You are on page 1of 7

Church Phone No.: (856)456-3364 Church Fax No.: (856)456-3812 District Website: www.chogeast.org National Website: www.chog.

org

Highland Park Church of God


Gods People on Gods Mission!

Pastor Bill e-mail: revwddilksjr@juno.com Office e-mail: highlandparkcog@yahoo.com Web Site: www.highlandparkcog.org

January 2012

Sun
1 (Proverbs 1) 11:00 AM Communion 2

Mon
(Proverbs 2)

Tue
3 (Proverbs 3) 9:00 AM Mens Bible Study

Wed
4 (Proverbs 4) 6:00 AM Wednesday Morning Prayer No FWAIC 5

Thu
(Proverbs 5)

Fri
6
(Proverbs 6)

Sat
7 (Proverbs 7) 10:00 AM DVPA Meeting

Noon Retirees Luncheon 7:00-9:00 PM Mens Basketball-MEC 12


(Proverbs 12)

8 (Proverbs 8) 7:00 PM Trustees Mtg.

(Proverbs 9)

10

(Proverbs 10)

7:00 PM Bd. of CE Meeting

11 (Proverbs 11) 6:00 AM Wednesday Morning Prayer 6:30 PM Kids Club/ Share the Word 18 (Proverbs 18) 6:00 AM Wednesday Morning Prayer 6:30 PM FWAI Name That Hymn 25 (Proverbs 25) 6:00 AM Wednesday Morning Prayer Pastor Bill to Seminar
6:30 PM FWAI Games

13 (Proverbs 13) 14 7:00-9:00 PM Mens Basketball-MEC

(Proverbs 14)

15 (Proverbs 15) 7:00 PM Council Meeting

16

(Proverbs 16)

17 (Proverbs 17) 9:00 AM Mens Bible Study

Martin Luther King Day 22


(Proverbs 22)

19 (Proverbs 19) 20 (Proverbs 20) 1:00 PM Ministerium 7:00-9:00 PM Mens Meeting Basketball-MEC Here

21 (Proverbs 21) 9:00 AM Mens Fellowship Breakfast Work Day to Follow

23

(Proverbs 23)

24

(Proverbs 24)

26

(Proverbs 26)

27 (Proverbs 27) 28 7:00-9:00 PM Mens Basketball-MEC

(Proverbs 28)

29 (Proverbs 29) 5:30 PM District Unity Service Location TBA

30

(Proverbs 30)

31

(Proverbs 31)

Regular Sunday Schedule:


9:30 AM Sunday School for All Ages 11:00 AM Morning Worship 5:30 PM Choir Practice

Monthly calendars are subject to change. Please feel free to contact the church office to confirm events.

January 2012

Dear Church Family and Friends, For the past two years, the General Director of the Church of God has promoted two strategic goals for the Church of God. They are to become a Greatest Commandments and Great Commission Movement. The five emphases toward that end are: 1. Ignite: Revitalizing the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) throughout the Church of God in the life of every individual, church and agency. 2. Permeate: Engaging every individual, church, and agency in the Great Commandments (Matthew 22:37-39). 3. Free: Committing to stewardship principles (Matthew 6:33) leading to a flexible ministry future and management of the debt (with debt-free as the goal) for every individual, church, and agency. 4. Cultivate: Nurturing the Spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:1-7) of every individual, church, and agency. 5. Refresh: Renewing our efforts toward relational connectivity and identity (John 17:21-22) for every individual, church and agency of the Church of God. There have been a number of programs supporting these goals, from financial university to aid persons toward becoming debt-free to increased efforts on the mission field. Last year the Church of God launched Focus 40 with an emphasis on reaching the lost for Jesus. It called congregations throughout the movement to fast and pray 40 days prior to Easter for a fresh outpouring of Gods Spirit on the Church. Many miraculous things were reported. This years goal for the forty days of prayer and fasting are to see 25,000 new souls come to Jesus (see Nov/Dec Communion Magazine). Now perhaps total fasting is not doable for some people due to medical or health reasons but one could perhaps reduce ones intake of food, or a favorite food during this period. Everyone can certainly pray for this goal of bringing people to Jesus. Invite people to church, talk with them about your journey. There is a great article in the Jan/Feb Communion magazine by Curt Ferrell entitled Whole-Life Worship based on Romans 12:1. In the article, Curt utilizes Deuteronomy 26:1-6 to aid in this effort of sharing our story. First part: This is who I was before Jesus; Second Part: This is what God did in my life; Third part: This is where I am now (Promised Land of Blessings). Pray for God to lead you to those persons that desire to come to Jesus. Ask God to show you those persons who are open to the Spirits leading, then share your 3-part story with them. In His Steps,

Pastor Bill

Page 2

Gems of Wisdom from Our Seniors

Special Thanks!
Thank you to the performers of the Children's Musical for the live Christmas tree. As it grows, I'll remember how wonderful your musical was! Love, Mrs. Kumpel To all of the cast members that participated in For the Glory of the King: Thank you very much for the Living European Tree that you blessed me with after the musical. It was so very kind of you. However, my greatest gift was watching all of you perform. If everyone left feeling the same joy in their hearts that I did on Sunday, then we truly accomplished our mission. May God bless you and your families with a wonderful Christmas and know that you are all very special to me. Love, Mrs. Ritchie Dear Church of God, During a time like this, we realize how much our friends and relatives really mean to us. Your expression of sympathy will always be remembered. Thank you for the beautiful fruit basket. Regina Moore and the Albee Family

Highland Park Church of God

Live your day in the confidence that you are a child of God. ~~Darlene Brown~~

Faith With An Impact Wednesdays!


