Every year, society expects us to celebrate the holiday season even bigger and better than years before. This year, coming together to reclaim Advent and Christmas can be both humbling and fulfilling. As we excitedly await the birth of Christ, it’s important to remember the reason for the season: the newborn Servant of All.
With Christ at the center of this holiday season, we can follow in his example of servant leadership by serving our brothers and sisters in faith. Through the Christmas Joy Offering, we are able to support those in our community and give them the gift of hope.
Funds from the Christmas Joy Offering help the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions provide critical financial assistance to eligible workers in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and their families, and to qualifying retired church workers and their families.
The Christmas Joy Offering also supports the education and development of our future leaders at Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges. These schools are dedicated to creating opportunities and environments for racial ethnic students built on a foundation of Christian values. The Offering benefits Menaul School and Presbyterian Pan American School, two secondary schools that ready students for a path of higher learning, as well as Stillman College, where graduates are prepared for lives of leadership and service.
By giving to the Christmas Joy Offering, we can share in the hope of Christ and celebrate his leadership by providing support to our church workers, racial ethnic young people, and their families.
Please give generously by:
Metropolitan Ministries provides toys during the holiday season to over 17,000 children. Your donations will ensure every child has a gift waiting for them under the tree.
We will deliver your donations to Metropolitan Ministries if dropped off at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church by 11:00 AM on Sunday, December 17th.
- Crib & Stroller Toys
- Early Learning Toys
- Strollers & Car Seats
- Bouncers & Walkers
- Preschool Play Sets
- Character Toys Building
- Blocks Baby Dolls
- Learning Toys/Puzzles
- Remote Control Cars
- Electronic Games Arts & Crafts
- Fashion & Baby Dolls
- Legos & Lego Sets
- Current DVDs
- Jewelry Purses Makeup
- Hair Accessories Cologne or Perfume
- Footballs, Basketballs or Soccer Balls Sports
- Clothing & Hats
- Sketch Books & Pencils
- DVD & MP3 Players
- Current DVDs
- Best Buy,
- Apple iTunes
- Foot Locker
- Dick’s Sporting Goods
- Payless ShoeSource
Other Gift Ideas:
- Bicycles/Tricycles Scooters
- Pre-Paid Cell Phones
How much is enough?
I have gone spelunking, exploring a cave where few people have gone before, where there are no paths, no handrails, and no lights. On such explorations our guide expected each participant to carry not merely their own flashlight, but also a backup. One flashlight should be sufficient, especially if it has reasonably fresh batteries. The flashlight I typically carried would last several camping trips without incident. But being in a cave is very different than a night out under the stars. On a camping trip, a dead or lost flashlight is merely an inconvenience, for even on a cloudy night enough light filters through to allow one to walk cautiously back to camp. But in a cave, once the lights are out, there is nothing but darkness. Darkness so deep and so complete your hand is hidden even when touching your own nose.
Jesus told a parable about ten bridesmaids who had gone out to await the arrival of a bridegroom. In the first century an oil lamp would provide light for several hours, typically more than enough for a grand parade to the bridal feast, even allowing for a modest delay that typically occurs. Yet in this parable, five bridesmaids carry extra oil, just in case. When delays deter this bridegroom’s arrival more than anticipated causing everyone’s lamp to run low and sputter out, the other five scurry to find more oil and miss the party.
But what does this oil signify? And how do you get it? And how is it useful each and every day?
I will have more to say about Matthew 25:1-13 at 8:15 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 12<sup>th</sup> at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church.
Robert Shaw, Pastor
Serendipitously our Mission and Evangelism Committee independently chose to present options for volunteering with local mission agencies on the exact same Sunday when our reading of Romans 12:1-8 would ask us how we might present our bodies as a living sacrifice, using our various gifts so that together we might be the body of Christ by loving our neighbors.
Please bring your friends and family with you on Sunday, August 27th.
- Our day begins at 8:30 AM with a pancake breakfast.
- At 10 AM speakers from six local ministries will inspire us to love our neighbors.
- At 11 AM conversations will continue over ice cream sundaes.
- Our annual talent show will conclude the morning’s festivities.
If these six speaker have not inspired you to use your gifts as you might the discern the will of God, then also consider service here at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church on our committees: Christian Education, Congregational Care, Facilities, Fellowship, Finance, Personnel, or Worship.
So be transformed by the renewing of your minds and discern how you might exhibit how the Spirit is good and acceptable and perfect.
Let these six local mission agencies inspire how you will present your bodies as living sacrifices on Sunday, August 27th at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church.
Robert Shaw, Pastor