Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services
- A family service at 4:30 PM with carols and stories on Saturday, December 24th
- A candlelight service with lessons and carols at 9:00 PM on Saturday, December 24th
- Informal worship Christmas Day, Sunday, December 25th at 10:00 AM
A Service of Healing, Wholeness and Hope
On Sunday, December 18th we will incorporate the Service of Hope into the Service of Healing and Wholeness after worship in the Sanctuary. Not everyone is filled with joy and celebration at Christmas time. Many have lost loved ones, suffered a job loss, or find the pressures of Christmas overwhelming. They may feel like crying instead of celebrating. If you, a loved one, friend, or neighbor is grieving, mourning a death, suffering from illness, loss of a job, or a set-back, we invite you to worship with others in similar situations. Even if you do not feel this way, you can comfort others by attending this service with them. Together, may we discover God’s healing power, comforting presence, and word of hope.
Music Ministry Fundraiser
Everyone is invited to support our Music Ministry at the Music Craft/Bake sale. It is a wonderful time to Christmas shop! There will be handmade crafts as well as lots of homemade baked goods, candies, jellies, salsas, etc. The fundraiser is Saturday, December 3rd from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the home of Deborah and Bill Draper, 30445 Springland Street, Farmington Hills (between Orchard Lake and Middlebelt off 11 Mile Road). If you have questions or would like to contribute items to sell, please contact Deborah Draper at (248) 579-6053.
Presbyterian Women present “The Joys of Christmas”
Don’t miss Monday December 5th from 7:00 – 9:00 PM, for an evening of dessert, music, and laughter for the entire congregation . . . hosted by Presbyterian Women. In addition to musicians such as Jerry Custer, Mary Carson, Mary Whittmore and Carolee Caylor, PW has invited 8 small mice into the sanctuary to tell the Nativity story from a tiny—but not small—perspective. The short play, Karen Jones’ “The Mice and the Manger,” will feature Tom Neal, Sally Kirsten, Nathan Malisow, Pam Jusino, Laura Hedgecock, Jerry Howe, Irene Forbes, and Sue Carlson.
Human attendees can purchase tickets ($3.00) from the welcome center on Sunday or at the door. If you would like a ride to and from the Christmas program, contact Dave Carlson.
Annual Meeting and reports due date
Please turn in all reports to be included in the 2016 Annual Report by Wednesday, January 11, 2017. The 2016 Annual Report will be emailed to members who have signed up through the church website. A few hard copies will be available at the welcome center. The Annual Meeting will be held on Sunday, February 5, 2017 immediately following worship.
The deadline for articles for the January FYI is Friday, December 23rd
From the Pen of the Pastor
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!
“Advent” is a season observed in many Western Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for something extraordinary arriving and the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. As we begin to prepare our hearts, our homes and ourselves for this Advent Season, I find myself barely able to hold on the faintest glimmer of hope that maybe, one day, God might turn the tables and indeed come to earth. Overwhelmed by a world where there is political unrest and injustice, poverty, hatred, and jealousy, we are encouraged to sing in these darkest of moments with renewed sense of wonder at the expectant arrival of the God of the Universe into this world by way of the Incarnation. Love that was unseen becomes visible in the here and now. Who is this God, Creator and Ruler of ALL, who would empty himself and take on flesh, coming as an infant, lowly and new and fully human, to dwell among us? (Phil2:6-8) Now, that is something to anticipate; that is something to wait for!
“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” inaugurates this Advent season. I love the intense longing expressed in this song…a longing for the presence of God-Emmanuel- into our frail humanity. Each stanza is an important prayer that should be on our Christmas wish list. Let us sing it together and let the emotion and wonder of it bathe all over us!
“O come, thou Wisdom from on high, who orderest all things mightily; to us the path of knowledge show; and teach us in her ways to go. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.” It is in the coming of true Wisdom that comes only from God that we can bring peace and understanding to all.
Remember, you and I have been gifted with a particular body and having bodies, we are invited to be incarnated spirit. We can come to learn to be aware of our bodies as holy, as home for Emmanuel-God With Us! That awareness alone can change how we live. Reflect throughout this season on how God is within you, and let the wonderful word Emmanuel come alive in your spirit as you contemplate the true meaning of Christmas.
This Advent Season, before we begin to green our homes and churches, before we lay the nativity and the baby in the manger, let’s spend some time reflecting on what we are really anticipating. Advent really is an amazing season! See you in worship!
