Youth Group Fundraiser
On Sunday, December 10th the BLFC Youth Group will be serving chili and chicken noodle soup after Morning Worship for a free will offering. The Youth will also be holding a bake sale and silent auction of goods and services to raise funds for gifts and food for Christmas for their adopted family thru House of Compassion. They are also raising funds for the monthly support of a child thru the Christian Children’s Fund.
On Sunday, December 17th the youth will meet for a quick lunch right after Morning Worship and then go to Marshalltown to purchase, wrap and deliver those gifts to their HOC family and then return to the church to participate in Christmas Caroling. Let’s all join the youth for lunch on December 10th!
Friends of all ages are encouraged to gather at Bangor Liberty Friends Church on Sunday, December 17th at 5:00 pm to go out into the community Christmas Caroling. The Youth are planning to join us after their shopping trip and delivery of Christmas gifts to their adopted House of Compassion family. A soup supper will be served to all carolers at 6:30 pm back at the church.
Our annual Christmas Eve Service will be held at 6:00 pm, December 24th. Bring your entire family and join us for the Children’s Program and Candle Lighting before your family festivities begin. The White Gift offering received on Christmas Eve will be given to BLFC Youth Group.
Celebrate His Presence,
Not Just His Presents
It’s December already and the stores have had Christmas decorations up since November 1st. This is all in the anticipation of your presence at their places of business and the feelings that those decorations might stir up within you about the upcoming holiday, or “holy-day” of Christmas. Their hopes are not that you might be reminded of some sweet memory of days gone by; their intentions are to remind you that that clock is ticking and you need to get those presents now before time runs out!
Some stores could care nothing less about you; all they are interested in is how many dollars you are going to spend at their store. The decorations aren’t for you and your enjoyment; they’re for them and their profit. They actually can write the cost off in advertising expenses. So the next time you see a store going all out at Christmas with decorations, be careful what you assume.
The sad part about it is we have bought into it. Think about it, most of us have the day after Thanksgiving off due to the gracious nature of our employers and what do a large number of us do, we go out on “Black Friday” and waste our day off shopping in enormous crowds of people. I’m not innocent; I bought into it this year too. All in the hopes of getting something at a reduced price, and we waste the day given to us by our employers to spend with our families. Not to mention the fact that most of the time in the process of shopping we get frustrated or upset or angry.
The day of Christmas isn’t the only time we should remember Jesus’ coming to earth to live with us and save us. He still is with us and it’s not the presents at Christmas, it’s the “Present” of Christmas – Jesus’ “Presence” here with us every day helping us to live out our faith in a very tough world. The wonderful part about it is this gift isn’t just offered to us at a reduced price, IT’S FREE! Jesus offers us His grace for forgiveness and His daily presence free of charge to us. So, let’s celebrate His Presence every day and not just His presents on one day a year.
“.. You will fill me with joy in Your presence . . .” – Psalm 16:11b (NIV)
Answers for Do You Know…?
The First Noel
1. Quirinius (Luke 2:2)
2. A census (Luke 2:2)
3. Augustus (Luke2:1)
4. David (Luke 1:27)
5. In a dream (Luke 1:20)
6. David (Luke 2:4, I Samuel 17:12)
House of Compassion Report
On Thursday, November 30th fourteen from BLFC were involved in providing a meal for 50 guests. Our menu was tuna mac and cheese, green beans and bacon, creamed carrots, mixed fruit, Parmesan biscuits, cake, pie, cookies, and drinks.
Thanks to: James and Sharon, Royal and Paula, Fern and Wayne, Mark and Darlene, Neil and Peg who donated food or funds; Betty and Fern who prepared; Wayne T, Ray and Robin who served; Vi, Neil and Peg who were on clean up. We also had 3 students from a MCC business class volunteer their services. Many people complimented the meal and told us “thanks.”
While we are not providing a monitor as a church each month, several have volunteered to stay at the shelter when Jean needs the help. She appreciates all the willing workers at BLFC. Our next meal date is Dec. 28.
The Shepherds accepted Him
The Wise Men expected Him
The King rejected Him
The Innkeeper neglected Him
And You - ?
“You Are a Gift”
This is the theme chosen for this year’s IAYM Christian Education Training to be offered at two locations. The dates are February 10th and March 17th. The topics are (1) Experiences with Children and Worship, (2) Adult Ministries, and (3) Behavior Management Ideas. The topics and information will be the same at both workshops so churches can choose which location to attend. The locations have not yet been confirmed but tentatively the February meeting is planned for Oskaloosa and the March workshop is planned for the Marshalltown area. More details will be announced soon.
