T O U C H S T O N E  -  A  M i d W e e k  B u l l e t i n

Second Sunday of Advent    
December 10, 2017   

Our Core Values: 
Spiritual Growth. Welcome. Justice-seeking



Please help our sanctuary look glorious with a display of poinsettias. See order form below.

Reflections for Worship ...  

Any Room Here?!
Isaiah 40:1-5
One of our core values as a church is "welcome" and Advent asks us where and when we are ready to welcome others - even God - into our daily lives. The UCC curriculum Faith Practices puts it this way... "Hospitality begins when we perceive ourselves and others as strangers in a community of welcome. Seeing Christ's presence in the other enables us to welcome Christ into the midst of the community, with all of the costs and joys of discipleship. Gentle, attentive, patient, and consistent care is required to create a community where members are intentional about seeking and welcoming all, especially those whose abilities, experiences, and cultural traditions are different from the mainstream of the current community. A community of hospitality is aware, sensitive, and open to divergent cultural practices. It reaches far beyond the limits of the familiar in a highly mobile world, transforming both the newcomer and the established community". 
Come join us this Sunday in the Sanctuary for worship at 10AM - during the time normally set aside for a sermon we will celebrate Las Posadas - a simple re-enactment of the journey Mary and Joseph made to find shelter before Jesus was born. We will sing a few songs, read a few prayers and learn about who needs our shelter, support and compassion this Advent season in our larger community. Thanks to John Gamber Thompson and others for preparing Las Posadas for us this year.
  -  Rev. John H. Pomeroy
Also This Sunday -
During worship we will hold our own, simple Las Posadas - a Christmas tradition celebrated in Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries from December 16-24, nine days before Christmas. The Posadas is an enactment of Mary and Joseph's struggle to find lodging. Traditionally, children, youth and adults gather at dusk, holding candles. Nine families agree to be innkeepers. Either sculptures of Joseph and Mary riding a donkey are carried in a procession or live characters perform those roles. The travelers follow. For eight evenings, the procession and travelers knock at an innkeeper's door and each night they are not allowed entrance. Everyone returns home disappointed. On the ninth evening, the innkeeper welcomes Mary, Joseph, the donkey, and the travelers. There is a celebration. Prayers are recited around the inn's nativity scene, carols are sung, a feast is enjoyed, and there are piñatas (papier-mâché hangings filled with candy and small toys) for the children. The evening ends with a candle-lit procession to the church for the Christmas Eve service. In our FCC version we will sing a few songs, listen to a few readings and learn of some present-day needs for support, compassion and shelter in our larger community!
Christmas Flower Request Form
Please help our sanctuary look glorious with a display of poinsettias. You may purchase one or more plants in honor or memory of a loved one. We will list all remembered persons in our Christmas Eve bulletin.
Your name ____________________________________________
In honor of ____________________________________________
In memory of ___________________________________________
Number of poinsettias ___________$8.50 each
Please make check payable to First Congregational Church of Pasadena
Poinsettias will be displayed Dec. 17th - 24th. You may take your plant home after the Christmas Eve worship service.  
Advent/Christmas preview of events. Save the dates! Details to come:
Sundays in church school - Pageant Prep each week
Sun. Dec. 10th - Posada during worship
Wed. Dec. 13th 11am-1:00 pm 
FCC Open House in the Church Office
All are invited to stop in for lunch and some cheer!
Thurs. Dec. 14th - Soup & Spirituality gathering at Pomeroy's house 6:30-8:30 pm
Sun. Dec. 17th - Children's Pageant/potluck
Sun. Dec. 24th - morning and 5 p.m. worship services; evening service followed by gathering in the parlors with food and drink

Worship Leaders  
Rev. John H. Pomeroy  
Rev. Marlene W. Pomeroy
Ron White
Kathie Arscott
Jeff Levison
James Maddox  
Rev. Stacy Thomas  
Pianist & Music Director   
Connie Washburn   
Church School Teachers
A combined class in Rm. 232 - the teachers are Krysty Leckrone/Jeff Tyler.  
Church Nursery (for infants - K) :
Jaquelyne Rodriguez/Kyle Pomeroy

Nursery opens at 9 :15 a.m. for early birds and then everyone comes to worship at 10:00 and stays through the Children's  Time and then heads to the nursery with caregivers and parents.   