Peace & Grace, Pastor Eddie
Christian Education News and Events
The season of Advent, a time of anticipation and preparation for our Savior’s birth, has begun. Having just attended the Farmington Area Interfaith Association’s ecumenical Thanksgiving service with Pastor Eddie, I am again reminded of Christ’s Love and the giving Spirit that Christ gives to each of us in our hearts each and every day, but of which we are especially conscious of at this time of year.
I hope all of you can take time during the busy-ness of the season to take part in an Advent study.
Tuesday Morning Bible Study will examine The Journey, an Advent Study by UMC Minister Adam Hamilton.
Youth in grades 6 – 12 can join Josh Archey during our regular Sunday School time on December 11 and December 18 to discuss the youth edition of The Journey. (The youth edition is available to be picked up on the table in the narthex.)
CE Activities at a Glance:
- Sun, Dec. 4: Communion (No Sunday School)
- Sun, Dec. 11: Sunday school. Grades 6 – 12 will discuss Joseph, Mary, and Elizabeth from the youth edition of The Journey.
- Sat, Dec 17: Cookie Baking and Decorating from 10 am until noon. (Adults invited too!)
- Sun, Dec 18 during Sunday School: Grades 6 – 12 will study “From Nazareth to Bethlehem” during Sunday School
- Sun, Dec 18 After worship: Christmas Caroling and cookie delivery.
- Tues, Dec. 20 at 6pm.Dinner at the Archey home for Jr./Sr. highs and college students
Saturday, Dec. 10th Presbytery of Detroit Men’s Advent Breakfast @ 1st Presbyterian Northville
Wednesday, Dec. 21st Delivery of hygiene items, hats, mittens, and scarves for the children of Calvin East Presbyterian Church’s WORD Literacy Program, Detroit, MI. Meet at church at 4 pm to carpool to the Calvin East Christmas party. RSVP to Josh Archey by Tuesday, December 13th in order to provide an accurate head count for dinner.
Thanks to your generous pledges to our church, the Mission Ministry Team is once again providing support to purchase items needed by the families in Calvin East Presbyterian Church’s WORD literacy program for their annual Christmas party and dinner. The children and youth of our church help to pack the assembled items into oversized gift bags that are then distributed at the Christmas party. Each bag contains a towel, washcloth, bottle of liquid laundry detergent, comb, shampoo, soap, hand sanitizer, and thanks to the PW, a hat, mittens, and scarf for each child. Thank you for helping make Christmas a little brighter for these families in Detroit!
Blessings throughout Advent and the Christmas season, Josh Archey, CE Director
SOS Is coming to First Presbyterian January 15th – 22nd
It is hard to believe that this will be our 10th year hosting guests from South Oakland Shelter. We have learned so many things over the years about our guests. We have shared tears and laughter as we heard stories about their lives. We have shared our time and our hearts as we made our church a home for a week. There is an URGENT NEED for volunteers this year because some of the leaders have had to step down. Sign-up sheets for the many volunteer opportunities are posted on the large bulletin board in the Narthex. If you have any questions, please ask anyone listed below. Please prayerfully consider how you can help make this ministry a success.
Thank you, Chris and Emily Davis, Rick Fuller, Leslie Black, Jan Dennison, Mary Carson, Mike Gidley
Presbyterian Women holiday food drive
Second Mile Center, PW’s mission in Detroit, serves many families in need. Presbyterian Women is coordinating a Thanksgiving and Christmas food basket drive. There are blue collection tubs in the foyer near the coat racks. The nonperishable items requested are 1 box elbow macaroni, 2 cans cranberry sauce, 1 large can yams, 1 box cake or brownie mix, 1 container frosting, 2 cans green beans or corn, and one box or bag of cornbread mix. For the nonperishable items (turkey, pie, etc.), please donate gift cards from Kroger, or write a check to PW with Second Mile Center in the memo line and give to Kathy Brown, Sue Carlson or Sally Kirsten by Dec. 5.
Hat and mitten tree
We have extended the collection date to December 18th. We will be delivering CHILDRENS’ hats, mittens, socks and underwear along with ADULT hats, gloves and scarves to Neighborhood House on December 12th. We are also collecting hats, mittens and scarves for 18 children (ages 6-15) who are currently enrolled in the WORD Children’s Literacy Program at Calvin East Presbyterian Church. Each child will be given these at their Christmas Party on December 21st where they will also receive a large bag of hygiene products for their whole family that has been donated by our Mission Ministry Team and wrapped by the youth of First Pres. Please consider all these needy folks at this very cold time of year.
Thank you, Linda Clew, Presbyterian Women Vice Moderator, Justice and Peace
Christmas concerts at First Presbyterian Church
Sunday, December 4 at 6:00 PM – Vox Lyrica, a women’s choral group with piano and flute accompaniment presents Heavenly Peace. Donations accepted at the door.
