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A from the editor Note

Fairview Heights Campus

“I give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify Your Name forever.” Psalm 86:12

Sunday - 8:30am, 10:30am, 6:00pm Saturday - 5:00pm

Collinsville / Maryville Campus
Sunday - 10:00am

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Contents

3 - Pilgrims & Indians 4 - A Twice-Blessed Veteran 5 - Secure In Thanksgiving 6 - Thankful For You 7 - Proclaim The Word 8 - The World As I See It 9 - Getting To Know You 10 - Christ Church Missions 12 - Got An Attitude 13 - Thanking Christ 14 - Timeless Christmas 15 - God At Work

ith the Thanksgiving dishes put away, my family begins its annual Christmas show watching. One of my favorites is a Veggie Tale “The Toy That Saved Christmas.” An unscrupulous toy maker, Wally P. Nezzer, tries to convince the kids of Dinkletown that they need a new toy called a “BuzzSaw Louie,” a toy with a fully functional buzz-saw hand. He manages through commercials to convince the children they need more toys. In one scene, the pea children whine to their parents that “Billy has more toys than me.” “Who is Billy,” the father asks? “I don’t know,” says the child, “but he has more toys than me.” While none of us want to admit that we get caught up in the “Billy has more things than me,” we often do around Christmastime. We tend to believe the commercials that we need more things, when we just need to be thankful for what God has already given us. The moral of the Veggie Tale story is: Christmas isn’t about getting; it’s about giving. Luke 2:8-11 “That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!”

Have a blessed Thanksgiving and joyful Christmas.

Donna Harrison

Editor - donnaharrison@mychristchurch.com

Senior Pastor: Rev. Shane Bishop Associate Pastor: Rev. Troy Benton Editor: Donna Harrison Proof Reader: Barbara Germany Design: Justin Aymer
For a complete listing of the Christ Curch Staff and to learn more about Christ Church please visit: www.mychristchurch.com

The Flame Online: Get The Flame Magazine online. Free pdf downloads. Email reminders of new editions. Visit www.mychristchurch.com/theflame. Mission Of The Flame: Be inspirational through biblical articles and devotions. Be informative in the announcement of future events that connect people in ministry. Questions about the Flame? Contact Donna Harrison at: donnaharrison@mychristchurch.com
The Flame Magazine is a bi-monthly magazine published by Christ Church. ©2011, Christ Church. All rights reserved.

Pilgrims & Indians
By Larry Weber, Director of Ministries

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aving retired from being a school administrator in various elementary schools for over 35 years, I have seen my share of the early American Thanksgiving reenactments. A child with their Indian headdress or Pilgrim hat performing the first Thanksgiving for their parents and grandparents was an every November event in the school. The one thing that each of these plays had in common, aside from the Pilgrims and Indians, was a genuine sense of thanksgiving. No matter what the child’s circumstances, each was thankful for their parents, their siblings, their grandparents, their dog (cat, fish, hamster, snake), and on and on they would prattle about why they were thankful. And for good measure, they would tell us that we should be thankful too. Early in my career it annoyed me-what could these kids possibly know about the real life situations their parents were experiencing. I knew their parents, grandparents and siblings; they were not in wonderful circumstances. Many were destitute, had dysfunctional families, or both. Their brothers and sisters were in my building, or would be soon and often they were not paragons of virtue. Their pets, well their pets were going to die and cause them the pain of loss. My cynicism was evident by my disdain for all things Pilgrim. I tolerated the plays and smiled politely through their monologues about Thanksgiving. Then Nancy’s dad, Gene, died unexpectedly. I watched as she and her family reminisced about the life Gene had led. Gene owned a grain elevator in our town; I had often hauled grain from his elevator that my dad had purchased from him. Gene always had a business-like demeanor. He would ask me about life, football, basketball, school or family. When he learned that I had not been all I could be, he was gentle in his prodding to be a better young man. I do not know if he realized then that I would marry his younger

daughter but he cared about me. He was always fair and always faithful. Most of all, I noticed he was thankful for how God had blessed him with a wonderful wife and two beautiful daughters. Whether grain prices were good or not, he was thankful for the opportunity to be in business helping others to feed their livestock while providing for his family. Gene’s life was not perfect; often there were challenges. But Gene remained thankful. And I noticed. I became a better man because I remembered a better man and was thankful for what he had taught me. Thanksgiving plays and monologues became much more interesting and even appreciated. Thanks Gene.