Nina Kung   
Visit us at:  uccpasadena.org

Sermon Podcast
D id you miss a worship service and want to hear the sermon? Please visit uccpasadena.org and select 'podcasts' from the menu on top of the home page or click below

Office Hours
  Mon. - Thurs.
9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Lunch Hours
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. 
Tel. # 626.795.0696
Fax # 626.795.0698

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In this Edition...
Children's Christmas Pageant Info
FCC T-Shirts - order yours
Pasadena Master Chorale
    Lamplighter Outing
Updates: Pledge,
    Bad Weather Shelter
Flower Chart Sign Up
2nd Soup & Spirituality Dec. 14     

Children's Christmas Pageant - Dec. 17th
Plans are underway for our annual Pageant under the direction of Krysty Leckrone and musical director Connie Washburn. Through word and song it is a dramatic depiction of the Christmas Story. Rehearsals will take place on the three Sundays prior to the pageant (Nov. 26, Dec. 3, & Dec. 10). Please be in touch with Krysty Leckrone with any of your questions.We will have a potluck after worship that day; please sign up to bring food with Laura Kalayjian in the next few weeks.


Church T-shirts - order one today! 
I f we have 20 orders we will order a new batch of shirts - black with our Core Values listed: Spirituality, Hospitality, Justice. Please let Tara Barnard or Pastor Marlene know if you would like a children or adult size shirt. $10 children; $15 adults. Let's show our church pride at events by wearing our shirts.  
Lamplighter Group to Attend Pasadena Master Choral's Christmas Concert
Coordinator Regina Meyers has reserved 10 tickets so far to the event. You pay after you attend - see Regina for your ticket or reserve one on your own. Speak with Regina if you wish to go with a group from our church.

Saturday - December 9, 2017, 7:30pm
St Philip The Apostle Church
151 South Hill Avenue

Program Highlights:
Britten - Ceremony of Carols
Biebl - Ave Maria
Whitacre - Lux Aurumque
Paulus - The Road Home
... and some of your favorite traditional carols!

Presented to you on a Listen First, Then Give basis.
At the end of the concert, make a gift, as you are moved, as you are able
($25 suggested donation)
Reserve your seat today at pasadenamasterchorale.org since we are expected to sell out!

Pledge Update for 2018

We continue to receive pledges for 2018 and urge each household to fill out pledge cards and hand them in. Our Budget Committee will be putting together the budget in the next few weeks for us to review in January and our pledged income is a significant part of our budget. If you have any questions please speak to Vice Moderator Randy VanDeventer who is Chair of Budget; or speak with bookkeeper Celina McHugh or Treasurer Barb Bonzo for information about your current or future pledge. Many thanks to all who are working to complete their 2017 pledges.
Bad Weather Shelter Update

We have been informed that the Bad Weather Shelter will be open two months this year - January and February. We will attend the planning meeting this month and select two dates for our folks to prepare the meal. Details will be forthcoming after that. Thanks to Discipleship Ministry for coordinating this effort.

Flower Chart
We have the following openings to bring flower or "flour" for Sunday worship (Date is open: 12/31). If you sign up and give Nina $40 a beautiful live bouquet will be ordered for you. Or you may opt for the "flour" option which means that your $40 donation will be sent to a local hunger organization (LA Regional Food Bank) in your name and our wheat display will be on the altar. Please let Nina know when you sign up which option you would like.

2nd Soup & Spirituality Thursday Dec. 14th 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Pastors Marlene & Jake Pomeroy are hosting a second evening at their house during Advent to provide a little respite from all the doing this season. Church folks are invited to come and let us feed you with simple fare and then we will check in with one another and read a reflection. Please RSVP in advance so we can plan food for you and send you a copy of the reflection to ponder in advance.