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Letter From the Pastor
 

Scotland in late November means days with little sunshine.  Sunrise each day was after 8:30 am and sunset occurred before 4 pm.  The fascinating part of these short days of sunshine is the location of the sun in the sky.  It sits very low in the southern sky.  In fact, there were several days when I was disoriented about direction.  Usually I am very good about knowing direction.  However, when the sun sits as low as it does in Scotland in the winter, there were times when I wasn’t sure if I was looking east, west or south.  Even at midday the sun sat so low it looked like a setting sun, or was it a rising sun. 

As we begin the season of Advent I think about the disorientation we can experience in our everyday lives.  There is so much that can be so troubling, in our lives, in our families, in our relationships, in our community, in our country, and in our world.  Sometimes it can make us wonder, where is God?

 

Added to this is the stress of wanting to plan and experience the idealized Christmas.  We tend to seek out ideals in our lives – the ideal job, the ideal relationship, the ideal children and homes and holidays and more.  Perhaps our longing for ideals is rooted in the desire for something more and better.  But, this can lead to grasping for 

an unrealistic ideal that undermines the reality with which we have been blessed.  The greatest danger of these idealized pictures is that they can lead us to see what we have – and often who we are – as insufficient, unworthy, unimportant or incomplete.  This is not how God sees us.

Advent is a time of reorientation.  Our gaze is directed to this present moment, imperfect yet beloved, fragile yet important, flawed yet beautiful, the very time and moment in which God chooses to meet, love, and redeem us.  This year we will draw upon the psalms of Advent to be given the prayer language of longing – longing for hope, longing for joy, longing for love, longing for glory.  Into the darkness comes the light – the light of the world, God with Us.  We wait, we prepare, we anticipate, we long.  Let’s allow Advent to be God’s gift to us of orientation – God’s loving and saving presence – in days of disorientation.

In Christ's Love,  

 
Pastor Ken
 
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By Ken Stanton

 

Christmas Cantata

"The Winter Rose"

by Joseph Martin
December 10th at 11:00 am Worship
Featuring Choir, Soloist, Narration, and Accompaniment
 
 
 
 

Food Pantry

First Presbyterian is collecting food and items for Churches Touching Lives for Christ (CTLC). CTLC is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven, faith-based pantry located in Temple that provides groceries, gently used clothing, and household items to Bell County residents who are struggling to make ends meet. There is a collection bin in the Atrium. On the last Sunday of each month the items we collect will be dedicated in worship and then delivered to the pantry. If you would like to volunteer your time to help out at CTLC talk to Pastor Ken or check out the CTLC website.
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sunday, December 3rd
 

Please join us after worship for lunch served by our Youth Group. This is a fundraiser meal for the Youth. We will have crafts and decorate Christmas cookies, sing a few Christmas songs and enjoy fellowship. Come join the fun!

 

Evening Advent Fellowship

 Dec 10 & 17 at 7:00 pm.

We will have fellowship, lighting of the Advent Candles, and a short Advent Devotional. Please bring snacks to share.

December 10

We meet at the home of Jo and John Elwood, 3405 Shady Hill Circle, Temple.

 

December 17

We meet at the home of Pat and Raymond Sypert, 5014 Sarah’s Way, Temple.
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Morning Circle

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

10:00 am in the Atrium

 
Evening Circle
 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

7:00 pm

At the home of Sylvia Wiley

 
 
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The next Session meeting will be on December 11th. The Session Report will be published in the January Newsletter.
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The church office will be closed on Monday, December 25th and Monday, January 1st. However, thanks to our truly dedicated and amazing volunteers, we will still deliver Meals on Wheels on those days.
 
