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LAMPLIGHTER - November 2016
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Congregational Church of Soquel

November 2016

MINISTER
Dear Friends in Faith,
  
Our annual Celebration of Giving is scheduled for Sunday, November 13 hosted by our 150th Anniversary Team. I hope you’’ll join us for this important event, its well worth your time. However, it does bring to mind countless bad cliches used to promote financial stewardship in the church. This is unavoidable I guess, considering that we’re called upon to participate every single year. Like clockwork, we keep ticking past this event hoping to capture, in a few short words, some easy formula for success. Here’s a few stewardship platitudes I’ve heard, accompanied also by my emoji reactions:
 
“When it comes to giving, some people stop at nothing.”  😏
 
“Don’t give till it hurts—give till it feels good.”  🙄
 
“Considering the amount some people give to the church, they must be convinced that it’s the little things that count.” 😶
 
“The Lord loveth a cheerful giver, but also accepteth a grouch.” 😠
 
“Those who give only when they are asked have waited too long…….” 😔💤
 
“The way some people give, you would think the church is coin operated.” 😩
 
Face it—no pun intended—these cliches just don’t work. They’re simply too corny, too boring,  too, I don’t know,…snarky?
 
But I found one that I do like:
 
“You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving.” 🤔
 
Think about it. In the church, giving is really not about stewardship as much as it is about love. The act of giving takes love out of the abstract and puts into the real world. And what is more, “Real world,” than a financial decision? When stewardship originates not out of habit, fear, guilt, pressure, toleration—or any number of other bad motivations—but rather, by way of love, then we’ve gone beyond a monetary transaction. In effect, we’ve entered into a genuine act of faith that demonstrates a shared vision, a means of encouragement—given and received, a work in common, a mutual blessing and a joyful collaboration! In short, when you give generously to your church you discover the beauty of God’s love in ways that you may not have anticipated, but, in retrospect, would never have wanted to miss. 
 
Peace,
 
Mark Fountain
Minister

Ministry Associate

Our busy season fast approaches with many special occasions to celebrate together. This month we share in our Celebration of Giving before Thanksgiving, reminding us that our gifts we give come from the gratitude we feel; for life and love and service. Immediately after Thanksgiving, we move into the Season of Advent, beginning the four weeks before Christmas, and we’ll start it off with our Intergenerational Advent Experience. Last year we had fun making Advent Calendars to take home and remind us of the anticipation of the Coming of Christ. This year we will make Ornaments together – but not just regular ornaments, we will be making Chrismons. These gold and white ornaments are named from the combination of Christ + Monogram. They proclaim in symbolic language the life and saving acts of Jesus the Christ. These will hang on our trees or be given away to remind us of the reason for my favorite season. Our Advent Activity will take place after our first Advent Worship Service on November 27th during our Fellowship Hour. This is an All-Church event with the young and old working together to make these beautiful symbols of Christ. Mark your calendars now!
            Once again I will be teaching our Advent Bible Study on Monday nights starting on November 28th at 7pm in Parrish Hall. This year we will extend our understanding of the Christian symbols that decorate this season and also explore our favorite Christmas traditions and their Biblical origins.
            Yes, November is full of very special occasions and activities here at Congregational Church of Soquel, and I hope every one of you will get into the joyful, grateful spirit of this time!!! Can’t wait!!    
            Looking ahead, Bob and I would like to extend an invitation to our Christmas Gathering and House Blessing on December 17th from 2pm – 5pm. We feel so grateful to be living here and enjoying our new home that we want to share the blessing with you. More details will follow but we wanted to be sure to put this on your calendars.
            With gratitude and love, Rev. Patti

 


NOVEMBER
3 Thursday

10:00 am Craft Group in Parrish Hall

6 Sunday
8:30 am Choir Practice
9:30 am Life & Worship
9:30 am Learning Classes
10:30 am Fellowship
11:00 am 150th Committee Meeting
11:00 am Board of Missions Meeting

7 Monday
7:00 pm  Eve Circle in Parrish Hall
10 Thursday
10:00 am Craft Group in Parrish Hall

13 Sunday - Stewardship Sunday
8:30 am Choir Practice
9:30 am Life & Worship
9:30 am Learning Classes
10:30 am Second Sunday Brunch
11:00 am Learning & Worship meeting in Community Room

14 Monday
8:30 am Alice Circle at IHOP
15 Tuesday
7:00 pm  Board of Trustees in Church Office
16 Wednesday
6:15 pm  Board of Deacons in Church Office
17 Thursday
10:00 am Craft Group in Parrish Hall
19 Saturday
10:00 Holly Day Boutique

