Wednesday, December 5, 2018

What We Are Reading - December 2018

Here are the books we will be reading during
Extended Session during the month of December ! 

All theses are available through the Carnegie Library.

Also, click these links to see recommendations for reading for the Advent season: 

  I'll wait, Mr. Panda

by Steve Antony

Joseph and the 
Sabbath Fish

by Eric A. Kimmel


by Lori Nichols

Maybe something beautiful : how art transformed a neighborhood

by F. Isabel Campoy

One good deed

by Terri Fields

The happy owls

by Celestino Piatti 

Advent 2018 - Family Advent Dinner

Friends! Thank you to everyone who attended our Family Advent Dinner. We shared a meal, made Advent Wreaths, and decorated the Christmas tree in the Chapel. A huge giant thank you to the Fellowship Committee for providing an excellent meal. 

Friday, November 30, 2018

Reflections for Youth - Advent 2018

Hello! The Season of Advent starts this weekend.  This Advent I am committing myself to do a daily spiritual practice. I am sharing what I'll be doing in case you would like to try it, too!  

This journey will involve reflecting on a new word each day and taking/ or finding a photo to post that reflects that word. 

I will be reading and responding to the #Adventword  daily devotion which you can find at:
The site is created by folks at Virginia Theological Seminary. 

Here's how it works: Visit the site and sign up with an email address and everyday during Advent you will receive an email with a daily meditation and an invitation to create you our using the daily word. There are also options to share/view other's responses through Social Media. 

Check it out and give it a try! Each day features a new word for refection during the Advent season. 

I'll be posting my photos in our Sixth youth FB group and on Instagram at Sixthyouth.  Please post your pictures, too if you would like to participate! 

Happy Advent! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Advent - Faithful Families 2018 Advent Calendar

Traci Smith, author of "Faithful Families: Creating Sacred Moments at Home" has made her 2018 Advent Calendar available for everyone.  It's great! I will had copies available at church or you can download it here.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Reflections for Youth - God is With Us Always

These flowers outside the church remind me
 there is hope and beauty in the world even when
the world seems to be  freezing, dying and
 falling apart all around us. 

These last few weeks have been filled with difficult news of tragedy and destruction. Shootings and fires destroying communities have been part of our daily lives and news feeds. How do we have faith that God is with us in these times?

Jesus has some words about this in our Scripture passage from Mark this week.

Read Mark 13: 1-8

The background information for this week's Sunday school lesson reminds us that this chapter of the Gospel is rooted in Jewish apocalyptic thought. At the center of this thinking, is the belief that God controls history and that the world has become so evil that only God can save it.

So here the disciples are with Jesus - outside the magnificent temple in Jerusalem. The have just seen the widow, the poor woman, drop two small coins into the offering box at the temple giving everything she has to worship God.  They leave the temple grounds and turn to look back at the  building.

One of the disciples said, “Teacher, look at size of the stones in this wall. And this wonderful building!”

Jesus stopped and looked up at the huge structure. “See these enormous buildings?” he asked. “They will be torn down. Not one stone will be left atop another stone.”

Here are some quick facts about the Temple:
  •  The Jerusalem temple was the center of Jewish worship. 
  • The temple was originally built in 953 BCE, destroyed in 587 BCE, rededicated  in 616 BCE, and expanded beginning in 20 BCE. 
  • The design for the temple came from God, who revealed the plans for the temple  to King Solomon. 
  • The temple is described in the Bible as grand and ornate.

Of course the disciples are confused by Jesus’ words, but they followed him to the Mount of Olives where they can look at the temple from a different view.

 Jesus sits down with Peter, Andrew, James, and John, the first four men to become disciples.  Quietly, so others could not hear, they asked, “Tell us. When will this happen? When will the temple be destroyed? What will warn us so we know it is coming?”

Jesus reassures the disciples that God will be with us during these times and cautions them to not be led astray by people who will try to lead them away from God in the wake of horrible things.  Jesus answers, “Many people will claim that time is coming,” said Jesus, “and many will try to get you to follow them. But do not believe them and do not go with false leaders.”

Huh? (I am sure that's what they said).  I am sure that Jesus had more to say and he wanted them to know that they could depend on God. No matter what happened around them, God would be with them.

It's a hard thing to stay hopeful and faithful to God when the world is falling down around us. Jesus tells the disciples the temple will be destroyed one day.  And in these words, I think that Jesus is reminding us that bad things will happen in our world, too.
  Perhaps Jesus words are meant to urge the disciples to not focus solely on the the things that are falling apart and the people out there that will take advantage of those situations. Living in that mindset can feel very scary and confusing.  Jesus wants us to focus on God's love - the one thing he reassures us will never fall apart.  The Good News of the Gospels is that God is always with us and wanting to help us learn and understand what to do for ourselves and others.

Here are some things I am thinking about this week:
  • Who are the people around me I can go to that can offer comfort during difficult times? 
  • What comfort can I offer those who are struggling to understand all the bad things happening in the world? 
  • In what ways can I stop being consumed by the evil, hate, and destruction and focus on hope, redemption and love? 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

What we are Reading - November 2018

Here are the books we will be reading during
Extended Session during the month of November! 

All theses are available through the Carnegie Library.

A dark, dark tale

by Ruth Brown 

The heart and the bottle

by Oliver Jeffers 

Brave Irene

by William Steig 

Before morning

by Joyce Sidman 

Those shoes

by Maribeth Boelts 

Alan's big, scary teeth

by Jarvis


Monday, November 5, 2018

Advent 2018- Suggestions for Reading

Here are suggestions for devotionals and daily readings for Advent! Ask you favorite local book seller to order one for your.  These titles are also available for purchase though The Thoughtful Christian and other online booksellers. 

I Am Mary: Advent Devotional
By Carol Howard Merritt

Names for the Messiah: And Advent Study
By Walter Brueggemann

Rise Up Shepherd!: Advent Reflections on the Spirituals
By Luke A. Powery

Songs for the Waiting: Devotions Inspired
by the Hymns of Advent 
By Margey R. DeVega

Look! A Child's Guide to Advent and Christmas
Laura Alary

Monday, October 29, 2018

Books - New to our shelves

Here are some great books that we have added to the shelves in Sunday School rooms.  Please borrow if you would like!  Great for gifts or reading at home with your families. 

When God Gave us Words by Sandy Eisenburg Sasso
This is a beautifully illustrated books that tells a tale about the origin of words and the power of language.  It's a story about what happened when God gives the power of words to humankind. 

Baptism Promises by Carol A Wehrheim
This is a board book for very young children that explains the significance of their baptism and the promises their family and church community made to them during the sacrament. This would be a great baptism gift and has a dedication page at the beginning of the book. 

A Church For All by Gayle E. PittmanThe books has lyrical and simple words that describe a Sunday morning at church. The illustrations reflect an inclusive church that embraces all people regardless of age, class, race, gender identity, and sexual orientation. 

When God was a Little Girl by David R. Weiss
The story of creation is told from the imaginations of a father and daughter. 

Home by Another Way by Barbara Brown Taylor
This is a retelling of the adventures of wise men on their journey to Bethlehem and their  encounters with King Herod, Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus.