Please attend worship at 9:15 AM on December 2 to hear guest speaker Terry Green’s update on the Gideons’ ministries. The Gideons challenge us to be an active part of making God’s Word accessible and known to others by knowing it ourselves, living it every day, and sharing it. At the close of the meeting, Terry will receive an “open Bible” offering in the parlor to support the local Gideons’ Bible placement ministry. Don’t miss it!
—Join us in worship at 9:15 AM each Sunday during Advent (December 2, 9, 16, 23) to consider the fact that the gift of Emmanuel, “God with us,” is not limited to a holiday or a fortnight — He is with us all the time. That means we are privileged to experience the best parts of Christmas every day we live, not just on a few days in December.
—Thank you to the Welcome Class and helpers who decorated the meetinghouse for Christmas on November 25, and to all who have provided the beautiful memorial poinsettias in the sanctuary.
Throughout December, Friends are welcome to save postage expense by bringing your Christmas cards for others in the Meeting to the Card Exchange Table in the parlor. Please be sure to check the table each Sunday in December to see if there are items waiting there for you.
In a normal year, the church family would celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas with a feast on December’s first Sunday. This, however, is not a normal year. With the major renovation of the meetinghouse dining hall and kitchen still underway, the Monthly Meeting has approved delaying the Holiday Dinner until early in 2019 when we can celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, the New Year, and the new kitchen/dining room all at once. Please track the Trustees’ progress on the renovation, and watch for announcement of the celebration dinner in the new year, in the new dining hall!
e-mail, and birthday and anniversary information.
—The November Monthly Meeting discussed and then approved delaying December’s Monthly Meeting until December 9. The group also decided that an informal potluck lunch will not be held that day.
—As usual most Decembers, the church’s standing committees do not plan to meet this month in order to free up time for holiday activities. If any committees encounter a need to meet before January, they may do so at the call of their clerk.
Each December, the Ministry & Oversight invites Friends during a Sunday morning meeting for worship to tell their personal Advent story of how Christ arrived (or has continued arriving) into their life, and to put an ornament on the parlor Christmas tree that symbolizes that story. If you feel led to share or update your personal Advent story during worship in December, please let the church office know so it can be scheduled. All Friends are encouraged to watch for opportunities this Christmas to tell others how Christ arrived into your life.
The joint Winchester/Rural Friends Christmas choir will present the Biblical account of Jesus’ birth, accompanied by a program of Christmas music, at Winchester Friends on December 16 at 6:30 PM. The service will conclude with a candlelight meditation, followed by sharing of everyone’s favorite Holiday Desserts in the parlor. Please invite a friend, bring some favorite Christmas sweets or savory finger-foods to share, and join us for an evening of worship, Christmas music, and fellowship.
Wednesdays December 5, 12 — 7:00 PM
Saturday December 15 — 2:00 – 4:00 PM
Cinnamon rolls and drinks will be served in the parlor following worship on December 23. One joint Sunday School class will meet that day for Friends who don’t have to hurry away to family Christmas gatherings.
Friends are invited during December to give an extra donation for local and global outreach, either by using the special Christmas Offering envelope from your pre-numbered set, or by clearly specifying your gift as “Christmas Missions Offering” before placing it in the collection plate or delivering it to the church office. The Missions & Social Concerns Committee has recommended that the 2018 Christmas Envelope Offering be shared between local and national/global ministries including the Ohio Valley Gas Co. matching Gas Help Fund to help area residents afford winter heating; the Community Food Pantry; support of FUM missions in Cuba; and a California Friends fund for helping victims of this fall’s devastating wildfires. The first $500 given for the Christmas Envelope Offering will be matched by a Best Special Projects grant. Thank you for tangibly sharing Christ’s love at Christmastime!
to Janet and Don Ross on their celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary on November 23
—All ladies are invited to the USFW Christmas Luncheon and meeting on Tuesday December 18 at 1:00 PM at Virginia Densmore’s home (Union City Pike at CR 400 E).
—USFW’s first meeting of 2019 is scheduled for Wednesday January 9 at 1:30 PM at the church.
