From the Pastor - December 2018
I always find it both interesting and helpful to study other faiths. I am always amazed at just how much our faith shares some core concepts with all the oher faith systems in the world. There is, though, one major difference, one major characteristic of Christianity that sets it apart from the rest. It is central to our whole belief system and yet, for some reason, it isn’t something we focus on too much. I am speaking of the Incarnation. We believe not only in God, we believe not only in salvation, we believe not only in life after death, we believe in a God whose love is big enough that God is willing to become one of us. That is unique. The gods of other faiths are sometimes good, sometimes not so good, sometimes loving, sometimes vengeful. However the idea that God would actually take on human flesh, to become part of the world God created, set us apart.
At the same time, we often don’t really delve into what this incarnation actually means. We mention the word in worship and in prayer, but we don’t usually stop to think about it. We should because the incarnations means something more than just God becoming like us. In this single act, God is uniting the heavenly realm with the realm of creation. God is uniting the diversity that shaped creation with the hands and feet that continue to mold that creation to this day. This Christmas season, we need to remember just how world-changing this idea of incarnation can be. We need to realize just how it is woven into every part of our lives, even in our prayers. “When we pray, ‘Let your kingdom come’, we aren’t asking God to bring history to an end and whisk us to realms of glory, or to wave a magic wand and so[ve all the problems we face in our life. Rather, we are making a radical commitment to live our life in the world (‘on earth’) in such loving abandonment to God that the values and principles, the perspectives and dynamics of God’s realm of life and wholeness become incarnate in and through our being and doing. Here too we are utterly incapable of actualizing the kingdom in this way. We can, however, through loving abandonment, allow God to incarnate kingdom life in and through us in the circumstances of our daily life.” -- M. Robert Mulholland Jr.
This Christmas let us honor God not only by praying by worshiping, and by fellowship, but even more so by realizing that incarnation wasn’t just something God did 2000 years ago. It is something God continues doing to this day, through our own flesh and bones and through our own encounters and experiences. When we accept Christ as God’s Son, God comes to reside in our heart, and through the life of Jesus Christ, we ourselves become the incarnate presence of God in the world. How’s that for a Christmas miracle?
An archive of Pastor Steve's past "From the Pastor" writings can be found here.
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Mt. Zion will hold a Candlelight Service on Monday, December 24th at 6:00 pm
Neidig Church will hold their Candlelight Serice on Monday, December 24th at 7:30 pm
Gift Cards are a Double Blessing
Are you in need of gifts? Start your shopping with our gift card selection for various local businesses. For details, click here. You can give them as gifts or do your shopping with them. Gift cards are available for purchase after the worship service in the Highland St. lobby, or order forms are available. Thank you for buying gift cards for gifts and your personal shopping during this holiday season.
Members of both Neidig and Mt. Zion churches are encouraged to pick up their giving envelopes in mid-to-late December. Neidig's will be located in classroom 4. Additional envelopes are available upon request.
The prayer chain is open to anyone who wishes to for prayers for themselves or others. If you have a concern, illness or emergency that needs prayers, please call Peggy G. (see directory) to start th chain. If unable to reach Peggy, call Lenny B or Cindy G.
Please see our calendar page for all events.
Every Sunday of Advent (Dec. 1st through 23rd) after Worship Service
Advent 2018 ~ "The LIving Nativity: Preparing for Christmas with Saint Francis"
Did you know that Saint Francis is the person credited with creating the first living nativity? Saint Francis lived his life in the thirteenth century and sought to live a life as close to Christ as possible. Through the use of his life as a means of exploring the beginnings of the nativity and Advent traditions, we will strive ot understand the incarnation of Christ and look at the ordinary ways used to prepare for the birth of the Christ child. This study includes daily advent readings for you and your family, as well as suggestions for weekend activities in preparation for the season.
Along with this study, we would like to make a display of various nativity sets throughout the church. If you have a special set you would like ti display, please contact Jeannette Keezel (717.512.5958).
We will meet on Sunday after the worship service December 2-23. We will begin each week with a meal followed by the Advent study.
Please sign up at the back of the sanctuary so we can ensure that we have materials for everyone. Also, if you would like to prepare a meal for the group, please indicate which week you will serve.
Question can be directed to Jeannette Keezel or Pastor Steve.
