One on One - Book 6, Volume 23

December 4, 2014

Celebration Puppeteers offer their Christmas program, Wise Men Still Seek Him, at 4 pm Sunday!

 

I was very excited to hear that the Hanging of the Greens was received very well last Sunday as a very meaningful service that helped many get into the true Spirit of Christmas. One person who had not planned to put up their Christmas tree this year was so inspired by the service that they went home and immediately put it up. We will definitely do it again next year and we have a couple of ideas which we think will enhance the Advent season even more in 2015. 

 

Nancy and I had a great Thanksgiving weekend. All my children were in on Thanksgiving Day. Nancy did a great job with the meal after which half the crew parted to be with the families of their significant others. I got one game of RISK in with Devin and Kelsey before calling it a night. The next day we headed to Knoxville to see my brother Don and sister-in-law Dianne. It was harder than I realized it would be to leave my children. The distance we live from each other makes our time together so much more precious. But it was great to reconnect with Don and Dianne.

 

Don and Dianne had a great weekend planned. We ate at the restaurant that was part of their engagement 28 years ago on Friday night. The next day, we attended a unique experience called the Fantasy of Trees. It is a major fundraiser for the Knoxville Children’s Hospital. It involves businesses and organization donating and decorating 350 designer trees and other items. These trees are then sold, typically at a price of $1,200 or more.  They have children’s activities, ornament making, etc. Last year’s event raised $350,000. It was quite a spectacle and made for a fun day in downtown Knoxville. 

 

My brother and I attended Cokesbury UMC’s Saturday evening service, which gave me a few ideas for my sabbatical experience. Their use of visual media told me that we have some work to do in cleaning up our hallways and need to do much more to convey, in simple ways, what our ministry is about. If we can find the money, we need to upgrade to High Definition technology as soon as possible if we want to connect with the next generation. Copies of my full sabbatical report are available in the information rack right below the printed One on One. Or email me at jrairdon@oldbethel.org and I will send you an electronic copy.

 

This weekend we will head to Evansville again for the baptism of my grandson, Coen. The baptism will be Saturday night so it will be a quick trip once again, as I have to be back to preach Sunday. My daughter Kelsey’s work has been in the news this week. Yesterday, they receive the approval they needed from the State Board of Education, here in Indy, which allows the Evansville School corporation to continue their Turnaround Zone efforts. Kelsey was interviewed by the Evansville local news today and that segment will air on television tonight. 

 

So far $4,450 has been promised or donated towards the $10,000 Match effort. Please consider the opportunity to see your giving doubled by making either an end-of-the year gift or up your pledge for 2015. Barry Laird asked if I would push the Angel Fund, which is selling ornaments for donations to the fund we use to provide one-time emergency assistance to the community. A table will be in the lobby before and after services. 

 

This Sunday we will continue the series Pastor Matthew started last week in which we are asking the question, “Why did God come to earth as a baby?”  It is an interesting question to ponder and we will provide some answers the next three weeks which I hope will give you a better understanding of God. In preparation, read Luke 1:46-55. And I hope to also see you at the Celebration Puppeteers Christmas presentation at 4:00 pm. We know the Colts will have blown out the Browns by the third quarter so you should be there on time, right Matthew?

 

See you Sunday,

Rev. Jerry

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