Greetings Church Family!
Last Sabbath, I was just about to stand up to preach when my thoughts flashed to my Sunnyside family, just getting ready for our first service. I was in the heart of Guantanamo, Cuba, serving the Cuban people. But my heart was still with each of you. In that moment, I prayed that your Sabbath would be full of rich blessings. And I trust that the Lord answered my prayer. As five of us traveled around the island of Cuba, we knew that our church family was praying for us. We sensed the presence of God as we traveled and we are thankful that you partnered with us in serving the city of Guantanamo.
We had the privilege of serving in Guantanamo Central Church, a church we affectionately referred to as the “Sunnyside Church of Cuba.” Why? Because they reminded us of you in the hospitable way they cared for their guests. They reminded us of you in their attention to meaningful worship experiences. They reminded us of you in their diversity of interests, education, and background. We may have been far from home, but we were thinking of you and thankful to be a part of the Sunnyside family, on mission for Jesus. While we were there, we worked long hours. We ate well. We made friends. And by God’s grace, we took a message of God’s love and grace to His people on the island.
You’ll have other opportunities to hear the stories of Sunnyside’s Cuban mission. Tomorrow, I’ll share a story that we found to be striking because of the way God was revealed. On December 5 (5 PM), we will share other stories and experiences to reveal a bit more about the reality of life and ministry in Cuba.
One thing I took away from eight days in a communist country is that I’m extremely grateful for the ways in which God works in our lives. Sometimes it’s easier to see it in a country where there is nothing. But even in our context, I’m grateful to God for the ways in which He works in our lives. He is the Provider. The Sustainer of life. The Caretaker. The Guide. The Sage. But most of all, He’s the Savior.
Tomorrow, we embrace the theme of Thanksgiving. As we reflect in both word and music, we will explore the spirit of thanks even more deeply. I’m looking forward to seeing each of you on Sabbath.
News & Notes
Want to see people actually smile while they exercise? Then you will want to join us for the weekly exercise group at the Sunnyside Fellowship Hall every Wednesday at 9:00 am. These free classes are sponsored by the Senior Ministries and open to all age groups. Our first class on November 11th was well attended with 15 people, including a mother with her two young children. Our certified instructor, Nancy Kirk, does an excellent job of motivating and encouraging people to exercise at their own pace. So bring a friend and join us every Wednesday as we have fun together while we improve our health.
Our worship services are at 8:45 and 11:15 am. Pastor Jonathan Russell will present the Bible message titled “Abundant Thanks.”
Encounters With God at 5:00 pm will feature Gabriella Istrate. She is the ADRA director for the Moldova Conference in Romania.
Our monthly fellowship potluck will be next week. Plan to attend and bring enough food for your family as well as extra to serve our guests. This is a great time to visit with friends and make new acquaintances.
Devotional books! This week is the last week to place your order for a devotional book for 2016. Check the table in the Narthex to see available books, and sign up for the books you desire. By ordering through the church, you will receive special pricing. These make great Christmas gifts! They will be ready for pick up by December 12. If you have any questions, contact Lorrie Wescott. Click here to view a flyer with descriptions.
December 6, 2:00–4:00 pm, Christmas Around the World will be in the Fellowship Hall. Did you ever wonder how the Universe must have reacted when the King of Kings was born as a human baby, in a manger? Come and find out how people around the planet are celebrating God’s gift that forever changed the world!
Save the date! December 8 Senior Ministries will be sponsoring a drive-through bus tour through Winter Wonderland, the “largest holiday light show west of the Mississippi.” Call the church office at 503-252-8080 for seat reservations, first-come, first-served.
December 12, 6:00 pm, Laura Whidden will be in concert with Elise LeBlanc here at Sunnyside. This is a concert you will not want to miss. They will be singing songs from her newly released Christian album, “Love’s Pure Light.” Free admission; reception follows; K–8 childcare available–please call 503-252-8080 to register your child.
Sunday Breakfast at O’Bryant Square – Every Sunday we serve breakfast to approximately 500 homeless, hungry, and poor. To continue this program, we need your support with the following donations: 8” paper plates (Chinet), 8 oz paper cups, plastic forks (Solo 500 count), Costco napkins, coffee, chocolate and creamer, large size syrup, catsup, oil, and pancake mix; and/or tax deductible $$ donations payable to Sunnyside Adventist Church, memo “Breakfast at O’Bryant Square.” For information contact
Ardina Wang 503-255-0075. You may drop off your contributions at the church office.
Family Resource Network thanks you for your gifts that have made it possible in recent months to help a number of families through difficult times. The holiday season is a challenging time of year for those having difficulty. Please remember them with your contributions to account #9387. Special request: We have a family of four, with two children ages 3 and 4, who need everything for setting up a household. If you can help with anything please contact Marie Pierre at 503-998-3754.
Sunnyside Youth, ages 15+, will be involved in a mission trip to Los Angeles during Spring Break, March 18-27. The Dream Center was founded twenty years ago with a compelling vision to impact all of Los Angeles by addressing people’s physical, material, and spiritual needs in unique and practical ways, The Dream Center has grown into a phenomenon that now reaches more than thirty thousand people each week through its multiple church services and more than two hundred need-centered ministries. We will be driving a bus to Los Angeles and some of the activities we may be involved in are: adopt-a-block, construction, discipleship, food bank, food truck, kitchen, His hands extended, kid’s ministry, family floor, and foster care intervention. Come prepared to share Jesus in practical ways. For further information and to register, contact Pastor Colby at Colby.Maier@SunnysideAdventist.org or call 503-334-8095.
