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 Cross in the Manger
If there is no cross in the manger,
there is no Christmas.
If the Babe doesn’t become the Adult,
there is no Bethlehem star.
If there is no commitment in us,
there are no Wise Men searching.
If we offer no cup of cold water,
there is no gold, no frankincense, no myrrh.
If there is no praising God’s name,
there are no angels singing.
If there is no spirit of alleluia,
there are no shepherds watching.
If there is no standing up, no speaking out, no risk,
there is no Herod, no flight into Egypt.
If there is no room in our inn,
then “Merry Christmas” mocks the Christ Child,
and the Holy Family is just a holiday card,
and God will loathe our feast and festivals.
For if there is no reconciliation,
we cannot call Christ “The Prince of Peace.”
If there is no goodwill toward others,
it can all be packed away in boxes for another year.
If there is no forgiveness in us,
there is no cause for celebration.
If we cannot go now even unto Golgotha,
there is no Christmas in us.
If Christmas is not now,
if Christ is not born into the everyday present,
then what is all the noise about?
“The Cross in the Manger” by Ann Weems from her collection of poems, Kneeling in Bethlehem.
This powerful poem puts Christmas into the proper perspective. We can get caught up in all of the activities and emotions of the Christmas season, shopping, decorating our homes and the perfect tree, baking, spending time with family, watching our favorite Christmas movies. Whatever our family practices and traditions they aren’t the core of Christmas, Jesus is. The poet’s words challenge us to remember that Christmas, the birth of Christ was just the beginning, we must see the full spectrum of Jesus’ life and ministry. God sent Jesus into the world to take upon himself our sin, thinking lovingly of each and every individual living at that time and yet to be born, which includes you and me. Jesus didn’t remain an infant, he grew into a man and took on the ministry God had sent him to do. That ministry revealed God’s love and faithfulness, also the tension between fear and hope, joy and sorrow, risk and reward. Jesus came for sinful humanity, and yet many did not recognize him as God’s son. Remember the manager which received the Christ child and the Cross where he breathed his last were made by human hands and yet Christ gave himself up for each of us. Christmas is about a Savior who entered the world to save us all, think about that as you celebrate this year.
CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE: December 24th, 7:00 pm
The Session decided that FPC will not have an in-person Christmas Eve service this year. We all know how different church seems without singing and Christmas Eve would be especially hard without singing our favorite hymns. The Session decided to go with a Zoom service of Lessons and Carols, which will allow each household to sing out at home safely with their family. You are encouraged to have an Advent wreath or candles set up in your home and to participate with the lighting of the candles at church. In addition, have your lights low in your home and join in the candlelight portion of the service passing the light from family member to family member. You might even consider projecting the service from your computer to your TV so you can see others participating in the service. It will not be the same as gathering together in the sanctuary, but we will remember and mark the night of Christ’s birth together in a unique way. The service will begin at 7:00 p.m. (you can sign in beginning at 6:45pm). The service will be recorded and posted on our You Tube and Facebook pages. You are free to share the worship invitation with your family members. The bulletin will be emailed in advance with the words to the hymns so you can print as many copies as you need. This is not a traditional service but 2020 has been unique in so many ways. The Session & Pastor Teresa hope you will be blessed as we celebrate Christ’s birth.
We will celebrate the Lord’s Supper on December 6th with Kent Pulfer as the communion elder. Communion in January will be on the 10th.
