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December, 2008 Newsletter

December, 2008 Newsletter

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The New

December 2008
On The Inside:
The Advent Season The Advent Wreath Christmas Eve Services Music Notes from Mary Ellen Christmas Pageant Bethlehem Walk 2008 Preschool Happy Birthday Jesus Laptop Loaners Daily Devotions Library Youth Stuff Focus on Sunday School Go, Make Disciples Finance Committee Reportr Older Adult Ministires Thank You Notes Shawl Ministry

The Newsletter of New Life United Methodist

The Manger in the Movies
One of my favorite parts of the Christmas season is snuggling up on the couch with my family and watching Christmas specials that I’ve watched for years. It’s not that I don’t know the ending, or that it’s another chance to drink hot chocolate and eat sausage balls that keeps me coming back… It’s that I usually glean something new each time I come to the familiar stories. The same is true of the Christmas story. Many have heard those familiar words so many times that we pass over them too quickly: “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken…” It’s an old story, but with fresh meaning for us today. So… what do some of our favorite Christmas specials have to do with the manger? Can you guess which Christmas special we will be referring to on each of the Sundays in December? Nov 30 – The Grinches that Steal Christmas Dec 7 – One Incredible Moment (Our Christmas Cantata) Dec 14 – A Miracle Well Beyond 34th Street Dec 21 – It Really is a Wonderful Life Dec 24 – A Charlie Brown Christmas Dec 28 – A Christmas Story Join us for worship in Advent. There’s certainly something new God desires us experience this Christmas!

Church Office Hours:
Monday - Friday 9:00a.m. until 3:00p.m. Church Staff checks phone messages throughout the day. Pastor Maxwell is available for appointments days and evenings and is glad to schedule at convenient times.

Worship Opportunities:
Christian Education (all ages): Sundays 9:45a.m. Sunday Worship: 8:30a.m. and 11:00a.m. Praise & Worship Service: 6:30p.m. on 3rd Sunday No Family Night Dinner or Praise & Worship Service in December

December 2008

The New Millennium


THE ADVENT SEASON has arrived and our sanctuary is all decorated to anticipate the coming of the Christ Child. Thanks to all who participated in our Hanging of the Greens Service. We hope it helped each of you prepare your heart for this season. Special thanks go to Patti Davis, Deanna Llewellyn, Maria Maxwell, and Peggy Tsaclas for the “behind the scenes” work that needed to be done in advance of the actual service. THE ADVENT WREATH will be an important part of our regular worship services during the Sundays of Advent. Each week we will have different family light the appropriate candles and present a special Scripture and reading. In advance, we wish to thank each family that serves our congregation by participating in this way.

THREE CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES Again this year we will offer three candle-light services on Christmas Eve. Each service will have a slightly different presentation style. 5:00 PM – Child friendly service for the entire family 7:00 PM – Contemporary in style, still for the entire family 11:00 PM – The more traditional candlelight service including Holy Communion, all are welcome Please join us at one or more of these services to worship and celebrate the birth of Jesus, Our Lord.

December 2008

The New Millennium
MUSIC NOTES from Mary Ellen


The Christmas cantata, “One Incredible Moment,” with text by Max Lucado and music by Tom Fettke will be given at New Life UMC on December 7, 2008. This will be presented by our Adult Choir and friends during our 8:30 and 11:00am services of worship. “Nothing could make the biblical account of the birth of Christ more ‘incredible’ than what is recorded in Scripture. Our fascination with that ‘moment’ raises questions beyond the scope of what Scripture tells us. Did the angels sing? What thoughts were in the hearts and minds of Mary and Joseph?” “Throughout his writings, Max Lucado helps us to see the people in Scripture as ordinary human beings experiencing an extraordinary God, working in mysterious ways. Lucado’s suggestions of what those people may have been feeling or thinking are spurred by the scriptural account, but are not presented on equal footing.” Tom Fettke has written and arranged the music to inspire us and lift us to a high sense of worship during this one incredible moment of the birth of our Lord. “Max Lucado and Tom Fettke are prolific expositors of Truth. They have repeatedly shown their abilities to communicate ultimate majesty and glory to believers’ hearts.” Plan now to come and bring a friend.

