Merry Christmas, Sunnysiders!
I’m always thankful for the week of Christmas. It seems that the Christmas season starts earlier and earlier. Christmas decorations are up in stores just as summer ends, it seems. We barely get to Thanksgiving before our calendars are packed with office Christmas parties, Christmas concerts, Christmas shopping, and the ever present benefit galas. By the time we get to Christmas, we’re pretty well worn out.
But Christmas week is the time when the rush and crush of the holiday season can give way to the sweet chaos of family celebration. The office parties are over. There’s a little time off work. Even the concert season takes a little bit of a break. As the season slows just a bit, it’s the perfect time to do the things that matter most. To share a warm cup of cocoa with someone you love. To phone or FaceTime that person who doesn’t even know they mean that much to you. To read a book that you’ve been meaning to read. To enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the season with the people who matter most. Your Christmas week may still require lots of energy.
But Christmas week is that time when our energy can be invested in the most dear people. It’s that time when we can reflect together on our faith. It’s that time when we can do things together that will make meaningful memories. It’s that time when we can tell another how much we care.
Our prayer for you this Christmas week is that the intensity of the season will give way to richness of connection with the people you cherish most. May you do something you’ve never done before. May you laugh until your sides hurt. May you enjoy good food and good stories with good people. May you make memories that will buoy your spirits throughout the next year. May you experience the peace of the Christ child who wishes to live in each one of us.
Our last concert of the Christmas season is tonight at 7 PM with the Sunnyside Family Christmas Concert. This decades-old Sunnyside tradition is an event you don’t want to miss. Come to the church for great music and fellowship. It’s a fantastic way to kick off your Christmas week.
News & Notes
Sabbath, we will enjoy our annual Christmas brunch beginning at 8:30 am in the fellowship hall. Our Bible study classes are at 10:00. Worship Service will begin at 11:00 with Pastor Scott LeMert as Isaiah coupled with multiple Christmas music selections.
Save the date: Saturday evening, February 15, 2014, 7:00 pm, Sunnyside Adventist Church presents an organ concert by Dr. Kimo Smith, Associate Professor of Music at La Sierra University and organist at Loma Linda University Church and First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood.
Your Church Library: We have many books and DVDs about Christmas and related subjects for your enjoyment during the upcoming holiday season, examples are:
Youth/Adults: Books – Christmas in My Heart by J. Wheeler (Vols: 1-17); Foolish Prayers/Fabulous Answers by Glenn & Ethel Coon. DVDs: Mary’s Song, and the Nativity Story.
Children: Books – 60 Years of Guide by Lori Peckham; Annika’s Secret Wish by Beverly Lewis; The Christmas Story by Vic Mitchell; and DVD – The Toy That Saved Christmas (A Veggie Tales DVD).
Portland Adventist Academy
Portland Adventist Academy students took time out of class to learn an important life lesson of civil duty and service. Read more about the inspiring support and encouragement they offered to the 700 car procession of mourners for local fallen hero Officer Libke in this month’s e-headlines. e-Headlines!
Portland Adventist Elementary
December 21, 4:00 pm: The Village Retirement Center hosts Healing Hope church choir presenting “Adore Him Christmas Cantata.”
December 24, 7:00 pm: Columbia Life Center hosts the Healing Hope church choir presenting “Adore Him Christmas Cantata.”
Beginning mid January, Thursdays 6-30 pm: Healing Hope Church presents a ten-week small group entitled Heart Help (The Mode) that focuses solely on rejection and its devastating impact on our everyday thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Groups are confidential and gender specific. To reserve your spot call 503-957-0809. View www.fixablelife.com for more information.
January 11, 4:00 pm: Healing Hope Church hosts Sandra Romero in concert. Come enjoy a wonderful evening of music. Sandra’s music will fill your heart with peace and joyful inspiration as you experience her message of hope. Admission is free, but a freewill offering will be received. Bring a friend!
January 11, 18, and 25, 1:30 – 4:00 pm: Vancouver Church will host trainers Carolyn Karlstrom and Tara Brooks in teaching others how to give Bible studies with ease.