By Dave Hendrickson, Lead Pastor
“Are you prepared?”
What are some of the things you prepare for in life?
- New Job
- Raising a Family
Just this past week, Janelle and I began to prepare for the possible event of our untimely deaths where we were unable to fulfill our parental responsibilities of raising and supporting our children. There’s a lot that goes into such a preparation as I am sure many of you already know.
I’m sure there are a lot of other events, people, and situations you have or are prepared for in your life. BUT, how many of us are preparing for the return of Jesus?
Did you know, the church season which we have just entered, Advent, is the season of preparation? But before you assume Advent is the preparation for Christmas and the remembrance of Jesus’ birth, let’s consider a few things.
Where does the word Advent come from and what does it mean? Advent is the modern English word which we get from its Latin cousin, adventus. Adventus means, “coming or arrival”…but hold on a second, don’t jump to “See, Dave! Advent is the ‘reason for the season’. It’s to remember the ‘coming or arrival’ of Jesus as a baby, and his humanity.” According to the Vulgate (Latin version of the Bible), adventus is the Latin translation for the Greek word, parousia.
So now we need to get the reference of parousia. Matthew 24 is where we find parousia used several times, all referencing “the coming of the Son of Man” (Matthew 24:3, 27, 37, 39). In Matthew 24, Jesus is discussing with his disciples the “end times”. So, when Jesus uses the word parousia he is letting his disciples (you and me) know what to be on the watch for concerning his return.
There are also other scriptural references which use parousia in reference to Christ’s return. Paul says in his letter to the Church of Thessalonica, “For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming (parousia)?…” (I Thess. 2:19). He’s letting the disciples in Thessalonica know they will be part of Paul’s testimony at Jesus’ return. James says, “Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming (parousia) of the Lord…establish your hearts, for the coming (parousia) of the Lord” (James 5:7-8).
To follow up on the words from James, “Where is your heart this Advent season?” Is it prepared (Romans 10:9) and preparing (I Thessalonians 3:11-13) for the return of our Lord, Savior, King, and Friend?
Will you join me, LvCC, and the wider church community this Advent Season in the preparation for not just the remembrance of Jesus’ birth, but more importantly his RETURN!!!
elder meeting highlights
At the Elders’ business meeting on November 17, the Elders approved the Proposed Budget for 2022.
Randy Sundberg gave an update on various properties projects and updates that are being worked on.
The Elders also discussed and approved the process for church membership, as per the new Bylaws. This will be formalized in a document and posted on the church website.
The Elders approved the addition of David Wolff as a Deacon.
all-church thanksgiving dinner
There were about 95 people in attendance this year for the Thanksgiving Dinner on Nov. 17. Precautions were taken to be as safe as possible, with masks, cafeteria style serving, and less seating per table and it was great to be able to once again gather and give thanks for fellowship and God’s blessings. Thank you to cooks Rick Little, Paul Googins and team!
community in action: Homeless ministry
By Patty Howland
The featured ministry this month is the homeless ministry. Because of COVID, in May 2020 Love Overwhelming asked meal-share churches to begin taking meals they prepared directly to the homeless camp. Each Monday, a group of volunteers led by Paul Googins sets up a table outside the camp to distribute meals while an engagement team, led by Dan Durben and Jay and Laura Holland, walk into the camp to speak and pray with residents. Their goal is to consistently connect with people, establishing relationships which may eventually lead to not only meeting their need for physical food but also spiritual food.
In preparation for writing this article, I went with the group to the camp. I was surprised at how orderly the camp was and at the obvious “pride of ownership” displayed by many residents. They were also very appreciative of the hot meal we provided. Anyone interested in helping may meet at the church a little before 5 p.m. on a Monday to go with the team. You will probably be back to church before 6. This is a great way to share the love of Jesus!
In addition to serving at the homeless camp, Paul has been cooking and serving meals on behalf of LvCC at Community House on Broadway on the first Thursday of the month and, at the end of 2020 added cooking for Community House Emergency Support Shelter on the 3rd Thursday. He also is personally involved with cooking and serving on Sundays with Food for Change.
Paul will be retiring as LvCC Hospitality Host at the end of December. He is looking for volunteers who would like to continue cooking and serving at the camp, CHOB and CHESS. Please contact Paul or the Church Office for info about how you can get involved so we can continue this much-needed and appreciated ministry to our community!
youth: “plugged in”
By Nathaniel Duscha, Youth Pastor
Happy Holidays! It’s that time of year again, my two favorite holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas! Since the holiday season tends to get a little busy and hectic, I want to make sure you are well informed on what’s happening in the youth ministry for the month of December.
December 19th: Sunday the 19th will be the youth Christmas party! This will take place during the usual time for our Sunday night gatherings, 6:00pm-7:30pm. We will have a contest to see who can create the best gingerbread house, playing Mitten Mayhem and giving out some awesome prizes! It’s going to be a great night!
December 26th: On Sunday the 26th, we will not have our Sunday night youth group gathering. I hope you have a great time celebrating with your families!
Lastly, I am excited to introduce our series of discussions for the month of December called “Good Things”! With Christmas just around the corner, we often impatiently wait for that day to come. I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying “good things come to those who wait”, and that is not only true for Christmas now, but it was true for the very first Christmas as well. In this series, we will be looking at the Christmas story from the perspective of the Old Testament prophets who foretold and then waited for the good things God had in store. Christmas is a reminder of what the prophets proclaimed: that God has always had a plan and that Jesus came to Earth to complete that plan.