I became a better man because I remembered a better man and was thankful for what he had taught me.
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hirty years ago, not long after the fall of Saigon, I was navigating USS Roark (FF-1053) along the Vietnam coast in the South China Sea. The day was hot and seas were calm; in the lull of a monotonous routine of a Western Pacific deployment, my life was about to collide with an event that would change my heart in ways only God could have known. Although USS Roark was removed from service many years ago, she will always hold a special place in my memories, because it was aboard that ship that I was led to Jesus by a faithful believer who lived the mission to connect people with Jesus Christ. I had been saved aboard that Navy ship, and now was about to play a role in saving another believer from a harsh world far different from my own. As the midday sun climbed to its apex, my peace was disrupted by a lookout’s report of a small craft off the starboard bow. The Captain ordered a change in course to investigate what appeared to be people waving arms and clothing in distress. As we approached the boat, it was clear that the tiny craft was filled with Vietnamese refugees desperate to escape communism for a better life. There were sixty
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A Twice-Blessed Veteran

By Michael Harrison

souls aboard who had been adrift for many days. There were children, elderly, journalists, professors and former military officers. Their boat was disabled; they had very little food and water, exceedingly grateful to see us. Among them was a man named Trung Trihn, a former South Vietnamese Army Colonel who had fought bravely alongside U.S. troops during the war. He was captured and spent five long years in prison for doing so. Trung escaped with the hope of living in the USA. I was part of the team who helped them aboard ship and tended to their needs. It was during this process I met and forged an instant kinship with Trung. He shared his story in perfect English and professed his faith in Jesus Christ as his Savior. We rejoiced in our common faith, fellowshipping during the week-long transit to Penang, Malaysia, where the process of finding western countries to accept them would begin. Trung was sent to live in the United States where he settled near Washington, D.C., eventually becoming a successful businessman who would actually testify before the U.S. Congress about the plight of refugees. Over the years Trung and I have kept in contact. We met for a brief heartfelt reunion a few years ago where we talked of our lives since our first meeting. Today on this Veteran’s Day, thirty years later, I will remember how I was saved by Jesus aboard the very same Navy ship that would also rescue a friend and brother in Christ in the South China Sea. I am truly a twiceblessed Veteran.

By Carrie Gaxiola

“In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” I Thessalonians 5:18

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ow! What an amazing verse we can live our lives by as Believers. I have often pondered how God could admonish us to be thankful for everything that happens in our lives. I understand how to thank Him when the bank account is balanced, the children are healthy and following Jesus, the car is running well and the boss is happy with me. That’s the kind of thanksgiving Paul is talking about, right? As I think on this scripture more, though, I have a healthy curiosity about the ability to thank Him in the dark times. How could I possibly thank Him for financial trials? How can I even fathom being thankful when a child goes astray? When I am faced with illness or an uncertain future, it seems utterly impossible to be thankful. Truthfully, my flesh cries out (very loudly) to be coddled. Rather than verbalizing how thankful I am, I would much prefer for God, or anyone, for that matter, to pity my lot in life or take away whatever trial has troubled me. I do not typically aspire to be in the ranks with Job and more often than not act like those miserable friends of his instead! As I continue to meditate on this powerful scripture, though, I get a sense that the Holy Spirit wants an important message to get through to my heart. We all know it is easy to thank God when circumstances are good, but we need to remember it is not the daily situations that are good, but it is God that is good!