Christmas Pageant & Caroling – Everyone is welcome!
The Children’s Christmas Pageant is December 14th at 4:30pm. After wards we will have pizza ($5 donation max per family),drinks, and dessert. Then we will drive to Brandermill Woods Nursing Home to sing Christmas carols. Come and be blessed by the children’s performance and be a blessing to others as we carol at Brandermill. If you have any questions, please contact Cindy Butler, 379-3578, education@ newlifeumc.org.

December 2008

The New Millennium


Bethlehem Walk 2008,
is a life-sized reenactment of the city of Bethlehem at the time of the birth of Christ. Vistors are given a tour on a first comefirst served basis. You may drop in anytime during “open” hours Wednesday, December 3 Thursday, December 4 Friday, December 5 Saturday, December 6 sunday, December 7 6-9pm 6-9pm 6-10pm 4-9pm 4-9pm

This event is free and hosted by Salem Baptist church. They are located on Broad Street 6 miles west of Short Pump. For more information call 804-784-4171 or on the web at www.salembaptistchurch.info.

Weekday Preschool Celebrates Jesus’ Birthday
December is an exciting month for preschoolers as they learn about and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas… Jesus’ Birthday! We will read stories and make crafts that help teach about the little baby born in Bethlehem. We will end our month with our annual “Make-ItTake-It”, a big open house for preschool families, in which they will travel from table to table to make Christmas ornaments and enjoy homemade Christmas treats! The preschool is always looking for substitutes, story tellers, and puppeteers. If you would like to get involved with New Life Weekday Preschool, please contact Tracy Cooper, Director at 794-4522 (Mon-Thurs. 9am-1pm). We currently have a need for empty sewing thread spools, wooden or plastic. If you have any to donate, please place in the labeled basket in Tracy Cooper’s office (the first room on the left).

December 2008

The New Millennium


“Happy Birthday, Jesus!”
The children (preschool – 5th grade) are celebrating Jesus’ birth on December 14th during the Sunday School hour, 9:45 - 10:45am. There will be activities reinforcing the reason for Christmas, as well as a birthday cake for Jesus! For more information, contact Jean Hobbs at 378-9947.

Laptop Loaners:
The children’s Sunday School class is in need of a few laptops to use during the Sunday School lesson every now and then. John Butler had been able to bring five laptops from work and home, but the number has dropped to three, which isn’t enough for all the children to be engaged in the lesson. If you are able to loan us your laptop two Sundays every other month during the Sunday School hour only, please contact John Butler at 379-3578, johnb@efaact.com.

THE UPPER ROOM devotional guide for January and February will be available during the latter part of December. For your convenience you will find it on the welcome/information table located under the flat-screen in the Gathering Area. They are provided for you free, however if you wish to leave a nominal donation, it is appreciated.

New to the Library!
There are many new additions to the New Life UMC library since it was officially opened in September; you will want to stop by and check out all that’s available to check out. Newly purchased items: “The Shack”, “The 11th Commandment”, “Facing the Giants” DVD, and “The Judge Who Stole Christmas”, a Christmas fiction. Thank you, New Life, for your many donations of used books! We are still in need of more juvenile and teen fiction books. If you have any and would like to donate them, they will be greatly appreciated.

December 2008

The New Millennium G.R.A.V.I.T.Y.


Grounded in the Redeeming love of Christ, we Aspire to make the Voice of God heard and Inspire others to learn about him Through our Youth. December 5, 6, 7 Youth Beach Retreat Sunday, December 7th No Youth Group Sunday, December 14th – 4:30 p.m. Mission & Fellowship Night
Come & Support the Children’s Christmas Musical, eat a pizza dinner, and then go Christmas Caroling at Brandermill Woods Nursing Home. It will be a night of preparation for the coming of Christ. Come Celebrate with us!!

Sunday, December 28th No Youth Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! See You in 2009!!
For More Information regarding

Sunday, December 21st
4:30-6:00 p.m. Fellowship Night Come & enjoy a night at the movies as we watch: “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” & discuss its meaning from a Christian perspective.

