Life at Littlefield
December 2019/January 2020
LITTLEFIELD PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
7560 Littlefield Boulevard
Dearborn, Michigan 48126-1699
PASTOR: NANCY BASS, CRE
Pastor's Pen.......DVENT: ALREADY, NOT YET
On most days we concern ourselves with matters that confront us every day. Traffic. Grocery lists and sundry errands. Schedules, schools and work. These are real, immediate and they affect us. Then the church turns the corner to Advent. For the secular world nothing changes, per se. However, when looked at from a different angle, everything changes. We enter a season of waiting.
Advent is the season of Already and Not Yet. Already because the promise of God is fulfilled. Not yet, because we still await on these promises. Already because we know Jesus was born, died, and is raised to new life. Not yet, because God continues to reveal the ways that God relates to people. God continues to reveal the ways God relates to people. Already because God has come to us in a small child. Not yet because Christ will come again.
As we go about the regular tasks of our living, as families and friends in relationships in communities, what is already and what is not yet are both active in our lives. This goes on throughout the year. But in Advent, as our commercial culture moves at lightning speed, we are asked to slow down. We listen and wait for God. We give generously to needs in our community and neighborhood. We adorn the church with greens, lights, and symbols of the season. We bring our worship to God with special attention. We pray more often and sometimes with special prayers. We gather at our tables with a focus on what matters to us and who matters to us.
We turn to God saying thank you. We turn to God and sing O Come O Come Emmanuel. Come among us. Be with us. Stay with us. We long for the love made known in being together more than anything else in our lives. May we encounter this love from God coming among us this season. Each day may we share this love with those we meet. May we offer our gratitude faithfully as we wait on the Lord.
May you know Godís peace, love, joy and hope this Advent.
Grace and gratitude
(Based on Revised Common Lectionary)
Hebrew Scripture-Isaiah 2:1-5
Epistle Lesson-Romans 13:11-14
Gospel Lesson-Matthew 24:36-44
Hebrew Scripture-Isaiah 11:1-10
Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19
Epistle Lesson-Romans 15:4-13
Gospel Lesson-Matthew 3:1-12
Hebrew Scripture-Isaiah 35:1-10
Psalm 146:5-10 or Luke 1:46b-55
Epistle Lesson-James 5:7-10
Gospel Lesson-Matthew 11:2-11
Hebrew Scripture-Isaiah 7:10-16
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
Epistle Lesson-Romans 1:1-7
Gospel Lesson- Matthew 1:18-25
December 24 (Christmas Eve)
Hebrew Scripture-Isaiah 9:2-7
Epistle Lesson-Titus 2:11-14
Gospel Lesson-Luke 2:1-20
Hebrew Scripture-Isaiah 63:7-9
Epistle Lesson-Hebrews 2:10-18
Gospel Lesson-Matthew 2:13-23
Hebrew Scripture-Jeremiah 31:7-14
Epistle Lesson-Ephesians 1:3-14
Gospel Lesson-John 1:1-18
Hebrew Scripture-Isaiah 43:1-7
Epistle Lesson-Acts 8:14-17
Gospel Lesson-Luke 3:15-17, 21-22
Hebrew Scripture-Isaiah 62:1-5
Epistle Lesson-1 Corinthians 12:1-11
Gospel Lesson-John 2:1-11
Hebrew Scripture-Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
Epistle Lesson-1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
Gospel Lesson-Luke 4:14-21
WHAT IS CHRISTMAS?
Is it just a day at the end of the year?
A gay holiday filled with merry good cheer?
A season for presentsóboth taking and giving.
A time to indulge in the pleasures of living?
Are we lost in much-muddled daze
That covers our minds like a grey autumn haze?
Have we closed our eyes to God and
And turned our eyes from “the bright star
Oh, Father in Heaven renew and restore
The real, true meaning of Christmas once more.
So we can feel in our hearts again
The “peace on earth, good will to men”
Is still a promise that man can claim
If “he but seeks it in Thy Name.”
Helen Steiner Rice
Set an example of good works yourself, with
integrity and dignity in your teaching.
Titus 2:7 HCSB
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
God is good, and heaven is forever. And if
those two facts don't cheer you up, nothing will.