Take a close look at the verse again…”for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” I have often heard it said we are not “in our circumstances” as Christians but in Christ. We are not immune from the trials and cares of this life just as our Savior was not, but we are covered by Him, wrapped up in His love, bought with a price, accepted in the Beloved and have a hope and a future planned by God. It brings tears to my eyes to have this realization that when I am thankful in all things, even the most challenging circumstances in life, I have hope and a focus that has Jesus written all over it! As I meditate on His goodness and am thankful no matter what comes my way, I then realize I am completely secure. I never looked at being thankful as security, but this shed a new light on the principle of a thankful life. Thanksgiving is foundational to a secure, purposeful walk with God. When life is full of hope and ease or we find ourselves in the Refiner’s fire, thank God! He has a plan and a purpose, and IN HIM we are secure.

As I meditate on His goodness and am thankful no matter what comes my way, I then realize I am completely secure.

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Thankful For You
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s I was contemplating how God has blessed my family during the past year, I realized that what I am most thankful for is YOU, Christ Church! It is no accident that God is moving in powerful ways in our midst. I am convinced that God continues to expand our ministries because of your faithfulness in serving Him. For committing to serve on the Maryville/Collinsville team.

By Roni McDaniels

I would like to share some of the many reasons why I am so thankful for you: For stepping out of your comfort zone to join God in what He is doing.

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
Acts 2:42-47

For praying faithfully for our ministries and our church family members who are in physical, emotional and spiritual need. For investing in our children. For being obedient to God by making a financial commitment to tithe. For you, heads of your respective households, who have stepped up as the spiritual leaders in your families. For your generous donations of food, shoes and clothing to meet the needs in our Metro East community and beyond. For your child sponsorships and support of Christ Church ministries in the Philippines, Honduras and Uganda. For working together as the body of the church in unity of spirit. For trusting God and serving Him faithfully.

Photography Team Thank You

Christ Church is richly blessed to have many vibrant and Spirit-filled ministry teams to do the work of God. There are events to connect people with Jesus Christ at every turn. However, there is one faithful ministry that goes about its work silently, unnoticed and blending in with events so well that the wonderful work being done is rarely acknowledged, but always seen and appreciated: The Photography Ministry Team. Matthew Kauffmann, Miranda Wright-Kauffmann, Dan Baiotto, Tad Barncourt and Mike Creagh. The Flame Magazine team would like to express grateful thanks to the members of the Photography Ministry for capturing the many events for our periodical. Thank you so very much for using your gifts and talents to serve Christ, and for sharing them with us. 6

It is such a joy and privilege to serve alongside you.

Proclaim The Word

JESUS SAVES
By Diane Kruger, Director of Guest Services “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent His Son not into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17

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n the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19), Jesus tells us, “Therefore go and make disciples.” But you might ask yourself, “How can I, one individual, make disciples and save the world? That’s a tall order!” The answer is, “You can’t!” But God can, one person at a time, and He uses us to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a fallen world. Just before Jesus was arrested and crucified, he prayed this prayer as seen in John 17:25: “Righteous Father … I have made You known to them, and will continue to make You known in order that the love You have for Me may be in them and that I Myself may be in them.” But you still might say, “Okay, I get all that, but seriously, what can I do to save people, to make God known to them?” The answer is to be observant, to notice, to look around at your fellow man and as you do, ask yourself, “I wonder if that person is saved. Does that person have a church home, a

church family? Does that person know Jesus?” And then simply be obedient to God’s promptings. Remember, you plant the seed, God brings in the harvest. Jesus tells us in Matthew 9:37, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” God will cause people to cross your path. Are you willing to plant the seed, to invite them to church, to possibly change their lives both here on earth and in eternity? Don’t let this holiday season go by without inviting someone to church . . . and possibly even to your table for Thanksgiving or Christmas! When you extend the hand of grace to others, you will be abundantly blessed in return.

FACT
47% of new people visit a church for the first time because someone invited them.
Statistic taken from www.uscongregations.org

NOTICE
GOD’S PEOPLE
Does the 23-year-old single mom at the checkout counter have a church home where she can learn about Jesus? What struggles might she be facing alone? How about the 50-year-old man down the street who just lost his job? Or the person next to you on the Metro Link?

