New Look, Same Dangling
It’s been over two years since I began these weekly updates. Jay Stephenson, Pearce’s gifted computer geek, recently proposed a bit of a revamp of the Dangling. Ryan Palma, our graphics guy, came up with a new logo for the masthead. You can view and subscribe to it here. I think they did nice work, don’t you?
It’s the Most Wonderful Time!
Once again this year, I want to encourage families to participate in the Advent Conspiracy. This is a movement that began several years ago, where families commit to spending less on Christmas gifts and give more to efforts to provide clean drinking water around the world.
Bev Faro recently shared with me some of the things her family has done as part of the Advent Conspiracy. Remember, AC is about turning Christmas upside down by worshiping fully, spending less, giving more, and loving all!
Here’s one of the ideas the Faro family has implemented as part of the Conspiracy!
We have had an absolutely wonderful time since we began focusing on “presence” rather than “presents.” Most of the credit for this must go to our kids, who cherish the time that they are able to spend together. Beginning in October, they email each another about “what are we going to do this year?” Every year we discover a new slant on our small gift exchange. We have found ways to focus on enjoying time together doing things that are a bit wacky, but quite memorable.
One year, we did a name exchange where the rules were that the “present” had to be attached to a characteristic of the receiver or have a “story” to tell. That year was so much fun as each person opened a gift that had been inspired by a memory, and those memories and stories were told, accompanied by great laughter.
As examples, our son Aaron drew Brett, his brother. Aaron and his wife, Christine, went shopping with a digital camera. Christine took pictures while Aaron posed in all kinds of GQ-type clothing and then they constructed a “Catalog for the Classy Bachelor.” It was very slick and they had a blast preparing it.
Christine received a “Princess Kit,” complete with all things pink and frilly, the antithesis of who she is.
John, our son-in-law, received an autographed and framed picture of a ref that he regularly used to harass at RWC basketball games, and there was a hilarious recounting of one particularly memorable game.
Aaron was presented with a hand-made halo, accompanied by many stories of being the perfect, “favorite” child.
Aaron borrowed the Bible Quiz team seats from Pearce and set up a mock Quiz-Off in the basement, to memorialize all of the years Amy, our daughter, spent quizzing!
You get the picture. No one missed REAL presents in the midst of all that memorable fun. I hope this gives you plenty of ideas about how the emphasis can be shifted from presents to enjoying time together in creative and fun ways. It has completely reinvented Christmas for us.
Find out more about the Advent Conspiracy, complete with other ideas of ways to observe this Christmas, at adventconspiracy.org.
Can You Smile? Sign up!
Over the past six months, a small group of individuals has been working to identify the best ways to recognize, assist, and follow-up with those who visit Pearce’s worship services. We now have our leadership team in place, a wonderful group of friendly individuals committed to making Pearce an even more welcoming church!
Here’s where you come into the picture. We are in need of additional volunteers in the following areas: parking lot & crosswalk personnel, greeters, runners to assist guests in finding their way to Adult Bible Fellowships (ABFs) or other locations within the church, welcome center and information desk receptionists, and people to help with follow-up. If you are not currently involved, but are interested in serving in one of these areas, please contact Robin Day (email@example.com) or me (firstname.lastname@example.org), by Wednesday, November 20.
A Whale of a Series!
This coming weekend, I’ll begin a three-week series of messages on the story of Jonah. I’ve titled the series “Out of My Comfort Zone,” because I identify with Jonah and his desire to avoid the hard place to which God is calling him.
Have you ever felt like running away from God’s call on your own life? If so, you’ll find a kindred spirit in Jonah!
Read the first chapter of Jonah in preparation for this weekend. As you consider this passage, ask these questions: “What is my Nineveh?” and “What place do I want to avoid going to at all cost!”
SWAG Hits Six Figures!
Well, it hasn’t quite happened yet. But I am confident it will within the next few days!
As of last weekend, Pearce has received a total of $99,735.19 towards our list of SWAG (Stewardship With A Goal) projects. Your generosity has enabled us to complete Projects 1 through 5, and Project 7. (We are delaying Project 6, sealing the Orchard Street parking lot, until 2014, due to the change in weather.)
We are now working on Project 8, raising an additional $20,000 towards a new roof for the sanctuary. We have received $14,735.19 towards Project 8 and, as a result, a total of nearly $125,000 is on hand. Final bids on the roof are being received this month, and a final decision on the contractor should be made within a few weeks.
I know I have said this many, many times, but thank you for your generosity!