Marie T. Freeman
THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH
A great many people think they are thinking
when they are merely rearranging their
Lord, bless those persons who care for us and
touch us with their love and kindness. Amen
May the Christmas Spirit dwell within and
may you experience Godís blessings in the
SEASONAL SERMON LINE-UP
December 1: Advent HOPE
Hanging of the Greens: Origin
& Meaning of Advent Symbols
December 8: Advent PEACE
Malachi 3:1-4 & Matthew 3:1-12
December 15: Advent JOY
Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
& Luke 1:46-55
December 22: Advent LOVE
“Rough Ride for the Righteous”
& Matthew 1:18-25
December 24: Christmas LIGHT
Service of Lessons & Carols
January 5: Epiphany: Star Words
TWAS THE BEGINNING OF ADVENT
'Twas the beginning of Advent and all through the Church, our hope was all dying-- we'd given up on the search.
It wasn't so much that Christ wasn't invited, but after 2,000+ years we were no longer excited.
Oh, we knew what was coming-- no doubt about that. And that was the trouble-- it was all "old hat."
November brought the first series of pains, with carefully orchestrated advertising campaigns.
There were gadgets and gizmos and of all sorts of toys. Enough to entice the most devout girls and boys.
Unfortunately, it seemed, no one was exempt, from this seasonal virus did all of us tempt.
The priests and prophets and certainly the kings, were all so consumed with the desire for "things!"
It was rare, if at all, that you'd hear of the reason, or of the origin of this whole holy season.
A baby, it seems, once had been born. In the mid-east somewhere on that first holy-day morn.
But what does that mean for folks like us, who've lost ourselves in the hoopla and fuss?
Can we re-learn the art of wondering and waiting, of hoping and praying, and anticipating?
Can we let go of all the things and the stuff? Can we open our hands and our hearts long enough?
Can we open our eyes and open our ears? Can we meet Christ again after all of these years?
Will this year be different from all the rest? Will we be able to offer our best?
So many questions, unanswered thus far, as wisemen go seeking the home of the star.
Where do we begin-- how do we start, to make for the child a place in our heart?
Perhaps we begin by letting go of our limits on hope, and of stuff that we know.
Let go of the shopping, the chaos and fuss, let go of the searching, let Christmas find us.
We open our hearts, our hands and our eyes, to see the king coming in our own neighbors' cries.
We look without seeking what we think we've earned, but rather we're looking for relationships spurned.
Christ brings wholeness and newness of life for brother and sister, for husband and wife.
The Christ-child comes not by our skill, but rather he comes by his own Father's will.
We can't make him come with parties or bright trees, but only by getting down on our knees.
He'll come if we wait amidst our affliction, coming in spite of, not by our restriction.
His coming will happen-- of this there's no doubt. The question is whether we'll be in or out. v "Behold, I stand at the door and knock." Do you have the courage to peer through the lock?
A basket on your porch, a child in your reach. A baby to love, to feed and to teach.
He'll grow in wisdom as God's only Son. How far will we follow this radical one?
He'll lead us to challenge the way that things are. He'll lead us to follow a single bright star.
But that will come later if we're still around. The question for now: Is the child to be found?
Can we block out commercials, the hype and the malls? Will we find solitude in our own holy halls?
Can we keep alert, keep hope, stay awake? Can we receive the child for ours and God's sake?
From on high with the caroling host Christ sees us and yearns to read on our lips the prayer: Come Lord Jesus!
As Advent begins all these questions make plea. The only true answer: We will see, we will see.
HANGING OF THE GREENS
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 30
At 9:30 a.m.
Ever wondered how the church is transformed each Christmas season? Come lend a helping hand and find out! The more people that come to help, the sooner everyone goes home to enjoy their day. An added bonus, you get to have some great fellowship and laughs!
Sunday, December 1
An informative presentation on “Impeachment ñ What is and is Not Impeachable According to Constitutional Law and Practice.” There will be a light lunch at 12:30 p.m. with the presentation to follow at 1:00 p.m. in the Lounge.
Winter is here and as we search our closets for our hats and gloves, let us remember those who don't have any, or closets to store them. The Presbyterian Women will be collecting "Warm Fuzzies" and donating them to local Detroit shelters. Please bring your donations of hats, gloves and scarves (men's items are especially needed) and put them in the basket in the library on Sunday, December 1 and 8. Remember to leave the price tags on so we can determine the value of our donation. Thank you!