May God bless you abundantly this holiday season!

Don’t let this holiday season go by without inviting someone to church.

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The World As I See It
By Rev. Shane Bishop, Senior Pastor

“Buddy I love you enough for both of us” - Ryan Blaha

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ast Sunday evening after I wrapped up 6:00pm church, I headed to the car to scare up a late supper. Melissa was already waiting on me but I noticed that my daughter Lydia and her family were still in the sanctuary talking to some friends. Since I never pass up an opportunity to see my grandchildren, I took the southbound exit ramp and called for my grandson Maddox. The sight of Papa sent a twinkle into his eye and I scooped him up in my arms. Maddox is two years old and he loves church! He loves his Puggles class at AWANA (particularly snacks), he loves to play on the playground, he loves to run in the gym but he really, really, really LOVES the drums on the sanctuary stage. On Sundays when the music stops, Maddox yells, “More!” and is inconsolable when the drummer quits playing. Now in my arms, we walked to the stage to get a better look at the drum set but it was clear that Maddox had more time to look than I did. I knew Melissa was waiting for me, so I took his suddenly unhappy self back to Ryan, thinking there was an outside chance that the scene he was about to cause could (partially) be my fault. Sensing he was being “returned to sender,” Maddox desperately said, “More Papa” and hugged me with a death grip but Papa had to go. I gave Maddox to his father in “full tantrum” mode complete with dinosaur type screeching, arched back and kicking feet and hands. Ryan smiled at his son, held him out at a

ninety degree angle so he wouldn’t hurt himself and playfully said, “Buddy, I love you enough for both of us.” So often when we don’t understand God’s will, timing, ways or provisions for our lives, we act like a two-year old and throw a tantrum before our Creator. We are mad at this God who we declare to be “Good all the Time” because God doesn’t seem very good or fair or just at the moment. And yet, rather than reject us, God reaches out his arms, scoops us up, makes sure we don’t hurt ourselves and gently says, “I love you enough for both of us.” One of the things I love most about God is that He can handle our doubts, fears and frustrations. In a time in human history when God would have been perfectly justified to walk away because of our rebellion and sin, God sent His only son, not to condemn us, but to save us. As we enter this Christmas season, let’s “come and worship this newborn King” who “loves us enough for both of us!”

That’s the World…As I See It

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Getting

To Know

You
Name:
Mickey Buehler

Job Title:

Accounts Payable Clerk

What do you think you will be doing five years from now? Working, retired…… working Are you a ‘morning’ or ‘night’ person? Definitely a night person. Which do you prefer, sunrises or sunsets? Sunsets, but both are beautiful. Name one thing you miss about being a kid. Spending time with my grandma. What is one food that you would never give up? Chocolate Name your most favorite time of the year. Autumn If you were the richest person on earth, what would you do with the money you had? Give it away Are you a Cubs or Cardinal fan? Cardinals all the way! Have you ever appeared on television? Yes, once in an interview for a local news station covering an AOL convention.

Job Description:

Issues and controls purchase/check requests, receives and processes invoices and bills, mails disbursement checks and performs other accounts payable-related duties. (In other words pay bills!) What is the first thing you notice about people? Their smile. Were you named after anyone? Yes, my aunt. Where are you from? Born in St. Louis, raised in the Metro East. Which sport do you like? I like baseball the most, then football. Do you have a nickname? The name I use everyday. Are you a beach, country or city person? Country.

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CHRIST CHURCH

MISSIONS
We think we are going out to serve others, but what really happens is that we end up being the ones who are served. Christ moves in the hearts of those who serve in this ministry in a way that cannot be explained...only witnessed. Thank you, Christ Church, for your continued generosity. Because of you, we are able to hand out much needed items on each and every trip. Every Bible, coat, hat, blanket, and pair of socks, food or personal hygiene item that is donated gets personally hand delivered into the hands of people just like you and me only who are sleeping outside. Real people who are overwhelmingly grateful for something as small as a toothbrush and toothpaste or a pair of socks to warm their feet. We are now entering our busy season and we are in need of the following items: Winter coats (L, XL, XXL) Sweatshirts (L, XL, XXL) Heavy socks (no white or dress socks, please) Hats/gloves/scarves Hygiene items Prepackaged snack food items Remember when you crawl into your warm bed or pull on your warm coat, there is somebody else sleeping outside without either. Now is your chance to be the hands or feet of Christ through giving. “The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.” Psalm 28:7

