GRACE NOTES The Newsletter of Grace Lutheran Church DECEMBER 2012 Church Office Telephone Pastor (732) 462-5122 Rev. Thomas M. O’Brien, Jr. www.gracelutheranfreehold.org Cell phone (609) 510-6675 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
From the Pastor Thanksgiving and Christmas are times when many of us want to be with family and friends. It is a time to be grateful, a time to celebrate, a time to remember what and who is important in our lives. These are the times when we should remember who Jesus really is. Jesus Christ is: The Messiah, God with us, the Son of God, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Wonderful, Counselor, Marvelous and the Prince of Peace. O, how we rejoice when we sing those great Christmas hymns and songs. Church is filled with the look and feel of Christmas, with wreaths, poinsettias, a Candlelight service and the Cresh (Nativity Scene) with the reminders of the baby Jesus in the manger with Mary and Joseph looking on and the angels hovering above. We think of the shepherds and are reminded that Jesus is the Lamb of God. All these things are lovely and beautiful, but we must remember that Jesus came in humility, as a baby born in the humblest of conditions. Yet he was also born in greatness as God’s beloved Son, who came to fulfill the promise of God, to save us from ourselves, from our selfishness and our sins. Jesus came in order to suffer, die and rise again in order for us to have the gift of salvation. It is indeed a time to rejoice, but also a time to recognize that God loves us so much that he gave his only begotten son to die for us. Let us look forward to each new day as we all prepare for Christmas. As the day approaches, let us always remember that the peace that Jesus brought to the world is the inner peace within each and every one of us.
May the Lord of Peace and Love bring you many blessings this Season.
Merry Christmas from Pastor Tom and Dolores O’Brien "
Then Pealed the Bells More Loud And Deep"
By Karen Alessi
The church bells rang, the sleigh bells rang, the jingle bells rang,the door bells rang, the Salvation Army bells rang, the bicycle bell rang, the Good Humor truck bell rang. Every bell I can remember made a beautiful sound for a beautiful reason. I remember the somewhat well-known, bell-ringer performing in the back of a large shop on Sunset Blvd., C.M., in the dead of winter. Just fresh from the queen's palace in England we were told, he was now here for us on this cold and beautiful star-filled night one December not too long ago. I discovered a new respect for that type of talent when I felt my eyes welling up, listening to the exquisitely beautiful sounds he was creating as he performed one Christmas carol after another. I remember also a luncheon that same year my daughter Bonnie had given for me and her sisters presenting us all with little holiday bells saying, "One of us is not with us this year but remember, every time a bells rings, an Angel gets it's wings." A quote from everyone's favorite holiday movie and a touching tribute to the father and husband we had lost just months before. When I read of the 180 year old bell factory in Connecticut that recently burned down, I thought of all the bells they had made exclusively for all those years. They made the bell for the U.S.S. Maine, twenty different sizes of sleigh bells and cow bells, sheep bells, school bells, wedding bells and yes, the little bell from the movie "It's a Wonderful Life". And I thought how many magical moments, and moments that fill us with hope, would be missed without the joyous sound of the bells; the little ones, the big ones, the solitary ones or the clusters all making a special moment better. So this Christmas Eve at my house, although they don't know it yet, each of my family members will find a holiday bell among their gifts and 14 bells will be ringing as we sing together, the deeply meaningful words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.......
"I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day"
I heard the bells on Christmas Day their old familiar carols play, And wild and sweet the words repeat of peace on earth good will to men. I thought how as the day had come The belfries of all Christendom Had rolled along the unbroken song Of peace on earth good will to men. And in despair I bowed my head, "There is no peace on earth", I said " For hate is strong and mocks the song Of peace on earth good will to men". Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: "God is not dead nor doth he sleep, the wrong shall fail, the right prevail, With peace on earth good will to men". Till ringing, singing on it's way The world revolved from night to day A voice, a chime, a chant sublime Of peace on earth good will to men.
P.S. A temporary factory has been set up for the Beven Brothers Manufacturing Co. and resumption of bell making has begun including filling the annual order from the Salvation Army for the steel and brass bells it uses for it's kettle drives!
We will continue to collect food donations for Christmas Baskets. Items needed: Canned vegetables, Turkey gravy, Cranberry sauce, Stuffing, Instant mashed potatoes, Cornbread mix, Cake mix and frosting, Brownie Mix.
Come & Donate for those who have less We will be collecting clothing for FEED ALL GOD’S CHILDREN We need clean and in good condition the following items: Sweatshirts, Long sleeve shirt and Coats. New socks are also needed. A Box will be located in the Fellowship Hall to accept these donations.
Open Door Grace Lutheran Church is an active partner with Freehold Open Door, a non-profit interfaith agency that provides emergency food, emergency funding, mentoring and scholarships to those in need from the Freehold area. At Grace, there is a basket outside of the church office where you can contribute non-perishable food items to the Open Door Food Pantry.
Did you know that all of these donations are personally delivered to the food pantry by Sandy & Bob Taylor and Leslie Taylor. Many people have helped to load their cars with all the heavy cans and boxes. Thank you to everyone for your generous contributions and continued support of the Open Door program and all who assist in serving the needs of the community.
