Weekly News for December 21

Join us for Worship!
We are worshiping in person on Sundays at 9:30 am. For those who wish to join us online please connect with us on YouTube at youtube.com/c/nyccucc. If you would like to see the Sunday Bulletin that can be found on our website at http://nyccucc.com. If you wish to make an offering it can be made online through Tithely at https://tithe.ly/give?c=1301940. You can also give by text: Text “Give” to 883-751-0314.

Advent and Christmas
at North Yarmouth
Congregational Church

Sundays ~ 9:30 am ~ Worship with us
We celebrate Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love, anticipating the One who comes to us as a Child. Each week we light the Advent Wreath, sing carols of the season, and our gifted choir shares beautiful music as we prepare for Christmas.

Christmas Eve, December 24th

5:00 pm ~ Family Christmas Worship
Walk-on Pageant, Choir

11:00 pm ~ Candlelight Service of Lessons & Carols

Christmas Day, December 25
No Service ~ The 5 pm Christmas Eve Service
will be available to watch on-line

New Year’s Day, January 1
9:30 am ~ Worship Service with Holy Communion

A Note from Council
Please note that our offering on Christmas Eve has traditionally been donated to retired clergy and will be this year as well. All loose offerings, ie. cash and checks, will go to this benefit.

Please be sure to use your offering envelope at this service to give your usual weekly/monthly offering for the benefit of the church as there will be no service on Christmas Day. Thank you!

Christmas Fund Special Offering

The Christmas Fund has been caring for active and retired clergy and lay employees of the United Church of Christ for over 100 years, providing emergency grants, supplementation of small annuities and health premiums, Christmas “Thank You” gift checks each December to our lower-income retirees.

This year, we rejoice at the opening of possibilities for gathering and worshipping together again, as we anticipate the good news of great joy at Christmas. Still, challenges remain for many of our pastoral leaders who continue to experience loss of income as congregations struggle with budget shortfalls.

Please show your continued gratitude for our active and retired UCC clergy who need our support by giving generously to the Christmas Fund this year.

We will take this offering on Christmas Eve at the 5pm and 11pm services.

The 12 Days of Christmas
Note: This article comes from a United Methodist Church website.

After months of planning and anticipation, Christmas appears to be over all too quickly. On Dec.26, retailers tell us we are in the after-Christmas season of returns, exchanges, and more sales. The church calendar however, tells us it is still Christmas.

The 12 days we sing about in that crazy song, are a real season, sometimes called Christmastide or the days after Christmas leading to Epiphany on January 6. During this season, we continue to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Word of God made flesh who made his home among us.

To help celebrate the season, here are 12 creative, simple ideas that have nothing to do with partridges or lords-a-leaping.

One evening, turn off everything electronic and share Christmas memories. Go through old photos. Watch family movies (you might need to turn on the television for that). Ask others to tell of their favorite family Christmas tradition, and a joy-filled memory of a Christmas past. Spend a few moments talking about the Christmas story and the characters with whom you most

We sing many Christmas carols without thinking much about the words. Take some time to research the lyrics of songs as you sing them. Where is the author biblically accurate? Where did she or he take poetic license? This is a great way to learn the biblical accounts of the Christmas story and some of the symbolism used.

One of the crises in our world this year is the number of refugees risking their lives to leave war-torn nations to find places of safety and peace. If a church or another organization in your area is sponsoring refugees, find out how you can help. Offer your support and prayers. Additionally, make efforts to be a person of radical hospitality by welcoming the stranger, giving
food to the hungry, visiting church members who do not get out, and opening your home to family and friends who are alone.

Rather than returning the ugly sweater you’ll never wear or the kitchen gadget you’ll never use, give it away! Many places and individuals will benefit from those unwanted items. The sweater will keep someone warm, and the gadget will be sold in a secondhand store to generate funds for a ministry.

As you put away the Christmas decorations, consider the symbols of the tree and evergreens, the Nativity, the wreath, and more. Pray that those these signs may get packed away for 11 months, the spirit of Christ will continue to be alive in you throughout the year ahead.

The Christmas story contains several journeys — Mary visits Elizabeth, Mary and Joseph travel to be taxed, the Wise Men follow the star to Bethlehem, and Jesus and his family move to Egypt when King Herod orders the slaughter of baby boys. Many of us go on special journeys over Christmas, in addition to the time we spend in the car every day.

Consider traveling by a different route. Maybe that means taking the back way home from work or stopping by that roadside attraction as you return from Grandmother’s house. Let the new journey remind you that we are to follow Jesus wherever he leads.

Each of the 12 days of Christmas, spend some time during a meal for family reflection. Ask questions. Share concerns. Tell stories. Give thanks. Sense the presence of Jesus among you.

Those of us privileged to live in places where we are free to pursue our faith sometimes forget there are people in other places whose celebrations of Christmas could come at the cost of their freedom or lives. Read about Christians and others being persecuted for their faith in places like Syria and Nigeria, a pastor recently imprisoned in North Korea, and others. Then take some special time to pray for them.

Christmas can be a time of important moments you do not want to forget. A quiet moment with a relative may remind you of the importance of family. A worship service may give you new insight into how to live as a follower of Jesus. A frustrating experience in a store may encourage you to be more patient. Write those insights some place you can return in the weeks and months ahead for a reminder.

At Christmas, we celebrate the gift of new, eternal life we have received in Christ. The evergreen trees we decorate are a symbol of everlasting life. Planting a tree or caring for the earth in another way can serve as a wonderful reminder of our call to be people who celebrate life.

Many people make New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight or give up an unhealthy habit. Consider a faithful intention this year to help you grow in your spiritual life. Rather than waiting until January 1 to begin, start during the Christmas season.