New Life Youth – G.R.A.V.I.T.Y. ,
please talk with Lori Epps, Youth Director youth@newlifeumc.org 794-4522 church 239-8318 cell 897-4537 home

December 2008

The New Millennium
A FOCUS ON SUNDAY SCHOOL Proactive Parents Class


Join us each Sunday as we study the book, “Leaving a Godly Legacy” by Charles Stanley. All parents of young children are welcome to join us as we learn how to help our children discover and develop their God given talents and gifts. Charles Stanley shows us how to teach our children to walk with the Holy Spirit, how to relate to others in a godly way, how to place a high value on God’s Word, and much more. The legacy we leave is most profound in the influence that we have on our own children, since the character which we develop will be reflected in the lives of our children and grandchildren. If you have any questions, please contact Kurt or Tracy Cooper at 378-3293 or TLCooper@comcast.net

“Go, Make Disciples”
When Jesus told us to go and make disciples, He didn’t expect all of us to pack up and move to another country. There are some who are called to a missionary life overseas, and others who are missionaries right here. New Life Church has always been a mission-oriented church, and there are opportunities to serve right here within our walls. We need people to help out by being a Sunday School teacher in the 1st – 5th grade class on a rotational basis or a shepherd for a 2-month block of time. You can teach art, storytelling, cooking, video, science, games, computer, or music. There is also an opportunity to help with the Children’s Worship time on the 3rd Sunday of the month. The Children’s Worship time is after the pastor’s message to the children, when they leave the sanctuary to have age-appropriate lessons. Please pray about how you can make disciples here at New Life Church, and contact Cindy Butler (379-3578, education@ newlifeumc.org) to get involved.

December 2008

The New Millennium
We are grateful to everyone who has given to the General Fund and Building Fund this year, particularly during these difficult economic conditions. We realize that many in our midst are struggling, but God’s faithfulness in the lives of individuals and in the life of New Life UMC is continuing to be revealed! At the same time, we believe that He is calling us to new levels of faith and trust as we head into the new year.


We started 2008 with the anticipation that giving to the General Fund would be about $295,000. Through the end of October we have received $254,251, and we are on track to reach slightly more than $300,000. Giving to the Building Fund, which pays the mortgage on the building as well as saves toward the next phase, is $102,578 through the end of October. It is in the 2009 Stewardship effort that we are facing a more serious faith challenge. The original budget that we considered was significantly higher than in 2008 – a 14% increase. This goal was provided to the congregation in the letter that you received in October. As a result of the pledges received to date, a budget of zero growth in the areas that we can control is being considered. As of November 17th, 58 pledges with total of $204,156 have been received. The final budget will not be approved until January. As was discussed during the church service on November 23rd, the budget under consideration contains no salary increase for our pastors or staff and no growth in ministry areas compared to 2008 levels. It is our hope and prayer that we will not have to further reduce the budget for the ministry areas that are so vital to the life and growth of the church. If you have any questions, please contact me or any of the members of the Finance Committee. I believe that God will continue to provide for me, and also for His church, both in the lives of individuals and in community. In my devotions today I was challenged by the question, “Have you been called to a testing of your trust in the Lord lately?” For me, the answer is yes, and I must evaluate my response. The devotion also contained the following prayer, which I want to share with you. “Whatever I face today, Lord, in testing of money or pleasure, help me to stay focused on You, so some day I may hear your “Well done!”” May God continue to bless you and yours in this wonderful season of Advent. In Christ, Dave Bailey, Finance Committee Chair

December 2008

The New Millennium


New Life Older Adult Ministries Council
Be ready for fun and excitement! We are not retired but re-treaded!! Older Adult Ministries (OAM) Bible Study Workshop Our Bible Workshop will be meeting on the 2nd Thursday of December (Dec. 11) at 10:30AM. We are continuing our study of Revelation through
a DVD presentation, discussion, and free workbook. This study takes the (sometimes perceived) mystery and apprehension out of this Book of the Bible. Please bring your Bible and join us for an interesting time of learning. There will be no class on the 4th Thursday, Christmas Day. We will resume our regular 2nd and 4th Thursday schedule in January.

