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Congregational Church of Soquel


Dear Friends in faith:
The season of Advent has arrived! Here, at the church, we enjoy a series of activities that help celebrate the four weeks prior to Christmas. Taken together, they give rise to feelings that help bring meaning to a changing—sometimes unfamiliar—world, but in familiar ways we know and have come to love. In short, we sing Christmas carols, light candles, and, of course, tell the story of Jesus’ birth.
These, and other activities we call, “traditions.” Nothing wrong with “traditions,” per say. Except, that is, when they produce the kind of repetitive behavior that prevent us from identifying their true value—not a matter of resting beneath the soft blanket of the past, but rather, an awakening of faith in God amid the present moment of our lives.
Maybe that’s why Advent is not shaped around themes of fulfillment, but expectation, not a search for answers, but questions, not merely a desire to “arrive,” but instead, the impulse to “embark.” Advent does not call upon a desperate need to grasp at some illusive certainty, but, rather, the freedom to reach for that which is unfolding, opening our hands to a divine gift we never imagined.
So, during this Christmas season, can we find renewed meaning in the traditions that we honor? Who can know where they may lead us? These rituals might appear old. But consider, for example, the light of that candle you may be holding this Christmas Eve in our Church Courtyard. Will it shine so as to illuminate some dark corner of the earth in need of God’s compassion and your response? When you lift its flame into the crisp darkness of a winter’s night, will it reveal a new vision for our culture, casting a light bright enough to expose the violent and intolerant chaos we have witnessed this year, and replacing it, instead, with the brilliant promise of God’s justice and peace?
And, what about the spirit of those joyful carols, vibrating from our diaphragms—Joy to the World or Hark the Herald Angles Sing?  Will the hope they express find a hearing among people otherwise alone, isolated or in despair? And finally, there is the story we tell of God, entering our humanity by way of Jesus’ birth? Will this story make way for a sequel, giving new birth to that very same love, alive and well in our own stories? These are the questions waiting to be answered by the promise of Advent, for it is, the promise of God with us.
Mark Fountain, Minister
November has been an amazing month.  We had so many wonderful activities. Stewardship and the Second Sunday Brunch was wonderful.  Such care went into the letter that we all received asking for financial support.  Thank you, Bob Weers and Pat Ferguson for all of your hard work and dedication and thank you to our wonderful church family for your commitment .  To the Board of Fellowship – You are all amazing!  Thank you for taking such good care of all of us.

To our Craft ladies – Wow!  I can’t thank you enough on behalf of our church for all the years you have worked so hard to treat us to such wonderful Christmas Fairs.  I have special memories of all those ladies that worked to make it special for all of us. We love you dearly!

I was so touched by the special confirmation service for our seven wonderful young people.  It touched all of our hearts to hear them share their statements of faith.  It is so obvious just how much they love our Lord and their willingness to share that love with us at church and our community.  May God Bless each of them.  Thank you, Reverend Patti for your instruction and guidance. 

We also had a wonderful Thanksgiving potluck dinner together.  It was so delicious.  Most of all I loved seeing the fellowship and love in the room.  We have such a wonderful church family!
A big thank you to Gloria for organizing the time capsule that will be opened in fifty years.  The special box will be placed in the show case at the end of the year.  If you have a little something you want to place in the box, please get it to Gloria.  This has been an amazing year!  So many wonderful activities to celebrate our 150th birthday.  A big thank you to our 150th committee and our wonderful leader, Dave Miller!

Feeling Very Thankful!
Cindy Boram, Moderator

Ministry Associate
December 2nd begins the Advent Season for 2018; so, what is Advent you may ask? Advent means “coming” and since the early days of the church it was established as a time of waiting expectantly for the Christ child to come. It originated out of a desire of the early church to provide a period of preparation and reflection before the celebration of Christmas. It begins the 4th Sunday before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. There are many signs and symbols we use during this season to remind us of various aspects of our faith.

Advent wreaths and Christmas trees, with their fragrant evergreen boughs, symbolize the hope of life everlasting, the green color reminding us of the growth and new life found in Jesus. Candles remind us that Christ is the light of the world and has come to dispel the darkness. Our Bethlehem Star shines bright to guide us to the manger where we may once again experience the miracle that is Christmas.