Sunnyside will be sponsoring a mission trip to Ethiopia during Spring Break 2016. Plan to join the mission team for evangelism, building, heath ministry, and children’s ministry. Express your interest by contacting Ted Mackett, chair, Foreign Missions Facilitation Committee, or see Dick Fenn in the Missions office this morning.
Ethiopia 2016: Mission News:
* Saturday, December 5, 6:15 pm: First official team meeting.(Bonus: Arrive by 5:00 and hear all about Sunnyside’s November mission to Cuba!)* Our two teams have plans for
. . . Fixing the water-supply system at Ethiopian Adventist College.
. . . Upgrading the computer lab.
. . . Building a community elementary school.
. . . Conducting evangelistic and worship services.
. . . Providing health education programs and medical-dental clinics.
. . . Engaging in women’s and children’s ministries.
. . . Supporting Pathfinder clubs.
. . . Exploring Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital city.
* Today is a prime day to register your membership. Forms are available on the info table in the Narthex and in Room 52: Elders/Mission office.
* Wednesday, December 23: Last day for significant member-contribution savings!
Group A (March 16-April 3): Save $150.
Group B (March 16-April 10): Save $230.
Portland Adventist Academy
Portland Adventist Elementary
Area Events and Announcements
ABC Holiday Sale: The Adventist Book Center’s Holiday Sale is December 1-31. Loma Linda Gravy Quick is back just in time for the holidays! The details have been sent by email to those who have signed up. You can also get the details by downloading the sale flyer at www.abcflyer.com.”
Follow the Star is accepting actors for its 14th annual production portraying the story of the birth of the Messiah the first two weekends of December. Also, singers may join the angel choir or audition for the singing angel at the manger. Contact Paul or Corleen Johnson for details, 503-970-1693 or 503-702-5639, firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com. Volunteers staff this production that is free to the community. Please reply ASAP.
November 29, 6:30 pm: Homeless Benefit Concert.
A classical music concert has been co-organized by young violinists Byron (18) and Victoria (15), in the spirit of thankfulness and generosity. This concert is free so please come and bring lots of friends! Donations are not required, but will be received with the hope of raising $2,000 to benefit PACS, Human Solutions, Street Roots, and JOIN. Let’s give a little extra to those in need this Thanksgiving season while listening to the amazing music presented by Byron and Victoria along with a few of the members from the Portland Youth Philharmonic, and the Oregon Symphony.
Event Location: Tabernacle Church.
December 2, 6:30 pm: Grieving Class:
The Spiritual Care Department at Adventist Medical Center invites you to “Grieving Through the Holidays – A Special Healing Session.” What to expect: relaxing music, helpful grieving tips to lessen the holiday pain, connecting with others who are grieving, and light refreshments.
Event Location: Adventist Medical Center Education Center A.
December 4, 5: Women of Faith – Loved.
If you are interested in attending this exciting event and would like more information or discounted tickets, please contact Heidi Hill at 503-412-9600.
Event Location: Moda Center, Portland.
December 5, 4:00 pm: Christmas Concert.
Jennifer LaMountain live in concert. Thousands worldwide have witnessed the grace and passion of Jennifer’s ministry. The beauty and energy of her music is contagious. “Our God is so amazing,” she says, “and with a Friend so precious–how can I keep from singing?”
Event Location: Sandy Church.
December 5, 7:00 pm: Choral Concert.
The Pacific Northwest Schola Cantorum, from Kirkland, Washington, will perform Christmas and sacred choral music. This is a concert you won’t want to miss! There will be light refreshments following the concert.
Event Location: Mt. Tabor Church.
December 7, 7:00 pm: Concert.
Popular Portland Christian musician, blogger, and public speaker, Jon Davidson has released his seventh album, a hymn project called “It Is Well.” Invite your friends and help Jon as he shares his love of Jesus with the people of Portland. Learn more about Jon at www.jondavidsonmusic.com.
Event Location: City Sanctuary (1640 NW Irving St.).
December 20, 7:00 pm: Christmas Concert.
Fountainview Academy presents the final concert on their 2015 Christmas tour. Enjoy an evening of meditative and spirited music honoring the King of Kings. Admission is free. Seating is first come, first served.
Event Location: Adventist Community Church of Vancouver.
December 21, 6:00 pm: Missional Gathering (Vespers).
Join us for the “Reservoir,” a missional gathering to connect with each other, to worship God, and to experience His word. Praise music will be provided by Remix. Invite your family and friends to share in this inspirational evening.
Event Location: Mt. Tabor Church.
December 26, 6:00 pm: Christmas Concert.
You are invited to join in listening to beautiful instrumentation and heartfelt voices as they combine to tell the story of the birth of our Lord. You don’t want to miss this one!
Event Location: Stone Tower Church.
March 4-6: Women’s Ministries Leader’s Retreat.
Save the date! For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Event Location: The Village Green Resort and Gardens, Cottage Grove.
July 25-28, 2016: Great Controversy Tours with Dr. Gerard Damsteegt of the Seminary, Andrews University. See the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation come alive. Visit Rome and the Reformation sites in the Waldensian Valleys, Switzerland, and Germany. These tours give you a new vision in how to inspire church members for Jesus’ coming and future challenges. A most exciting experience! Call 269-815-8624, or email email@example.com.