We may not be able to do much to promote world peace, but we have the power to make the world around us more peaceful. Spend the twelve days of Christmas practicing ways you can eliminate harsh words, anger, and other negative attitudes from your life.

Grace to you, and peace!
Pastor Paul

Shoveling at the church this Winter

We could use your help!

Brandon Moon will be plowing the parking lot again this winter and will make sure that we can get in on Sundays and keep us cleared out during the week. The Scouts have volunteered to shovel the walkways and egresses on the weekends if the snow accumulation is two inches or more. Otherwise, we — as in church members — should lightly sweep and/or shovel the snow ourselves. No one should do this if they don’t feel up to it. But having a list of willing folks to lend a hand would be great. If you would like to be on the list to help shovel please contact Kristi at 207-522-2607 or fromawayfarmfamily1972@gmail.com.

A Note from the Office Administrator
We have had two folks connected to the church, that I know, who have had there technical devices hacked. I was asked whether it might have come from the church computer also being hacked. I do not know if this could be the case (our computer person said no), but please be reassured that the office computer system has been cleaned up and purged of all unnecessary items as of last Thursday. If someone did get into this computer to steal emails they are not there now. Thank you, Lyn

Also, I will be on vacation from December 26-29, and will return to the office on Tuesday, January 3. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

A Poem of Christmas

Christmas is more than a day at the end of the year
More than a day of joy and good cheer
Christmas is really
God’s pattern of living
To be followed each day by unselfish giving
Then Peace on Earth will come to stay
When we live Christmas every day

Submitted by Candace Smith
Author Unknown

Annual Reports
To all Chairs of Boards and Committees. It is time to write your reports for the Annual Report. The deadline for reports is has been moved to Sunday, January 6. Please adhere to this deadline as the reports need to be compiled and printed and handed out on the 15th. If you would like to review your report from last year, please let Lyn know, and she will send you the report. Please send your reports to Lyn in the office at nyarmouthccucc@gmail.com. Jeanne Chadbourne, Church Clerk

NYCC Street Ministry Update
Caroline and I are going into our cold weather mode as of November and will stay with that plan until warm weather returns …..can we say April ? The menu will be hot breakfast sandwiches and hot coffee. This worked really well last year. Missions is supporting us with this plan. We won’t be giving out as many meals as we do when it’s warm, but the folks do like these treats. If you are so inclined we could always use financial help with this project OR we are hoping you will put together hygiene bags (they don’t have to be large bags) which could include small items, small being the operative word, such as a bar of soap, sani wipes, toothbrushes/paste, deodorant, shaving gear, you get my drift…….and perhaps a wrapped candy bar AND they really like chocolate, always puts a smile on their faces.

You don’t know how much your moral and or financial support is appreciated. Just know that it is! Jeanne

PS Hygiene bags can be left in office or brought to church on Sundays. We’ll just give them out as they come in. Our trips to Portland are scheduled for the last week of the every month.

NYCC Clothing Ministry

We would like to add to the food portion of the NYCC Street Ministry with basic warm clothing and accessories. If you are so moved, please add your contribution to the box in the gathering space. Most needed and asked for items:
Warm socks
Waterproof gloves
Winter hats
Hand warmers
These items will be handed out with the lunches when the NYCC crew visits Portland.

If you have gently used warm coats, boots, clothing, that you would like to give, please add these to the box, too. These items will be passed onto Maine Needs or Preble Street. If you have questions, please email Tracy at tdahlgren1140@gmail.com or Jeanne at jeannechadbourne@aol.com.

Community Food Pantry Donations

The first Sunday of the month has been designated as Food Pantry Collection Sunday. We will be focusing on non food items. Current pantry needs include:

Paper towels Laundry Detergent
Toilet Paper Dish Soap
Tissues Diapers
Deodorant Pull-ups
Shampoo Baby Wipes
Conditioner Feminine Hygiene Products

Please add your donation to the grocery cart in the Gathering Space. You can donate to the cart at any time. Thank you very much for your ongoing support for the Cumberland Community Food Pantry which supports North Yarmouth families.

Coffee Hour
We have gone back to our traditional coffee hour with homemade baked goods, fruit, cheese and crackers, etc. We still have prepackaged goodies as well.

We are very interested in getting a schedule in place which will rotate so that not one person is doing coffee hour every week. We have a signup sheet at church in the gathering space, so please check it out and consider doing the set up and clean up and goodies, or share it with one person setting up, one person cleaning up, and a couple of people baking or bringing other goodies. Thanks all!

Marsha Heath

A Note from the Nominating Committee
Friends, it is time to tap your energy by joining one of our church committees. We have several openings and we would welcome your help. (Trustees, Diaconate, Faith Formation, Missions, Nominating Committee, Flower Committee). Please let me know if you are interested. My email is apgraham1@gmail.com or just catch me at church.
Thank you, Annie Graham, NYCC Vice Moderator

January Meetings

January 1 – Diaconate will meet in person following worship

January 8 – Faith Formation will meet in person following worship

January 9 – Trustees will meet in person at 6 p.m.

January 16 – Missions will meet in person at 7 p.m. via Zoom

January 19 – Council will meet in person at 6:30 p.m.

Choir Rehearsal – Wednesday Nights at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday Morning at 8:30 am in the Sanctuary

Tuesday Gals meets on Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m. in Fellowship Hall.

Men’s Club meets on the third Saturday of the month at 7:30 a.m. at Toddy Brook

Pet Place Pantry is open on the second Saturday of each month from 9:00-10:00 a.m.

Please keep the following people
in your prayers ~

Sandra Golonka
Vince Golonka
Dot Hayward
Nancy Lowell
Wayne Malloch
Blanche Mays
Cindy Tompson

Access worship directly on our YouTube channel (subscribe to our channel while you are there) at youtube.com/c/nyccucc