January 11Kids Club and Share the Word January 18Name That Hymn January 24Game Night

Kid's Club
January 11, 2012, marks our first meeting for the new year. A new year; a new beginning. Jesus gives us new beginnings when we take Him into our hearts and begin life anew in Him. If you want to start the new year in a positive way, then Jesus is the way to go! Kid's Club will be held during one of our Faith With an Impact meetings that are held on Wednesday evenings. They begin with a light supper at 6:30, and then at 7:00 Kid's Club begins for all kids in grades K through 6th. So be sure to come on out. Mrs. Ritchie, Mrs. McAndrews, and Ms. Canning all look forward to seeing you. Happy New Year Everyone!

TheRiseofChristmas

InRome,wherewinterswerenotasharshasthoseinthefarnorth,Saturnaliaa holidayinhonorofSaturn,thegodofagriculturewascelebrated.Beginninginthe weekleadinguptothewintersolsticeandcontinuingforafullmonth,Saturnaliawasa hedonistictime,whenfoodanddrinkwereplentifulandthenormalRomansocialorder wasturnedupsidedown.Foramonth,slaveswouldbecomemasters.Peasantswerein commandofthecity.Businessandschoolswereclosedsothateveryonecouldjoinin thefun. Alsoaroundthetimeofthewintersolstice,RomansobservedJuvenalia,afeast honoringthechildrenofRome.Inaddition,membersoftheupperclassesoften celebratedthebirthdayofMithra,thegodoftheunconquerablesun,onDecember25. ItwasbelievedthatMithra,aninfantgod,wasbornofarock.ForsomeRomans, Mithra'sbirthdaywasthemostsacreddayoftheyear. IntheearlyyearsofChristianity,Easterwasthemainholiday;thebirthofJesuswasnot celebrated.Inthefourthcentury,churchofficialsdecidedtoinstitutethebirthofJesus asaholiday.Unfortunately,theBibledoesnotmentiondateforhisbirth(afactPuritans laterpointedoutinordertodenythelegitimacyofthecelebration).Althoughsome evidencesuggeststhathisbirthmayhaveoccurredinthespring(whywouldshepherds beherdinginthemiddleofwinter?),PopeJuliusIchoseDecember25.Itiscommonly believedthatthechurchchosethisdateinanefforttoadoptandabsorbthetraditions ofthepaganSaturnaliafestival.FirstcalledtheFeastoftheNativity,thecustomspread toEgyptby432andtoEnglandbytheendofthesixthcentury.Bytheendoftheeighth century,thecelebrationofChristmashadspreadallthewaytoScandinavia.Today,in theGreekandRussianorthodoxchurches,Christmasiscelebrated13daysafterthe 25th,whichisalsoreferredtoastheEpiphanyorThreeKingsDay.Thisisthedayitis believedthatthethreewisemenfinallyfoundJesusinthemanger. ByholdingChristmasatthesametimeastraditionalwintersolsticefestivals,church leadersincreasedthechancesthatChristmaswouldbepopularlyembraced,butgaveup theabilitytodictatehowitwascelebrated.BytheMiddleAges,Christianityhad,forthe
1

mostpart,replacedpaganreligion.OnChristmas,believersattendedchurch,then celebratedraucouslyinadrunken,carnivallikeatmospheresimilartotoday'sMardi Gras.Eachyear,abeggarorstudentwouldbecrownedthe"lordofmisrule"andeager celebrantsplayedthepartofhissubjects.Thepoorwouldgotothehousesoftherich anddemandtheirbestfoodanddrink.Ifownersfailedtocomply,theirvisitorswould mostlikelyterrorizethemwithmischief.Christmasbecamethetimeofyearwhenthe upperclassescouldrepaytheirrealorimagined"debt"tosocietybyentertainingless fortunatecitizens. AnOutlawChristmas Intheearly17thcentury,awaveofreligiousreformchangedthewayChristmaswas celebratedinEurope.WhenOliverCromwellandhisPuritanforcestookoverEnglandin 1645,theyvowedtoridEnglandofdecadenceand,aspartoftheireffort,cancelled Christmas.Bypopulardemand,CharlesIIwasrestoredtothethroneand,withhim, camethereturnofthepopularholiday. Thepilgrims,EnglishseparatiststhatcametoAmericain1620,wereevenmore orthodoxintheirPuritanbeliefsthanCromwell.Asaresult,Christmaswasnotaholiday inearlyAmerica.From1659to1681,thecelebrationofChristmaswasactually outlawedinBoston.AnyoneexhibitingtheChristmasspiritwasfinedfiveshillings.By contrast,intheJamestownsettlement,CaptainJohnSmithreportedthatChristmaswas enjoyedbyallandpassedwithoutincident. AftertheAmericanRevolution,Englishcustomsfelloutoffavor,includingChristmas. IrvingReinventsChristmas Itwasn'tuntilthe19thcenturythatAmericansbegantoembraceChristmas.Americans reinventedChristmas,andchangeditfromaraucouscarnivalholidayintoafamily centereddayofpeaceandnostalgia.Butwhataboutthe1800speakedAmerican interestintheholiday? Theearly19thcenturywasaperiodofclassconflictandturmoil.Duringthistime, unemploymentwashighandgangriotingbythedisenchantedclassesoftenoccurred
2

