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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Advent Wreath — Chuck Knows Church

Advent

Sunday, December 2,  is the First Sunday in Advent.   I’m skipping a couple of the Chuck Knows Church episodes because this one is so timely.  We’ll get back to the others after Christmas.

The first Candle is lit on the first Sunday of Advent, shortly after November 30. It is called the Prophecy Candle and reminds us that Jesus’ coming was prophesied hundreds of years before He was born. The candle’s purple color represents Christ’s royalty as the King of Kings.

Suggested Bible Reading: Luke 1:26-38

Chuck Knows Church — ADVENT WREATH. Four candles in a circle with a big one in the middle? Yep, take a moment and learn the basics about the advent wreath. And why is the pink candle…pink?

 
 

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Jonah!

Jonah

On Wednesday of this week, the Pender staff took a road trip to Pennsylvania to see Jonah at the Sight and Sound Theater.  It was my first time going there – what a neat experience!

We left the church at 7:30am and got to Ronks, PA just in time for lunch.  Methodists love to eat!  We stopped at an all-you-can-eat restaurant featuring wonderful Amish food.  Dienner’s logo was much more sedate than the one next door…

Dienner's Restaurant

Jakey's Amish Barbeque

In the same parking lot, RevKev spotted this fine establishment (the small print says “fresh fudge”):

The Outhouse
After eating all we could, we headed over to the Sight and Sound theater.  From their webpage:

Story, song, and spectacular staging bring each of Sight & Sound Theatres’ epic shows to life. Dozens of professional actors attired in elaborate costumes, meticulously detailed sets towering up to 40 feet high, trained animals, unmatched special effects, and beautifully memorable music inspire 800,000 guests every year.

When we first got to the theater, there was a wonderful quartet of Victorian-era carolers singing for us.  It even snowed on them at the end of their segment.

We found our seats and settled in for the show.  It really was fantastic, very colorful (except for Jonah!).  I liked the feeling of being there, since the theater wrapped around the audience on 3 sides – and had things like fish swimming through the audience and jellyfish floating above.

The boat that looked like a whale was very clever – and the “real” whale was something to behold.

Lots of animals, too –

I would recommend this show to anyone.

After the performance we headed out to eat again even though it was only 4:00.  This time we went to Plain and Fancy for an Amish Feast

Plain and Fancy Amish Feast

Click to view full-size

We finally got home about 8:30.  I was exhausted but it was a fantastic day.

Jonah and the Whale – Story Summary:

The story of Jonah and the Whale, one of the oddest accounts in the Bible, opens with God speaking to Jonah, son of Amittai, commanding him to preach repentance to the city of Nineveh.

Jonah found this order unbearable. Not only was Nineveh known for its wickedness, but it was also the capital of the Assyrian empire, one of Israel’s fiercest enemies. Jonah, a stubborn fellow, did just the opposite of what he was told. He went down to the seaport of Joppa and booked passage on a ship to Tarshish, heading directly away from Nineveh. The Bible tells us Jonah “ran away from the Lord.”

In response, God sent a violent storm, which threatened to break the ship to pieces. The terrified crew cast lots, determining that Jonah was responsible for the storm. Jonah told them to throw him overboard. First they tried rowing to shore, but the waves got even higher. Afraid of God, the sailors finally tossed Jonah into the sea, and the water immediately grew calm. The crew made a sacrifice to God, swearing vows to him.

Instead of drowning, Jonah was swallowed by a great fish, which God provided. In the belly of the whale, Jonah repented and cried out to God in prayer. He praised God, ending with the eerily prophetic statement, “Salvation comes from the Lord.” (Jonah 2:9, NIV)

Jonah was in the giant fish three days. God commanded the whale, and it vomited the reluctant prophet onto dry land. This time Jonah obeyed God. He walked through Nineveh proclaiming that in forty days the city would be destroyed. Surprisingly, the Ninevites believed Jonah’s message and repented, wearing sackcloth and covering themselves in ashes. God had compassion on them and did not destroy them.

Again Jonah questioned God, because Jonah was angry that Israel’s enemies had been spared. When Jonah stopped outside the city to rest, God provided a vine to shelter him from the hot sun. Jonah was happy with the vine, but the next day God provided a worm that ate the vine, making it wither. Growing faint in the sun, Jonah complained again.

