The Call: December 2018

#ABSOLUTELY

The year of the Church is drawing to a close. In worship we celebrated the Reign of Christ Sunday, which is the Church’s New Year’s Eve festival. Our Church year around the world ends with Jesus on the cross because #CROSS represents all that God has done for each of us yesterday, today, and tomorrow. While on the cross through the horrors of crucifixion Jesus was in the center. On one side was a person who mocked Jesus; he missed the significance of God the Father at work even through terror. On the other side was a man who actually saw God at work through horror. He asked Jesus if he might be included among those celebrating Jesus’ new kingdom. Jesus’ response, in a nut shell, ABSOLUTELY. What a wonderful way to end one year and begin a new chapter in the life of Plum Creek.

#Absolutely is something you may add to your volunteer, committee, mission, evangelism, stewardship, and Bible study ministries at Plum Creek. This new year may be the year you incorporate Jesus’ ‘absolutely’ into the business and fellowship at Plum Creek. #Absolutely may just become our moto for 2019 – representing the beauty of Jesus’ acceptance and encouragement through the most difficult times, through generous and abundant times, and through the low season of just ordinary times.

Advent brings not only a new Church year, but a new Church focus: Christ the King who came to us via the most ordinary means: young women in trouble, a skeptical finance, shepherds who were the lowest among the low of society, and angels’ song – the most honored of God’s heavenly hosts. Can this be how God shine’s eternal Light into our darkness? ABSOLUTELY!
May this be your special year at Plum.

                                                                Jane


Happy New Year of #ABSOLUTELY

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December Worship:

Sunday December 16th – the children of the church will be part of the worship service through story- telling and portrayal. This will not be your typical Christmas pageant (I recommend you read Barbara Robinson’s little book Best Christmas Pageant Ever for a ‘typical’ Christmas pageant.) Ours will be an interactive, spontaneous, abounding with grace and gratitude version of the greatest story ever told.

Our worship service foci this month will be:

Advent 1          Joseph’s story

Advent 2          Mary & Elizabeth

Advent 3          Shepherd’s story

Advent 4          Angel’s story

Christmas Eve   Joy to the World!

INTRODUCING OUR NEW DIRECTOR OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION AND DAY CAMP MINISTRIES: Faith Bailey

It is so wonderful to now be a part of your community at Plum Creek PC! I have enjoyed getting to know you, your church, and your community over the past few weeks. Thank you all for the warm welcome and support in my new role. As I get to know new people each day, I am continually encouraged by the path you have decided to follow. I get a sense of hope and excitement. Of openness and exploration. Of a desire to continually better yourselves and even more importantly your community. I see a fire beginning to grow at Plum Creek. The kindling is laid and lit. There are logs waiting to catch. And all of you are ready to care for and grow that fire until it is thriving, providing light and warmth and a place of welcome for all. I am grateful to be welcomed on to your team.

 I want to hear all about Plum Creek from you! I invite you to share what you love about your church, what things may not be your favorite, what hopes you have for the future of Plum Creek, and more. I look forward to getting to know each and every one of you and sharing our stories with each other. (Though I ask for grace while learning names. There are way more of you than me!) Please always feel free to stop me on a Sunday or drop by the office to chat. Here are a few fun facts about me to start: I’m a Pittsburgh native (West Deer/Deer Lakes specifically) and love this city! I recently moved back from Birmingham, Alabama and now live in Springdale where I treat myself to Glen’s Custard frequently. Prior to living in Alabama, I worked at Crestfield Camp & Conference Center both as summer staff in high school/college and year-round staff later. I love adventuring in the outdoors. I have spent a lot of time backpacking in a lot of really cool places. I thought I was exclusively a dog person until I got a cat and now I could show you a new picture of my cat every day. I love reading and will give almost any book a chance. I get excited about trying new things and new experiences. Fun and play is such an important factor in everyone’s lives!

I am excited for this next season at Plum Creek with you. I feel the eagerness and excitement from you as well. I find it fitting that we are now preparing to approach a new year. As Advent begins, we prepare for the coming of Jesus, leading us into a new year in the church. As December begins, we prepare to look back at 2018 and into 2019. While we are preparing for these ending and beginnings, I encourage you to stay hopeful and excited and joyful about the new year in the life of Plum Creek as we journey together. Faith

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Gratitude Soup
During this season of Giving Thanks to God, the Children’s Messages have suggested an alternative response to “How are you?” Instead of “Fine, thank you,” one could say, and always mean: “Grateful.” Grateful for God is a way of life, and could become our standard reply. This past Sunday the children made up imaginary Gratitude Soup, based on the book by the same name. Together we filled a pot with our gratitude, then the kids each made up their list of things they are grateful for. During the sermon the 15 kids brought up their slips of paper with their gratitude lists or drawings: for friends and family; family, shelter, food, and for water; (a drawing of a house); for my house; love; love (with lots of squiggles); friends, for my family, sports, good health, my village; my dog; for music, family, friends; Pappy who died; for this church (with a lovely drawing!) I am grateful for the young disciples of this church.



Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, 7:00 PM - Joy to the World!
Rev. Jane Esterline preaching





Jane Esterline