20 Sunday
8:30 am Choir Practice
9:30 am Life & Worship
9:30 am Learning Classes
10:30 am Fellowship
11:00 Council Meeting

21 Monday
12:30 pm Lydia Circle in Parrish Hall
22 Thursday
10:00 am Craft Group in Parrish Hall
24 Thursday
10:00 am Craft Group in Parrish Hall
27 Sunday
8:30 am Choir Practice
9:30 am Life & Worship
9:30 am Learning Classes
10:30 am Fellowship
11:00 am Church Council Mtg
*Lamplighter Reports Due

28 Monday
7:pp pm Advent Bible Study


DECEMBER

1 Thursday
10:00 am Craft Group in Parrish Hall

4 Sunday
8:30 am Choir Practice
8:30 am Choir Practice
9:30 am Life & Worship
9:30 am Learning Classes
10:30 am Fellowship

5 Monday
7:00 pm  Advent Bible Study
8 Thursday
10:00 am Craft Group in Parrish Hall
9 Friday
Carols! Cookies! Cocoa!

11 Sunday
8:30 am Choir Practice
9:30 am Life & Worship
9:30 am Learning Classes
10:30 am Second Sunday Brunch
11:00 am Learning & Worship meeting in Community Room

12 Monday
8:30 am Alice Circle at IHOP
12 Monday
7:00 pm  Advent Bible Study
13 Tuesday
7:00 pm Evening Circle
15 Thursday
10:00 am Craft Group in Parrish Hall

18 Sunday
8:30 am Choir Practice
9:30 am Life & Worship
9:30 am Learning Classes
10:30 am Fellowship

19 Monday
7:00 pm  Advent Bible Study
19 Monday
12:30 pm Lydia Circle in Parrish Hall
20 Tuesday
7:00 Trustees Meeting
21 Wednesday
6:15 pm Deacons Meeting
22 Thursday
10:00 am Craft Group in Parrish Hall
25 Sunday
8:30 am Choir Practice
9:30 am Life & Worship
9:30 am Learning Classes
10:30 am Fellowship
11:00 am Church Council Mtg
*Lamplighter Reports Due

29 Thursday
10:00 am Craft Group in Parrish Hall

Moderator

November is arriving, so 2016 is rapidly drawing to a close. This is always a joyful time for us as Congregationalists as we celebrate Thanksgiving and remember our religious heritage that is built on the foundation of our Pilgrim parents. The approaching end of the year also means that the Leadership Recruitment Committee will soon be setting about their work of nominating the 2017 officer, committee and board candidates. Please prayerfully consider their request and think about how you can respond when you are asked to help share the load!
 
Enjoy this last month of fall and Happy Thanksgiving to all. See you in church.
 
David Miller, Moderator
 
DEACONS

Deacons last met on October 19, 2016.  Due to the third Presidential Debate that
night we tried to keep it short but productive.  We all signed a get well card for Ann Perkins who is recuperating at Pacific Manor.  Hoping to see Ann back in church as soon as possible!  Deacons continue to communicate with members and friends as needed.
I want to thank Cindy Boram, Joyce Trybom and Lynette Hamby for helping us clean up our Membership Rolls for 2016 and heading into 2017. One reason for accuracy is our
NACCC dues are determined by active membership. Also, Deacons have a continuing request.  We need more Announcers now and in the future!  Please let me know if  you
could help now or in the near future.


Faithfully,
Bill Abraham
Trustees
At our October meeting per the Financial Secretary this was a good month in receiving income for our church.  We have improved slightly over last month. We are running around $10,000 behind our budget which is the same dollar amount that we had in 2015.  Income comes from pledgers, donors, friends of the church and Outside User Groups. From our Treasurer we show a positive balance of $9,323.94, through the end of September.
 
This is because of You, our congregation, church family.  You have been so faithful in keeping your pledges up and so generous in your support of our extra events to help raise money for our church.  Our Faith Offering has taken in $8,618.50. Thank you to the Board of Fellowship, Alice Circle & Tea/Fashion Show Committee and to all who have participated in these events.
 
Speaking of Thank You - our new chairs will be in Parrish Hall in time for Stewardship Sunday!! Again, thank you to all who participated in our chair drive. Our church raised over $1000 toward these chairs and our User Groups raised the other half with their once a year equipment fee.  If you still would like to participate in the chair drive just make your check out to Congregational Church of Soquel and mark "chair" in the  memo line.  Each chair costs $50.
 