New Thing presents Christmas Shoppe
is happening at Neidig Memorial UMC Fellowship Hall
Friday, December 7th - 6pm to 9pm
Saturday, December 8th - starts at 9:00am until about 2:00pm
The Christmas Shoppe is a way for low income-needy families to acquire Christmas presents for their children. Pre-registration is required. For more information or to find out how to register for 2019, contact Pastor Darrow by emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org (temporary email address)
FREE Children's Christmas Party
Saturday, December 22nd from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Please come join us for fun, fellowship, crafts, games, a light lunch and a movie in Fellowship Hall.
For more information, call 717.939.6921
As an added bonus for thse parents wh would like to do some Christmas shopping that day, we will watch your kids while you shop. The parents will need to fill out and sign a permission slip
Hope to see you there.
CONTINUING BIBLE STUDY AT NEIDIG
There is a new Bible Study beginning at Neidig on Wednesday mornings at 10:00a.m. The study is entitled "Women of the Bible". Pastor Joann Darrow, the minister at New Thing Church will be leading the study. All are welcome to come and join this Bible Study.
United Methodist Women ~ Christmas Party
The UMW will meet next on Tuesday, December 11th at 6:30 pm at Gilligan's Restaurant on Eisenhower Blvd. Everyone is welcome to join us for an evening of fellowship, but advance registration is required. Contact Cindy Gundy.
"Coins for the Legacy Fund - Saving God's Creation
All are invited to join the United Methodist Women in helping to raise money for the mission work of the United Methodist Women. There are papers for the Legacy Fund available at the rear of the sanctuary to guide you each month to participate in this project.
Remember - the Legacy Offering should be given to Betty Dunkelberger or Peggy Gundy by Dec. 9th
Help the Homeless by picking up a "homeless bag" from classroom 4. Show others you care by passing htem out to those you see asking for help on the street.
United Methodist Men Meeting
All men are welcome to come and join in fellowship at our monthly meeting and activities. The meetings are currently held on the 1st Tuesday of the month. November's meeting is the Tuesday, the 6th in Classroom #4. All men of Neidig and the Community are welcome. Please note, that the time of 1st Tuesday is not written in stone. If you would like to attend UMM but that time does not fit your schedule, please contact Mike Emerick at Neidig (717.939.6921) and he will call you back to discuss what works. We are willing to change meeting time.
Neidig's "Meals on Wheels"
The "Meals on Wheels" team from Neidig Church is in need of more helpers. Drivers as well as runners are needed. It will only take up about 1 1/2 hrs. of your time for 1 day every 6 weeks. There is great satisfaction in helping your neighbors and serving God. Please see or call Peggy (number in directory) if you can help in any way or have any questions.
Our Krafty Klatch continues meeting on the 2nd Monday of the month from 5:30-9:30 p.m. and on the 3rd Wednesday of the month from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Mark you calendars and bring your WIPS and new projects to Fellowship Hall. Need ideas? We have a small library to get those creative juices flowing. For more information or questions, email Sharon at irishcreme57 at gmail dot com
Monday, December10th - 5:30pm-9:30pm
Wednesday, December 19th - 9:00am-1:00pm
We've cancelled the "two month missions" and gone back to the classic mission per month format at the request of the congregation. If you cannot get your donation in by the end of each month, please contact Becky at 717-884-3251 (her cell) --- Becky Cook
December's mission project will be a Warm Winter Tree for the Bethesda Mission. They are predicting a hard cold winter so think of things that keep you warm. Gloves, hats, scarves, blankets warm socks, and even chapstick. Please bring your donations to the church to be hung on the tree at the front of the sanctuary. If you have any questions, please contact Becky at 717.884.3251
Mission Central Computer Ministries
On January 20th, Mission Central held a special collection of electronics/computers. However, they accept for recycling and refurbishment computers, accessories, cables, wires, old cell phones and other old electronics (excluding televisions) year round. To have any of these items claimed for MIssion Central contact Sharon at KraftyKlatch@gmail.com and she will make arrangements with you to collect.
Just thought you might like to know: Conference Events
(information from the conference newsletter)
Area Community Events
Please email the pastor or webmaster at email@example.com to add your event to our community notice board
LINK TO QUIKLINK FOR CONFERENCE WIDE EVENTS
Check out our new District Website at harrisburgdistrict.org All District events are listed on our calendar and can be found on the website. Submit your events to the office at firstname.lastname@example.org for the