ADVENT CANDLE LIGHTING 2020
During this Advent season some are gathered for worship at home. Those at home are invited to prepare a space for an advent wreath, or at least 4 candles and join each week in the candle lighting during worship. You can use the traditional colors of 3 purple and one 1 pink or shades of blue. Any color of candles will work to join in marking the passing of the weeks. Thank you to the following who will be assisting with Advent Candlelighting:
November 29th Candle of Hope: Phil & Jean Griess
December 6th Candle of Love: The Peitz Family
December 13th Candle of Peace: The McCorkindale Family
December 20th Candle of Joy: The Ras Family
December 24th Christ Candle: Pastor Teresa
ADVENT DEVOTIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
Annually Presbyterians Today offer an Advent devotional in its November/December edition. This year the Advent and Christmas devotional is on-line at Presbyterian Mission Agency Advent and Christmas Devotional 2020 / Presbyterians Today / Presbyterian Mission Agency
This year’s devotional is based on the poem “I will Light Candles This Christmas” by Howard Thurman.
I Will Light Candles This Christmas
By Howard Thurman
I will light candles this Christmas,
Candles of joy despite all the sadness,
Candles of hope where despair keeps watch,
Candles of courage for fears ever present,
Candles of peace for tempest-tossed days,
Candles of grace to ease heavy burdens,
Candles of love to inspire all my living,
Candles that will burn all year long.
Each week’s Advent and Christmas theme will be a stanza from Thurman’s poem, followed by a reading from Scripture, a short meditation and closing prayer. At the start of each week will be a reflection question and you are invited to light a candle (or play the video of the candle provided) and ponder more deeply that week’s theme.
Throughout the seasons of Advent and Christmas you are invited to submit pictures of the candles you are lighting — actual wax candles or photos of the “flames,” the little actions done by your hands — that are lighting your community with love. These pictures will be posted on Presbyterians Today’s social media sites such as Facebook.
In addition other on line Advent devotionals include Biola University’s Center for Christianity, Culture and the Arts which hosts an Advent devotional which features music and art at http://ccca.biola.edu/advent/2020/
Another Advent and Christmas series can be found on d365.org This year’s devotional is entitled – “Following the Star,” the music with these devotions is always wonderful.
You are encouraged to look at these options for your Advent devotions.
Alternative Gift Giving Ideas
Filling the Manger
Last summer this congregation responded with generosity to our Chickens Around the World Project which was linked to Wayne’s Chicken Days Celebration. FPC exceeded the goal of $100.00 for 4 flocks of chickens and gave a total of $650.00 or 26 flocks of chickens.
For some that may have been your introduction to the Presbyterian Giving Catalog. The Giving Catalog is a part of the Presbyterian Mission Agency and allows individuals or congregations purchase or give toward a variety of projects that help people in the developing world. You can choose projects related to water, agricultural, people, a variety of aid kits as well as livestock. You are encouraged this year to give a gift through the Presbyterian Giving catalog. You can participate with FPC as we seek to “Fill the Manger” by donating for the purchase of an animal to help a family in a third world country. If you have someone who is hard to buy for consider buying a piglet ($40.00), a flock of chickens ($25.00), a pair of goats ($178.00) or a portion of a cow ($50.00-$450.00). You can read more about these items at Presbyterian Online Giving Catalog (pcusa.org) or pick-up at catalog in Fellowship Hall.
This is one way we can live into our pledge to be a Matthew 25 congregation. We are reminded that whenever we care for those in need, we are caring for our Lord, Jesus Christ (Matthew 25:31-46).
If you or your family make a gift of one or more of these critters, let Pastor Teresa know what animal and she will add to our “virtual manger” the animals the congregation has gifted. For more detailed information you can go to Presbyterian Online Giving Catalog (pcusa.org)
You might consider a gift to Filling the Manger in memory or honor of your loved one instead of purchasing a poinsettia this year. We will recognize your gift in our Christmas Eve bulletin.
The Deacons request your help in decorating our virtual mitten tree this holiday season with gloves, hats, scarves and mittens. The tree will be in Fellowship Hall in December.
