We are a joyful community of faith, hope and love
who by the irresistible Grace of God are:
Drawn In to experience God's grace
Draw Together to embody God's grace
Drawn Forth to extend God's grace
Sunday, December 22, 2019

SERMON: "Make the Nations Prove: Peaceful Joy"
Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Broschart

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel. - Isaiah 7: 10-16 

Let the sea laugh, and all that  fills it; the world and those who  dwell in it! Let the waters clap their hands; let the hills ring out with joy before the Beloved, who radiates Love  to all the earth. For Love reigns over the world  with truth and justice bringing order and balance to  all of Creation.  - Psalm 98 (translation, Nan C. Merrill) 

"Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means, "God is with us.” - Matthew 1: 18-25 

Synopsis: The name Emmanuel means “God with us.” From both the Hebrew and Christian narratives, we hear the yearning for this “Emmanuel”–for God to become so present that God’s peace, truth, love, and justice reign among all the world and bring balance to what feels out-of-sorts. Our Psalm in this series names the joyful expression of all creation as the response to the news that the Prince of Peace, Emmanuel, is coming at long last.

Christmas Eve Service
Caroling begins at 6:30 p.m. with a 7 p.m. service featuring choral and instrumental music, The Christmas Story, communion and the singing of "Silent Night" in the candle light.
Community Christmas Day Dinner
The annual Christmas Day Dinner will be served from Noon to 2 p.m.

Carryout and delivery are available by calling the church at 231-582-7983.

Donation Only.
An Update from from the Veltmans - mission co-workers in Ethiopia
Last week, Than participated in admission interview of prospective students for the 2020-2021 school year. It was a great opportunity to experience some of the process of student enrolment, but was particularly insightful into the kinds of students who hope to enroll at EGST. Two prospective students especially stood out: Tekle and Beza. 
In his interview, Tekle shared how his family has moved to Eritrea over 20 years ago when the border was still open. When it closed, they were unable to return to Ethiopia. Just last year the border was reopened and he returned to Addis Ababa with his wife. Now, the border is closed again. But he wants to enroll at EGST so he can be equipped for integrating healthcare with local schools. He noted how difficult it is for children and family when they are sick and need to miss school and work to see a doctor; sometimes, parents are forced to forego doctor visits for their sick children because they can’t afford to miss work. By bringing healthcare to the school itself, these issues can be partially resolved. Tekle sees EGST as an important step in gaining skills in community development, particularly issues relating to gender and health, and for his vision to bring healthcare to local schools.

Beza is also concerned with healthcare. Afterall, she is a medical doctor. But her vision is to be a medical missionary throughout Ethiopia and beyond. She shared how her experience as a medical doctor deepened a desire for linking healthcare to community development and the various other issues people face on a daily based. Most importantly, though, she wants to enroll at EGST so that she can gain a deeper understanding of the integration of health and theology, all for the express purpose of caring for people physically and spiritually. She sees her role as a doctor is an opportunity for ministry hopes to minister to the sick through medicine and spiritual care.

Stories like these are humbling and inspiring. It is exciting to play a small part in equipping students for the vision that God has given them. Hearing these stories remind us that there is a great need and desire for advanced education in equipping Ethiopians for service to the church and society. We are honored and blessed to witness to these stories. Thank you for all of your generous support that allows us to serve here!
Support Update: As we look toward 2020, our monthly budget will be increasing by $268. Would you pray about joining our monthly support team or increasing your monthly support? If you’d like to join our monthly support team or give a year end gift you can do so at the link below or by check to the address below.
United World Mission
PO Box 602002
Charlotte, NC 28260-2002
Lifetree Café - December 22
The Spirit of Santa

Was Santa Claus an actual person and how has he become such a huge part of Christmas? Let’s find out together during “The Spirit of Santa” next week at Lifetree Café.

What does the spirit of Santa really mean? Let’s hear from Mark and Teresa McGraw, a couple who professionally play the roles of the Clauses during “The Spirit of Santa” this week at Lifetree Café.

What is your favorite Christmas memory?
The coordinators of the annual Christmas Day Community dinner are requesting pies...homemade if you are so inclined! Monetary donations are also accepted.

Please email the office at or sign the sheet in the fellowship hall.

The dinner will be served from Noon to 2 with delivery available by calling the church office at 231-582-7983.

By giving to the Christmas Joy Offering, you honor God's gift of Jesus Christ by providing assistance to current and retired church workers in their time of need and developing our future leaders at Presbyterian-related schools and colleges equipping communities of color.