted on Facebook and  You can access the bulletin by clicking here or visiting the website.
The Christmas story in John 1 doesn't have shepherds or angels. Jesus' origins are hearken to the creation story in Genesis 1 "In the beginning was the Word...." Within the gospel reading’s profound words lies the simple message that God is revealed in a human person. Though we may try to understand how the Word existed with God from the beginning of time, the wonder we celebrate at Christmas is that the Word continues to dwell among us. Questions for reflection: If you were to tell the story of your life, could you find more than one place where you could begin? Was your Christmas as good as you hoped for? Why or why not? John says Jesus is the "Word made flesh." How would you describe God becoming human as Good News for someone new to Christianity? 
This is the final installment of our history in The Minute. We hope you have enjoyed these weekly installments that covered the beginnings of our church. If you would like to read the complete history of Messiah's early years, copies are available in the church office. We will always be indebted to Jean Williams for her dedication to this project. Perhaps we need to write another section of our history. Might you be interested?  
MESSIAH’S HISTORY: “WHERE TWO OR THREE...1993” Excerpt from The Early History of Messiah Lutheran Church…1973-1995 by Jean Beckmann Williams, page 15. For an altar, a slightly scuffed five-foot-long table, which was available in the meeting room, would be made a few inches higher with blocks and then covered with a beige linenlike material (constructed “like a toaster cover”). The most desirable placement for the altar happened to be directly in front of a storage closet that had no door. The committee’s solution was to construct a curtain of the same material as the altar cover and hang it on a suspension rod–a perfect dossal! Materials were purchased and the altar cover, the dossal, and the fair linen were constructed by a Savannah seamstress. The fair linen was broadcloth, which was practical for use in a temporary situation. The colors of the liturgical seasons would appear on the pastor’s stole.

A friend from St. Paul’s, Frederick Reiser, made an altar cross of mahogany, along with two banner stands. Elda Meiers donated brass candleholders, and Kala and Jim Peper found lovely reed offering baskets. A tall flower stand held a brass baptismal font on the left side of the altar, and a matching stand on the right held flowers. The members of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Garden City kindly lent two beautiful flower vases. A very special gift of three beautiful banners came as a gift of love from the Pepers’ former church, First English Lutheran in Goshen, Indiana. Two were designed for the front of the chapel and one was held in reserve for the Sunday School. Miss Helen Bjorkman, the Pepers’ dear friend from Goshen, designed and made the banners.

For Communion, a corporal was made from the same material as the fair linen. From the Pepers and the Williamses came silver trays (for use with disposable plastic communion cups). A salad plate became a paten, a silver pitcher became a cruet, and a carafe became a flagon. A lovely cutwork luncheon cloth from Jean Williams’ linen closet would serve as a veil, the matching napkins as purificators.

A start-up gift of fifty hymnals had been made by Mrs. William F. Pelcher Jr. of Savannah and Mr. and Mrs. James F. Gerding of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. (The Gerdings make this gift to every new mission.) The committee decided on a Rodgers Classic Keyboard C-100 organ, a single-keyboard instrument offering piano, organ, percussion, orchestral, and contemporary sounds. Colleen Tolle, a student, would be our summer organist.

It was decided that the Sunday service would regularly be followed by a social hour, the many details of which would be planned by Doris Otto. Families would sign up to handle the social hour in rotation, under Doris’ supervision.