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 nine baskets to Wayne Community School families and eight Head-Start families at Thanksgiving, and we hope to provide about the same number this Christmastime. We will also be distributing nearly 150 bags with peanut butter, jelly & a loaf of bread to the children on the Wayne Schools Backpack Program. Please consider donating to the Food Pantry. There is a great need in our community, please be generous. Please contact Jenny at the church office firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
ALTERNATIVE GIFT GIVING IDEAS TO SPREAD CHRISTMAS CHEER
- Local Gifts for Kids: Help area children have a Merry Christmas through the Gifts for Kids program. Select a tag from the Gifts for Kids tree at Bomgaars. There are a variety of ages of children and requests. Once you’ve selected a tag(s), leave the bottom of the tag with a cashier. Shop for the items and return the unwrapped gifts with the tag to Bomgaars before December 20th.
- 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
The Nativity Escape Room: An Advent Activity
Can You Solve the Mysteries of the BIRTH OF JESUS
A popular current recreational activity is “escape rooms” which require a variety of problem-solving skills to resolve and get out of a virtual room. Escape room activities challenge several skills in individuals and teams. If this type of activity intrigues you are invited to try The Nativity Escape Room. The activity includes a combination of ciphers, Morse code, cryptograms and other puzzles which require critical thinking. The activity is based on the nativity of Jesus Christ. The objective of the Nativity Escape Room is to read and solve the 4 mysteries of the Nativity, complete the final challenge to earn a key, representative of the Keys to the Kingdom. There are four mysteries which give you biblical background, there is a code to break and a question to answer before you move onto the next mystery. Each code you crack will reveal facts about the story of Christ’s birth. You must complete all the mysteries to get the final code. While this material was designed for youth, it could be fun for individuals of any age, as activity with your children and grandchildren or team of friends. You have an hour to complete all four mysteries, you are on your honor about staying in the time limit!!
If you are interested in trying The Nativity Escape room, contact Pastor Teresa via email or text. You will be mailed two envelopes, one will be labeled 4 Mysteries of the Nativity and should be opened first the second envelope should be opened only after you have completed the 4 Mysteries and cracked the code. If you correctly solve the mysteries and crack the code take a photo of yourself, team or family with your key and post it on our FPC Facebook page. You are encouraged to challenge yourself and your family this advent season with The Nativity Escape Room.
CHRISTMAS JOY OFFERING
The Christmas Joy Offering has been a cherished Presbyterian tradition since the 1930s. The Offering distributes gifts equally to the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions and to Presbyterian-related schools and colleges equipping communities of color. The Assistance Program provides critical financial support to church workers and their families. Presbyterian-related schools and colleges provide education and leadership development while nurturing racial and ethnic heritage. This has been a Presbyterian commitment for nearly 140 years. We will receive the Christmas Joy offering on Sunday, December 20th, however you may make your gift any time before December 27th. Please note on your check or offering envelope that the gift is for the Christmas Joy offering.
COMMUNITY CAROLING ON WHEELS: Sunday, December 20th
Because of COVID, we are not able to do many of the things we are used to doing during the Christmas Season. Pastor Nick Baker of Wayne First United Methodist Church has proposed a Community Christmas Caroling event. In co-ordination with KTCH, the songs of the season will be played on the radio so that the Wayne Community can tune in and sing along. Watch the bulletin for more details.
Members of Wayne First UMC and Carroll UMC plan to gather in their cars to sing (perhaps in the Ameritas Lot, or the old bank lot where the big Christmas tree is). Participants are encouraged to decorate their cars, bring hot chocolate, etc. Everyone will stay in their cars, but it’s a chance to “carol together”. The thought is that even though we can’t be “together” as we want, the entire community can be connected in one spirit as they sing from their homes, cars, wherever!
PASTOR’S VACATION & STUDY LEAVE
- Pastor will be on vacation December 25th, 2020 – January 8th, 2021.
- Lay speaker Dave Fritz will be leading worship service on Sunday, December 27, 2020. There will be no ZOOM component.
- No service will be held of Sunday, January 3, 2020. (Communion will be held on January 10th.)
