Monthly Newsletter

 

THE CHRISTIAN MESSENGER

DECEMBER 2017

 

A CONNECTING Place

 

       It’s our vision to be disciples of Jesus who lovingly connect others with Him.

      After we conclude our “Good and Angry” study this coming Sunday, we’ll begin a Christmas study—“Meet Him at The Manager.” The familiar Bible stories of Christmas remind us how wonderful our God really is. He was doing some of His greatest work when He sent His Son Jesus into a broken world. As we will learn, God is still interested in doing a mighty work in our broken lives.

December 3rdWhen Someone is Angry at You

December 10thA God Who Uses Imperfect People (Matthew 1:1-17)

December 17thA God Who Does the Impossible (Luke 1:26-38)

December 24thA God Who Can Be Trusted (Matthew 1:18-25)

December 31stA God Who Keeps His Promises (Luke 2:22-39)

January 7thA God Who Leads Us to Worship Jesus (Matthew 2:1-11)

Sunday, December 10th, 5:30 p.m.

All-Church

Holiday Dinner

     Everyone’s invited to our All-Church Holiday Dinner on Sunday, December 10th, at 5:30 p.m. It will be good to get together as a church family for the holidays. The turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy and rolls will be provided. So, we’re asking everyone to bring a salad, vegetable and/or dessert. If you’re planning to attend, please sign up at the Connecting Place on Sunday.

Sunday, December 17th, 4:00-7:00 p.m.

Christmas Open House

     Tom and Cristie would like to invite everyone to their home for a Christmas Open House on Sunday, December 17th, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. They simply want to share the joy of the Christmas holiday with the church family. Plus, there will be plenty of food and goodies to eat. So, please take some time that day to come and share.

Sunday, December 24th, at 5:00 p.m.
 

Christmas Eve

Candlelight Service

We’ll be gathering as a church family for our traditional Christmas Eve Candlelight Service on Sunday, December 24th, at 5:00 p.m. The service will focus on the good news shared with shepherds outside Bethlehem that first Christmas—“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11) We also want to encourage everyone to invite family and friends to share with us for this special service.

 — A Note from Tom —

What if our church closed its doors?

What if our church closed its doors, would the Paxton area miss our congregation? Would it even notice that we were gone? These are certainly thought-provoking questions. Of course, we certainly have no plans of closing our church. But are we having an impact on our community? Are we reaching out to those who need Jesus and His forgiveness?

It is easy for a church to become like a social club, meeting weekly for the good of its members. However, Jesus wants His church to be more than a meeting place. When He came to earth that first Christmas, He came with a mission—“to seek and save the lost.” (Luke 19:10) While Jesus did many other things during His ministry, His focus was always upon bringing lost people into a saving relationship with God. His ministry of healing, teaching, and serving pointed people to their need for a Savior.

Now we, as Jesus’ disciples today, are to be continuing His ministry of seeking and saving people who are spiritually lost. In Luke 15 He told three stories about lostness—the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son. We are to be the shepherd desperately seeking his lost lamb, the woman passionately looking for her lost coin, and the father lovingly longing for his lost son’s return. But we cannot accomplish these purposes if we limit our ministry inside the four walls of our church building.

There may have been the day when people would on their own come to church, recognizing that they needed Jesus. But that’s not today! Instead, we need to go out into the community and reach out to those who need Jesus. Our ministry’s focus needs to change from what we do for ourselves in our church building to what we do for others out in the community.

I know that we have been putting a lot of emphasis on inviting others to come worship with us on Sundays. And I hope that you will take advantage of the holidays and invite unchurched friends and family to join us. But we’ll never impact our community for Christ just inviting people to come; we have to go out and minister to people in His name. That is our vision as a congregation—to be disciples of Jesus who lovingly connect others with Him.

The truth is the future of the Paxton Church of Christ is dependent upon our outreach into the Paxton area and its people. If the focus of our ministry doesn’t align itself with the focus on Jesus’ ministry, one day we will close our doors and the community won’t care.

DAILY BIBLE READING:This year we are encouraging everyone to read their Bibles on a daily basis. The theme for December’s reading is “God Prepares the Way.” The daily Bible reading is listed on our calendar and in our bulletin.

DECORATING FOR CHRISTMAS: We are decorating our church building for Christmas this Friday, December 2nd, beginning at 9:00 a.m. We need plenty of volunteers to help us.

SECRET PAL DINNER: Ladies, one last reminder about the Secret Pal Dinner at Sharon Kinzinger’s home this Saturday, December 3rd, at 6:00 p.m. Anyone interested in being a secret palthis year is free to attend. Please call Sharon at (217)249-2267 to let her know you’re coming.


CHRISTMAS POINSETTIAS:  We are decorating our church with poinsettias for Christmas. If you would like to help us by ordering a poinsettia, please fill out one of the forms included in Sunday’s bulletin. Be sure to let us know thename of the person or persons you’re honoring or remembering with your gift. The cost of a poinsettia is $10.00.

CHRISTMAS CANDLE: It’s been our longtime tradition to collect a Christmas Candle Offering during the holidays. The money in this offering will go to the Prairie State Christian Service Camp this year. The camp is currently in need of our financial support.

TV CABINET AVAILABLE: There is an old TV cabinet available that used to be in our church’s library, along with its contents. If you would be interested in any of these items, please see Tracy Epps.