Ongoing work of Trustees: new signage coming for parking lot and along Center Street, to reserve spaces on the side of the church so won't have to walk so far from the parking lot.  A Budget Committe has been established for 2017 budget:
Lynette Hamby, Carol Parda & Chris Hanson.   We thank them for their efforts.
 
Most of you should have received your 2017 Stewardship packet.  Please review carefully and give to help our church continue for the next 150 years. Please have the pledge card in by November 13, 2016 which is our Celebration of Giving. This gives our Budget Committee & Trustees time to put together a working budget.
Also, on November 13th the Board of Fellowship is fixing a delicious "pie" 2nd Sunday Brunch.  This was a BIG hit last year.  Thank you to the Board of Fellowship.
 
As you know, the homeless population is a major concern in our county.  We have had some homeless people using our campus as a sleeping place.  This is a concern to us and not allowed.  We are working with the County Sheriff to help these people find other places to stay.
 
Last but not least, the sound system in the sanctuary seems to have developed a buzzing (or something) problem.  Trustees will be looking into fixing this annoying development so we all can hear better.
 
Thank you 
Joyce Trybom
Chairperson

Learning & Worship

We are always planning new events and ways to celebrate the seasons, our wonderful church, and the ways God works in our lives.  As I write this, I am thinking about my design for my car “Trunk or Treat” display.  This is our first year for this event, and so I have a few first-time jitters…will the kids think my display is cool?  And, more importantly, did I buy the right amount of treats: enough for the children, but hopefully not too much that I have to take home (a scary thought)!  This new Halloween event will hopefully be the right mix of a little bit of fun in a family-friendly way that will draw in new families to our church. 

Coming up in the future will be the celebration of Thanksgiving throughout November, with the church school sponsoring a 2nd Harvest Food drive, and our church having its annual “Fellowship of Giving” on November 13th.  We are also working on the big Advent and Christmas celebrations.  Don’t forget, this ministry helps coordinate the work of our church school, music and more, but I’ll try not to bore you with too much repetition!  Suffice it to say, we are working hard to come up with ways to make the message of God meaningful to all ages and to everyone.   

 

Respectfully submitted by Gloria Wells

Learning Coordinator
It is such a treat to work with our wonderful students.  They are so full of love and enthusiasm and eager to learn more about our Lord.  They are also so generous and faithful about bringing their offering.  I am so proud of them.
We really enjoyed singing in church on Mission Sunday – October 16.  We also had fun at our bake sale where our students raised $175 for the Mid County Homeless Coalition.  A special thank you to all those that donated and purchased these yummy treats!  Also, a big thank you to our students for doing such a great job.
We look forward to Reverend Patti joining us on November 20.  We also are looking forward to all the wonderful activities ahead of us as we celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas.

May God Bless You,
Cindy Boram
Learning Coordinator

Fellowship

Fellowship does not have an article for this month's Lamplighter.  And it's because there is no "new" news.

 

Thank you,

Kathy & Steve Gullickson

Are you someone who doesn't like seeing Christmas decorations up before Halloween?

Yep, me too.  But, when it comes to holiday music, I enjoy hearing it now and then before the season is officially upon us.  That definitely is true with respect to choral music.  Good thing, because rehearsals of Christmas music have begun here at Congregational Church of Soquel.  Stay tuned for thoughtful and festive music just around the corner for advent!  

We hope you'll join us for the annual Choir program during the December 18th service.  Several choir anthems will be featured, along with perhaps one from the Ensemble.

Christmas Eve will feature the ensemble this year, followed by a joyful Christmas Day Sunday service with the Choir in attendance! 


In other news, maintenance repairs are well underway on the organ and chimes to get both back in tiptop shape.  


Musically yours,

Juli Sanderson

Music Team Coordinator

Book Reports


The Necklace, by Cheryl Jarvis
(302.3 JAR)

Four years ago, in Ventura, CA, Jonell McLain saw a diamond necklace in a local jewelry store display window.  The necklace aroused desire first, then provocative questions: Why are personal luxuries so plentiful yet accessible to so few?  What if we shared what we desired?  Several weeks, dozens of phone calls, and a leap of faith later, Jonell bought the necklace with twelve other women, with the goal of sharing it.

The necklace weaves in and out of each woman's life, reflecting her past, defining her present, and making promises for her future.  Lending sparkle in surprising and unexpected ways, the necklace comes to mean something dramatically different to each of the thirteen women.

With vastly different histories and lives, the women show us how they transcended their individual personalities and politics to join together in an uncommon journey.  They discovered that sharing the necklace among themselves was only the beginning: The more they shared with others, the more profound this experiment and experience became.