DECEMBER 3 @ 7:00 p.m. & JANUARY 7 @ 7:00 p.m.
Light, prayer and music are woven together in a contemplative prayer service. Short, simple songs, repeated again and again, help one enter into a meditative state. Thus, this meditative singing becomes a way of listening to God. All are invited, regardless of faith background and age, to come and renew your spirit. Let's unbind our hearts and minds and envision the difference we can make in people's lives through Jesus! You are invited to dress comfortably and casually. Invite a friend!
PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN ADVENT CELEBRATION
Please plan to join us for a delightful celebration of the Advent season. We will gather in the sanctuary on Wednesday, December 4, at 7:00 p.m. to focus our hearts on the coming of the Christ Child. We will be entertained by the Silver Strings Dulcimer Society this year. They are quite excited about coming to Littlefield Church in the Aviation Subdivision. You see, if it weren't for Henry and Clara Ford the Society might never have been formed. Dulcimer music was kept alive in Southeast Michigan by classes held at Lovett Hall in Greenfield Village. We know you will enjoy this talented group of dulcimer, harp and fiddle players bringing us secular and sacred songs of the season. We will even have a chance to sing along. The evening will also include an opportunity to support the Presbyterian Women's Thank Offering. And, of course, we will top it off with some seasonal treats. Bring your friends and family to this free event in our beautifully adorned sanctuary.
The Presbyterian Women of Detroit will
gather at the First Presbyterian Church of
Dearborn on Wednesday, December 4. The
schedule includes: 8:30 a.m. ñ 9:30 a.m.
coffee, tea, and snacks, followed by a carol
sing-along, and a Christmas program. Lunch
will be provided after the program at a cost of
Don't forget to buy your Christmas cookies in the Library, after church, on Sunday December 15. Note that the location has changed this year from Fellowship Hall to the Library (the Coffee Hour Room). This is a great time to buy a variety of holiday cookies to give to friends and neighbors! Proceeds will support our PW missions.
December 9 @ 6:00 p.m.and January 6 @ 7:30 p.m.
The December date is the annual Christmas Potluck Supper. The January date will continue the study of Love Carved in Stone - A Fresh Look at the Ten Commandments. This circle normally meets the 1st Monday of every month and shares a devotional, study and dessert. If you have an interest in this Women's Circle, please contact the church office. All women are welcome!
MEN: SAVE THE DATE
Annual Presbyterian Men's
Communion Advent Breakfast
Saturday, December 14
Come join men from across the Detroit Presbytery to create a network for good in the community. The keynote speaker this year is Miguel Thornton, President, Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., Detroit Chapter. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. with communion, breakfast, and program starting at 8:00 a.m. This year's program is at Grosse Pte. Memorial, 16 Lakeshore Dr., Grosse Pte. Farms, 48236. Tickets are $15 by advanced reservations only by December 1. For more details, please see the Mission Board across from the church office or contact the church office.
LEAVE THE DRIVING TO US!
If you or someone you know would like a ride to church for our candlelight Christmas Eve service, please call the church office. The Evangelism Committee will be happy to arrange for a member or friend of Littlefield to drive you to church. We want to make sure everyone is able to join us as we celebrate Christ's birth with our service of lessons and carols. To help make arrangements, please notify the church office by December 20. Thank you.
MISSION & OUTREACH TEAM
Amazon Smile & Kroger Rewards
Planning to do your holiday grocery shopping at Kroger? Will you be buying Christmas gifts online this year? Littlefield has reward programs set up with both Kroger and Amazon Smile. You shop as usual, Littlefield gets a check. It's as easy as that! Go to www.smile.amazon.com using your regular amazon username and password, and choose Littlefield as the group you'd like to support. To be part of the Kroger rewards, go to https://www.kroger .com/topic/kroger- community-rewards-3 to get started. Are your eyes crossed? Does this sound painful? Contact the church office for help signing up.
A Perfect Gift this Advent Season:
Christmas Joy Offering
In the lead up to Christmas, many of us spend time in search of the perfect gift ó the gift that communicates to friends and family how much we know and love them. We search our memories for indications of what gift might cause the faces of our loved ones to light up. We scour the stores and shops, hoping to come across the thing that will communicate a depth of love that our words cannot. As important as gifts to loved ones are, we have an opportunity to give gifts that help many people we do not know through the Christmas Joy Offering. These gifts in particular draw us back to the manger and God's perfect gift to us ó Jesus Christ.
