luke 2:1 20 new international version (niv) archives/2018/dec2018_nwsltr.pdfauld lang syne the...

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A Newsletter of Grace Community Christian Reformed Church Luke 2:1-20 New Internaonal Version (NIV) In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the enre Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register. 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecng a child. 6 While they were there, the me came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.15 When the angels had leſt them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, Lets go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. IN THIS ISSUE: The Birth of Jesus 1 Christmas Prayer for Busy Women 2 GEMS Club meeting Council Communique3 Ladies Bunco Night 4 Advent Journey Prayer Stations Gift of Warmth Collection Grace Church Holiday Dinner 5 Art Connect Christmas Eve Service IRA Distribution Requirement The Legend of the Poinsettia 6 The History of the Christmas Tree 7 Many Peoples Church newsletter 8 Missionary Prayer Calendar 11 Blue Christmas Service 13 Christmas Joy activity 14 Auld Lang Syne The Recipe Page-Freezing Cookies 15 Birthdays & Anniversaries 16 How Can We Pray for YOU? Serving God-Serving Others 17 Elder/Deacon Districts 2018-19 18 Grace Church Ministry Teams 19 Activity Pages 20-22 Grace Church—Our Values 23 Newsletter Submission Deadline Reflections of Grace

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    Luke 2:1-20 New International Version (NIV)

    In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

    4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the

    town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to

    register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her

    firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there

    was no guest room available for them.

    8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks

    at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around

    them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you

    good news that will cause great joy for all the

    people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has

    been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This

    will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in

    cloths and lying in a manger.”

    13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host

    appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

    14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,

    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor

    rests.”

    15 When the angels had left them and gone into

    heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go

    to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened,

    which the Lord has told us about.”

    16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph,

    and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When

    they had seen him, they spread the word concerning

    what had been told them about this child, 18 and all

    who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds

    said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these

    things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The

    shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for

    all the things they had heard and seen, which were

    just as they had been told.

    IN THIS ISSUE:

    The Birth of Jesus 1

    Christmas Prayer for Busy Women 2

    GEMS Club meeting

    Council Communique’ 3

    Ladies Bunco Night 4

    Advent Journey Prayer Stations

    Gift of Warmth Collection

    Grace Church Holiday Dinner 5

    Art Connect

    Christmas Eve Service

    IRA Distribution Requirement

    The Legend of the Poinsettia 6

    The History of the Christmas Tree 7

    Many Peoples Church newsletter 8

    Missionary Prayer Calendar 11

    Blue Christmas Service 13

    Christmas Joy activity 14

    Auld Lang Syne

    The Recipe Page-Freezing Cookies 15

    Birthdays & Anniversaries 16

    How Can We Pray for YOU?

    Serving God-Serving Others 17

    Elder/Deacon Districts 2018-19 18

    Grace Church Ministry Teams 19

    Activity Pages 20-22

    Grace Church—Our Values 23

    Newsletter Submission Deadline

    Reflectio

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  • 2

    Are you on Facebook? You can

    help us let others know about

    Grace Community Church by

    ‘liking’ us on our facebook page

    and giving us a good review! This

    is an easy way to share with others how much

    you love our church!

    Find us at:

    https://www.facebook.com/Grace-

    Community-Christian-Reformed-

    Church-232666100126076/

  • 3

    Grace Community CRC Council Communique Council Meeting, November 5, 2018

    I) Minutes of the council meeting held President Bob Cooper opened the meeting by reading from Psalm

    36: “His love endures forever,” and led in prayer.

    II) Minutes of the council meeting held October 1, 2018 were approved as presented. Jim noted that the

    seniors account mentioned in item IX (New Business) of just over $900.00 had already been turned

    over to the church.

    III) Financial Report: Jim Wassenaar commented on the September and October reports. Overall we’re

    holding our own pretty well, with just a slight deficit. Discussion followed on how the congregation

    could be challenged to make up that deficit. The Deacons will discuss this further.

