“The Voices of Christmas”
Our Christmas Eve Candlelighting Service will begin at 6:00 p.m. on the 24th. We invite everyone to come hear the people of the Christmas story come alive and share their thoughts and feelings about that miracle night when God came to earth as a baby. Join us as we worship and celebrate Jesus on Christmas Eve.
Our White Gift offering, taken this night, will be sent to the Pedigo’s of Chicago Fellowship of Friends in the inner city. These funds will be used to purchase playground equipment for children to enjoy as part of the “Lights on After School” educational program.
Caroling for Christmas
Friends of all ages are invited to go Christmas caroling on Sunday, December 19. Groups will depart from the church at 4:00 p.m. and go different directions. After caroling we will meet back at
the church for a soup supper and a time of fellowship. Come join us!
What Is Christmas
Is it just a day at the end of the year?
A gay holiday filled with merry good cheer?
A season for presents - both taking and giving?
A time to indulge in the pleasures of living?
Are we lost in a meaningless, much-muddled haze?
Have we closed our eyes to God and His love?
And turned our eyes from “The Bright Star Above?”
Oh, Father in heaven, renew and restore
The real, true meaning of Christmas once more.
So we can feel in our hearts again that “Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men”
Is still a promise that man can claim if he but seeks it in Thy name.
Helen Steiner Rice
What member of our church was born the same day as George Fox, only 372 years later? The answer is Jennifer Davis who celebrates her birthday on July 3. George Fox was born in 1624, Jennifer in 1996. Mary Sparks gave the first correct answer!
Lord, as I face a NEW YEAR-help me reach out to the challenging future-NOT look back to the unchangeable past. Go with me, my trustworthy Lord…Together WE CAN!
First, the Missions Committee wants to thank everyone who took part in the Thanksgiving Offering. $7,403.00 was received in our special offering on November 21. The White Gifts offering that will be taken at the Christmas Eve program will go towards the playground equipment at the Chicago Fellowship of Friends.
Mary Kay Rehard and Patrick Nugent have returned to the Friends Theological College (FTC) in Kenya after spending time this past summer in the U.S. Patrick did speak at BLFC in the summer and some of us got to meet his wife and two charming daughters. In May FTC became affiliated with St. Paul's United Theological College, near Nairobi. FTC remains independently governed by its Board and manages the Certificate curriculum. Now the Diploma curriculum is provided, examined, and accredited by St. Paul's, an inter-denominational venture, with seven affiliated diploma colleges. This provides FTC with a diploma recognized outside the Society of Friends, yet allows the flexibility to retain a healthy and vital Quaker identity. Students, alumni, faculty and board members are jubilant about this enormous step forward for FTC. The new academic year has started with 25 new students, five are women, fewer then they had hoped for. The student body now stands at 55. They could expand to 75 if they had adequate library, dorm and classrooms. FUM has approved the purchase of a new Toyota Hilux double-cabin pickup truck with cab and passenger benches in the back, which they praise God for. Their prayer needs are that they manifest the kingdom of God in their lives and work. They are thankful for their daily bread, which they thank God and for all of the Friends who help provide it. Their ministry in Kenya relies on the support of individuals around the world.
Eden and James Grace arrived in Kenya the first of November and will begin their orientation to life in East Africa, and to prepare for their work as FUM field Staff.
Andy and Lisa Stout who have been working at the Happy Groves School in Jamaica will be leaving in December and will be going to Belize in January to begin work there. They will be helping Mike and Kay Cain who will be retiring in two years time, and will gradually be released to work on the possibility of a new High School for boys and girls. This has been a concern on their hearts for years. Andy will be using his skills in social work, in guidance, counseling and in home visiting. Lisa will contribute to bookkeeping and other administrative tasks within the school. On a more personal note, Andy and Lisa will be expecting their first child next May. They ask for prayers for Lisa and the baby. They still feel the same call to live out I John3:18.
BLFC Missions Committee
-It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you…Yes, it is Christmas every time you smile at your brother and offer him your hand.
-Ten rules for getting rid of the blues: Go out and do something for someone else-and repeat it nine times.
Wishing You Peace and Joy
And God’s Blessings in the New Year!