- If you have a pastoral need while Pastor Teresa is away, please contact the office at (402)375-2669 or email@example.com
HOLIDAY OFFICE HOURS
- Monday, 12/21/2020, through Thursday, 12/24/2020, open 9am – 1pm
- Monday, 12/28/2020 through Friday, January 1, 2021, closed
STEWARDSHIP TEAM REPORT
The results of the 2021 stewardship campaign as of November 30th are as follows:
- 61 letters and pledge forms were sent out, (this represents “giving units” which may be a couple or an individual or friend, not total number of members.
- 28 pledge forms have been returned, the total pledged is $76,453.70.
The Stewardship Team recognizes that some people like making a pledge while others who give prefer not to pledge but still give faithfully, either manner is faithful. The financial support of the congregation is necessary for the ongoing ministry of this congregation.
All donations for the 2020 calendar year need to be to Anita Fuelberth no later than Tuesday, December 31, 2020 for tax purposes.
- The Session will not meet in December. They will gather for a retreat January 16th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Snow date for the retreat is January 23rd.
- 2020 Session members & Deacons are reminded to compile a summary report for your area which will need to be sent to the office by Sunday, January 10th. Thank you!
FPC ANNUAL MEETING
Our annual congregational meeting will be after worship on Sunday, January 24th. If you are responsible for a particular ministry (e.g., music, nominating, church school, property), please submit a brief report to the church office (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Sunday, January 10th.
PMC ANNUAL TREE LIGHTING REMEMBRANCE SERVICE
Providence Medical Center is hosting their annual Tree Lighting Remembrance Service in a virtual rather than in-person format this year. The service will be available to be viewed on the PMC website (www.providencemedical.com) and the PMC Facebook from December 6-31. We’ll also have personalized snowflakes on the tree which will later be mailed to all our bereaved families. Although we wish we could gather in person, we hope this will still be a meaningful service to remember those we miss and grieve at this Christmastime.
Our thanks to our session members for decorating the sanctuary this Christmas season.
5 Tiffanny H.
7 Candyce P.
14 Randy D.
18 Beau B.
22 Nina H.
(Would you like to see your birthday listed here?
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December 2020 – First Presbyterian Church
|Each Sunday Morning Worship at 10am||*5:40am KTCH 104.9 Moment for Living||1 *5:40am KTCH 104.9 Moment for Living||2 *5:40am KTCH 104.9 Moment for Living||3 *5:40am KTCH 104.9 Moment for Living||4 *5:40am KTCH 104.9 Moment for Living||5 *5:40am KTCH 104.9 Moment for Living|
|6 Communion||7||8||9||10 10am Pastor at Salvation Army Meeting||11||12|
|20 Christmas Joy Offering||21 Church Office open||22 Church Office open||23 Church Office open||24 7:00pm Zoom Candlelight Christmas Eve Service||25 Pastor on vacation Church Office closed||26|
|27 Worship with Dave Fritz||28 Pastor on vacation Church Office closed||29 Pastor on vacation Church Office closed||30 Pastor on vacation Church Office closed||31 Pastor on vacation Church Office closed||1 Pastor on vacation Church Office closed||2 Pastor on vacation|
LOOKING FORWARD TO 2021
- Worship with Communion will be held Sunday, January 10, 2021.
- The Session will gather for a retreat on Saturday, January 16th from 9am-noon.
- The FPC Annual Meeting will be held after worship January 24, 2021.
First Presbyterian Church
216 W. Third Street
Wayne NE 68787
FPC Office & Wayne Food Pantry:
Tuesday – Friday, 9am – 12 noon
Wayne Food Pantry: https://fpcwayne.com/food-pantry/
Wayne Coat Closet: https://fpcwayne.com/wayne-coat-closet/
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First Presbyterian Church – Wayne, Nebraska
Wayne Food Pantry – Wayne, Nebraska
Wayne Coat Closet – First Presbyterian Church
Pastor Teresa Bartlett