    IV) Pastor’s Report:

    a. Michael plans to hold a team leader meeting to continue to use the congregational luncheons to

    further meaningful discussions within our congregation.

    b. Michael connected with his coach and the new pastor at (formerly) Calvin CRC to hold another

    Faithwalking seminar sometime next year.

    c. Thinking about connecting with younger families, he would like to consider having an intern some-

    time within the next few years.

    d. He reported that a contractor is remodeling the home they own, with goal of completion in

    January.

    e. We discussed the practice of children participating in the Lord’s Supper. Pastor Mike, Bob and

    Eleanor will look into the CRC practice.

    V) Team Reports:

    a. Elders: Received for information.

    b. Deacons: Received for information.

    c. MAST:

    1. Recommended that any memorial gifts in honor of Byron Breems be placed in the stained-

    glass window fund. Motion adopted.

    2. Requests that special offerings be taken for denominational Ministry Shares. Jim Kamper will

    notify the MAST team when offerings will be scheduled so that the congregation can be noti-

    fied ahead of time.

    d. Building and Grounds:

    1. Ken Schutt painted the outside trim on the church building.

    2. Jim Wassenaar reported that the Fire Department would like to install a lock box so if

    necessary they can enter the building without breaking down a door. He will follow through

    with them to ensure that this happens.

    e. Worship Team: a group from Trinity Christian College will lead worship on November 11. Brian

    Kamper has arranged for this group and is beginning to take a leadership role in worship

    planning.

    f. Fellowship Team: The all-church Christmas dinner is scheduled for Saturday, December 8 at 5:00

    p.m. Dave and Joyce Phillips are heading up the arrangements for this dinner.

    g. Prayer Team: The Prayer and Fasting sessions will begin this week.

    h. Mission/Education Team: The mission luncheon will be Sunday, November 11. Pastor Michael will

    speak about his recent trip to the Middle East. Pledge Forms will be distributed.

    i. REACH: Rob reported that they are continuing their discussion on prayer. There are five

    students.

    (continued on next page

  • 4

    Grace Community CRC Council Communique

    VI. Classical, Denominational Items:

    a. Classis will meet on November 15 at 7:00 p.m. at Faith CRC. A motion was adopted to delegate

    Pastor Mike, Elder Bob Cooper and Deacon Trudy Kooy to the meeting.

    b. Deano Su information: A job description has been developed for a potential Chinese church plant

    near the Loop. Pastor Mike wrote a letter to Hyde Park CRC informing them of this process. He

    also forwarded this letter to the classical home missions committee.

    IX. The meeting was closed with a time of group prayer.

    X. Next Council meeting date: Monday, December 3, 2018

    Respectfully Submitted,

    Eleanor Lamsma, Clerk of Council

    (continued from page 3)

  • 5

    If you are over age 70 ½ and have an IRA (Individual Retirement Account), you know that the government requires that we take a distribution from our IRA each year. You can take out the required amount, spend it on something for yourself or your family—and pay taxes on it.

    Or, you can ask your financial advisor to send that distribution directly to the nonprofit charity of your choice. And Grace Community Christian Reformed Church is qualified to receive those donations. This is a win/win situation. Of course, it would be a win for the church, but it’s also a win for the donor—you will pay no taxes.

    While this requirement can be fulfilled at any time during the year, if you still need to take the required minimum distribution, you may wish to consider it as one part of your year-end giving.

    If you have questions about making a gift to Grace Community Church from your IRA, contact your financial adviser or contact Barnabas Foundation at 888- 448-3040. If you plan to make a gift to Grace Community from your IRA, please let Jim Wassenaar, Grace Church’s Treasurer, know.

  • 6

    The Legend of the Poinsettia

    Dr. Joel Poinsett, who was the first ambassador to Mexico,

    brought the bright red star-shaped flower to the United States.

    Hence, it was names as Poinsettia. It is also known as 'Flame

    Leaf' or 'Flower of the Holy Night'. The legend related to this

    favorite Christmas flower is Mexican too. However, there are

    two versions of the story. In one version, the two small chil-

    dren of the story are known as Maria and her little brother

    Pablo; while in another version, two cousins are mentioned by

    the names of Pepita and Pedro. Whatever be the names, the

    story goes like this:

    There was once a brother-sister pair who was very poor. They

    lived in a village and they had barely enough to eat two full

    meals a day. As the Christmas time approached, festivities, parades and parties in the village attracted the

    children. The gaiety of the season in itself was quite charismatic. Moreover, a large manger scene was be-

    ing set up in the village church and all the children were eager to go to Baby Jesus and give him the best

    present. Mario and Pablo also wanted to give expensive presents to the Holy Child that He will love.