The House of Compassion family our church is sharing includes a father, mother, and 20-year-old daughter. All are physically and/or mentally handicapped. You can purchase one or more gifts or food items posted on the bulletin board in the entryway. Take the sticky note as your reminder, then sign your name on the line under the sticky note. When you purchase the gift attach the note to the gift and return it to the church by December 19. I know whatever is given will be appreciated by this family.
As in years past we welcome the addition of poinsettias to adorn our sanctuary, either as a gift or memorial to a loved one. If they are given as a memorial you may leave those names in the church office for publication. If you wish to take the poinsettia home later in December be sure to mark your name on the plant.
Our December lessons will revolve around Luke 2 and the Christmas story. During one session we’ll be making goodie plates for carolers to deliver. Children age 5 through fifth grade are welcome to join us December 5th and 19th.
Ladies of Liberty USFW will meet on Wednesday, December 8th at Audrey Norman’s home for their next meeting at 7:00 p.m. Everyone is reminded to bring cookies for the cookie plates which will be prepared, gifts for the adopted Seeds of Hope family, and a medium sized crochet hook.
The next Bangor USFW meeting will be a workday held December 14, 10:00 at the church. Bring a sack lunch. Coffee, tea and dessert will be provided. We’ll be making tray favors for a nursing home, repairing hymnals, and cleaning under the lift. All ladies are welcome to come help with these projects. Margaret Stoltzfus, President of USFWI, will be stopping by for part of our time together. Our business meeting will be held in the afternoon with Bess bringing the lesson.
Monday Night Bible Study
We’re now in chapter 14 of the book of Luke and would welcome others to join us at 7:30 p.m. on Mondays. We’re meeting in homes during the winter months, so watch the bulletin for the location.
Christmas is not just a day, an event to be observed and speedily forgotten, it is a spirit which should permeate every part of our lives. To believe that the spirit of Christmas does change lives and to labor for the realization of its coming to all people is the essence of our faith in Christ.
Iowa Friend & Quaker Life Renewals
It’s time to renew our group subscriptions to the Iowa Friend and Quaker Life publications. The Iowa Friend is a great
monthly source of communication among Friends in Iowa. Samples of the November issue are on the back table for you to look over.
Quaker Life is a Christian magazine published ten times annually with a variety of editorials, articles and columns of interest to Friends.
See Diane Teske if you wish to renew or subscribe to either of these publications by December 26. The yearly cost for the Iowa Friend is $9.50 and $15 for Quaker Life.
February 4 & 5, 2005 - Becoming Your Favorite Church with H.B. London - A Ministry Conference sponsored by Iowa Yearly Meeting of Friends, Oskaloosa, IA.
Early Registration Deadline is January 14, 2005 which will save you some money. The Quaker Men of IAYM will host their annual banquet in conjunction with the Ministry Conference on Friday evening at Vennard College. All conference attendees are welcome. Saturday sessions will be held at College Avenue Friends Church. Lunch tickets are available for the Saturday noon meal at College Avenue Friends Church. Conference brochures and information are posted on the bulletin board.
Registration and motel information
will be printed in the December Iowa Friend.
Winter Weather Policy
Worship Services will be held each Sunday at Bangor Liberty Friends regardless of wintry weather. Please do not risk an accident if you feel your roads are unsafe.
House of Compassion Report
November 25 -
Nine volunteers (Betty Arterburn and family and Vi Gray) prepared, served, and did clean up for the meal served on Thanksgiving evening. 33 people and 2 volunteers were served soup and crackers, applesauce, diced pineapple, and plenty of pie, which was donated from the Salvation Army’s noon meal. Everyone worked well together and many people thanked them for the meal and wished them a Happy Thanksgiving.
5 men and 1 woman were housed in the overnight shelter with Tom Gilmore as the monitor. Thanks to all who provided food or $ for the meal. Our next meal and shelter monitoring date is Thursday, December 30th. Let Margaret or Betty know if you wish to volunteer.
The Library Ledge:
Rekindle the Warmth of Christmas!
Curl up on the sofa and warm your heart and soul this holiday season with stories of how Christ is working in our world. The uplifting books on the library ledge will renew your faith for the Christmas season. You’ll also notice several new and newly donated books available. If you have children, you’ll want to check out the Christmas books for them in the fellowship hall.
-You will never TRULY ENJOY CHRISTMAS until you look into the face of the Father and tell Him you have received His Christmas Gift.
-I’ve never heard of anyone getting a busy signal on God’s prayer line.