The Newsletter of First Presbyterian Church
216 West Third Street, Wayne, Nebraska 68787
(402) 375-2669 + www.fpcwayne.org
“Our chief end is to glorify and enjoy God forever.
From the Pastor…..
The annual unpacking of the family crèche or nativity scene is one of the most beautiful and widely accepted practices of Christmas. A crèche is a model of the scene at the manger on the first Christmas in the stable at Bethlehem. The word crèche is from the French word for manger which comes from the Italian word Greccio. Greccio was the town where the first manger scene was set up by St. Francis of Assisi in 1223, some say as an alternative for pilgrims wanting to go to Bethlehem, which was then occupied by the Turks. Before that time, many churches had built nativity scenes, but these early mangers were covered with gold, silver, and jewels. They were much fancier than the original manger in which the Christ Child was laid. St. Francis wanted people to remember that Jesus was born in a humble stable. He asked a farmer friend to help by bringing an ox, a donkey, a manger and some straw to a nearby cave. On Christmas Eve, St. Francis and the people of Greccio met in this cave, by candlelight they acted out the story of Jesus’ birth. This was the first living nativity scene.
It is interesting to see how the birth of Christ is depicted around the world. I have a gold and white clay crèche that was hand made in Mexico as well as a small white ceramic set I use in the office and even a nativity which is a music box. Creches range in size from miniature or table top scenes for the home or a large scene for a church or lawn.
While visiting my parents last month I helped with some Christmas decorating which included setting up not one but two nativity scenes. One was a large ceramic set my grandmother had painted, which was displayed every Christmas in her home, and now every Christmas in my parents’ home. The figures in the set are about 12-18 inches tall and include Mary, Joseph, the baby, two angels and a shepherd. The other set is much smaller with a rough wooden stable and figures that range in size from two-inch-high chalkware sheep to wise men who stand about four inches tall. The set has survived three rambunctious children and shows it. There are camels who have tumbled from the shelf and whose broken legs have been re-attached with Elmer’s glue. This year we repaired a beloved camel who suffered a broken neck as he came out of the box. There are angels with chips in their wings, one Wise Man’s nose is chipped. A well-loved nativity set reminds us that even though we may have broken places, or chips from bumpy places in our journey of life we are beloved in Christ’s eyes, he came to save each of us. The child born in that manger so long ago was God’s gift to the world, indeed the most wonderful gift of the season is Jesus Christ.
As we place the figures in our nativity set or see scenes on lawns or in front of churches, we can contemplate Mary and her trust in God despite the challenges she faced. We are reminded that Joseph stepped out in faith and did not break his engagement to Mary. The shepherds who were the first at the manager remind us that Christ came for all people, no matter our occupation, or what we have done. Jesus was born in humble circumstances but welcomes rich or poor into God’s kingdom. We hear of the steadfastness of the Wise Men in their search for the Christ Child.
Like many traditions and practices of the season the setting up of the nativity scene can be a chore or it can be a wonderful way to remember the story of Christ’s birth. The story reminds us of the faith, trust and steadfastness of those who were a part of the beloved story of the nativity of Christ. The following is a prayer I came across some years ago which may be used as you set up your nativity scene and perhaps prayed during the season:
Prayer for the Crèche
Eternal God, we ask your blessing on this holy scene. May this scene be a reminder to pray throughout the Advent and Christmas season. Each time we look upon this scene may we pause to praise God for the gift of Jesus who came to save us. Mary, who consented to be his mother, and Joseph who cared for his family. God, we praise you for this holy season, bless this crèche, this house and all who dwell here. Author and source unknown.
My mother has a well-worn newspaper clipping in the nativity box which contains the following blessing, this is especially suitable for families with children.
Blessing for the Crèche
“It is time, Lord, to take the holy drama from its cardboard box.
May this little creche come to life in our home and bestow its secret blessings.
Bless this wooden stable, Lord. This lowly abode of cows and donkeys.
May it keep me humble this Christmas.
Bless this tiny star beaming at the top.
May it light my eyes with the wonder of your caring.
Bless this little angel, may her song flow through our house and fill it with smiles.
Bless this caring shepherd and the small lamb cradled in his arms.
May it whisper of Your caring embrace on my life.
Bless these Wise Men bearing splendid gifts may they inspire me
to lay my shining best at Your feet.
Bless this earthly father in his simple robe.
May he remind me of all You have entrusted to my care.