    While all children were discussing, what they think is best for the baby and what they will buy as the gift

    for Him, Mario and Pablo knew that they had no money to buy the presents and had nothing that they

    could gift to the child.

    Yet, they could not let go of the temptation to see the baby just once and give something to Him. On

    Christmas Eve, Maria and Pablo set out for church a little earlier than others to attend the service. Since

    they had nothing to give to the child, they thought of plucking some weeds that was growing along the

    roadside to make a soft bed for Baby Jesus and decorate his crib. While they were still decorating the crib

    of the Baby, other children also arrived. Now, children can be very cruel when it comes to teasing and

    making fun of others. Mario and Pablo were almost in tears for shame and helplessness when a miracle

    occurred. Suddenly, the weeds burst into bright red petals that looked like stars and were so beautiful that

    everyone was awed by their beauty. Everybody realized and said that a gift of love is dearer to Jesus than

    the most expensive presents that money could buy. Ever since then, Poinsettia flowers have become

    favorites for Christmas decorations.

  • 7

    THE HISTORY OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE

    How it all got started:

    Long before the advent of Christianity, plants and trees that remained green all year had a special meaning for people in the winter. Just as people today decorate their homes during the festive season with pine, spruce, and fir trees, ancient peoples hung evergreen boughs over their doors and windows. In many countries it was believed that evergreens would keep away witches, ghosts, evil spirits, and illness.

    In the Northern hemisphere, the shortest day and longest night of the year falls on December 21 or December 22 and is called the winter solstice. Many ancient people believed that the sun was a god and that winter came every year because the sun god had become sick and weak. They celebrated the solstice because it meant that at last the sun god would begin to get well. Evergreen boughs reminded them of all the green plants that would grow again when the sun god was strong and summer would return.

    The ancient Egyptians worshipped a god called Ra, who had the head of a hawk and wore the sun as a blazing disk in his crown. At the solstice, when Ra began to recover from the ill-ness, the Egyptians filled their homes with green palm rushes which symbolized for them the triumph of life over death.

    Early Romans marked the solstice with a feast called the Saturnalia in honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture. The Romans knew that the solstice meant that soon farms and orchards would be green and fruitful. To mark the occasion, they decorated their homes and temples with evergreen boughs. In Northern Europe the mysterious Druids, the priests of the ancient Celts, also decorated their temples with evergreen boughs as a symbol of everlasting life. The fierce Vikings in Scandinavia thought that evergreens were the special plant of the sun god, Balder.

    Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition as we now know it, in the 16th century, when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes. Some built Christmas pyramids of wood and decorated them with evergreens and candles if wood was scarce. It is a widely held belief that Martin Luther, the 16th-century Protestant reformer, first added lighted candles to a tree. Walking toward his home one winter evening, composing a sermon, he was awed by the brilliance of stars twinkling amidst evergreens. To recapture the scene for his family, he erected a tree in the main room and wired its branches with lighted candles.

    Most 19th-century Americans found Christmas trees an oddity. The first record of one being on display was in the 1830s by the German settlers of Pennsylvania, although trees had been a tradition in many German homes much earlier. The Pennsylvania German settlements had community trees as early as 1747. But, as late as the 1840s Christmas trees were seen as pagan symbols and not accepted by most Americans.

    It is not surprising that, like many other festive Christmas customs, the tree was adopted so late in America. To the New England Puritans, Christmas was sacred. The pilgrim ’s second governor, William Bradford, wrote that he tried hard to stamp out “pagan mockery” of the observance, penalizing any frivolity. The influential Oliver Cromwell preached against “the heathen traditions” of Christmas carols, decorated trees, and any joyful expression that desecrated “that sacred event.”