God scolded Jonah for being concerned about a vine, but not about Nineveh, which had 120,000 lost people. The story ends with God expressing concern even about the wicked.

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2012 in Pender UMC, Videos, Webmaster posts

 

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Abide With Me

I’m sure that many would think that this is a semi-odd choice for all-time favorite hymn.

My dad was a Congregational (now United Church of Christ) minister so I was pretty regular in church attendance in my younger years.

Some Sunday evenings, he would preach on a circuit and I’d go with him to some of these tiny churches.  The people there, mostly older folks, liked the old hymns best – Fanny Crosby and so on.

So, some of my “favorite hymns” are going to be those that I sang when I was out with my Dad.  Fond memories from long ago.

In 1986 I was finally diagnosed with Cushing’s after struggling with doctors and trying to get them to test for about 5 years.  I was going to go into the NIH (National Institutes of Health) in Bethesda, MD for final testing and then-experimental pituitary surgery.

I was terrified and sure that I wouldn’t survive the surgery.

Somehow, I found a 3-tape set of Readers Digest Hymns and songs of Inspiration and ordered that. The set came just before I went to NIH and I had it with me.

At NIH I set up a daily “routine” of sorts and listening to these tapes was a very important part of my day and helped me get through the ordeal of more testing, surgery, post-op and more.

When I had my kidney cancer surgery, the tapes were long broken, but I had replaced all the songs – this time on my iPod.

Abide With Me was on this tape set and it remains a favorite to this day.  Whenever we have an opportunity in church to pick a favorite, my hand always shoots up and I request page 700.  When someone in one of my handbell groups moves away, we always sign a hymnbook and give it to them.  I sign page 700.

I think that many people would probably think that this hymn is depressing.  Maybe it is but to me it signifies times in my life when I thought I might die and I was so comforted by the sentiments here.

This hymn is often associated with funeral services and has given hope and comfort to so many over the years – me included.

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

~John 15:7

Abide With Me

Words: Henry F. Lyte, 1847.

Music: Eventide, William H. Monk, 1861. Mrs. Monk described the setting:

This tune was written at a time of great sorrow—when together we watched, as we did daily, the glories of the setting sun. As the last golden ray faded, he took some paper and penciled that tune which has gone all over the earth.

Lyte was inspired to write this hymn as he was dying of tuberculosis; he finished it the Sunday he gave his farewell sermon in the parish he served so many years. The next day, he left for Italy to regain his health. He didn’t make it, though—he died in Nice, France, three weeks after writing these words. Here is an excerpt from his farewell sermon:

O brethren, I stand here among you today, as alive from the dead, if I may hope to impress it upon you, and induce you to prepare for that solemn hour which must come to all, by a timely acquaintance with the death of Christ.

For over a century, the bells of his church at All Saints in Lower Brixham, Devonshire, have rung out “Abide with Me” daily. The hymn was sung at the wedding of King George VI, at the wedding of his daughter, the future Queen Elizabeth II, and at the funeral of Nobel peace prize winner Mother Teresa of Calcutta in1997.

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word;
But as Thou dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.

Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings,
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea—
Come, Friend of sinners, and thus bide with me.

Thou on my head in early youth didst smile;
And, though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee,
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

~ From a post on another of my blogs, O’Connor Music Studio

 

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United Methodist Women’s Annual Cookie Sale

Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookies

Do you like to bake? Sign up in the Narthex to make cookies for the annual cookie sale. Please make 100 of each type of cookie and deliver to the Church kitchen labeled “UMW Cookie Trays” before 9 am on Saturday, December 15th. We will be assembling the trays that day and would love help too!

Now is the time to order your Christmas Cookie Trays! We can’t guarantee there will be extra trays available, so please preorder to reserve yours! To preorder, sign up at the Sign Up Center in the Narthex.

Cookies will be available on Sunday, December 16th. Please make checks payable to PUMW. Cookie Trays: $10 Jars: $5

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2012 in Pender UMC

 

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Christmas Cantata – Night of the Father’s Love


All of the mystery, the awe, and the palpable excitement of that night are imaginatively captured in a Christmas mosaic that combines fragments of the familiar with Pepper Choplin’s always-unique perspective in word and music. “Night of the Father’s Love” skillfully guides the listener through the Christmas story, as though hearing it again for the first time.