Winter Patrol

By Cheryl Shoffstall

Looking over the past few years of this ministry, our team has met and built relationships with so many different people on the streets and in the shelter...we have been able to share Jesus with countless people. We all have so many stories to be told. Every member of the Winter Patrol Team has a story to share. Stories of how serving Jesus on this team has changed our lives. Not only have we been able to share the unconditional love of Christ to a population that most ignore, we each discovered that by serving, Christ started to move and do something within their own hearts, and we all walk away receiving so much more than we were ever able to give. Over the years, as we sought to serve others, our lives have been forever transformed...we will never be the same, we will never look at the world through the same eyes again. Watching the people of Christ Church grow in their own spirituality because of this ministry has been, by far, one of the most exciting things I have ever been privileged to witness firsthand.
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Project Christmas Cheer

The holiday season is fast approaching and our thoughts are turning toward gift giving. Christ Church will again support our local nursing homes by buying gifts for their neediest residents. This is the 11th year we have supported this ministry. Last year we bought 250 gifts for residents at 12 different nursing homes. Let’s strive for an even higher number of gifts this year.

By Jean Casey

Hearts For Heroes

This ministry exists to serve men and women who are members of the US Armed Forces and are deployed away from home by offering prayers of safety and sending prayer notes and care packages throughout the year. We have numerous bake sales during the year to help raise funds for the cost of shipping care packages. Christmas is just around the corner; now is the time to think about having a care package sent to your deployed friend or family member. Please stop by the Activity Center in Scripture Hall and leave your soldier’s address and return date home so he or she can get a package in time for Christmas. We are in need of donations of body wash for females, hand sanitizers, dry snacks, calling cards and Christmas cards made by children and letters from home. Thanks for all you do to support our military members from this church and beyond.

By Kathi White

When we buy a gift for one of these residents, we are doing them a great service. Medicaid residents (which most of them are) only get $30 a month to support their personal needs. We all know that doesn’t buy much. We work with the nursing homes to get names of the neediest residents, receive suggested gift ideas, and sizes. These are then placed in envelopes and made available for pick-up the last week or so in November. So keep watching for our publicity as the time approaches. You need only buy and wrap a gift and return it to church. We have volunteers who will deliver them to the nursing homes. It is such a joy to see how enthusiastic our members are when they take a name and buy a gift. This is a good ministry and very much appreciated by the local community. Project Christmas Cheer is a part of the Nursing Home Ministry. In this ministry we find volunteers who visit a resident in one of these nursing homes on a regular basis. Currently we have 25 volunteers who are making a difference ʻaround the cornerʼ by developing one-on-one relationships with these often forgotten seniors.

Prison Fellowship Ministry
Prison Fellowship Ministry will be collecting cookies to take to the inmates at the St. Clair County Jail and the Belleville Detention Center. Please drop off your cookies on December 18 and mark them for Prison Fellowship. Please do not include nuts in your recipe as many suffer from allergies. Donations of quart-size zipper lock bags are needed as well.

By Bobbie Woods

Join the Prison Fellowship Ministry on December 22 for their annual Christmas caroling at the County Jail at 6:00 pm. The cookies including a bible tract will be handed out to the inmates as they walk through the jail. Festive attire is encouraged as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. For additional information on the Prison Fellowship Ministry, they meet in the Coffee Café the third Monday of each 11 month at 7:00 pm.