Look around at all the symbols in our Christmas decorations that lead us to Christ and the love and joy of this season. Be sure to join in the fun as we gather on December 2nd during fellowship hour, to design our Advent Star that will point the way to the coming of the Christ Child. During this busy season, take time to reflect and prepare your hearts for God’s love and grace offered at this Holy time. Come to our Advent Bible Study on Mondays and share in our journeys of faith. And pray for Peace in our world as we share our blessings with others.
Merry Christmas and Blessings to You All, 
Rev. Patti
What a wonderful month November has been.  To have a Confirmation Class of 7 of our young teens is a very big blessing.  These young people are such a good reminder of what the Trustees and all of our congregation are working for, to keep our church up and running for many, many years to come.
As we all know, the Trustees are responsible for the management of our church's financial resources and for keeping the facilities in shape and in working order.  This is, and will continue to be an ongoing process and it is taken very seriously by the Trustees.  It is the time  of year
when we need to gather all of your Stewardship Pledge cards so we can determine our budget for 2019.  I know that this is the Holiday Season and a very busy time for all of us.  However,if you haven't filled out and returned your 2019 Pledge card, please do so now.  It is not too late and it is always APPRECIATED and NEEDED.
Just to let you know some of the items the Trustees are looking to have done to our campus:
Put new flooring in the main room in West Building (should be done by 12/3/2018); Replace
a window in West Building that is letting moisture in; Put up a light on top of Storage Building
facing the Main Street area of our parking lot; Bring the bark in our play yard up to safety standards.  That should keep us busy and we always have our eyes open and welcome your suggestions for areas that need attention or for fund raising activities.
Wishing You a Holiday Season full of God's Love,
Joyce Trybom
Chairperson, Trustees

Board of Fellowship
On November 11th, after the special "Celebration of Giving" service, the Fellowship Board hosted the final Second Sunday Brunch of the year and provided some wonderful savory and sweet pies, a feast that we all look forward to each November.
Mark your calendars for the evening of Friday, December 7th – it’s Carols, Cookies and Cocoa time again!  The Fellowship Team will be offering hot beverages and holiday cookies in Parrish Hall when carolers return from spreading Christmas joy throughout the Soquel neighborhood.
Holiday Blessings,
Judy & Rick Peretto
Kathy & Steve Gullickson

Ministry of Learning and Worship
It's that wonderfully busy time of year!  I hope you will join us for some of the festivities.  We have the Advent Adult education series on Monday nights at 7, Dec 3-17.  The series will "kick-off" with our Advent celebration on Dec 2nd during Fellowship, where we will be making an Advent star or two.  There is our worship series in church, "Present and Accounted For", and later our special Christmas Eve service.  Always uplifting and amazing is our Christmas play put on by our students, happening on December 9th….  This is also final moment to bring something for the Second Harvest Food drive – please keep adding to the barrels in Parrish Hall, for people in need.

I won't repeat everything in the Music Report, there's just too much to list!  Let's just say Carols, Cookies & Cocoa (Dec. 7th), and lots of fabulous music throughout the entire month – so check your e-mail & bulletins for details on the many rewarding events that our church has to offer.

Just a quick thank you to everyone for making our Thanksgiving and Confirmation Sunday so memorable and special. The students gave their statements of faith, which were heartfelt and touched us all.  I hope that everyone who wanted to contribute to the time capsule did so, but for those of you that missed it there is a "last chance" to put in your card or special photo:  please put your item in the MLW box in the office, or give it to Gloria Wells on any Sunday until Dec. 31st.  After that the time capsule will be locked until our 200th anniversary in 2068, and that's exciting to contemplate!  The history of our church is just one small part of the history of Christian faith.  And right now we look toward the great promise of Christmas, so please join us as we celebrate that journey of faith.

Gloria Wells,  Ministry of Learning and Worship

We are so busy in church school.  We loved making the pinecone turkeys for table decorations for the Thanksgiving potluck. We are collecting food for Second Harvest Food Bank.  The students made great signs to advertise the project.  The barrels will be out through December 9.  How wonderful to be able to share what God has blessed us with, with others who need a little help.  What a great way to serve our Lord!

We are on to preparing for our Christmas play.  The name of the play is – The BEST Gift of All.  I hope everyone can join us.  It takes place in our sanctuary on Sunday, December 9 at 6:30 pm.  Thank you, Emily and team for all your work on this special play.  It is a wonderful way to start the Christmas season. On December 23 our church school will have our own Christmas celebration.  We will have treats, games and a special craft.  It will be lots of fun!

A special thank you to all involved in our church school program.  It is so special to work with or children.  They are a special blessing to all of us.
May God Bless You!
Cindy Boram, Learning Coordinator

Board of Deacons
The Board of Deacons met on Wednesday the 21st.  We had an unofficial meeting as several of our members were ill or out of town.  All the same, we like to keep the continuity and push forward.
Our Board continues to communicate with Friends and Members. We are always on the look out for anyone that needs a little help.  Thank you to all of you out there who write to those that can’t make it to church on a regular schedule.  We have compiled a list of folks that might just need to hear from one of us.  Please let me know if you would like a copy.  I’m going to start passing them out on a regular basis.
Deacons will be “Hanging the Greens,” in the Sanctuary on Saturday, December 1st, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  If you would like to join us and help that would be great.  Looking forward to an awesome Advent Season and Christmas!
Communion in December will be celebrated and served on the 2nd. Remember, the new Church Directory is right around the corner. We’re trying to have it out for you by the Annual Meeting in January.
Bill Abraham

