Children of all ages are invited to participate in our Living Crèche (nativity scene) as either angels or shepherds at this year’s 5 p.m. Christmas Eve service. Costumes will be available in Barbour Chapel before service for the children to wear over their clothes. They will sit with their families in the sanctuary until it’s time to walk up to the chancel. Lead shepherds and angels will signal the appropriate time and will help usher the children to the front of the church. Children will return to their seats right after the Christmas message and before the offering. In addition to helping the Christmas story come alive, children who participate will also get a front row view of the baby Jesus. We are also encouraging children to bring a “white gift” (food donations wrapped in white tissue paper) which they will place in the baskets on the chancel steps. The donations will be given to a local
community food bank. We look forward to your children participating in this beautiful service.
This year’s Christmas Story Concert, featuring the work of James Biery and including the GPMC Choir and local musicians, is free of charge and no ticket are required. Free childcare is provided. Join us as we celebrate Christ’s coming in song.
Our Diversity Book Club has an idea if you are looking for a Christmas gift idea. Buy a friend a copy of “I’m Still Here” by Austin Channing Brown and bring him or her to the Diversity Book Club meeting on January 13. We meet quarterly and read books that provide some perspective on people whose lives are different than those of our members. We’ll meet from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. on January 13 at GPMC. Get your copy and friend now! If you would like GPMC to order a copy for you, let Donna Hartzell know by Dec. 10.
About this book, the publisher says the following.
In a time when nearly all institutions (schools, churches, universities, businesses) claim to value “diversity” in their mission statements, I’M STILL HERE is a powerful account of how and why our actions so often fall short of our words. Austin writes in breathtaking detail about her journey to self-worth and the pitfalls that kill our attempts at racial justice, in stories that bear witness to the complexity of America’s social fabric–from Black Cleveland neighborhoods to private schools in the middle-class suburbs, from prison walls to the boardrooms at majority-white organizations.
For readers who have engaged with America’s legacy on race through the writing of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Michael Eric Dyson, I’M STILL HERE is an illuminating look at how white, middle-class, Evangelicalism has participated in an era of rising racial hostility, inviting the reader to confront apathy, recognize God’s ongoing work in the world, and discover how blackness–if we let it–can save us all.
This just in! From Debbie Bellovich, Steve Voorhees, Bill Turner, and all of the Everyone Eats crew. HO! HO! HO! Once again, Everyone Eats is helping their guests provide Christmas gifts for their children. Would you like to help? Gifts for kids between $10-$20 are needed. We’ve registered at Target.comto help make the process easier. Please click on registries and then on “search for an organization”. Enter “Everyone Eats” and our registry should pop up. Please deliver donations to church by Tuesday, 12/18 or email Debbie Bellovich at email@example.com with any questions.
Alternative Gifts are Back on Sunday mornings! Christmas is coming, and so is your chance to buy Alternative Gifts for your friends and neighbors. A $5 donation (additional donations are welcome) to any one of our chosen outreach partners allows you to honor a loved one with a gift to an agency serving people in need. Be on the lookout for the Outreach Council’s alternative gift table in Fellowship Hall December 2, 9, 16, and 23.
New this year: Outreach is matching our donations (up to $2,000). Missed the table? Email Sue Acton, firstname.lastname@example.org for special arrangements.
Your cards support
Fort Street Open Door – socks for the homeless in Detroit;
The Little Children’s Home – infant formula in Malaysia;
Living Waters for the World – share of a clean water system;
Second Mile Center – socks or underclothes for youth in Detroit;
The SoulCrafters will be hosting their “Holiday Pop-Up Boutique” on Sunday, December 9. The “store” will be set up in Fellowship Hall during the middle hour and after the 11:00 a.m. service, so please stop by and do some Christmas shopping. We’ll have a wide array of beautiful new handcrafted items, including holiday décor for the home, luxurious handmade scarves, hats, and lap robes that make great gifts, unique handcrafted gift tags, adorable one-of-a-kind doll clothes for 18” dolls, and much more. And please remember, proceeds from the sale of all items help support several local charitable organizations, so when you make a purchase, you’re helping someone in need. See you soon!
“Take-out” Acts of Kindness for Advent 2018: This year children and youth will have an opportunity to use a different type of Advent calendar that doesn’t unfortunately include a daily piece of chocolate! It is called Take-Out Acts of Kindness for Advent. This calendar is based on a suggested action that can be done each day leading up to Christmas. The idea is not to add one more activity to an already busy time of the year, but rather for this to be a source that brings calm and proper focus to the season. Its intention is to be a daily reminder of what the true meaning of Christmas is. You can pick one up for your family upstairs in the third floor hallway across from room 314.
Our GPMC Christmas Angel Tree is up and on display in the lobby. Angel Tree tags have been hung and represent children who have a parent who is incarcerated, causing them also to experience “hard time.” The tags suggest specific gifts for each child.
If you would like to contribute take a tag(s), write your name in the book beside the tree, wrap them and return them to the church by Sunday, December 2. When you return them be sure to sign the book that will be on the desk. For large families, you may wish to share the responsibility with others.
We will be in need of volunteers to help with the party on Saturday, December 8. The party itself is from 12-2, but we need help with setup (11-12) and cleanup (2-3 pm). During the party, we need help greeting, monitoring crafts, arranging food, and handing out gifts. You can sign up by calling our Reception Desk (313 882 5330).
November 18 is a special day in the life of GPMC. We will be recognizing children who completed the 3rd Grade Bible class and presenting them with their own Bibles. We will also be celebrating members of our congregation who have been on the journey of faith at GPMC for over 50 years. We even have some 70 year members!
Join us for these celebrations. The 3rd Grade Bible presentation is at the 9 am service and we will be celebrating 50 year members at both morning services.