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Open hear t s Open minds Open door s

DECEMBER 2013

Advent—Christmas—New Year’s Schedule
“Chrismons” December 1: “Hope is On the Way” 9:00 am Informal Service in Social Hall 11:00 am Traditional Service - Sanctuary December 8: Hope While We Wait” 9:00 am Informal Service in Social Hall 11:00 am Traditional Service – Sanctuary December 14th: Children’s event 5:00 pm Birthday Party for Jesus December 15: “Hope in the King” 9:00 am Informal Service in Social Hall 11:00 am Traditional Service - Sanctuary December 22: 10:00 am Breakfast in Social Hall 11:00 am Children’s Program in Sanctuary December 24: “Hope Has Arrived” 7:30 pm Candlelight Service December 29: “We Are Family” Combined Worship 10:00 a.m. in Social Hall January 5 [Epiphany Sunday] “What gift did God bring?” 9:00 am Informal Service in Social Hall 11:00 am Traditional Service – Sanctuary

As we think of Christmas and decorating for the season we may be thinking of our favorite decorations. My very favorites are the lights – for me a symbol of Jesus as the light of the world. There are ornaments, known as ‘chrismons’— ‘Christ Monograms’, that put in visual form names of Jesus found in the Bible. I have my own idea of ‘Christ monograms’ in the form of commonly used decorations. Stars, mangers, candy canes, lights, candles, evergreen, angels – all bring to mind some aspect of Jesus birth. My favorite Christmas decoration involves a stable, several people, and animals – all looking at a baby in a manger. It is my favorite because it includes every element implied and mentioned in the Matthew and Luke accounts of the birth of Jesus. Jesus coming birth and growth to adulthood did not happen in isolation. Around Mary and Joseph were family, community members, and strangers. They had family, not just in their home town of Nazareth, but in other towns, including Bethlehem. When they went to the Temple in Jerusalem, there were people who knew them, because God showed them Jesus, an infant, was the Messiah for whom they waited. The ‘manger scene’ I use at home is a powerful reminder of who Jesus is, why he came, and that there are people all around who have no idea the meaning of Christmas. They are not unusual, many around Jesus at the time of his birth did not know who he was. 2000+ years since his birth there are still people who need to hear the account of his birth. AND they need to hear that isn’t the whole story. The nail that hangs on my Christmas tree is a reminder that there is more to the story than Jesus birth. Without his miraculous conception and birth, Jesus’ death on the cross loses some of its meaning. Without Jesus’ death on the cross, why was he born? Jesus came as a vulnerable infant who grew to manhood and brought to each of us the opportunity to hear God’s story of redemption. Birth, growth into adulthood, teaching, death on a cross and resurrection are all a part of the “Christmas Story”. Have a blessed and merry Christmas, and take some time to share Jesus’ birth with someone who doesn’t know the impact of this one birth. Blessings, Pastor Linda

Outreach Committee Christmas Tree Decorating
The cold weather is upon us. We would like you to start thinking about those in need of a warmer winter. The Outreach Committee asks that you consider a donation of hats, gloves, mittens or scarves to provide warmth to the children at Bethany House. Help us fill the basket in the chapel with warm gifts to decorate the Christmas tree. Warming the hands and hearts of the children at Bethany house is the goal this holiday season. In addition to the warm gifts we would ask you to consider selecting an angel from our angel tree. The presents selected for your special angel will surely warm their hearts. Go shopping and have some fun! Just think how much joy you can give a child this Christmas Season with a small gift of approximately $15.00. Deadline for collections is December 15th. The Outreach Committee will deliver the gifts just in time for each child to receive a gift from their very own angel, you! Merry Christmas and God Bless. The Outreach Team GENERAL FUND NUMBERS FOR OCTOBER Balance 9/30–– –$14,417.73 Income $15540.18 Expenses $16,039.69 Balance 10/30— –$15,013.17 Connectional Apportionment (Mission Share) is paid thru October. IN SYMPATHY Our sympathy and prayers go out to the family and friends of Ellen Lewis who passed away on November 13th. PRAYER CONCERNS Please continue to pray for Gillen Geary, Jeanne Knox, Jane McClelland, Joyce Miljanovich, Jack Riley, and Flo Thompson who are recovering from hospitalizations or illnesses. BAPTISM Cassidy Lynn Cunkelman was baptized in our sanctuary on November 24th. She is the daughter of Luke and Elizabeth Cunkelman. MEMORIAL DONATIONS Memorial donations have been received in memory of John Burrows by Joann Cotton, Donald and Marigene Nelson, Audrey and Joseph Luciana, June and Joseph Luciana, and the Senter family. A SPECIAL THANK YOU Carol Burrows thanks everyone who attended the funeral service or helped with the luncheon for her husband, John.