Ministry of Music
Advent, that festive, joyful and reflective time of year!  If you're appreciative of music, this is your chance to soak up all the holiday music to be discovered at Congregational Church of Soquel in a variety of ways all December long!  
Each Sunday during advent, the Choir, directed by Camille Couture-Carter and accompanied by Leah Zumberge, will share thoughtful advent music to warm your soul.  Come and enjoy the selections especially chosen for this year. In addition to weekly Choir anthems to be shared, here are highlights of music events to take part in at Congregational Church of Soquel this advent season.  
Our 8th annual CAROLS, COOKIES & COCOA on Friday, December 7th from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. is a very popular, family-friendly event.  It is a wonderful opportunity to participate in the season by singing Christmas carols to your hearts' content!  Wear warm, festive clothes, hat & gloves, and bring your flashlight, jingle bells and voices to Parrish Hall at 6:00.  We'll walk around Soquel Village, stopping to sing at favorite spots along the way, and return to Parrish Hall for cookies and cocoa!  Come join the fun!
SAVE THE DATE:  Thursday, December 20th, Congregational Church of Soquel will be hosting a special holiday evening concert performed by the members of the Redwood Chamber Choir, a local group under the direction of Crista Harrington.  You might recall, the Redwood Choir sang for special music one Sunday this past August.  More information and details to come in future bulletins and eBlast.  
Next up will be our annual Christmas Choir program held during our Sunday service on December 23rd.  The Choir will be performing several thoughtfully-chosen anthems directed by Camille Couture-Carter, and accompanied by Leah Zumberge on piano. 
Christmas Eve is a Monday this year, and this year's service promises to be full of inspirational, musical delights. 
Please come and enjoy any and all events to help celebrate the season this year at Congregational Church of Soquel!
Merry Christmas to you & yours!
Musically yours,
Juli Sanderson
Music Team Chairperson

Financial Secretary Report

Minister’s Website:
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Church Office:  (831) 475-2867
Congregational Church of Soquel
4951 Soquel Drive, Soquel, California  95073


1- Saturday
9:00 am "Hanging the Greens"
(Church Decorating)

2- Sunday
8:30 am Choir Rehearsals
9:30 am Life & Worship
Preschool-12th Learning
10:30 am Fellowship & Intergenerational
Holiday Project

6- Thursday
10:00 am Craft Group

Annual Carols, Cookies & Cocoa
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

9-  Sunday
8:30 am Choir Rehearsals
9:30 am Life & Worship
Preschool-12th Learning
10:30 am Fellowship, 2nd Sunday Brunch
11:00 am Learning & Worship Meeting
6:30 pm Church School Christmas Program

17- Monday
12:30 pm - Lydia Circle

18- Tuesday
7:00 pm  Board of Trustees

19- Wednesday
6:15 pm Deacon's Meeting

20- Thursday
10:00 am Craft Group

23- Sunday
8:30 am Choir Rehearsals
9:30 am  Life & Worship 
Preschool-12th Learning
10:30 am Fellowship

24- Monday
Christmas Eve

7:00 pm Candlelight Service

Merry Christmas

Office re-opens 10-2 pm

27- Thursday
10:00 am Craft Group

30- Sunday 
8:30 am Choir Rehearsals
9:30 am Life & Worship
Preschool-12th Learning
10:30 am Fellowship

31- Monday
New Year's Eve


1- Tuesday
Happy New Year!

3- Thursday

10:00 am Craft Group

6- Sunday
8:30 am Choir Rehearsal
9:30 am Life & Worship
Preschool-12th Learning
10:30 am Fellowship
11:00 am Church Council

10- Thursday
10:00 am Craft Group

13-  Sunday
8:30 am Choir Rehearsal
9:30 am Life & Worship
Preschool-12th Learning
10:30 am Fellowship

17- Thursday
10:00 am Craft Group

20- Sunday
8:30 am Choir Rehearsals
9:30 am  Life & Worship 
Preschool-12th Learning
10:30 am Fellowship

21- Monday
12:30 pm - Lydia Circle

24- Thursday
10:00 am Craft Group

27- Sunday 
8:30 am Choir Rehearsals
9:30 am Life & Worship
Preschool-12th Learning
10:30 am Fellowship, Annual Mtg, and Brunch

31- Thursday
10:00 am Craft Group

Prayer Band/Prayer Team
Scripture inspiration:  Romans 12:12
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Since last report, there have been 26 Prayer Band requests and updates, including private ones.  
During that time there have been two Prayer Meetings covering 60 concerns each.
May your holidays be full of blessings.
Cay Melendy, reporter

Ministry of Missions & Service
Thank you to all of who were able to contribute to Christmas baskets for the families of Pan American Institute families in Tijuana.

We are pleased to report that at press time Missions and Outreach members and Mark are  scheduled to personally deliver our donation to CASA and get a tour of their office and service areas.

We also answered the call to purchase and send hymnals, Hymns for a Pilgrim People to the people of Craig Memorial Ciurch in Paradise.  

Many thanks to all for your continued generous support of our mission efforts local, across the nation and abroad.

Dorothy Nicholson

The Seabert Library has some new books.  With strong women main characters, these books could especially appeal to women readers.  The Church Choir mysteries also could appeal to teens, though the main character is a senior citizen, widowed woman.

Katharine Burke - Librarian

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service in Scripture & Song
Monday, December 24, 7:00 pm
Copyright © 2018 Congregational Church of Soquel, All rights reserved.

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