Three narrators interject with familiar scripture passages and personal reflections, while an intriguing array of musical styles beautifully express the essence of Christmas: the gift of the Father’s love.

The Cantata will be presented by Pender’s Adult Choir and orchestra on December 16, 2012 at the 8:15 and 11:00 Services.

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2012 in Music, Pender UMC

 

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The Heavens are Telling

 

The opening verses of Psalm 19 present the heavenly bodies and their movement as a universal witness to the glory of God that is understood by people of every language. The language connects day and night as a continuous presentation. The words suggest energy, strength, joy, and light.

So many of the Psalms and scriptures have been made into wonderful works of classical music.  Franz Joseph Haydn was one of these composers.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” ~ Psalm 19:1 (NIV)

A setting of ‘The Heavens are Telling the Glory of God’ from Haydn’s  Creation.

More about Haydn’s work, The Creation, can be found on Wikipedia

 

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Welcome to Pender!

What can I expect on a Sunday?
Who are we?
What if I haven’t been to church much?
Getting to know people at Pender?

What can I expect on a Sunday?

  •  Three Worship Styles – Learn more about each Worship Time here
  •  Real People
  •  Lots of Children.  Children are welcome during the services or our nursery is located downstairs.  We provide infants and toddlers (newborns through age 4) with a safe and caring Christian environment
  •  An Opportunity to Connect with Others
  •  Time to Reflect Upon Jesus in our Lives
  •  Outstanding and Varied Music
  •  A Sense of Having Done Something Important with your Day

http://www.penderumc.org/uploads/small ACC.jpg

We are an “Access for All” church, meaning it is important to us for people with wheelchairs or other challenges to have easy access to doorways, hallways, bathrooms, ramps and elevator, seating (places for wheelchairs), and kid friendly (coloring books, booster steps for toddlers, high chairs).

Hearing aid and large-print hymnals are available during the service.  (See one of our ushers.)

Who are we?

Our hearts cry out for more of God. Pender is a “big place” with a “huge heart.” We care about being a community.

In Fairfax, we know it’s possible for us to live a totally anonymous, distant-from-one-another life. At Pender, we desire a different kind of community and life together. We believe Jesus has called us to be a very special community who cares about the world. It’s the essence of what “makes us tick.”

Our mission statement says it this way, we exist to make disciples of Jesus Christ. For us, that takes a very special passion for real community.

What if I haven’t been to church much?

Pender is a warm and inviting place. We actually want to meet you!

Many of our folks started coming to church more recently as adults rather than as children. Some of our people have come all of their life. Some seem to know a lot about the Bible and faith. Others are just beginning that interesting journey.

Getting to Know People at Pender!

We would love to help you “get plugged in” and feel like you know other people. The best way is to jump into a Sunday School class, small group or join the next “Welcome to Pender” or “Coffee with the Pastors” time.

Our “Welcome to Pender” or “Coffee with the Pastors” times are opportunities to get to know the pastors and a few key leaders – as well as other newer folks at Pender. These class times are advertised in the bulletin, and generally held in the Fall and Spring.

Pender has many vibrant small groups who meet together weekly or bi-weekly to support, encourage, pray and be great friends together in faith. We believe everyone needs a place where they are cared for and known more deeply. To help newer people “get into” a group, new groups are starting just about every month.

We are the kind of church where you can earnestly explore, ask questions, and discover new pieces about God throughout your lifetime. None of us “have arrived.” Some can help others; some need the “basics” explained.

The messages are geared towards explaining the Bible and how it applies to real life. And, several of our classes are “for beginners only.”

If you feel like you need help when you arrive, please know that there is a “bulletin” that lists out what pages the songs are on from the hymnal book (song book) in the pew racks.

Also, there is an “offering” time at all of our worship times. Please do not feel obligated to give money, but do know that the money given is used to provide services to the congregation, community and world. You’ll see when other people stand (for singing) and sit (for prayer and listening). And, always feel invited to ask someone about what’s going on. They’ll love being asked!

This community takes Jesus seriously.  How can we live our lives faithful to God? How can we know and act upon what the scriptures say? Where is Jesus at work, and how can we glorify Him?  How can we love God with everything we’ve got, and also love one another just like Jesus?

We are people on a journey following Jesus to make disciples of Jesus Christ.

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2012 in Pender UMC

 

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