CHRISTMAS PROGRAM Please join us on Sunday, December 16 at 6:00 PM in the Worship Center as children age 3 through Grade 5 present the message of Christmas in word and song!
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY There is a wonderful opportunity available for you to assist with the ministry of ARC. We are currently in need of people to operate the projection screen during worship services and also to do screen set-up. Training is provided; commitment of approximately once per month. If you have questions or would like to job shadow for a week to see what it all involves, please contact Arlin Sandbulte or Erin Jacobsma.
Thoughts from our General Secretary of the RCA, Eddie Aleman:
Daysi and I love road trips! This is one of the things we have in common. In the summer of 2003, after my second year of seminary was done, we drove from Holland, Michigan, to Tulare, California, to serve as a pastoral intern at Tulare Community Church. While we very much enjoyed our time on the road, our children had a very hard time understanding why we needed to be on the road for more than one day. They didn’t care about the journey; they wanted to get to the destination as soon as possible! Waiting, for them, was nonsense. Being in a car for a long period of time was for them the most boring thing on earth. On the way we stopped in different beautiful places like Grand Canyon National Park and Yosemite National Park to give them some kind of joy for the journey, but the “are we there yet?” had no ending. When we finally made it to Tulare, we were happier than them!
Just like a long road trip, Advent is a journey toward a destination. It’s the season of hopeful expectation. It’s a time of waiting. But what is it that we are waiting for during this season? The obvious answer is Christmas! But Advent is more than just waiting for a holiday, and it’s even more than just waiting for the celebration of the birth of Jesus.
Advent is the season that teaches us that we are in journey to a destination, and that we must enjoy the journey as much as we enjoy the destination.
It took more than 700 years for Isaiah’s prophesy about the birth of the Messiah to be fulfilled—that’s a long journey! But, as Paul says it well in Galatians 4:4, “when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.”
When the set time had fully come. What we do during the journey itself is just as important as the destination. How will you spend your time waiting? How are you going to spend your time during the journey?
Please consider these questions as you journey through this season of Advent:
1. What are the places in my life where I am waiting for God to do something?
2. How can I focus on the journey of Advent more than the destination?
3. What can I do to prepare the way for the Lord in my life, my home, my church, and my community?
We must do a better job in enjoying the journey while we wait for God’s appointed time. Our culture has taught us to live in the here and now, and thus we have lost the value of waiting. What does it mean to wait in hope?
Waiting in hope means holding on tight, hoping with expectation and trust, knowing that our Lord is not just making us wait to see how much we can take. Waiting in hope means complete dependence on God, knowing that he will intervene in our affairs and will answer our prayers. Waiting in hope means that we are to be near him at all times, knowing that the only way to enjoy the journey is allowing his presence to guide us. My prayer for each one of you during this season of Advent is that you will enjoy the journey as you await for the final destination.
Have a blessed Christmas, and a blessed journey to it! Eddy Aleman
ROCK COUNTY GIFTING TREE For many families Christmas is a time of joy, happiness and celebration. But other families in our community are struggling, and for them the upcoming holidays brings additional stress instead of peace and hope. Through your help with the Gifting Tree, you can bring warmth and holiday cheer to a child who truly is in need this year. Would you consider bringing joy to a struggling family this holiday season? Choose an ornament from the Gifting Tree; on the back of the ornament is the child’s information for a need and a want. Please return a wrapped gift/s to ARC by Sunday, December 16, so we can get the gifts delivered before Christmas. Place the ornament on the package as the label to assist in where each gift is to go. Participating this year are Rock County Big Buddies and Southwest Youth Services in Magnolia. For more information or questions call A.C.E. of SW Minnesota, Norma Brands, 507-283-5064.
OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD / SAMARITAN’S PURSE Help yourself to any of the different sized shoeboxes on the Narthex table. T-shirts are also available on the table for you to enclose in your boxes. Collection date for the boxes is November 11. We will also be taking an offering that Sunday to purchase oxen, goats, and chickens for families in need through Samaritan’s Purse. If you have any questions, please contact Charla Sandbulte
QUILTS FOR SALE The ARC Quilters are offering several quits for sale to raise funds to purchase batting and other quilting supplies. The quilts are displayed in the Narthex. The large quilt is 90×96 (queen size) and the other two are crib size baby quilts. Silent auction sheet is on the Narthex table. Deadline to place bids is December 9.
UNDIE SUNDAYS Place your donations of new socks and undies in the tote by the mailboxes before December 1. Please purchase sizes and styles that your family would use to provide a good variety. Items will be given to SHARE, a Rock County Christmas distribution program.
T-SHIRT FUNDRAISER The Jr High Youth Group is selling t-shirts and sweatshirts to raise funds for future retreats and events. Please see the Narthex table for ordering details and samples of shirts. There are three designs and many colors to choose from. T-shirts are just $15 and sweatshirts are $30. These would make great Christmas gifts and will be delivered at the end of November. There are two ways to order – see a 7th or 8th grade ARC student or online at http://luvprintexpress.com/amreform/shop/home. Payment is due at time of ordering. Deadline to order is November 7.
Mexican Supper, Bake-off & Auction
Tuesday, November 6
Supper served 6-7:15 PM, freewill donation
Auction of baked items at 7:15 PM
Hosted by Sr High Youth Group — Youth will challenge members of the congregation to a bake-off
PILLOW CLEANING Rebecca Circle will host the annual pillow cleaning service Friday, October 26, 7:00 AM-4 PM at ARC; use south entry. Have your pillows cleaned, deodorized, sanitized, and encased in new ticking, and returned the same day. All proceeds will go to Missions. New feather pillows will also be available for purchase.