December 2019 Newsletter
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November 26th, 2019
As the month of December starts, so does the season of Advent. What is Advent? It’s a time of preparation. It’s a season of anticipation for the coming of Christ. Not just His birth on Christmas, but also His promised second coming as Christ Triumphant.
As Christians we observe this season in part by gathering for worship on Wednesday evenings. And, on Sundays this year, we will be talking about personal devotions and how we might make them part of our regular faith practice. But there’s one other thing you might consider doing that we often associate more with Lent than Advent. This idea, and the following reasons and instruction about it, comes from Rev. William Weedon:
What about adding in the Church’s traditional fast? Lutherans don’t bother with distinction of meats (abstention), but why not go without breakfast, and if possible, lunch? The traditional days to observe this fast would be the three Fridays, and also the Wednesday and Saturday of Ember Week (Dec. 18th and 21st). That’s a grand total of five days to fast in this holy season. If you add on Dec. 24th, you have six.
But why bother fasting? So glad you asked. 1. It provides you extra time for Bible reading and prayer. 2. The money saved by not feeding yourself can be given to the poor as alms to feed them; 3. It trains you to say “no” to your body’s demands.
On point #1, you might wish to take the Fast Days and during usual mealtime read from the psalms, or pray a fuller form of the Daily Office (you can ask pastor about what that is), or read from a devotional book.
On point #2, you might calculate ahead of time how much that would be and give the money away at the start of the season to your local food pantry.
On point #3 you might be shocked at how nasty and insistent your flesh can be when it doesn’t get its own way. What a useful way to remind yourself that Jesus is Lord, not your tummy!
Let’s be clear: fasting doesn’t benefit God. Or earn your brownie points, or any such thing. It benefits YOU. The Church observes the Penitential Seasons that we might grow in our lives of repentance.
So if you’re interested in adding something to your devotional life and preparation for the advent of our king, there is something to perhaps consider. It certainly isn’t mandatory, and may not be for everyone, but it could be a lovely and meaningful way or orient your mind and your heart away from all the other hustle and bustle and Santa-focused business and toward Christ this season.
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Holy Acts and Rites of the Church
We welcome Gerald Holzhauer
into our family of God. Gerald has transferred his
membership from Trinity Lutheran which was in
Our sympathy to the family of Melvin Schuler who passed away on November 16, 2019. Melvin was born March 26, 1927 and became a child of God by the washing of Holy Baptism on March 29, 1927 at his parents’ home and his sponsors were Mr. and Mrs. Frank Rhoda. Melvin confirmed his baptismal vows on August 2, 1942. He was given Christian burial on November 23, 2019.
will be held here at
The Faith and Friends Book Club will meet December 5th, 6:30 PM. The book they are reading is Karen Kingsbury’s “A Baxter Family Christmas.”
We have received a thank you from the family of
Ladies, thank you to
each and everyone of you who made dishes and/or served for Mom’s memorial dinner
[your husbands included]. It was a peaceful place for our family and
friends to gather and recall past memories – many in
incere Thanks to all who helped and/or donated food for both the McBroom luncheon and the Schuler luncheon. It was greatly appreciated by both families.
From our Parish Nurse Pam Norris
Money Matters: Avoiding Financial Scams
Older adults are the frequent targets of financial scams. More than 80 percent of scams prey on victims over the age of 60, and 20 percent of Americans over the age of 65 have been financially swindled. Older adults are typically more willing to listen over the phone and are more trusting than younger people. Plus, if they are in the early stages of dementia, their judgement and social skills are often impaired.
Some of the more popular scams on older adults include:
Funerals: A scammer reads obituaries and calls a grieving spouse claiming the deceased has an outstanding debt that must be paid immediately.
Charities: Thieves talk people into giving their credit card information over the phone for fake charities. This often occurs after a natural disaster.
A scammer will call pretending to be a grandchild. She will ask if the
grandparent knows who is calling. When the grandparent guesses a grandchild’s
name, the thief assumes that identity. The thief tells the grandparent a story
of a financial dilemma and asks for money via
Sweepstakes: The thief informs the victim about winning a sweepstakes, but must make a payment to unlock the prize or pay the taxes upfront.
IRS: The scammer pretends to be from the IRS and asks for immediate payment of taxes over the phone in order to prevent an arrest or other punishment.
To protect yourself from these scams:
· Never give credit card, banking, Social Security, Medicare, or other personal information over the phone unless you made the phone call.
· Know that the IRS will not call you or email you. If you have a tax issue, their first notification will be by mail, and they will never threaten if you don’t pay.
· Double-check with other family members to see if the financial crisis of a relative is real.
· Hang up if you are feeling pressured to buy something, or give personal information over the phone.
· Never give money to pay for a prize.
To protect your parents from scams:
· Put their address on opt-out lists with the Direct Marketing Association https://dmachoice.thedma.org
· Set up a small checking/debit card account at a local bank that has a spending limit of $300. That way, other finances can be saved in a separate, more secure account.
· Set up a system to pay all bills electronically and automatically.
· Remind them what they taught you decades ago: don't trust strangers — especially those seeking personal information and money.
· Get rid of the landline and get a cell phone. Motorola, V-Tech, GE, and Panasonic have connect-to-cell features that sync to a cell phone, so that your parents can use a regular, familiar cordless phone as if it were a landline.
Source: Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and National Council on Aging/printed by permission of Better Health
November Perfect Attendance
Please keep the Sixth-Seventh Grade teacher and students in your prayers during the month of December. For our teachers: Mr. Leon Beitz, pray that God may grant him wisdom, strength and knowledge to share His Word with the children and to help them grow spiritually. For our students: Alexis Gooding, Dylan Verdun, Brooklyn McBride, and Cole Weber that they may understand the depth of God’s love for them as they grow to become strong men and women who live for God’s Glory.
Natalie Graf (12/2), Sophia Schuler (12/19), and Megan Rhoda (12/19)
Children’s Christmas Program
Students in Preschool-Seventh grade began practice for the Children’s Christmas Program on Sunday, November 24 during Sunday School. Children will continue to practice through December. There will be an evening practice from 5-7pm on December 15. Christmas Program will take place during service on December 22.
No Sunday School
There is no Sunday School on December 1 and December 29.
The First Baptist Church of Chenoa invites you to attend a concert by Jason Collins on Sunday, December 1 at 2 PM. Jason was born and raised in Hudson IL and is a 2000 graduate of Normal Community West High School During his high school years, Jason formed a gospel choir that won several awards at music competitions in Illinois and Tennessee and also formed a gospel quartet, “God’s Will”. In 2001 he continued as a solo artist and has recorded over 12 albums and has ministered in word and song in many different venues.