    Continued on page 12

    https://www.history.com/topics/history-of-christianityhttps://www.history.com/topics/saturnaliahttps://www.history.com/topics/celtshttps://www.history.com/topics/exploration/vikings-historyhttps://www.history.com/topics/christmashttps://www.history.com/topics/us-states/pennsylvaniahttps://www.history.com/topics/william-bradfordhttps://www.history.com/topics/british-history/oliver-cromwell

  • 8

    (continued on next page)

    A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to Jesus, crying out,

    “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-

    possessed and suffering terribly.” Jesus did not answer a word. So

    his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she

    keeps crying out after us.” Jesus answered, “I was sent only to the

    lost sheep of Israel.” The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord,

    help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s

    bread and toss it to the dogs.” “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the

    dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have

    great faith! Your request is granted.” (select parts of Matthew 15:22-27 –NIV)

    November 20, 2018

    Dear members of Grace Community Church,

    I wonder what caused the disciples of Jesus to so dislike outsiders – those people determined to get

    attention from Jesus. Children with persistent parents, Samaritans and Canaanites and religious

    leaders – all of them thinking their issues deserved special attention from Jesus. In fact, as you read

    the gospels, it may well be that engaging with outsiders was the part of ‘discipleship’ the followers

    of Jesus liked the least. At one point James and John ask Jesus if they should (though it sounds ‘if

    they could’) “call down fire” on some Samaritans who refused to let Jesus and his disciples pass

    through on their journey to Jerusalem. On that same journey the whole crowd following Jesus

    attempted to silence 2 blind men who keep crying out: “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me.” And

    when the Canaanite woman above shouts those same words, some of his disciples urge Jesus to:

    ‘Send her away. She keeps shouting out the same thing over and over again.’

    Clearly, his closest followers become quite possessive of Jesus. They see themselves as protectors of

    Jesus as well. They put ‘Jesus came to deliver us and reestablish the kingdom of Israel’ on the front

    end of their faith. In their minds, engaging with these outsiders got in the way of Jesus doing that.

    And Jesus himself, within ear shot of his disciples, said to the Canaanite woman: “I was sent only to

    the lost sheep of Israel.”

  • 9

    This Canaanite woman did, after all, belong to one of the nations God commanded his people to re-move from Canaan - the land God promised to give to his people. Did her presence remind the disciples of the truth that God’s people had failed to achieve full possession of the promised land? Their ancestors – contrary to God’s command against it – allowed and at times even embraced the worship of the gods of Canaan. Perhaps her cries for mercy reminded them of Israel’s weakness and failures. Clearly, her national identity carried more weight with the disciples than the awful condition of this Canaanite woman’s daughter.

    I remember learning about identifying the Canaanites that lived around us. We didn’t call them Canaanites – but we identified them as outsiders – people living apart from the promises of God. Some of those Canaanite neighbors didn’t go to church. Some went to a church but their going didn’t keep them from washing their car in the driveway on Sundays. Their car washing broke the 4th commandment. They chose to ‘work’ on the day about which God said “You shall not do any work.” We leaned toward counting Roman Catholics as Canaanites - outsiders – as well. They played Bingo and won prizes and even money – which we were told ‘was really entry level gambling’ – and they did this right at church. All kinds of people ‘out there’ chose to live apart for the promises of God. We prayed that someday they would ask God to show them mercy. So much human attention and effort focuses on ‘what makes us great.’ Followers of Jesus say: “God’s mercy makes me great. Apart from God’s mercy, I’m not that great at all.” And Jesus confirms that perspective. ‘I’m here for God’s lost covenant people.’ Their greatness comes to them as a result of God’s mercy toward them.

    In this encounter with the Samaritan women, Jesus appears to prioritize his followers – the insiders – over the needs of an outsider. When the persistent Canaanite woman makes her way to Jesus, falls to her knees and cries out: “Lord, help me;” Jesus responds by saying: “It is not right to give the children’s bread to the dogs.” I imagine the disciples and Jesus’s closest followers doing ‘fist pumps and high fives’ when they hear Jesus say it. ‘We’re right. Jesus came for us.’ But then the woman says the words that turn that way of thinking upside down. “Yes it is right, Lord,” she says. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

    This Canaanite woman’s demand for mercy – her declaration that mercy is right – and not the “send her away” response Jesus’ followers offer- earns the title “great faith.” Her demand for mercy makes her great.