Reviewed by Pat Jones

When God Whispers Your Name by Max Lucado (248.4 LUC)

If you like sermons, read "when God Whispers Your Name."  A chapter or two a day can make you feel spiritually well fed.

Even if you don't like sermons Lucado's conversational and almost humorous writing style could probably get through to anyone.

Every few pages is a new anecdote that relates to the title message of God speaking personally and peacefully in small and/or large ways.

This is a great read.  The book is available for check-out at The Seabert Library at "coffee time" between 10:30 am - 11:00 am on Sundays.

Submitted by Library Committee member Katharine Burke

Prayer Report


September's Prayer Report covered 49 Prayer Band requests and updates and 74 Prayer Meeting concerns.

The October Report includes 22 Prayer Band requests and updates plus one Prayer Meeting covering 64 concerns.

the November meeting date will be reported after it has been set.

Thanks and appreciation to all who prayed.

Cay Melendy, corresponding coordinator

Library

There is a mini series in our library called "The Uncommon Hero Series" 
consisting of two books  written by Dee Henderson.  It is stories of 
Honor and Valor and Love among our armed forces in today's war setting.  
The first book is entitled "True Valor"  in which Lt Grace Yates, is a 
fighter pilot on an aircraft carrier. Her love interest happens to be 
Major Bruce Stanton, an Air Force para rescue jumper  whose job is to 
jump and rescue downed pilots behind enemy lines.  It goes without 
saying that his most meaningful jump is to rescue Lt Yates who was 
forced to eject from her F/A-18. The second book, entitled "True 
Honor"  that tells the story of Darcy St James, a retired CIA agent who lost 
friends on 9/11. Through her many contacts she is trying to locate a 
person of interest who had prior knowledge of 9/11 and was going to 
profit from the info.  She seeks the assistance of  Chief Petty Officer 
Sam Houston  and his SEAL Team.  Sam is very busy considering that 
Darcy's name has been moved to the top of a very short list of persons 
wanted to be eliminated by the terrorists.  Darcy & Sam's relationship 
flourishes into  a love relationship that may be very short if the 
terrorists have their way.

Both books highlight the difficulties encountered by our armed forces 
when trying to balance a romantic relationship, in the midst of combat 
and still maintain a relationship with their God and "do the right thing."
Richard Jones

Learning Ways Christian Preschool

 

Learning Ways Christian Preschool Classes: October 2016

Best Friends have had a wonderful month learning, doing, playing, caring , sharing, praying and celebrating!

Our butterflies have been hatching! It has been very exciting to come into our classroom and see new butterflies emerged from their cocoons. Best Friends have celebrated each butterfly's release in our play yard! We have been amazed how God creates and egg... which hatches into a caterpillar... who then creates its own cocoon... and a beautiful butterfly emerges from that!
 
Best Friends collected coats, jackets, raincoats and sweatshirts for our annual Coats For Kids coat drive. Best Friends know we help do God's work in helping that no child will feel cold or wet this winter. They are very concerned and sincere in their efforts. 

Best Friends have studied the letters Bb and Cc and numbers 1 one uno and 2 two dos. We have covered the colors purple, orange and black as well as circle, rectangle and triangle shapes.
We are learning the Books of the New Testament and several Bible verses which we will share when we come to sing in church on November 20th! We have learned about the great, unfailing love our Lord has for us and the many ways He shows us this love. 
We have learned how to pray: 1. Open our minds to God  2. Quiet our mouths and hearts  3. Bow our heads and fold our hands  4. Speak to God with thankfulness and rejoicing! (Amen!) 

We are so happy to see our sunflowers, tomatoes and chard growing in our garden boxes, as well as the starts we took home!

We thank Mr. and Mrs. Hale for the wonderful (BIG) pumpkins they planted, grew and delivered to our classroom! The children have had a wonderful time decorating them and pretending each has a distinct personality!

We also thank our super volunteers who have come in to visit this month: Story Teller Dan; Grandma Robin; Grandma Patti; Nana Abraham; and Grandma Kitchy. They all make our program so very special as they share creative stories and songs with us! 

We are winding up our month with Spooky Good Fun! Our Best Friends have enjoyed Halloween Crafts, Songs and Stories and a super fun trip to the Pumpkin Patch! Next up will be our Halloween Party which lands on Halloween this year!

Thanks again for all our Congregation's interest and support!
God bless you all!

 Teacher Marji and Teacher Bethany 
God bless and keep you all!
Teacher Marji and Teacher Bethany

 







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Congregational Church of Soquel · 4951 Soquel Drive · Soquel, CA 95073 · USA

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