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Greetings church family,
Every week, Billboard magazine publishes the definitive list of what songs are popular in each genre. This week’s holiday top-100 was peppered with songs like, “I’ll be Home for Christmas,” “White Christmas,” “Mary did you know?” and other holiday classics. At #33 (previously #12) on the list is the classic Elvis Presley offering, “Blue Christmas.” At first, it’s counterintuitive that such a melancholy song would be so high on a list of popular holiday hits. Many of us are captivated by the lights and garland, the scented candles, and brightly-colored bows. We are caught up in the gift-giving, the holiday parties, the hopeful longing for a white Christmas.
Yet today, my heart is with those for whom the season represents something else. Those who long for the companionship of loved ones lost. Those who, for whatever reasons, cannot embrace any sense of hopeful optimism in the holiday season. Today, I think of those who are experiencing a blue Christmas. If you’re reading this, remember you’re not alone. You have a church family that desires to journey with you, to remind you of an ultimate hope that comes through the story of a Savior.
My prayer for us in the coming days: that the “eyes of our hearts may be opened” to see those people who need to be encouraged. That regardless of our personal experience of this season, we may have the eyes of Jesus to see those who feel invisible, to care for those among us who are in pain, to journey personally with survivors of this blue Christmas.
After all, I like to imagine those are the folks that Jesus would spend time with on His birthday.
May God bless each of us with His presence through this season.
Pastor Jonathan Russell
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.
Thank you to Kimberly Goodwin-Helton for all the planning, and execution of a wonderful children’s program last week. It was, indeed, a delight.
Today’s worship service is at 11:15 am. Pastor Jonathan Russell will be presenting our Bible message titled “Invasive Joy.”
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 Moller Sabbath School Class will be hosting today’s lunch in the Willamette room following our second service.
Please pray for the family of Verna M Dixon, stepmother of Evvalee Rushold. She passed away Thanksgiving Day. The family is thankful for her 98 years of life lived with a heart full of love for Jesus. There will be a private graveside service in January. A memorial service will be planned after the first of the year.
For 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 Lorrie Wescott.
Friday, December 22, 7:00 pm, we will celebrate Christmas with our 36th 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.
Our new flower calendar is now posted in the hallway. Please choose a date to share flowers with our Sunnyside family for our worship services and place your name on it. As the date gets closer, we will contact you to see what you would like to place in the bulletin about the flowers.
Friday, January 5, 6:00 pm, Communion Service will take place here at Sunnyside followed with an Agape Supper.
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, dining room table, blankets, and a dresser. Contact: Marie 503-998-3754.
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/.
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.
PACS’ New Executive Director – Mark Fulop
PACS welcomes Mark Fulop as the new Executive Director as of December 1, 2017, as Paul L. Cole retires after nine years of service. Prior to Mark coming to PACS, he has been a consultant for many nonprofits leading strategic planning, board development, and leadership training projects. Mark is no stranger to PACS because in 2012 he was a volunteer in the Food Pantry and worked as a consultant with PACS helping to plan for the new medical and dental clinic. He believes in PACS’ mission and values and can’t wait to start building on PACS’ rich history. You can reach Mark at 503-252-8500 ext 113 or by email at Mark.Fulop@pacsonline.org. Come by PACS to meet and greet Mark!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.