    Here is a short list of some of the major mercies God has poured out on the people and ministries of Many Peoples Church:

    1 - It’s been a year of miracles for Earl – MPC’s chief evangelist and musician. First God delivered Earl from his addiction to methadone (a drug intended for short term use to help people addicted to an opiate to break the opiate habit –

    Many Peoples Church Newsletter (continued from previous page)

    (continued on next page)

  • 10

    Many Peoples Church Newsletter (continued from previous page)

    but a drug that many addicts become addicted to) and God carried Earl through the hellish 3 months of withdrawal and recovery. Then, in June, Earl was diagnosed with throat cancer. Again God walked close to Earl through the radiation and chemo therapy. At his October and November visits his doctor says the cancer is in remission. Join in our thanksgiving.

    2 – After 11 years of principal and interest payments to the bank, Ruth and I were able to payoff the loan for The Common Cup.

    3 – We found that, from a business perspective, it made since to close TCC at 4:00 pm each day. That makes the overflow space at TCC available in the evenings for a variety of ways to engage with our neighbors and introduce them to this God who loves mercy. A couple of young people in their late 20’s are interested in working with me to shape those gatherings. We want to invite people to come and tell their stories. Our prayer is that open ended story telling will prompt some people to ask about and learn about how their story is wrapped in the story of God’s love – a story centered on the mercy of death’s defeat and everlasting life.

    4 – We continue to meet each week for worship at Grais Place. Each week, we call on God to show mercy. Each week God keeps showing me that the heart of greatness is found in the place where divine mercy meets human need. Mike keeps crying out for God to deliver him from his addiction – even as divine mercy meets him with forgiveness and reminds him that through Jesus he too is a loved child of God. Pat cries out for a new apartment because the owner of the one she lives is not renewing leases in the building. God assures her that her eternal home is secured in the death and resurrection of Jesus and that she should not hesitate to demand mercy from the people who work to secure affordable housing for neighbors like her.

    Thank you for praying for and financially supporting the ministries of mercy God carries out through Many Peoples Church. Our ministry takes on so many different shapes that I continue to both be amazed and humbled by the opportunities God provides us to make mercy come to life. Praise and thanksgiving for mercy.

    In service to Christ,

    John

    Youth group members from Ridgewood CRC

    in Jenison Michigan enact mercy on a commu-

    nity garden in the Bridgeport neighborhood

    where MPC’s former associate pastor and

    Loyola chaplain Mike Moore is working to

    plant a new church.

    Rev. John L Hoekwater (773-727-3827 or [email protected])

    mailto:[email protected]

  • 11

  • 12

    THE HISTORY OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE

    In 1659, the General Court of Massachusetts enacted a law making any observance of December 25 (other than a church service) a penal offense; people were fined for hanging decorations. That stern solemnity continued until the 19th century, when the influx of German and Irish immigrants undermined the Puritan legacy.

    In 1846, the popular royals, Queen Victoria and her German Prince, Albert, were sketched in the Illustrated London News standing with their children around a Christmas tree. Unlike the previous royal family, Victoria was very popular with her subjects, and what was done at court immediately became fashionable—not only in Britain, but with fashion-conscious East Coast American Society. The Christmas tree had arrived.

    By the 1890s Christmas ornaments were arriving from Germany and Christmas tree popularity was on the rise around the U.S. It was noted that Europeans used small trees about four feet in height, while Americans liked their Christmas trees to reach from floor to ceiling.

    The early 20th century saw Americans decorating their trees mainly with homemade ornaments, while the German-American sect continued to use apples, nuts, and marzipan cookies. Popcorn joined in after being dyed bright colors and interlaced with berries and nuts. Electricity brought about Christmas lights, making it possible for Christmas trees to glow for days on end. With this, Christmas trees began to appear in town squares across the country and having a Christmas tree in the home became an American tradition.

    CHRISTMAS TREE TRIVIA

    Christmas trees have been sold commercially in the United States since about 1850.

    In 1979, the National Christmas Tree was not lighted except for the top ornament. This was done in honor of the American hostages in Iran.

    Between 1887-1933 a fishing schooner called the Christmas Ship would tie up at the Clark Street bridge and sell spruce trees from Michigan to Chicagoans.

    The tallest living Christmas tree is believed to be the 122-foot, 91-year-old Douglas fir in the town of Woodinville, Washington.

    The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree tradition began in 1933. Franklin Pierce, the 14th president, brought the Christmas tree tradition to the White House.

    In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge started the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony now held every year on the White House lawn.