AMONG THE WOLVES ! Was held on Saturday, November 16th our YOUTH went to the Synod sponsored event which focused on helping others. This one day event was filled with music, fun and work to aid the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Come and help us decorate the church both inside and out as we prepare for CHRISTMAS DECEMBER 15, 2012 @ 4 pm Please join us for an evening of fun, fellowship and good eating.
Prayer Concerns *The Strandberg/Free Family 11/4 *Irving and Theresa Hu 11/4 *Frank Price 11/4 *Geri Palmer 11/4 Phyllis Cicinia (William Sohmer) 11/25 Ciesienski Family (Edna Catalina) 11/25 Family of Marion Beveridge 11/25 Ann Measey 11/25 James Bott 12/2 Jennifer, Gabriella, Nicky, Bella, Guilianna, Zani, 12/2 John Denora 12/2 Doug Jugo 12/2 Kay Lithgow 12/2 Rick Quinones 12/2 Alma Baumgaertner 12/2 Roslyn 12/5
BETHLEHEM INN Sunday December 23rd we will have our regular service with music at 8:15 am. Instead of our 9:30 am worship, we will be having a breakfast drama in the Fellowship Hall. There is a sign up sheet in the hallway for those who would like to contribute food for the breakfast. Come and join in the fun, the food and the fellowship!
Pastor’s Office Hours Monday – 8:30AM to 5:30PM Tuesday – 8:30AM to 4:00PM Wednesday – 9:00AM to 2:30PM Thursday -- 10:00AM to 12:00PM & 2:00PM to 4:00PM Friday – OFF
FINANCIAL REPORT Grace Lutheran Church Financial Status as of November 30, 2012 Checking Account Beginning Balance as of November 1, 2012 $17,464.27 Accounts Payable* $9,716.61 Offerings $5,337.00 11/4, 11/11, 11/18, 11/25 Rental Income $1,600.00 Ending balance as of November 30, 2012 $14,684.66 *November 2012 Expenses include: Mortgage $1,504.00 Insurance $983.80 Bank Fees/Accountant Fees $0.00 Utilities $1,164.73 Compensation & Benefits $4,969.98 Supplies $1,045.10 Parsonage Repairs $0.00 Benevolence/Mission Support $49.00 Taxes $0.00 Repayment of Loan from Memorial Account $0.00 Total Expenses $9,716.61
Calling all who Knit & Crochet Lets recommit together to make prayer shawls and blankets for Those in need and for Baptisms
Thank You … •
To all who continue to fill the basket for the “Open Door Food Pantry” and brought in Turkeys or donated $ to purchase them. • For all who helped serve or donate food to St. Peter’s Community Dinner on November 30. • For all who checked on each other during the storm and aftermath. • To Sandy Taylor, Bob Taylor and Leslie Taylor who deliver all our donated food items to Freehold Open Door on a weekly basis. • To all worship assistants who serve Christ each Sunday morning. • To all members of the Altar Guild for preparing the church sanctuary for worship service each Sunday and cleaning the altar afterwards. • To those who volunteer to clean the church sanctuary, hall, classrooms and bathrooms each week. • For those who helped remove fallen branches after the storm. • To Church Council members who lead this congregation. • To Ed Acosta and Stockel Landscaping for taking good care of the church’s lawn. • For the Bread bakers for Communion. • For all who donated altar flowers or contributed to the purchase of Sanctuary candles. • To our Sunday School Teachers and Assistants. • To those who completed and returned their Time and Talents/Volunteer Opportunity forms and who filled out their pledge cards on Stewardship Sunday. • To all those, known, somewhat known and unknown, who help our church in big ways as well as small ways. We appreciate everything that you do! Many thanks!
Schedule of Worship Assistants Still need additional tellers.
Need assistants for both services on Christmas Eve.
December 24 7 pm & 11 pm
12/2 Ushers: Sue Hu Lector Lauren Carter Acolytes: Nicole Verdino/ Billy Nemeth Communion Assistants: Art & Carol Casement Tellers: Margot Strandberg/ Sandra Quinones Altar Guild: Laura Becker
12/9 Ushers : Sprunger Family Lector Michelle Verdino Acolytes: John Grinberg/ Montana Taylor Communion Assistants: Karen Nolan/Miranda Scott Tellers: Art & Carol Casement Altar Guild :Carol Casement 12/16 Ushers: Luann & Carl Kogel Lector Matthew Sprunger Acolytes: Monica Grinberg/Casey Huemer Communion Assistants: Debbie Crawford Tellers Art & Carol Casement Altar Guild: Doris Egloff
12/23 8:15 am only Ushers TBD Lector Dawn Coyne Acolytes Bob Coyne Communion Assistants Dawn Coyne Tellers Margot Strandberg/ Sandra Quinones Altar Guild Sue Hu
12/30 Ushers: Sprunger Family Lector Sandra Quinones Acolytes: Nicole Verdino/ Casey Huemer Communion Assistants: Art & Carol Casement Tellers: Art & Carol Casement Altar Guild: Raelynn Huemer