Got An Attitude? Gratitude Practice Some Daily
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ast spring, on a typical school morning, I was hustling my 3 kids out the door. I can feel my blood pressure rising as the chaos ensues in the midst of shoes, backpacks and raised voices (mostly mine). My middle child announces she needs a lunch, while my oldest daughter tips her boot over, insisting that something is stuck in there when out plops 3 McDonald’s french fries. As the 4 of us stare at the treasure found in that small boot, I remember the day before watching my toddler stuff them in there with such care and making a mental note to remove them when he is not looking. But now, the laughter breaks out among us and we giggle uncontrollably at the sight of those nasty fries. Suddenly, the tension is broken and joy shakes loose in that tiny room. As I watch their little faces, I’m overcome with gratitude for the moment that we share huddled on the floor of the laundry room. And I wonder, is there any way to stay in that state of thanksgiving or will life creep back in as soon as we walk out the door? Every year at the holidays, we talk about being thankful and that’s a good thing, but God asks us to practice thankfulness every day. I don’t know about you, but having an attitude of gratitude every single day can be really hard for me. Paul writes about the sin that so easily ensnares us, for a lot of us, that sin is just plain old selfishness. We get caught up in our own circumstances, feelings, want and desires instead of keeping our eyes on Jesus and the plans he has for us. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:1618, “Always be joyful. Always keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
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By Lindsay Tallman

Let’s face it sometimes life is really hard! God asks us to keep giving thanks and be joyful despite our circumstances because doing so will give us a new perspective. So how can we keep an attitude of gratitude when life is tossing us around? Here are some practical steps to keeping a Christ-like view of our world:

• Keep a gratitude journal. Thank God for anything and everything that you can. • Slow down and seek joy in the little things. • Start saying “No,” to the unnecessary obligations in your life and “Yes,” to the pursuit of the passions and purpose God has gifted you for. • Do something for someone else. There is no better cure for selfishness. • Maintain or cultivate your sense of humor. Seriously, you’re going to need it! • Don’t fall into the comparison trap.
As we practice daily gratitude perhaps we, like C.S. Lewis, will be “surprised by joy.” Joy after all, might just show up somewhere unexpected, like the bottom of a boot.

Thanking Christ
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”

By Rev. Troy Benton, Associate Pastor

“Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!” After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.” (Luke 2:1-12)

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he sounds, smells, sights, and spirit that is the holidays! Since the time I was a little kid, I have in my soul waited all year for these two months! Now having almost twenty years in marriage, two kids and at an important peak in ministry, I still look forward to this time of year. What I am certain is a wonderful work of God’s patience and teaching, my reason for the excitement I hold for this season is different than in earlier years. My childhood years were full of anticipation of the family meals that were amazing, and the gifts that would cause me to gaze with glee because of the joy in gaining things that were for me. These years are filled with the reverse! I now look forward to this season in our lives and the Christian calendar where more than at any other time we emphasize Thanksgiving and CHRISTmas! Simply put, more than ever this world struggles with the gifts of thanks, giving, and Christ. Well, THANK GOD for the church; it is our call to show how in giving the gifts of thanks and Christ, one’s life and the whole world can be better and changed forever beyond anyone’s imagination. Is this not what the magi (wise men) discovered as they began living out with joy their connection with the baby Jesus? Of course it was! So powerful was the connection that they encountered Him through worship, service, and “follow-ship” (aka, discipleship). I want to invite you to do something this season: Thank CHRIST

for everything possible, as much as possible, as often as possible, and as boldly as possible in every setting and circumstance. A dear friend would say this, “God has been too good!” If this is the case, and it is, spend this season doing more thanking than receiving thanks, more thanking Jesus for each blessing than waiting on your next blessing. Thank CHRIST during this season when things are good and thank CHRIST when things are difficult…thank CHRIST at ALL TIMES! Why? Because during this season of gifts, there are truly no better gift than God’s grace and Jesus Christ in our lives! In THANKing CHRIST everywhere you go, you fulfill the mission of our church: “to connect persons with Jesus Christ” What better gift could you ever receive and give than making an eternal bridge for one to cross over to an eternal relationship with the most high God? Answer: none! I still look forward to presents; however, I’ve grown to look forward more to giving (to others and to God)! I look forward most to people knowing the one who is the lover of my soul, Jesus Christ! Come on; join me…in thanking Christ! We are very thankful to be here at Christ Church; we are even more thankful to be a family, but we are most thankful for Jesus Christ! Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!
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Timeless Christmas
By Rev. Don Frazure, Pastor of Worship Arts

