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Greetings church family,
The music has been playing on the different radio stations and in stores since just after Thanksgiving. The programs at the schools and churches have been practiced, planned and some already performed. The kids and some adults are bubbling with excitement and joy. As I was in a store the other day I heard a song that said, “it’s the most wonderful time of year.” The interesting part to me was the other lyrics of the song. These lyrics were as follows:
“There’ll be parties for hosting
Marshmallows for toasting
And caroling out in the snow
There’ll be scary ghost stories
And tales of the glories of the
Christmases long, long ago
It’s the most wonderful time of the year
There’ll be much mistltoeing
And hearts will be glowing
When loved ones are near
It’s the most wonderful time of the year”
Obviously, the writers/ singer of that song and I have a different idea of why the season is so special. I believe that the joy and peace that people experience is NOT just based on parties, caroling, and scary ghost stories. I believe that the joy and peace that people experience comes from the fact that in some corners of our society Christ is still in Christmas. Even if all people do not choose to recognize Him, His power is still evident! The joy that is in the air and the focus on the good things in life have the effect of bringing God and His peace into the hearts of men.
Paul wrote these words to the Philippians:
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! … And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:4- 9.
It makes it clear that there is a connection between rejoicing and focusing on the good and peace from God. When we have that peace, it changes our lives. There is one line in that song that I can totally agree with. It usually is the most wonderful time of the year! It’s the most wonderful time of the year because of the joy and peace of God that fills our hearts as we focus on the good and rejoice.
Enjoy the parties, marshmallows, caroling, and all else that happens during this time of year. Do it knowing that you can always have this peace and joy if you so choose. If you choose to focus on rejoicing and on the good things, then God and His peace will be with you. When He and His peace are with you it will always be a wonderful time regardless of what season of the year you are in.
Blessings to you and yours,
Pastor Juan Fresse
Send your “shout-outs” to info@SunnysideAdventist.org so we can include them in next week’s Communiqué. This is a place you can recognize someone for doing good, or going beyond expectations.
A special shout out to all the different teams who prepare our Life Together Potlucks each week. What a nice job! Thank you!
Friday, December 8, 7:00 pm, Portland Adventist Academy will present their Christmas concert here at Sunnyside.
Today’s worship service is at 11:15 am. Our service this week will feature our children. It is titled “A Child Is Born.”
Guest Potluck – If you are new to Sunnyside or visiting from out of town, we would like to invite you to get to know our church better over lunch. The Seminar in the Sanctuary Sabbath School Class will be hosting today’s lunch in the Willamette room following our second service.
Sunnyside Youth Christmas Party, Mystery Dinner and Games will happen tonight from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm. These are the times to meet at the church. Youth in grades 9-12 are invited. Let us know if you are going to attend by texting or calling Paul at 971-533-4447.
Please pray for the family of Sharron Iverson. She passed away Wednesday, December 6. A memorial service will be planned after the first of the year.
During the month of December, we will be having only one worship service. Our Bible study classes will begin at 10:00 am and our worship service will begin at 11:15 am.
Devotional books! It’s time to order your new devotional book for 2018. 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 Sabbath, December 23. If you should need them sooner, please contact the office at 503-252-8080 or see Lorrie Wescott.
Friday, December 22, 7:00 pm, we will celebrate Christmas with our annual Family Christmas musical program. Invite your friends and enjoy an evening of Christmas music presented by some of Portland’s finest musicians. Bring your musical score and participate in the finale – Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” from “Messiah.” An offering will be received to support feeding Portland’s homeless each Sunday morning in O’Bryant Square in downtown Portland. Refreshments will be served after the program.
Investment Labels! Remember when you collected and turned in labels from Worthington and Loma Linda cans for missions? The label collecting idea is not just a thing of the past. It is still alive and well and has increased in rewards for missions. Labels (including UPC code) from Worthington, Loma Linda, and Caroline’s will pay $.25 each. Cedar Lake, Heritage, Worthington frozen, Kim’s Simple Meals, are .05 each and Norpac Foods, Flav-R-Pac, Santiam, and Westpac are .05 each. Take the time now to save these labels and help build funds for missions. Bring them in, turn them in at children’s Sabbath School, or directly to the Sabbath School secretaries. Every nickel counts!
