In the pre-Christmas story these two main characters, Joseph and Mary, played their unique roles in a different gospel. Luke’s gospel shares Mary’s perspective, while Matthew focuses on Joseph’s role. Luke dedicates how Mary found out she was pregnant and what Mary did after she received the news of her pregnancy, whereas Matthew shares the male perspective of Joseph’s discovery.
In Matthew text, we can notice how Joseph responded after receiving the news of Mary’s pregnancy that the child in the womb was not his. Joseph was heartbroken, yet he wasn’t out for vengeance. He wanted to treat his wife Mary with compassionate justice. He just wanted to try and move on with the least amount of shame for all involved. But God had different plans. God intervened with him in a dream.
Matthew goes on in verse 23 to share how part of the prophecy was fulfilled in the birth of Jesus: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means, “God with us”) (Matthew 1:23). It reminds us the meaning of the name of Immanuel: our God who is with us. He is Jesus, who saves us, and he is with us all the days of our lives. He is with us in every valley of the shadow of death as well as on the mountaintop of life. In fact, the last words Jesus eventually would say to his disciples before ascending into heaven would be a reminder and echo of his name, Immanuel: “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). IL-Woong.
MINISTRY SURVEY: Please take one and spend a time to pray as you recommit or prepare for serving God’s mission and ministries. The aim of this ‘Ministry Survey’ is to ask for the congregation to confirm any ministries/services you have currently committed to and also make you consider any new area(s) where you would serve in the new year/future.
Carols by Streetlight will be held on Tuesday 19th December. We will meet at LPUC at 7pm and then walk around local streets, stopping at various points to sing a number of carols before moving on to the next location. Here is an opportunity to express the joy of Christmas to our local community. Please choose to be involved even if you don’t think that you sing very well. You will provide much needed volume.
A practice session for the carol singing will be held a week earlier on Tuesday 12th December at 7pm at the church. The tunes that we have chosen are mainly upbeat (Herb Alpert. Herb who?), and it is important that you become familiar with them.
To the churches in and around the St George area: Do you have people who would like to train to become volunteer chaplains at St George Hospital?
The chaplains’ team at St George Hospital is planning to offer training in the first half of 2018 for people from local churches who would like to become volunteer chaplains. The dates for the training have not been finalised yet, but we are keen to hear from interested people soon.
Could you please include the following notice in your church newsletter and/or mention it in your church announcements? (Please use either the text at the end of this email or else the pdf file which I’ve attached.) We would be grateful if you could do this through into January.
Please feel free to contact us if you would like a member of our team to visit your church to speak about the chaplaincy ministry at St George Hospital.
Thank you, (Rev.) David Lakos, Anglican chaplain & Coordinator of chaplains’ department, St George Hospital. Phone 9113 2189 (chaplains’ office) or 9113 1111 + pager 709
Superbook DVD Club – Superbook is an animation series that teaches children timeless moral truths and life lessons through the captivating, Bible-based adventures of two time-travelling children and their robot friend.
CHRISTMAS BOWL APPEAL is a program for Act for Peace, the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia and a member of the global ACT Alliance. Your support will bring hope and healing to people affected by conflict and disaster around the world through our partner churches. Please pick up your envelope today or go online and give direct to actforpeace.org on behalf of LPUC family. Appeal ends 7th January 2018.
VegieTales – The Toy That Saved Christmas. DVD. Appearing in his own TV commercials, unscrupulous toy maker, Wally P. Nezzer has convinced all of Dinkletown that ‘Christmas is when you get stuff!’ With the town’s children begging for more toys, it’s sure to be the worst Christmas ever – until one brave little Buzz-Saw Louie doll decides to take matters into his own hands! The Toy That Saved Christmas reminds children of all ages that ‘Christmas isn’t about getting: it’s about giving.’
Lost Sheep – The Three Wise Camels. You’ve heard about the three wise men, but what about The Three Wise Camels? If you love big telescopes, wise sayings and frankincense then join the camels on their epic adventure.
SUMMER CHURCH will start from Sunday 31st December 2017 to 21st January 2018 at 10.30am. It is a combined service that has a different format for each Sunday. Please tune into the newsletter what’s happening!