    Since 1966, the National Christmas Tree Association has given a Christmas tree to the President and first family.

    continued from page 7

    (continued on next page)

    https://www.history.com/topics/us-states/massachusettshttps://www.history.com/topics/british-history/queen-victoriahttps://www.history.com/topics/us-states/michiganhttps://www.history.com/topics/us-states/washingtonhttps://www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/franklin-piercehttps://www.history.com/topics/white-househttps://www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/calvin-coolidge

  • 13

    CHRISTMAS TREE TRIVIA continued from previous page

    Most Christmas trees are cut weeks before they get to a retail outlet.

    In 1912, the first community Christmas tree in the United States was erected in New York

    City.

    Christmas trees generally take 6-8 years to mature.

    Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states including Hawaii and Alaska.

    100,000 people are employed in the Christmas tree industry.

    98 percent of all Christmas trees are grown on farms.

    More than 1,000,000 acres of land have been planted with Christmas trees.

    77 million Christmas trees are planted each year.

    On average, over 2,000 Christmas trees are planted per acre.

    You should never burn your Christmas tree in the fireplace. It can contribute to creosote buildup.

    Other types of trees such as cherry and hawthorns were used as Christmas trees in the past.

    Thomas Edison’s assistants came up with the idea of electric lights for Christmas

    trees.

    https://www.history.com/topics/us-states/hawaiihttps://www.history.com/topics/us-states/alaska

  • 14

    Traditional Song Modern English Translation

    Auld Lang Syne

    Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And days o’ lang syne!

    Chorus: For auld lang syne, my dear For auld lang syne, We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet For auld lang syne!

    We twa hae run about the braes, And pu’d the gowans fine, But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot Sin’ auld lang syne.

    We twa hae paidl’t in the burn Frae morning sun till dine, But seas between us braid hae roar’d Sin’ auld lang syne.

    And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere, And gie’s a hand o’ thine, And we’ll tak a right guid willie-waught For auld lang syne!

    And surely ye’ll be your pint’ stoup, And surely I’ll be mine! And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet For auld lang syne!

    Times Gone By

    Should old acquaintances be forgotten, And never brought to mind? Should old acquaintances be forgotten, And days of long ago!

    Chorus: For times gone by, my dear For times gone by, We will take a cup of kindness yet For times gone by.

    We two have run about the hillsides And pulled the daisies fine, But we have wandered many a weary foot For times gone by.

    We two have paddled (waded) in the stream From noon until dinner time, But seas between us broad have roared Since times gone by.

    And there is a hand, my trusty friend, And give us a hand of yours, And we will take a goodwill drink (of ale) For times gone by!

    And surely you will pay for your pint, And surely I will pay for mine! And we will take a cup of kindness yet For times gone by!

    Monday, December 31

  • 15

    With all the cookie baking that will be (or already is) going on, here are a few tips

    for freezing your dough to bake later and your already baked cookies to serve later!

    How to Freeze Cookie Dough

    1) After mixing your dough, chill it in the refrigerator until firm.

    2) Shape dough into a large ball or disk.

    3) Place the ball/disk in a freezer bag. It will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.

    4) Thaw the dough in the refrigerator.

    How to Freeze Drop Cookies

    1) Place individual cookie portions on waxed paper lined cookie sheets and freeze.

    2) Once frozen, put the portions into freezer bags. Don’t forget to label them!

    3) Remove as many portions as needed and bake. No need to thaw. Be sure to add additional baking time.

    How to Freeze Baked Cookies

    1) Wrap cookies in plastic wrap and stack them in an airtight container.

    2) Thaw wrapped cookies at room temperature before serving.

    3) Cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months.

    THE RECIPE PAGE

    FROM THE EDITOR: If you have a favorite recipe you’d like to share, please put a copy in

    the newsletter mailbox to be used in a future issue, and don’t forget to add your name!