 
Church-Windows-1
 
Looking Forward to
God Speaking in our Lives
  

 

December 3
First Sunday in Advent 
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
Celebration of Lord’s Supper
Sermon  -  Psalms in Advent Time: A Prayer of Longing and Hope

               

December 3
First Sunday in Advent 

Choral Cantata "The Winter Rose"

               

December 17
Third Sunday in Advent 
Psalm 126
Sermon  -  Psalms in Advent Time: A Prayer of Longing and Joy

 

December 24
Fourth Sunday in Advent 
Morning Service
Psalm 80
Sermon  -   Psalms in Advent Time: A Prayer of Longing and Love

 

December 24
Christmas Eve
Evening Service
Psalm 96
Sermon  -   Psalms in Christmas Time: A Song of Worship and Glory

 

   
 
1st Thursday of Every Month
 
O'Brien's Pub
Downtown, Temple

 

Faith on Tap is a relaxed gathering of people designed to seek God’s presence at the intersection of life and faith.  In the informal setting of a pub we gather on the first Thursday of each month for talk, questions, discussion, and sharing on various issues of everyday life and faith.

 
 
 ADULT
CROSS TRAINING
CLASSES
 

Fireproof

 Join us as we continue this class, led by Barbara Ritchie. Intended to equip us to strengthen our family relationships, the whole family will benefit from God's wisdom on the family relationship. The class will be held in the Fellowship Hall beginning October 15. Please fell free to invite anyone whom you think would benefit from such a class.

 
 

This Present Word

 Bible Study

 A’Lisa Ozment continues to lead this class using material from the Presbyterian Church (USA). 

The class meets in Parlor, downstairs.

 
 

December 2017 Calendar

Friday December 1
Open Date
 
Saturday December 2
Open Date
 
Sunday December 3
Cross Training - 9:30 am
Coffee Fellowship - 10:30 am
Worship - 11:00 am
Advent Festival and Youth Fundraiser Luncheon  -  Noon
 
Monday December 4
Meals on Wheels - 10:00 am
 
Tuesday December 5
Morning Circle - 10 am
Evening Circle - 7:00 pm
 
Wednesday December 6
Meals on Wheels - 10:00 am
Bell Choir Practice - 6:30 pm
Chancel Choir Practice - 7:30 pm
 
Thursday December 7
Faith on Tap at O'Brien's Pub - 6:30 pm
 
Friday December 8
Open Date
 
Saturday December 9
Open Date
 
Sunday December 10
Cross Training - 9:30 am
Coffee Fellowship - 10:30 am
Worship and Christmas Cantata, "The Winter Rose" - 11:00 am
Youth Group Christmas Party - 5:00 pm
Advent Group - 7:00 pm
 
Monday December 11
Meals on Wheels - 10:00 am
 
Tuesday December 12
Open Date
 
Wednesday December 13
Meals on Wheels - 10:00 am
Bell Choir Practice - 6:30 pm
Chancel Choir Practice - 7:30 pm
 
Thursday December 14
Writing Group - 1:00 pm
 
Friday December 15
Office Closed
 
Saturday December 16
Open Date
 
Sunday December 17
Cross Training - 9:30 am
Coffee Fellowship - 10:30 am
Worship - 11:00 am
Advent Group - 7:00 pm
 
Monday December 18
Meals on Wheels - 10:00 am
 
Tuesday December 19
Open Date
 
Wednesday December 20
Meals on Wheels - 10:00 am
Bell Choir Practice - 6:30 pm
Chancel Choir Practice - 7:30 pm
 
Thursday December 21
Open Date
 
Friday December 22
Office Closed
 
Saturday December 23
Open Date
 
Sunday December 24
Cross Training - 9:30 am
Coffee Fellowship - 10:30 am
Worship - 11:00 am
 
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
     with Communion  -  7:00 pm
 
Monday December 25
Meals on Wheels - 10:00 am
 
Tuesday December 26
Open Date
 
Wednesday December 27
Meals on Wheels - 10:00 am
Open Date
 
Thursday December 28
Open Date
 
Friday December 29
Office Closed
 
Saturday December 30
Open Date
 
Sunday December 31
Cross Training - 9:30 am
Coffee Fellowship - 10:30 am
Worship - 11:00 am