Living in Abundance

Happy Thanksgiving!  As you read this, it is very nearly time for our celebration of family, friends, and food.  Conference Minister Rev. Diane Weible reminded us of the power of living with an attitude of abundance, knowing we are always in God’s presence and care, that our needs are known.  Held in such amazing love, we refuse to yield to forces of fear, anxiety, and uncertainty.  Yet this is not easy for those for whom real hardships make abundant thinking difficult.  By our actions, we are called to create abundance – in body, mind, and spirit – so they might truly know their worth to God, and that they are treasured in community.

Our communion table was covered with food for Samaritan House.  Our hearts were filled with song and reassurance in the face of a difficult world.  Our spirits were touched by the presence of several visitors.  We were strengthened in our covenant with other churches.  We heard:  Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet God in heaven feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6:26)  Are we not all of infinite value in God’s sight?

This week, be blessed … and a blessing.  Be abundant.
Pastor Carol

Thanksgiving rev

Observing Advent

Advent opens before us – the season of waiting and anticipation before the birth of Jesus.  A special tradition is the lighting of the candles of the Advent wreath.  Each Sunday, we invite a family to light the candles of the wreath and do a short reading at the start of the service.  At IUC, families take many shapes – we are singles with or without children, couples, grandparents / grandchildren – and we love and honor them all!  Let Pastor Carol know if you would be available for this special Advent ritual on Dec 6, 13, or 20 (we already have someone for Nov 29).  We will welcome many singing voices, and even dancing feet, for our Christmas Eve service.  If you have been imagining singing in the choir – try it out in Advent.

Let’s make this season double bright! On Sunday, December 13 after church will be our traditional Baby Jesus party. Please bring finger food to share, an unwrapped toy to donate and new this year, help make luminarias to light our Christmas Eve service. Supplies will be provided. If you have prior experience please let Carol know ASAP.

On Sunday, December 20 at 5:30pm, we will go Christmas caroling in our neighborhood. Meet at the church.  We’ll be out for about an hour and then return for warm cider and cookies.

On Thursday, December 24 at 6:30pm, we will gather for our Christmas Eve service of candlelight, readings, and carols.  There will be a special story for children and refreshments afterwards.

Holly Plant 6

Christmas Fund Special Offering

For 113 years, the Christmas Fund for the Veterans of the Cross, our Emergency Fund, has been a leading light in the mission of United Church of Christ.  This fund provides us with a means to directly assist those who have so faithfully and selflessly served and now find themselves facing unexpected financial needs. The Pension Boards’ Ministerial Assistance program provides, on behalf of the whole Church, Pension Supplementation, Health Premium Supplementation, Emergency Grants, and Christmas “Thank You” Gift Checks to individuals and families in need.

The theme of the 2015 Christmas Fund Offering is “Love Shines Through”. We at Island United Church will be  taking this special offering on Sunday, December 20.  On behalf of the hundreds of clergy and lay employees and their families whose lives were touched by your support in the past, the Pension Boards of UCC offer their sincere thanks for your generosity and love.