Bless this Virgin Mother, may she teach me patience as I tend to my own little ones.
Bless this baby nestled in the hay. May the love He brought to earth that Bethlehem night so fill my heart with compassion and warmth that it becomes a Christmas gift to those around me.
Now the creche is here, Lord. and we are holy participants in Your miracle night.”
Author and source unknown.
Nativity Scene Display in Fellowship Hall
There are many depictions of the scene at the manger. There are children’s sets, realistic displays and even abstract designs. If you have a nativity set you would be willing to display in Fellowship Hall during Advent please bring the set by December 9th. I would encourage you to provide information about the set, for example if it is an unusual material or has come to you as a gift or purchased while traveling. Please be aware it’s a public space so don’t bring your most precious set but it will be fun to see a variety of nativity sets. If you have any questions, please contact Pastor Teresa.
Poinsettias for Worship, Poinsettias for Advent
Poinsettias are a beautiful part of our holiday celebration. You can assist in decorating the FPC sanctuary for the Advent season by providing a poinsettia for the sanctuary. You can bring them anytime, if you would like to have your gift noted in memory or honor of someone, please let the office know.
Did you know the poinsettia would have, probably, remained unknown except for Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett the first United States ambassador appointed by John Quincy Adams to Mexico from 1825-1829?
Dr. Poinsett was a medical doctor but found his real love in the study of plants. In 1828, while exploring the intriguing countryside of Mexico he discovered a unique shrub with large red flowers. He obtained cuttings, sent them to his greenhouse in South Carolina where he started growing them. He presented friends with gifts of these amazing flowers. Even though Dr. Poinsett will be remembered as the founder of the Smithsonian Institute he will, always, be known as the discoverer of the plant that now bears his name.
The Mexican people view the poinsettia as a symbol of the Holy Star of Bethlehem. A star led the Magi, by Christian tradition as they traveled many miles across the desert in search of the Christ child. The star helped the shepherds and others find the Christ child. The tiny bright yellow flowers in the center are encompassed with bright red leaves, or bracts, which look like stars.
There are many legends of how the plant came to be associated with Christmas. One story comes from Cuernavaca, a very small town somewhat south of Mexico City is the story of a poor small boy who, like everyone else, desired to bring a gift to the Christ child on Christmas Eve. As he walked towards the Church, an angel appeared and instructed him to pick the white weeds from the roadside, which he did. When the flowers were placed into the Christ’s child’s manger on Christmas Eve, they became the vibrant crimson blossom: the poinsettia. Another, similar, story told in a different part of Mexico is the story of a young poor girl who, also, picks white weeds from along the road. Upon arriving at the Cathedral, she places the carefully arranged bouquet into the Christ’s child’s manger on Christmas Eve and they became the lovely bright red poinsettia.
I hope you have enjoyed getting a little history of the poinsettia and that as you see the flowers you have a new appreciation for their beauty as well as the legends that have tied them to the Advent Christmas season. The Worship Team welcomes your help in beautifying our sanctuary. We would ask that you take your poinsettia home after the Christmas Eve worship service.
Poinsettias may be displayed in the sanctuary in honor or memory of the loved ones in your life. We will acknowledge the arrangements in the Christmas Eve program. Please inform someone Jenny in the church office of the details. You can bring them anytime. We would ask that you take them home after the December 24rd worship service.
Please help us decorate our annual mitten tree this holiday season with gloves, hats, scarves and mittens.
WAYNE FOOD PANTRY
We are expecting a very busy holiday season at the Food Pantry. With gifts from the community we were able to provide ten baskets to Wayne families at Thanksgiving, and we hope to provide about ten more this Christmas-time. We will also be distributing over 100 bags with peanut butter, jelly & a loaf of bread to the children on the Wayne Schools Backpack Program. Please consider making a donation to the Food Pantry. There is a great need in our community, please be generous. Please contact Jenny at the church office email@example.com if you have any questions.
RING AROUND WAYNE
Join the Presbyterian Pealers Sunday afternoon, December 2nd at 3:00pm at Wayne City Auditorium. Our thanks to Jay O’Leary and all the participants for sharing their talents with our community.
Presbyterian Women will meet on Wednesday, December 5th at 2:00pm.
SALVATION ARMY BELL RINGERS
FPC is scheduled to ring bells at Pac N Save on Saturday, December 8th. We still need ringers from 1-2pm and 2-3pm. Please sign up at the Opportunity Table.
