Going Caroling…

 

Join us on Wednesday, December 12 at 5:30 PM to go out caroling!

The act of singing and traveling to different homes comes from an ancient tradition. In England, the word wassail — derived from the Old Norse ves heill meaning “be well, and in good health” — came to mean the wishing of good fortune on your neighbors. No one is quite sure when the custom began, but it did give us the song, “Here We Come-A-Wassailing” — sung as carolers wished good cheer to their neighbors in hopes of getting a gift in return. (“A Wassailing” also evolved into the popular “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” — its last verse, “Bring us some figgy pudding” stems from the wassailers’ original intent.)

The two traditions of singing and visiting first merged in Victorian England, as church carols began to merge with Christian folk music. Many of today’s most popular carols date to this period. Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern published in London by British lawyer William B. Sandys in 1833, was the first to print “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “The First Noel” and “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing.” “Joy to the World” first appeared in the Anglican Church hymnal Hymns Ancient and Modern in 1861.

Saint Francis Assisi plays a major role in the history of Christmas Caroling, as he is the person who made Christmas Carols an important part of the church services. It is said that Saint Francis Assassi introdced the carols in the church during a Christmas Midnight Mass in a Church in Greccio, in the province of Umbria in 1223 and the songs sung that night were more similar to carols rather than hymns.

Most of the carols tell us a story, it may be about the birth of Jesus Christ or about the tradition of gifts or any other story associated with Christmas. But the common factor among them is that either their themes are related to the festivity of Christmas or they have a religious side to it. Christmas carols provide the opportunity to express the feeling of joy and happiness. So the carols are primarily of a joyful nature.

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Round Table Discussions

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BEGINNING NEXT SUNDAY/ OCT. 14 – ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION
GROUP—This Teen/Adult group will meet at 10:45 to 11:45 AM.
Open to all teens, young adults and adults. These interactive
sessions will discuss the sermon topic presented each week.
Meet across from the kitchen.

Teen/Adult classes are an important part of our Sunday School!

Growth is the goal of the Christian.  Maturity is mandatory.  If a child ceased to develop, the parent would be concerned, right?  When a Christian stops growing, help is needed.  If you are the same Christian you were a few months ago, be careful.  You might be wise to get a checkup.  Not on your body, but on your heart. Not a physical, but a spiritual.  Why don’t you check your habits?

Make these four habits regular activities and see what happens:

First, the habit of prayer…Second, the habit of study…Third, the habit of giving… And last of all, the habit of fellowship.

We are there to help!

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Compelled by God’s deep passion for justice & mercy, we join communities around the world to renew hope, reconcile lives, and restore creation.

When disasters strike, World Renew responds to the urgent needs that arise. In North America, this often includes clearing debris, assessing needs, training local leaders, and repairing and rebuilding damaged homes. Internationally, it includes providing and distributing emergency food, water, shelter, and other supplies. It also often involves reconstruction of homes and livelihoods. World Renew’s ability to respond to disaster is enhanced and greatly supported by a number of strategic partnerships and alliances.

World Renew does not receive denominational ministry shares and depends on the regular financial support of God’s people.

World Renew is accepting donations to begin to plan a response to help those most affected by Hurricane Florence in the days ahead. You can donate online  https://worldrenew.net/florence 

World Renew’s Disaster Response Services volunteers give of their time and talents to help clear debris, assess needs, and rebuild homes after disasters strike. Click the link for current volunteer opportunities.  https://worldrenew.net/volunteer

Join us for a Hymn Sing!

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Join our next Potluck & Hymn Sing on

Sunday September 23 at 5:00 PM. 

Bring a dish to pass and be prepared to make a joyful noise!

Scientists are currently exploring the physiological and psychological benefits of singing with promising results. Most recently, a November 2017 study of self-reported data from 1,779 choir members around the world provided “confirmatory evidence to support choral singing as a means of improving well being,” the authors wrote in Perspectives in Public Health. Participants claimed making music fostered social connection, cognitive stimulation, mental health, enjoyment, and transcendence.  Singing can enhance your mood and create a sense of group identity, Stephen Clift writes in Music, Health, and Wellbeing.  https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/news/a47211/singing-health-benefits/

Group singing, for those who have done it, is the most exhilarating and transformative of all. What researchers are beginning to discover is that singing is like an infusion of the perfect tranquilizer, the kind that both soothes your nerves and elevates your spirits. Study after study has found that singing relieves anxiety and contributes to quality of life. It turns out you don’t even have to be a good singer to reap the rewards. Group singing is cheaper than therapy, healthier than drinking, and certainly more fun than working out. It is the one thing in life where feeling better is pretty much guaranteed. http://ideas.time.com/2013/08/16/singing-changes-your-brain/

SO JOIN US… and be Transformed!

Loving Your Neighbor…

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Calvin Theological Seminary invites you to the second Loving Your Neighbor Conference which will be held at Calvin Seminary from July 30th to August 1st, 2018. Conference Theme: According to Jesus, the first and greatest commandment is to love God, and the second commandment is to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But what does loving your neighbor mean for us today especially with neighbors who arrive as a result of migration, immigration or as refugees? Each year, thousands of people arrive in the United States and Canada as refugees or immigrants. Some refugees are children wholove-your-neighbour arrive as unaccompanied minors, having been separated from their families abroad as they fled violence or disaster. How does the Bible help us navigate in this time and place? We will ask, from a variety of perspectives, “What Does ‘Loving Your Migrant, Immigrant and Refugee Neighbor’ Mean Today?” We invite pastors, ministry leader, and lay members to attend this conference and to hear from a variety of speakers about their ministries and services to immigrants, migrants, and refugees. Get the details and register at www.calvinseminary.edu/neighbor/