Sunnyside Christmas Communique

Christmas Greetings from each of our pastors:

Merry Christmas to all!!!

Holiday cheer to each and all as we head into the final days of the Christmas season and soon into the year 2012!  As we reflect on 2011 at Sunnyside we all have to say that God has blessed Sunnyside and the members of Sunnyside have also brought their blessings to the Lord and the church.

On behalf of the office staff, we(pastors Scott, Shirley, and Jonathan, and don’t forget Rosie) would like to express our deep thanks to all who have provided so many hours this year to our many programs.  They include those who assisted with the “Ask God” series, VBS, SunnyCity, the many special study seminars such as the CBFM series, Arlene Taylor, etc., all of the concerts and musical groups, the potlucks, Pathfinders, the deacons and deaconesses, sound and audio crews, grounds help, Sabbath schools, various team leaders, faithful stewardship , and much more.  Please, pardon us for the sin of omission for there are surely others who should have been mentioned and are not.  Thank you all!

We have a couple more weekends to bring you for worship and holiday cheer.  Here is a quick look at this weekend:

  1. Friday night at 7:00 will be the 30th Annual Christmas Program in the sanctuary with refreshments to follow.
  2. Sabbath morning will start with the potluck brunch at 8:30.  (No early service)  Please, bring holiday/breakfast breads, fruits, breakfast casseroles, etc.  Pancakes, eggs, breakfast tofu (Pastor Scott is the chef on this one) will be provided.
  3. Sabbath School classes will run from 10:00-11-00.  (Teachers, please, don’t run over on your time)
  4. “Come and Behold Him,” Christmas program will start at 11:15 and is scripted to be done by 12:30.  The Wescotts will have tables of holiday treats in the lobby as we send you home for the holidays.

Next weekend, December 31, will have a special end of the year communion service led by Pastor Jonathan and Saturday night we will host a New Year’s party at the PAA gym and dining room.  That will start at 6:00 pm with a worship, followed by a potluck food fest (please, bring sandwiches, chips with dip and salsa, salads, fruit and vegetable trays, desserts, etc., all picnic types).  Do bring your table games and for the energetic there will be volleyball, basketball.

Special Note: The office will be closed all of next week.

See you Friday night and may God bring you His richest blessing.  And as I say that, remember that sometimes God gives to us so that we might share with others so that all may receive a blessing.

Courage in the Lord,

Pastor Scott

Pastor Scott LeMert
Senior Pastor


‘Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the night
The children’s pastor was stirring with all of her might
Wondering if all the things were in order
Like lessons and teachers and bulletin borders!

A small word of thanks to teachers leading the children
A hearty great hug as we near Christmas evening.
For being patient and kind all through the year
And for giving much time to bring tidings of cheer.

I hope that your Christmas day is filled with much cheer
As all of your family and friends gather near
Dave and I will be in Ghana far, far away
So we hope you enjoy all of Christmas day!

Back in her bed in equatorial heat, the children’s pastor slept sound
Knowing that many families at Sunnyside could be found
As she fell back to sleep, she did say with great light
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

(I apologize for what a friend of mine calls “worse than verse”.)

Joy, love, peace and hope to each and every one of you.

Pastor Shirley

Pastor Shirley Allen
Associate Pastor


Greetings, Church Family!

I have a confession to make.  I hate Christmas time. I don’t hate the gift-giving. I don’t hate the Christmas lights or music. I don’t hate the decorations. I don’t hate the focus on the Advent. I don’t even hate the overwhelming traffic at area shopping centers. But I certainly hate Christmas time. Here’s why: Over the past four years, my family has established a rather unsettling tradition. Every year, at about this time, we gather in the Emergency Department, cramming the whole family into a patient room as one of us gets worked on.

Three years ago, Lucy and I were in a serious car accident.

Two years ago, my dad and cousin were in an ATV accident, plus my brother had a potentially-serious snow-skiing injury.

Last year, my grandma was in a serious car accident.

Thankfully, every situation turned out well.

This week found 8 of us crammed into room 14 in Adventist Medical Center’s Emergency Department, awaiting the results of diagnostic testing. As we all sat around talking and waiting, a funny thought hit us. The best quality family time we get tends to happen in these little rooms.

If you know the Russell clan, you know that it is a high octane bunch that never slows down for more than a few seconds. If we’re not hiking, biking, boating, or climbing something, we’re playing cut throat games of Catch Phrase or Balderdash, building something in the garage, or engaging in some other hi-jinks. And yet in these moments, the ones while we’re waiting, there’s none of that in the way. There are no distractions. We engage. We connect. We pray. And the time is well-spent.

Thankfully, we’ve all survived these four Christmases.  But it’s a shame that it has taken significant medical events to get us to slow down and appreciate the most important people in our lives.

This Christmas, I hope that you will set aside special time with the people you care about most.  Time without the board games.  Without the TV.  Without your new iPad or camera.  Just time with your people.  And I hope you won’t need a medical event to force your hand.

By the way, our annual pilgrimage to the ER turned out okay this year.  And with that out of the way, we’ll be able to really enjoy our Christmas together.

Merry Christmas!

Pastor Jonathan 

Pastor Jonathan Russell
Assistant Pastor

Sunnyside Seventh-day Adventist Church

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