Family Resource Network – Thank you for your continued support that has helped so many people in their time of need. Place your funds in an envelope marked Family Resource Network, account number 488. Current Needs: washer and dryer, blankets, and a dresser. Contact: Marie 503-998-3754.
A memorial service for Gilbert L Plubell, a long-time leader in Adventist education, will be Hood View Church in Boring on Sabbath, December 9, 2:30 pm. Gil served as Oregon Conference superintendent of schools and North Pacific Union Conference director of education from 1976 to 1989. He retired as Director of Education for the North American Division in 1996. Upon their return to Oregon, he continued in a part-time capacity at the Oregon Conference for another 15 years as special assistant to the superintendent. He is survived by his wife Winnie, and two sons, Robert, of Fresno, CA, and Dennis and Barbara Plubell, Sunnyside members.
Life at Sunnyside
Portland Adventist Elementary School
Portland Adventist Academy
PAA has much for which we are thankful! Our annual PAASS Auction was a huge success and we thank YOU for helping to spread the word to rally the support. More than $100,000 was raised for student scholarships and that is a record for this event! Here is the enews story we’d love for you to share in your digital communications: http://paasda.org/news/100000-raised-students/.
Rivergate Adventist Elementary
Rivergate Adventist Elementary invites you to join us for our annual all-school Christmas Program, “Christmas in our Hearts.” The program will be held in the school gym December 14 and will begin at 7:00 pm.
Area Events and Announcements
December 1-30: Adventist Book Center Holiday Sale.
We will be open extended hours during the Follow The Star Program at the Conference Office grounds. Hours Saturday night, December 2 and 9, are 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm. Hours Sunday, December 3 and 10, are 4:00 pm. to 8:00 pm. For all the sale details, download the sale flyer at www.abcflyer.com.
Location: Adventist Book Center, Gladstone.
December 9, 7:00 pm: “Behold the Lamb of God”
will be presented by Matt and Josie Minikus. Join us on a musical journey through the ancient prophecies and genealogies in the unfolding of the true tall tale of the coming of Christ.
Event Location: Hood View Church.
December 9, 7:00 pm: Fountainview Academy Orchestra & Choir.
Fountainview is returning to Bend to enrich, inspire, and remind us that the greatest Gift of the season, of life, is our Redeemer and King. Join us for an unforgettable evening of hope and glory as this prominent young group of musicians present “Come, Let Us Adore Him” during their annual Christmas tour. This is a complementary and non-ticketed event. All are welcome and early arrival is highly recommended as seating will be limited. For more information visit http://fountainviewacademy.ca/music/ or contact Jonathan and Janelle Kasabasic at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Event Location: Bend First Presbyterian Church.
Volunteer Positions Available:
Looking for a way to engage your heart, mind, and spirit? If so, please consider volunteering with Adventist Health Hospice. Adventist Health Hospice is looking for individuals who are willing to share just a little of their time visiting patients who are facing a life-limiting illness. No experience required – just a compassionate heart for people and the desire to make a patient’s remaining days as fulfilling as possible. It is about the gift of one’s presence and spending just a little of one’s time to sit with those who are facing the end of their lives. Sometimes, it’s just to talk or read or share stories and laughter…at other times…you could help record a life history, play music and sing, or play cards and board games. It’s as individual as you are. A volunteer’s presence helps to lessen a patient’s loneliness by providing them with companionship. Our volunteers work in the field – in patient’s homes, adult family homes, or nursing homes, wherever a patient might call home. Volunteers determine when and how much time they can provide – some a few hours a week, others just a few hours a month. For more information, please contact Debby Murphy, Volunteer Coordinator by phone at 503-251-6192, ext. 56420 or 503-730-8378 or by email at email@example.com.