GREETINGS TO YOU FROM THE OUMW
How many hours of preparation does it take to be a success? With the annual Christmas Bazaar behind us, I was taking time to reflect on how many hours it takes to put on such an amazing event. For four hours, once a year, we open our doors to our congregation and community to enjoy a wonderful day of baked goods, pies, jams, pickles, hard candy, homemade soups and sauce, holiday crafts, attic treasures, lunch and of course caramels. People filter through the rooms, buying goodies and gifts only to have made their mark for an hour or so. But for those four short hours, it takes thousands of hours of preparation from many many volunteers. Thousands of hours of preparation, fellowship and teamwork. That’s what it takes to put on such a wonderful event. Yours in Christ, Julie Trenn President United Methodist Women

POINSETTIAS FOR CHRISTMAS TRUSTEES
Poinsettias to surround the altar Dec. 22 & 24 must be The Trustees have completed the new baseboard heating project in the annex area. We are also addressing the weatherproofing throughout the church, especially the windows. We thank all who assisted with the decorating of the church for Advent. Many hands make for light work. Thanks to those who set up for the church luncheon in November. The parsonage inspection has been completed and the contracts for the upcoming calendar year have been updated, or revised. We are thankful to Liz for her input during our budget creating process and for Mark/Cindy's work throughout the year. The Trustees will still pursue upgrading the primary room, some minor organ work/inspection, weatherproofing the church more adequately, and signage, of course. We thank all the congregational members and staff for the support and help this year. Much has been accomplished; much is still to be done. We thank all who have served on the Trustees this year and thank those who are rotating off the committee. Please have a safe and very Merry Christmas and a healthy New Year! Jim Anderson Chair, Trustees 2013 ordered and paid for by December 8 at a cost of $7.50 each. They are available in red or white. Please call the church office or complete the bulltetin insert and return it to the church office with your check made payable to OUMC. Donations toward Giant Eagle gift certificates for local food banks may be made in lieu of ordering flowers. You may take your poinsettias following the Christmas Eve service.

NEWSLETTER
Please submit articles for the JANUARY newsletter by DECEMBER 15. If you would like to receive your newsletter by e-mail, please send us a message at oakmontumc@verizon.net.

CAROL WALK
33rd Annual Christmas Carol Walk Sunday December 8, 2013 Order of churches: 6pm - St. Irenaeus 6:30 pm - Oakmont Presbyterian Church 7:00 - Oakmont United Methodist Church including St. Paul Baptist Church 7:45 –St. Thomas Episcopal Church conclude by 8:30 then off to reception

CAROLING We will be Christmas caroling on December 21st following the pageant practice to our members and friends who cannot get to church. We will have lunch and then carpool for the caroling.

Greetings from Staff Parish Relations Committee! Thank you everyone for your patience during our time of transition. We are now in the process of hiring a new children/youth ministry director. If anyone is interested, or knows someone who may be interested, a resume may be submitted via the church email/website or to christinesmith943@hotmail.com. A resume may also be submitted by putting it in a sealed envelope in the SPRC mailbox, or through regular mail. We are hoping to hire someone as soon as possible. Please keep the committee in your thoughts and prayers as we strive to find the right person for our community. Please come forward or call the church office if you have any ideas or assistance that you can offer. On Sunday, December 1 at 2:30 p.m, the Finance Committee will be hosting a Premiere Designs jewelry party to raise funds for the General Budget. Come and join us for snacks, fellowship and lots of fun. Call Donna Jacka 412-828-2643 for more information. Christine Smith

December
3 4 5 6 8 9 13 15 16 18 20 21 25 26 27 30 31 JoAnn Hildebrand Jessica Jacka Pastor Linda Cory Kircher Becky Houston Maggie Kate Steimer Terri Aubele Leah Lacey Gwyneth Fichte Duncan Jones Ashley Gaughan Barbara Charlton Kerri Whitehead Jennifer Klinsky Bonnie Allison Matthew Rajkowski Randal Burdelski Derek Banas James Denny Colleen Briggs Bob Lloyd, Sr. Cheryl McClain Angel Steimer Donald Dezzutti Gregory Gaughan Joy Cottrill Genevieve Casarcia

FRIENDS TOGETHER UPCOMING EVENTS 12/14/13 Cine Brunch at Oaks Theatre 10:00 AM Brunch 11:00 AM Showing of White Christmas Lunch Following church at Freedom Diner in Verona

Birthday Party for Jesus!
Bring the kids (toddlers through 12 years old) to our Christmas Party in the Church on Saturday, December 14, 2013 from 5pm to 7:30pm. We'll have games, a story that the kids can act out, cake, and snacks!

1/12/14

**Please Contact Janet Delchambre with questions and reservations.

If we inadvertently missed listing your birthday, please call the church office and let us know.