duringtheChristmasseason.In1828,theNewYorkCitycouncilinstitutedthecity'sfirst policeforceinresponsetoaChristmasriot.Thiscatalyzedcertainmembersoftheupper classestobegintochangethewayChristmaswascelebratedinAmerica. In1819,bestsellingauthorWashingtonIrvingwroteTheSketchbookofGeoffrey Crayon,gent.,aseriesofstoriesaboutthecelebrationofChristmasinanEnglishmanor house.Thesketchesfeatureasquirewhoinvitedthepeasantsintohishomeforthe holiday.IncontrasttotheproblemsfacedinAmericansociety,thetwogroupsmingled effortlessly.InIrving'smind,Christmasshouldbeapeaceful,warmheartedholiday bringinggroupstogetheracrosslinesofwealthorsocialstatus.Irving'sfictitious celebrantsenjoyed"ancientcustoms,"includingthecrowningofaLordofMisrule. Irving'sbook,however,wasnotbasedonanyholidaycelebrationhehadattendedin fact,manyhistorianssaythatIrving'saccountactually"invented"traditionbyimplying thatitdescribedthetruecustomsoftheseason. AChristmasCarol Alsoaroundthistime,EnglishauthorCharlesDickenscreatedtheclassicholidaytale,A ChristmasCarol.Thestory'smessagetheimportanceofcharityandgoodwilltowards allhumankindstruckapowerfulchordintheUnitedStatesandEnglandandshowed membersofVictoriansocietythebenefitsofcelebratingtheholiday. Thefamilywasalsobecominglessdisciplinedandmoresensitivetotheemotional needsofchildrenduringtheearly1800s.Christmasprovidedfamilieswithadaywhen theycouldlavishattentionandgiftsontheirchildrenwithoutappearingto"spoil" them. AsAmericansbegantoembraceChristmasasaperfectfamilyholiday,oldcustomswere unearthed.PeoplelookedtowardrecentimmigrantsandCatholicandEpiscopalian churchestoseehowthedayshouldbecelebrated.Inthenext100years,Americans builtaChristmastraditionalltheirownthatincludedpiecesofmanyothercustoms, includingdecoratingtrees,sendingholidaycards,andgiftgiving.

Althoughmostfamiliesquicklyboughtintotheideathattheywerecelebrating Christmashowithadbeendoneforcenturies,Americanshadreallyreinventeda holidaytofilltheculturalneedsofagrowingnation. ChristmasFacts From1659to1681,thecelebrationofChristmaswasoutlawedinBoston,andlaw breakerswerefinedfiveshillings. PoinsettiaplantsarenamedafterJoelR.Poinsett,anAmericanministertoMexico,who broughttheredandgreenplantfromMexicotoAmericain1828. ChristmaswasdeclaredafederalholidayintheUnitedStatesonJune26,1870. ConstructionworkersstartedtheRockefellerCenterChristmastreetraditionin1931. Eachyear,3035millionrealChristmastreesaresoldintheUnitedStatesalone.There are21,000ChristmastreegrowersintheUnitedStates,andtreesusuallygrowforabout 15yearsbeforetheyaresold. PastorsComments:WeasAmericanshaveindeedtweekedChristmas,andthatis whyIwantedyoualltoworkondevelopingyourownfamily,holidaytraditionsforits celebration.InthehopeofinstillingthebestvirtuesoftheChristofChristmas.Iwishto concludewiththreequotesthefirstfromCharlesDickens,thesecondfrom WashingtonIrving,andthefinalfromCharlesDickensAChristmasCarol, Happy,happyChristmas,thatcanwinusbacktothedelusionsofourchildishdays;that canrecalltotheoldmanthepleasuresofhisyouth;thatcantransportthesailorandthe traveler,thousandsofmilesaway,backtohisownfiresideandhisquiethome! Christmasistheseasonforkindlingthefireofhospitalityinthehall,thegenialflameof charityintheheart.IwillhonorChristmasinmyheart,andtrytokeepitall year.
(Theinformationinthisarticleiscourtesyofthewebsitehttp://www.history.comundertheheadingofChristmas.)