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    4 Tom & Darlene

    Huisenga

    2 John Langeland

    3 Joyce Jones

    6 Christian J.

    Beezhold

    9 Sue Weidenaar

    11 Carol Breems

    14 Ken Schutt

    15 Ryan Soucek

    18 Brian Kamper

    Jeannette Veen

    20 Connie Dykstra

    22 Marilyn Brucken

    Katelin Ismail

    25 Pauline Meekma

    27 Joyce Phillips

    29 Dean Unger

    31 Jack O’Connor

    www.gccrc.org/online_giving

    3 Harry Beezhold

    6 Lorraine Foster

    Makenzie

    VanKuiken

    7 Lynne Wiegers

    10 Trudy Kooy

    11 Sofia Kialanda

    18 Lois Huizenga

    20 Jim Wassenaar

    25 Yvonne Deckinga

    27 Warren Kuipers

    30 Hannah Soucek

    31 Rika Kooy If you would like our Prayer Team to be ‘prayer warriors’

    for you, for a need in your life, or the life of a loved one or friend,

    visit our website at: http://www.gccrc.org/

    prayers_for_u

    You can also visit our Prayer Room

    on Sunday morning after the service —

    on the south side of the building.

    Reminder:

    Anyone holding a

    meeting or event

    at the church is

    asked to please remember to

    monitor who is entering the

    building when doors are left

    unlocked for attendees to come

    in, and to close and lock all the

    doors of the church after every-

    one has arrived. Please do not

    leave the doors propped open.

    Also, if you are the last to leave,

    please make sure ALL doors

    are locked before you go.

    If we all do our part,

    we can make our church

    building a safe environment for

    everyone to enjoy.

    FROM THE EDITOR: Do you have a story or

    memory about how your

    ancestors came

    to America?

    Memories of growing up in

    another time with

    different clothes, music,

    food prices, etc.?

    Why not submit a story to

    the newsletter and share

    your memories with others?

    Or maybe you’ve had a

    “God” moment in your life?

    When something happened

    that can only be explained

    as having come from God.

    Why not share your story

    with others?

    Submit your story for the

    newsletter by placing it in

    the newsletter box on the

    wall outside the office.

  • 17

    Accompanists 2 Bob Cooper & Diane Ritzema 9 Pedro Kialanda 16 Diane Ritzema 23 Diane Ritzema & Eleanor Lamsma 24 Diane Ritzema 30 Catherine Solle & Diane Ritzema Childcare 2 Hannah Soucek & Barb Wassenaar

    9 Sarah Huisenga & Kaitlyn VanKuiken

    16 Dean Unger & Joanne Hofstra

    23 Ann Sroka & Darlene Huisenga

    24 Laura Soucek & Sarah Huisenga

    30 Barb Wassenaar & Hannah Soucek

    (substitutes: LeAnn Kooyenga & Joyce Phillips)

    Congregational Prayer

    2 Bob Cooper 9 Michael Kooy 16 Diane Ritzema 23 Ed Ritzema 30 Tom Huisenga

    Greeters 2 Helen Noort & Clareen Sluis

    9 Warren & Ruth Kuipers

    16 Tom & Darlene Huisenga

    23 Catherine Solle & Karen Buikema 24 Vince & Nancy Sommer 30 Fred Veen & Jean Kok

    Library Week 1 Evelyn Van Dellen Week 2 Clareen Sluis Week 3 Gloria Kamper Week 4 Evelyn Luchtenburg Week 5 Gloria Kamper

    Prayer Room

    2 Marilyn Brucken & Ruth Kuipers

    9 Pastor Mike & Gary Schutt

    16 Eleanor Lamsma & Jim Wassenaar 23 Ed Mudde & Tom Huisenga

    30 —OPEN—

    Ushers

    2 Carol DenBesten - Phyllis Johnson - Rich Boersema

    9 George Voss - Hank DeVries - Dean Unger 16 Gary Schutt - Vince Sommer - George Voss 23 Tom Huisenga - Rich Mulder - Bonnie Mulder 24 Fred Veen - Dan Brucken - Ed Mudde 30 Carol DenBesten - Phyllis Johnson - Rich Boersema

    Projection Techs

    2 Dave Phillips

    9 Eleanor Lamsma

    16 Ed Ritzema

    23 Sarah Huisenga

    24 Dave Phillips

    30 Sarah Huisenga

    Sound Techs

    2 Chris Van Kuiken 9 Ed Ritzema 16 Jim Kamper 23 Chris VanKuiken 24 Ed Ritzema 30 Jim Kamper

    DECEMBER 2018 Schedules Thank you for your willingness to serve!