Friday, December 9 at 3:00 PM – The Orchard Lake Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Norm Logan presents a one hour holiday concert. This daytime concert is designed for seniors and those who don’t like driving at night. Tickets are $5 at the door.
Friday, December 9 at 7:30 PM – The Orchard Lake Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Norm Logan presents Sounds of the Season. Tickets are $5 at the door.
Saturday, December 10 at 4:00 PM – Lynda Wood, soloist and First Presbyterian’s former organist Devon Hansen on piano perform Christmas Classics. Everyone is invited and donations will be accepted at the door.
Men’s Group Activities
Presbytery Advent Communion Breakfast – Saturday, December 10, 2017, 8 am, First Presbyterian of Northville. Speaker is John George, founder and Executive Director of Motor City Blight Busters. See Tom Neal for Tickets, which are $15. We will carpool from the church parking lot at 7:30 am.
Saturday, December 17, 2017 at Noon at the Greek Island Restaurant in the Farmington Hills Golf Club on 11 mile west of Halstead. Wives and significant others are welcome. Separate checks will be provided for you convenience.
Please get the following information to the church office by Dec 11, along with your payment.
Important Year-End Information Regarding Contributions
Please be aware that the last bank deposit for contributions for tax year 2016 will be Tuesday, December 27, 2016.This means contributions must be received in the church office by Monday, December 26, 2016 or in the offering plate on Saturday December 24th or Sunday, December 25th.Any monies received in the mail after these dates will not be counted or deposited until after the end of the year and will be counted as 2017 contributions.Please note these dates so that you will know in advance how to plan.
Important Information About 2017 Offering Envelopes
Those who have used envelopes for 2016 will automatically receive envelopes for 2017. If you have NOT used envelopes this year, but DO wish to have them for next year, please do one of the following:
- Contact Jerry Scheel
- Contact the church office to make your request known.
Numbered envelopes facilitate the speed and accuracy of the data entry process, so we do encourage you to use envelopes if you contribute manually on a regular basis. We also encourage the use of electronic debit. If you wish to have your pledge electronically debited from your account, please call Jerry Scheel, Financial Secretary, to have the forms mailed to you. If you have any questions, please contact Jerry Scheel or call the church office at (248) 474-6170.
November Session Highlights
During the November Session meeting, the Session:
- Moved the January, 2017 Session meeting to January 11 to avoid SOS the following week.
- Approved the placement of SOS window clings on entry doors and bathroom mirrors.
- Received new-Pastor Eddie’s report on his top ten initiatives.
Sunday morning greeters needed
The Greeting Team provides warm welcomes and greetings to all who enter our church. We need of some volunteers for TBDs (dates we cannot provide greeters)! We believe there are fellow worshipers who will extend the hand of welcome on the TBDs if we were to ask. We are asking!!
Odd month TBDs– Nov27; Jan22; Mar26; May28; Jun23; Sept24
Even month TBDs– Oct 30; Feb19; Apr16; Apr 30
Choose a date on our signup sheet on the bulletin board to be a “Greeter for the day”. Thank you, Manny Sharpe
Sunday morning coffee hour hosts needed
Are you looking for a way to contribute your time and talents to your church family? Serving coffee hour following worship may be for you. It involves making lemonade and putting treats and snacks on plates, (about 30 minutes) before church and serving refreshments for about a half hour after the service. Refreshments can be provided by you or purchased by the church. The sign-up sheet is posted on the kiosk. Blank dates can be filled in by volunteers. The goal is to serve coffee hour after every service. If you enjoy conversation, mingling, or making new friends, this is an opportunity for you, so sign up for serving coffee hour based on your availability. It also provides an opportunity to each of us to invite visitors to join us for coffee and conversation.
We keep in our prayers
First Presbyterian Church members: Names withheld from web-version of the newsletter.
We hold in our prayers members who are homebound, in nursing homes, and assisted living: Names withheld from web-version of the newsletter.
Those serving in the military:Names withheld from web-version of the newsletter.
Prayers for the grieving: Names withheld from web-version of the newsletter.
Kudos and thank yous
Kudos to the Kathy and Larry Gage and Mickey and Gordon Seiler who donated bookshelves to the Baptist Manor Gamma Building Library. Not only did they donate three book cases but they delivered them as well. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Shirley Kinsey and the Gamma Building residents
Dear church family,
Thank you for all your support during this difficult time, including covering the costs for the organist and the luncheon as well as the money you gave us. We appreciate your generosity. Your love and support have meant so much to us following Kurt’s death. Gratefully, Nancy and Matthew Hartung