The day after Christmas. What a day it is! The stockings, so carefully hung the day before, are now cast aside like dirty laundry, their contents having been emptied. Wrapping paper and bows, pristinely preserved for the last week (or more), are now crumpled and torn, piled up to test the limits of the recycling container. Sweet treats linger, tempting us to eat just one more slice or take one more bite. The frenetic pace of yesterday gives way to a slower, methodical rhythm of cleaning up the carnage and chaos of Christmas morning.
At least that’s how it seems when the kids are young.
On the flip side, the tree is still up, the cider is still warm (or could be), and the pressure of gift-giving and wrapping and baking and cooking and hosting has given way to relief.
That makes the day after Christmas the perfect time to sit with our cider and reflect on the Ultimate Gift, the one which we celebrate through all of our Christmas traditions. With the cultural celebration behind us, we are free reflect deeply on the spiritual realities of a God who came to earth, willing to give up being God to connect with us, to understand us, and ultimately to save us. Throughout the month of December, we have been celebrating the hope, peace, and joy of the season. Maybe with the pressure of the season behind us, we truly experience these three things.
But even more so, our prayer for you on this day after Christmas is that you will experience the deep love of God, demonstrated in the gift of a little baby. We pray that you will be overwhelmed by a sense of God’s love for you, now that the chaos that is Christmas is becoming, but, a memory.
Tomorrow, we will celebrate the love of God as we experience the music of Sunnyside’s choir and bells. May the Lord bless each of you as you experience the love of God this Sabbath.
News & Notes
Our final worship service of 2014 will be a Christmas service featuring Sunnyside’s choir and handbells. Pastor Scott will share, “The Greatest of these is Love” at the 8:45am and 11:15am services.
The Devotional Books you ordered are now ready for pick up. Please see Lorrie Wescott for pick up.
Donations for Cherry Park School: Throughout December, Sunnyside has been gathering donations to support the families of our neighborhood’s elementary school. Thanks to those who have already donated gently used clothing for the children. We’ve received over 40 bags of clothing! Thank you for supporting outreach in our community.
The Adventist Book Center’s holiday sale is December 1-31. For all the details, download the sale flyer at www.abcflyer.com.
Reminder from Treasury: If you wish to make donations receipted in 2014, they must be postmarked by December 31. Alternatively, you can utilize online giving, submitting the transaction by 9 PM. The office will be closed this week, but you will still be able to drop gifts in the mail slot near the children’s wing. Thank you for your faithfulness to the mission of Sunnyside.
Sunnyside Christmas Gifts: Some may like to know how they can give a Christmas gift to their church community. This year, our finance team has invited gifts to two priorities: Church Budget and ReNew Sunnyside.
Church Budget: Up to this point in the year, our budget giving is nearly $50,000 behind the budget goal we set in June. (See pg. 3 in the bulletin to see the numbers.) These funds support the basic ministries of Sunnyside: kids’ ministries, local church staff, building and grounds maintenance, as well as utilities and insurance that allow us to keep the building open, among other things.
ReNew 2.2 is our church renovation project. The plans have been laid for the next phase. Materials have been selected for hallways, entry ways, classrooms, bathrooms and offices spaces. The work is ready to commence. The project will continue as appropriate funds are available. Thanks to everyone who supports this needed project. Mark your gifts ReNew Sunnyside.
Coming Soon to Sunnyside:
January 3: Communion Services
January 11: Felix Hell in Concert. Dr. Hell is an internationally known organist, heralded as the, “most well known young concert organist worldwide.” He will be in Portland for one day to perform on our Rieger instrument Plan to attend at 4 PM on Sunday, January 11.
February 7: NPUC Young Adult Day of Worship. Our 11:15am service will be the kickoff for this annual event. Pastor Seth Pierce will be our guest, with inspirational music by local recording artist, Elise LeBlanc and our own Vivace young adult choir. Young adults from across the Pacific Northwest will be here for an inspirational worship experience. 8:45am service will be a more traditional service.
Portland Adventist Academy
Portland Adventist Elementary
27, 6:00 pm A musical concert—“Jesus Christ: From Babe to Glory, . Happy Holidays from the Stone Tower family! Refreshments served afterwards. You don’t want to miss it! Event location: Stone Tower SDA Church.
May 29, 30, 2015: Hood View Church’s 50th anniversary homecoming. A small group of Adventists from Gresham and Sandy first met on April 3, 1965, in what is now the Bell Tower Chapel in Boring. They were formally organized on May 29 of that same year. Save the date and plan to join us as we recognize God’s providence over the years!Evemt Location: Hood View Church.
July 17-30, 2015: 2015 Great Controversy tour with Dr. Gerard Damsteegt of the Seminary, Andrews University. See the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation come alive in Europe. Visit Rome, the Waldensian Valleys, Switzerland, Germany, and France. Experience Early Christianity, the Dark Ages, the Reformation, and the “deadly wound.” For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 269-815-8624.