    December 24 —Christmas Eve Service at 4:00pm

  • 18

    Elder / Deacon Team E-mail & Phone District

    Rob Soucek (2017-20) [email protected] 1. Anderson - DenBesten

    -or- [email protected]

    708-280-8799

    Marilyn VandenBout (2016-19) [email protected]

    Deacon Secretary 708-422-5909

    ____________________________________________________________________

    Bob Cooper (2016-19) [email protected] 2. DeRoos - Jonker

    Council President 708-704-3147

    Pedro Kialanda (2017-20) [email protected]

    708-407-3733

    ____________________________________________________________________

    Gary Schutt (2016-19) [email protected] 3. Kamper - Noort

    Council Vice-President 708-336-8169

    Rachel Canfield (2016-19) [email protected]

    708-691-0768

    ____________________________________________________________________

    Jim Wassenaar (2018-21) [email protected] 4. O’Connor - Sullivan)

    Treasurer 708-423-9339

    Fred Veen (2017-20) [email protected]

    773-779-2517

    ____________________________________________________________________

    Ed Mudde (2017-20) [email protected] 5. Togtman - Yff

    708-781-8563

    Trudy Kooy (2018-21) [email protected]

    708-663-4365

    ____________________________________________________________________

    Eleanor Lamsma (2018-21) [email protected]

    Council Clerk 708-903-1046

    Jim Kamper (2018-21) [email protected]

    Deacon Chairman 708-302-4484

    ELDER & DEACON

    DISTRICTS

  • 19

    GRACE COMMUNITY CHURCH MINISTRY TEAMS

    2018-2019

    MINISTRY TEAM MEMBERS (liaison listed first)

    EXECUTIVE Bob Cooper (Pres.), Gary Schutt (V.P.), Eleanor Lamsma (Clerk),

    Jim Kamper (Chair of Deacons), Michael Kooy (Pastor)

    ART CONNECT Michael Kooy, Christian Beezhold, Dave Phillips

    BUILDING & GROUNDS Ed Mudde, Dan Brucken, Jim Kamper, Karen Buikema, Barb Wassenaar

    CARE TEAM Bob Cooper, Eleanor Lamsma, Helen Noort, Catherine Solle, Fred Veen

    FELLOWSHIP Gary Schutt, Larry Kooyenga, Michael Kooy

    FINANCE Jim Wassenaar (Treasurer), Tom Huisenga, Karen Buikema, Barb Wassenaar

    M.A.S.T. Marilyn Vanden Bout, Darlene Huisenga, Eleanor Lamsma, Michael Kooy

    MISSIONS Rachel Canfield, Bob Cooper, Michael Kooy, Sue Weidenaar

    NEWSLETTER Trudy Kooy, Barb Wassenaar (editor)

    PRAYER Bob Cooper, Tom Huisenga, Marilyn Brucken, Michael Kooy, Ruth Kuipers,

    Jestine Ivy

    REACH YOUTH GROUP Rob Soucek, Karen Buikema, Carol Schutt, Laura Soucek

    WORSHIP Eleanor Lamsma, Bob Cooper, Maria Kialanda, Pedro Kialanda,

    Michael Kooy, Diane Ritzema, Ed Ritzema, David Van Kuiken

    ~ Please keep these teams and their members in your prayers as they meet together and work to

    further God’s kingdom here at Grace Community Church and in our surrounding neighborhood.

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    This Newsletter is a publication of

    Grace Community Church.

    Contributions to the newsletter are welcome

    and will be considered for publication provided you include your name with

    the submission.

    If you have any questions concerning this

    newsletter, please contact Barb Wassenaar

    708.636.2848 [email protected]

    Submissions for the

    January 2019 issue are

    due no later than

    Dec. 15, 2018.

    Distribution:

    Sun., Dec. 30, 2018.

    Newsletter may be

    delayed or cancelled

    due to unforeseen

    circumstances.

    10415 S. Kedvale Avenue Oak Lawn, IL 60453

    Office: 708.636.2848 Fax: 708.636.2847

    [email protected] www.gccrc.org

    Grace

    Community

    Christian

    Reformed

    Church

    Copyrighted works included in this publication have been reproduced

    with permission and may not be further reproduced.

    The distribution, selling, reproduction in any form, or any use other

    than that intended by this publication are prohibited and

    constitute an infringement of Copyright laws and are subject to fines.