Mark your 2007 Calendar
“The Kingdom of God is at Hand”
Iowa Yearly Meeting 2007 is set for
at Camp Quaker Heights
Our theme verse is:
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe in the gospel.”
We welcome the addition of poinsettias to our sanctuary thru the Christmas and New Year season. If the poinsettias are shared in memory of loved ones, please leave the names with the church secretary if you wish. Also mark your plant with your name if you plan to enjoy it at home later.
Our lessons on December 3rd and 17th will revolve around Christmas. On the 17th we’ll be making goodies for the carolers to deliver. Children who are age 4 though 5th grade are welcome to participate.
Liberty USFW ladies will meet at the Union Supper Club for their December meeting on the 13th at 6:30 pm. Members are reminded to bring their Christmas gifts for our adopted Seeds of Hope family and two dozen cookies for cookie plates.
The ladies of Bangor USFW will meet at the church at 9:30 am on December 19th for a workday. The ladies will be making tray favors for a nursing home and baby blankets for those in need. A soup lunch will be provided by Ann and Bess. Margaret will bring the lesson. Any women interested in helping would be welcome and encouraged to stay for the lunch and lesson in the afternoon.
Ladies Bible Study
The Thursday Morning Ladies Bible Study group will start a new study in January using the book Living a Life Of Balance. Women of the church and community are invited to join them as they meet at BLFC at 10 a.m. on Thursdays. Please contact Ann Nichols if you would be interested in joining the group.
As we approach the Christmas season and celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ let us also remember the Mission fields and the workers there, keeping them in our prayers and also seeing the needs on the fields.
Patrick Nugent is the principal at the Friends Theological College in Kenya while his wife Mary Kay Rehard is attending Mai University to become a physician in Kenya. The fruits of Patrick‘s labor have become evident by the excellent students and higher standards they are achieving. Pray for Patrick and Mary Kay that they may remain strong and to be filled with wisdom in all that they do.
The hospital at Kaimosi was a well-respected and well-loved hospital in the past, but over the years their reputation has been tarnished as the hospital slowly fell in disrepair due to neglect and mismanagement. FUM has taken over ownership of the hospital on the condition that a five-year agreement can be reached to bring the hospital up to standards.
The hospital at Lugulu is a well-loved hospital in the area and they are in need of a new head physician who can offer stability, leadership and direction. Eden and James Grace are FUM workers in Kenya and are working with the ASHA (American Schools and Hospitals Abroad) grant for Lugulu Hospital. James is a key leader on both Lugulu and Kaimosi Hospital boards. Eden also works to bring unity to the yearly meeting in Kenya. Pray for these concerns.
John Moru is the head pastor of this region and he has done much in the way of leadership training for the pastors of Turkana. There is a great need for schools and water wells in this dry area. Pray that these leaders will show their love for God to these nomadic people.
The Friends Boys School in Belize , with the direction of Mike and Kay Cain, has reached out to many young men and helped them find their way in a country where it is difficult to receive a good education. Many young men have gone on to complete high school and some even to complete college. Pray for the continued work of the school.
Mike and Kay are nearing retirement after giving many years of their lives to Belize. They are concerned about the future of the school and their dream to see a high school built on newly acquired property.
The Lyndale Girls Home and Swift Purscell Boys Home in Jamaica provide food and shelter for some of the orphans of Jamaica and are in constant need of supplies and repairs. Pray for this concern in Jamaica.
Joyce Ajlouony, director of the Ramallah Friends School in Ramallah has proved very effective in her job, which is difficult for a woman to be in charge among Arabic men, but Joyce has shown she is equal to the job. The Friends Boys School is the high school section of the Ramallah Friends School. It offers quality education to the Moslem and Christian students of Ramallah and el Bireh. The younger students attend the Friends Girls School and most of their instruction is in Arabic, but they are learning English. John Hishmeh has worked for the school for some time as a counselor and brings many gifts in counseling and mediation between students, parents and the school. Pray for strength and wisdom as Joyce and John continue their works at the Ramallah Friends School.
-BLFC Missions Committee
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, hope and love for Christmas. Also check out the children’s Christmas stories on display. Let the library remind you of the real reason for the season.
Do You Know…?
The First Noel
1. Who was governor of Syria at the time of Jesus’ birth?
2. What event brought Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem?
3. Who was Caesar at the time of Jesus’ birth?
4. Which Old Testament king was Joseph a descendant of?
5. Where did the angel appear to Joseph?
6. What other famous Bible figure was born in Bethlehem?
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of our friends near and far.
May the coming year be a year of peace for all!