The USFW will again this Christmas provide gifts for a cottage of kids at White’s Residential & Family Services near Wabash. Since the Holiday Dinner has been postponed into the new year, there won’t be the usual opportunity for others to help “fill the offering stocking” in the dinner line. The USFW welcomes Friends who would like to contribute to this project to speak with (or hand your donation to) treasurer Marsha Kritsch.
Winchester’s Community Christmas Basket program welcomes area churches’ participation in helping up to 400 local families needing assistance during the holidays. The Christmas Basket Committee welcomes donations of money (mail to PO Box 51, Winchester 47394) and/or canned and dry food items (deliver to 4-H fairgrounds by December 5). Volunteers are invited to help sort and count the food items at 6 PM on Wednesday December 5 at the 4-H fairgrounds; to pack the boxes there on Monday December 17 at 6 PM; and to deliver the food boxes from the fairgrounds starting at 9 AM on Saturday December 22. Any excess food items collected will be donated to the Churches & Community Food Pantry.
—to Friends who provided and helped serve refreshments for Mary Clark’s YMCA preschool kids’ Christmas program here on November 27.
—to Friends who have picked up Angel Tree angels to provide gifts for income-qualified families this Christmas (please turn in gifts unwrapped to Walmart or courthouse by Wednesday December 5); the USFW is providing gifts for eight Angel Tree kids!
to Nate and Becky Edmonds and all in Nate’s family mourning the November 18 death of his sister Veronica Burpo of Hagerstown, IN.
Al Groth wins November’s “volunteer of the month” award for the hours he spent in the dining hall grinding off high spots and filling in low ones to level the floor in preparation for installation of the new tile floor. He began laying tiles late in November and has completed about a third of the area to be covered. Before that work began, Shane Hall spent a long morning dismantling the kitchen’s long serving counter and cupboards in order to expose all the floor to be tiled. New cabinets and countertops have been ordered, with delivery expected in early December. They will be installed as soon as the floor work has been completed, and some work also will be done on the kitchen walls. It then will be time to paint all the walls in the kitchen and dining room. Some new chairs and tables have been ordered and likely will be delivered in December to furnish the dining area. If you’d like to help complete this project (paint!), please contact Trustees clerks Al Groth or Shane Hall.
The Christian Education Committee urges all Friends to improve your biblical literacy by attending a Sunday School class each week. Starting December 2, the adult classes will be taking up a three-month study of the Gospel of Luke using the Friends Illuminate quarterly. There is a class waiting to welcome you — please join us!
Ron Ferguson plans to speak on most 2019 Sundays from each week’s assigned Through the Bible chapters. The Ministry & Oversight encourages all Friends to pick up the TTB reading schedule (on the west parlor table, also in each week’s bulletin) and read along weekly to enhance your learning and understanding of scripture.
The Pantry served between 350-375 households in November 2018, compared with 389 families assisted in October 2018 and 383 served a year ago in November 2017.
During the second half of 2018, the Missions & Social Concerns Committee asks Friends to learn about and
for people struggling against substance abuse and addiction, and for the people working to help them
The Lord’s Table, Not Ellen’s
The very best “face time” is around an old maple table of mine that now sits in the dining room of the parsonage. That table began as a tree in a north woods and stood there far longer than it has been a table. I first saw it in a furniture store in Minot, North Dakota, in 1967. I was convinced that it should stand in a dining room on Tangley Rd at Minot AFB where Dale and I lived at the time. That was the last time it stood in a dining room in my home — it has always shared a spot in the living room with whatever other furniture had to be moved when it was needed as a table. Its drop-leaf feature allowed me to keep it in several homes through 30 years. (That same feature requires anyone sitting at this table to fight with its legs.) When Ron and Pam arrived in Winchester almost 20 years ago with a waterbed and little else, I quickly decided that the maple table had a new home. As you may have guessed, I have had a 50-year (and 50-pound) relationship with this table. It has been the bearer of many good meals and the center of many good conversations. But blessings even greater than those come from being face to face with people around this old table. On Wednesday evenings we gather around that table to pray for members of our Meeting, our community, and for many other concerns. And oh yes, we have Prayer Soup or Intercession Salad. There always seems to be room for more people around “Ellen’s Table.” Perhaps you should come and see.