YOUTH CHRISTMAS PROGRAM
The FPC Youth will perform a special Christmas program for us during worship on Sunday, December 9th, 2018.
COMMUNITY CHAPEL SERVICE
Pastor will be leading chapel at Careage on Sunday, December 9th at 1:30pm. You are welcome to join her there.
Youth Group will meet on Wednesday, December 12th at 7:30pm.
CHRISTMAS JOY OFFERING
Our Christmas Joy Offering will be taken on Sunday, December 16th & 23rd, 2018. Whether providing financial assistance to current & former church workers and their families, or providing opportunities for deserving students to attend Presbyterian-related racial ethnic colleges and schools, your generous gifts to the Christmas Joy Offering will bring Good News of Great Joy to the poor in circumstances or spirit.
We will go caroling at Brookdale and then to Careage on Wednesday, December 19th. Please gather at 4:30pm at Brookdale. Bring a friend! After we finish singing, we will return to our Fellowship Hall for a soup supper. Please sign up at the Opportunity Table to provide food for the supper.
There will be no Sewing Souls meeting in December.
CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE
Worship Christ, the newborn King! Wednesday, December 24, at 5:30pm. Bring your loved ones for a special candle-lit service celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
HOLIDAY OFFICE HOURS
*The church office will be closed on Christmas Day, Monday, December 24 & Tuesday, December 25.
*The office will also be closed Monday, December 31 & Tuesday, January 1.
Pastor Teresa will be on vacation Tuesday, December 25 – Monday, January 7, 2019. Please, do not hesitate to leave a message if you have a need at either (402)375-2669 or firstname.lastname@example.org
All donations for the 2018 calendar year need to be to Anita Fuelberth no later than Sunday, December 31, 2018 for tax purposes.
We will celebrate the Lord’s Supper on Sunday, January 13, 2019. Kent Pulfer will serve as the Communion Elder.
The Session will not meet in December. They will gather for a retreat on Saturday, January 19th from 9am-1pm.
ALTERNATIVE CHRISTMAS GIVING
Here are some Web sites that will inspire you to give gifts that will make a real difference in people’s lives:
The Wayne Coat Closet
The Wayne Food Pantry
CHURCH RUSTIC TREASURE ACCOUNT
If you would like to donate items to the Church’s Rustic Treasure accounts, the numbers are listed below. Just take your item to the store counter, and give them the account number listed below. The proceeds will come back to us:
First Presbyterian Church #1220 Wayne Food Pantry #442
December 2018 – First Presbyterian Church
|Each Sunday Morning:
o Handbell Choir 8:45
o Worship 10:00
o Fellowship 11:00
10-11am Coat Closet open
· Hanging of the Greens
· Ring Around Wayne
Wayne Family Coalition Meeting
Scout Den Meeting
PW Bible Study
Salvation Army Bell Ringing – ShopKo
Salvation Army Bell Ringing – Pac N Save
· 10:00 Youth Christmas Program
· 1:30 Pastor leads Careage Chapel
Scout Den Meeting
Pastor at WACAM
5:30 Candlelight Christmas Eve Service
· Office Closed
· Pastor on vacation
Pastor on vacation
Pastor on vacation
Pastor on vacation
Pastor on vacation
Pastor on Vacation
Lector/Greeter Schedule for December 2018
|12/2/2018||Mark Hammer||The Hammer Family|
|12/9/2018||(Youth Group)||Jean & Phil Griess|
|12/16/2018||Jim Curtiss||Pat & Glenda McDonald|
|12/23/2018||Ronda Ras||The Ras Family|
|12/24/2018||The Hammer Family|
|12/30/2018||Milton Owens||Milton & Jackie Owens|
1 Brittany Peterson
5 Tiffanny Heese
7 Candyce Peitz
14 Randy Dunklau
18 Beau Bowers
22 Nina Hammer
(Would you like to see your birthday listed here?
Just contact the church office 402-375-2669 or email@example.com)
LOOKING FORWARD TO 2018
- Worship with Communion will be held Sunday, January 13, 2019.
- The Session will gather for a retreat on Saturday, January 19th from 9am-1pm.
- The FPC Annual Meeting will be held after worship on Sunday, January 27th.
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First Presbyterian Church – Wayne, Nebraska
Wayne Food Pantry – Wayne, Nebraska
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