Jesus came to live among us, bringing light into darkness, and reconciliation to God and to one another. A perfect gift from a gracious God. During this Christmas and Advent Season, we celebrate leadership; past, present and future through support of the Christmas Joy Offering. We do so because church leaders greatly impact our lives of faith, walking with us down the path to be more like Jesus. We want those church leaders and their families who find themselves grappling with a critical financial need to have the resources they need which are provided through the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions. We also support the offering to help our future leaders in the church and world, like those educated at our Presbyterian related schools and colleges equipping communities of color. Supporting these students helps the whole church develop leaders who reflect the wideness of God's intended diversity. For those supported through the Christmas Joy Offering, this help is truly a gift from above. May our gifts, and the leaders who receive them, point us always to the truth of the one whose birth we celebrate, Jesus Christ ó the truly perfect gift. We will be collecting our Christmas Joy Offering on Sunday, December 22.
WORSHIP WITH US THIS ADVENT SEASON
WORSHIP during Advent is a time for us to prepare the way for Christ to come more fully into our hearts and lives. Be with us each Sunday of Advent at 10:30 a.m. as we light Advent candles and prepare for Christ to be born anew in our lives.
Christmas Eve Candlelight & Communion Service @ 7:30 p.m.
Christmas is always a special time in the life of the church. Christmas Eve service promises to be a moving and joyous celebration of the mystery and joy of Christ's birth, as we meditate on the scriptures, sing Christmas carols and hear inspiring music from the organ, adult choir, soloists, and musicians. Christmas is also one of the times of the year when people are most receptive to an invitation to come to worship. This is a beautiful service. We urge you to bring someone with you so they may hear the good news and the joyous message of God- with-us!
Join us Christmas Eve as we lift our voices in prayer and song; and light the candles to symbolize the light of Christ. Then let the light of Christ warm our hearts and illuminate our way as we go back into the world.
“O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL”
CLOSING THE BOOKS
All contributions for 2019 need to be in the office by Monday, December 29, so they may be deposited by the end of the year. If you ordered flowers in 2019 and have not paid for them, it is very important to have that money in by the 29th also.
EVANGELISM AND MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE
Our next Engage! Book Group meeting will be held on Wednesday January 15, 2020. We will be discussing The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East” by Sandy Tolan. Tom Segev, author of One Palestine, Complete and 1949: The First Israelis states: “This truly remarkable book presents a powerful account of Palestinians and Israelis who try to break the seemingly endless chain of hatred and violence. Capturing the human dimension of the conflict so vividly and admirably, Sandy Tolan offers something both Israelis and Palestinians all too often tend to ignore: a ray of hope.” We will gather at 6:15 p.m. for a pizza and salad dinner. The discussion begins at 7:00 p.m.
MEN'S STUDY GROUP
The Men's Group will not meet in December due to the Holiday season. They will begin on Monday, January 27 at 6:30 p.m. for dinner and the study. During December the new study will be selected so watch the bulletins for that information. All men are invited for an evening of eating and study. If you have any questions, please contact the church office.
Our young members attend Sunday school to learn how to follow God's way in this world this year by following a curriculum entitled “Whole People of God.” We gather three Sundays a month while adults are in worship. On the first Sunday of the month our youth remain in worship and are encouraged to follow along and invited to partake of communion as well. This year your young brothers in Christ have decided to collect an offering to be shared with the Fort Street Open Door program because “People need warm clothes and food.” Please pray for our children as they take this curious journey into Christianity.
If a winter storm occurs on a Saturday or Sunday, we may have to cancel the Sunday morning service at Littlefield. When the City of Dearborn declares a Snow Emergency, all cars must be off the streets, so we have no place for parking, and worship will be cancelled. If you are unsure about whether to come for a Sunday morning service or a meeting or event, please check your email, the Littlefield Church Facebook page, the City of Dearborn website, or the local TV news for notifications of a snow emergency and therefore possible cancellation of activities at Littlefield.
CHURCH MISSION STATEMENT
Who we are:
We are a community of ordinary people
committed to growing together as disciples of Jesus Christ
through worship, fellowship, learning, prayer, and mission.
Why we exist:
To love God, one another, and all people.
To show God's love in our work for peace and justice.