By Mary Gronseth, Interim Director of Children’s Ministry
Sunday: We have been having a great time learning how to love others in our Discipleship Time on Sunday Mornings. Our last unit was entitled: “God Has a Plan”. We have learned about Abraham and Sarah and Jacob and Esau and how they trusted God and looked to Him for guidance. Our Memory verse was: “For the Word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything he does” Psalm 33:4. My favorite part of Sunday is our prayer time with the kids. It is so great to know what their concerns are and that they know to bring those to the Lord in Prayer. They understand God wants to hear all their concerns. I am so thankful for the great team of teachers that truly love our children and spend time each week preparing to teach them God’s Word.
Trunk or Treat: This was a great outreach event! We had 9 cars, decorated with a variety of themes such as: Seahawks, Harry Potter and Pumpkins and lights. The hot dogs were popular as was the candy that was so generously donated by our church family. We thank you for those donations! A photo booth was added this year. Many great photos were taken of our dressed up friends. We served at least 600 kids candy on Halloween and had many parents thank us for offering this safe and fun option for their children. Thank you to Sarah Fix who organized this fun evening.
Watch for a special event coming in January for our elementary kids. More details to come!
By Patty Howland
The Women’s Fellowship is sponsoring the Christmas Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, Dec. 5 from 8-11 a.m. The suggested donation is $3/$10 max per family. Please join us for fellowship and a yummy breakfast of pancakes, ham and eggs!
The Women’s Retreat is moving back to May! We will be returning to Black Lake Bible Camp on May 20-22, 2022. We are looking into bringing in an outside speaker and will have more details in the February newsletter. We will once again be in the Lakeside Landing accommodations overlooking the lake! The cost will be $150 per person or $50 for Saturday only. Full and partial scholarships are available or you may make multiple payments to help with budgeting. Put this on your calendar and join us for this fun intergenerational event! Be sure to check out the Women’s page of the church website for more photos from this year’s retreat!The Thursday Community Bible Study will be beginning a new book/video study on Jan. 6. It will be “Elijah” Priscilla Shirer’s newest study. Please purchase your own book prior to the first session. Contact facilitator Susan Hansen at 360-636-2574 for more information.
By Dee Dalgarno
MERRY CHRISTMAS! Many wonderful Christmas books for both adults and children are now on display and available for check-out in the Church Library. Check-out is easy, just follow instruction on Check Out Desk. Library is open the same hours as the church.
this and that
Upcoming Holiday Events:
Dec. 4, 8am Christmas Pancake Breakfast
Dec. 5, 3pm Lower Columbia Clarinet Guild Christmas Concert
Dec. 11, 7pm Symphony Christmas Concert
Dec. 12, 3pm Symphony Christmas Concert
Dec. 17, 5pm Pizza and Carol Sing
Dec. 19, 10am Lessons and Carols Service
Dec. 24, 3pm Christmas Eve Service
Dec. 24, 5pm Christmas Eve Service
November FISH Report:
November 22 through 24th we served 113 families, with 245 adults and 162 children. There were 13 homeless orders. Monday, we served 47 families; this is the most families served in one day at any local church in 2021. The total spent by Longview Community Church was $1,835, FISH of Cowlitz County contributed $3,171 for a total $5,006. Due to contribution from FISH of Cowlitz County, we were able to supply ham or turkey plus thanksgiving extras to all families. This month we added pet food and laundry detergent as an option for everyone.
Donations of non-perishable food, diapers, baby wipes, feminine products, laundry detergent, pet food, unopened toiletries, egg cartons, clean paper and plastic bags are always welcome. FISH donation boxes are located by the kitchen, office hallway, choir room and the narthex.
We have many volunteer opportunities, most positions are mornings of FISH week, though some are at other times. We need more volunteers! Thank you one and all! Next FISH week is January 24 through 28, 2022.
Special Work Request Form
In order to respect our Facility Manager’s time, and to help him prioritize projects and meeting setups, we have created a form to be completed for any “non-routine” work requests. These are available in the Church Office and in the wall “pockets” in the hallway. Instead of inundating Garrett with verbal requests, please complete a form and leave it in his box or slip it under the door to the Church Office. Thank you!
End of Year Giving
All cash or asset contributions for 2021 must be received in the Church Office by 9 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 31, 2021 or postmarked no later that Dec. 31, 2021. In addition, all online gifts must have an “approved” status by Dec. 31, 2021 in order to receive contribution credit for 2021. Any gift received or postmarked on or after Jan. 2, 2022 will be credited to 2022. Please contact Jackie Erickson, Bookkeeper, or Jaime Boaglio, Treasurer if you have questions. Also, please remember to notify the Church Office if you had an address change this year.
The Senior Adult Ministry is sponsoring the collection of Christmas bags for the homeless camp. All of the bags have been taken; please return filled bags by December 12.
SAM is also planning a trip to tour the Longview Public Library on January 13, 2022 at 11 a.m. followed by lunch on own at the Sizzler. A van will leave the church at 10:15. There will be no cost for transportation. Please sign up in December.
Dear Church Family…
Thank you so very much for your kind thoughts, prayers, cards, and bath bench. All are very much appreciated. After my stay in the hospital and respite, I am home feeling much better. I’m also getting physical therapy to regain strength. As you may know, my son Gerald, and a dear young woman who was much like a daughter died of Covid. However, God has placed in my life a new great-granddaughter, Lydia Dorothy Stiltz! Amongst grieving there is rejoicing. Truly “Joy cometh in the morning”. Thank you and love to all. ~excerpted from note from Nellie Anagnostou
December Missions Focus:
YTD INCOME: $435,490
TRUSTEES VISION: $ 8,000
YTD EXPENSE: $450,411
DIFFERENCE: -$ 6,921