Boomers and Beyond and Older Adults
After the Bible Study Workshop on December 11, 2008 we will have a lunch, fellowship and a program brought to us by Patsy Reid. She will share information on a medical class she took and in addition, she will talk about the upcoming Virginia Legislative session. This all begins at 11:30 AM. Come and enjoy our surprise lunch menu and become informed by Patsy. If you can join us please call Olive Jane and Frank Stiller 897-0678, so we will have an approximate number for which to prepare.

Alzheimer’s Support Group
Each 2nd Wednesday at 10:00AM the Alzheimer’s Association has our monthly Support Group Meeting at the church. Much is to be learned when this disease affects a loved-one. Come and learn along with the rest of us who find ourselves in this situation. The month’s meeting will be on December 10.

OAM Advisory Board
In the last year we have become more intentional in the recognition of Older Adults in Ministry and Mission here at New Life. Our Older Adult Ministries is growing and becoming more involved in the life of our church. We are looking forward to many additional opportunities for spiritual, missional, and social activities in our future. To help bring this about and become even more focused we are happy to announce our Advisory Board for the coming year. We would like to thank the following for their interest and their serving on this newly formed group. Don & Brenda Bray Ed & Margaret Higham Bob & Linda McCann Bob Roe Frank & Olive Jane Stiller Bill & Nancy Swann These folks will be listening to the heartbeat of our congregation and looking to how our adults and our church can best serve each other.

Lunch Bunch
Hola!!!! Did we ever have a wonderful lunch outing in November! And we are glad some of you accepted our open invitation to the congregation to join us. We, 34 of us, enjoyed good (and not too spicy) meals at Jalapeno’s Mexican Restaurant. Not only was the food delicious, we also were treated to a happy and fun Mariachi Band. Lively music, friends and fellowship made for one terrific time for us all.

December 2008

The New Millennium
Older Adult Ministries Christmas Party


Please note that the Seniors’ Christmas Party is scheduled for December 13th at 6:00PM at Brandermill Woods Retirement Community Clubhouse which is located at 14311 Brandermill Woods Trail in Midlothian. There will be a complete dinner with a salad bar, two meat dishes, two vegetables, rice Pilaf, rolls, two desserts, coffee, ice tea and soft drinks. The price of $22.00 for all this includes the gratuity, room cost and tax. After dinner we will be entertained by a dance performance by Linda and Bob McCann followed with a musical entertainment by Paul Wilbanks and his very talented family. They entertained us last Christmas and were so good we begged them to return. Remember that the date is Saturday, December 13th Please make your reservation with Olive Jane at 897-0678 or by email to MSANODIZE@comcast.

Dear Friends in Christ: My grandaughter Nicole and her husband Mike, and I want to “Thank You” for your special prayers and cards for their son Logan. Logan is two years old, a Down Syndrone little boy who is always singing and laughing despite the fact that he is facing major operations in the coming year. Please continue to keep him in your thoughts and prayers because we “Christians” know all about prayer moving mountains. Thank you and God Bless, Marilyn Leander & Family

Dear New Life, I want to thank you so much for thinking about me and sending me the lovely care package. It was a nice surprise. I really appreciate it. Look forward to seeing everyone soon. Love, Helen Williams

New Life
United Methodist Church
900 Old Hundred Road Midlothian, Virginia 23114 Office: 804-794-4522 office@newlifeumc.org Rev. Mike Maxwell: pastor@newlifeumc.org www.newlifeumc.org

The new PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY at New Life will be starting in January. The mission of this program is to share not only our creations with those who are ill or shut-in, but also our prayers of love, healing and comfort. The ministry is not limited to shawls, but also to baby blankets, lap throws, and small afghans. Basic knitting and crochet instruction will be offered; you will purchase your own yarn and needles. We would like to meet twice a month for devotions, prayer, instruction and pattern selection. Some have expressed that they would like to come in the afternoon, others in the evening. This survey is to see what your desires would be. Please fill out your preference of times and days and deposit in the decorated shoebox in the Narthex . Or, if you’d rather, contact me (Joan Bowers) at msjoanbowers@verizon.net or by phone 639-9306. Thanks so much. Best day(s) ________________________________________ _________ Afternoons: 1:00 to 2:30/3:00 ___________ Evenings: 7:00 to 8:30/9:00 Name ________________________________________ Phone ________________________________________ Email ________________________________________

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