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f all my cherished memories, Christmas is tied with them more than any other holiday. Growing up I remember a couple Christmases because of the gifts I received, but mostly, I remember them because of the people and joy I felt around that time of the year. One childhood memory sticks out because my grandparents - who had been living in Saudi Arabia for two years due to my grandfather’s job - surprised us by flying home for Christmas. Another Christmas I hold dear was one of the last we got to spend with my father-in-law before he passed away. And of course, because I now have two daughters of my own, looking at Christmas through their eyes is an entirely new level of joy. Even though my memories have varied over the years according to what stage of life I happen to be in at the time, the message of “For unto us a child is born,” and the great music of the season have been the constant thread that ties them all together. I hope you are looking as forward to Christmas as we are on the Worship Arts Team. We’ve planned a series of services that not only celebrate the wonder of Jesus’ birth, but also give you ample opportunity to invite people to church to hear the good news that, “for unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”

Highlights of the Christmas season at Christ Church
November 27 - Acoustic Advent December 4 - Christmas Carols with Christ Church Orchestra and Chancel Bell Choir December 11 - Kid’s 4 Christmas presents “For the Glory of the King” December 18 - Christ Church Choir, Orchestra, Band and Vocal Team December 22 - Christmas Eve service 7:00 PM (new for 2011!!) - FH Campus December 24 - Christmas Eve services at 2pm, 4pm and 6pm - FH Campus December 25 - Christmas Day - 10:30 service ONLY - FH Campus*

All of the above mentioned special programs/services will be presented at all three Sunday worship services at the FH Campus. Due to the musical needs of the programs, most elements will not be available at the CM campus. We encourage you to attend the CM Campus in the morning and then attend the FH Campus for the 6:00pm service on Sunday nights. Christmas Eve services will be held on Dec 22 and 24. We’ve added a “Christmas Eve “Eve” service on Dec. 22 for those of you traveling, but we also want to invite our local police, fire, medical, retail workers and anyone else who has to work on Christmas Eve to give them a chance to attend when they couldn’t otherwise. Christmas Day is on SUNDAY, so we will have ONLY ONE service at the FH Campus at 10:30am, and it will be a traditional style service.
*At the time of this writing, the Christmas Day schedule for the CM Campus was yet to be determined.

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God At Work
New Members
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Member Passing
-------------------------------Patricia Norma “Pat” Lysakowski – September 23 Charles I. Baugh – September 25

September Dianne Deppe, Aimee Rae LaFrance, Linda Struckhoff, Karee Orellana, Pat Shye, Jesse L. Stanley, David Anthony (Tony) Norton, Vicki Norton, Robert L. (Robbie) McGinnis, Dottie Snodgrass, Jessica Loftus, Scott Russell, Julie Russell, Chad Joseph Agne, Marnie Lynn Agne, Beverly Bass, Michael Bass, Thomas Dunn, Teresa Jones, Brenden Buhl, Stephanie Buhl October Todd D. Mick, Katherine R. Mick, Marjorie Meyer, Brent Bicket, Lisa Bicket, Donna Schmidt, Ralph F. Bailey

Weddings

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Nicole Liana Kellogg & Jeremy Erik Johnson – September 24

Attendance

-------------------------------September Worship avg. = 1561 September Connection Classes avg. = 513 Year Avg. Worship = 1547

Baptisms

-------------------------------September Michael Bass, Thomas Dunn, Luke Michael Walter October Alexander Bicket

Finances (as of 10-11-11)
-------------------------------General Budget YTD Giving = $1,561,522.68 YTD Expenses = $1,592,102.70 Annual Budget = $2,041,873.99 Building Fund Total $321,960
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339 Frank Scott Parkway East Fairview Heights, IL 62208