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Over eight years ago, I walked into Sunnyside Church for the first time as a pastor. Tomorrow, I’ll leave the building for the last time as your pastor. I leave this place with a profound sense of gratitude for each of you and the experiences we’ve had together.
Fresh out of seminary, I came here knowing everything there was to know about ministry. (Yeah, right.) Thank you for your patience as I learned how much I didn’t know and tried to learn on the fly. Thank you for letting me into your lives. I’ll cherish the memories of journeys toward baptism and of celebrating marriages and new babies. I’ll also cherish the moments we grieved together, crying over life taken too soon. I’ll always remember the moments that we worked side by side to improve the lives of our neighbors through outreach events. I’m thankful for each time we had breakfast together or met at a coffee shop, or just bumped into each other at the store. You have deeply enriched my life. And I hope that I’ve been able to do the same for you.
We came with a young bright-eyed family. You were there as two of our children were born and dedicated. You’ve been with us through our success and failures in raising our kids. Through it all you’ve demonstrated grace and patience to our kids, allowing them the opportunity to grow up loving the church and its people. Not every pastor receives that gift. Words are inadequate to express our gratitude for your generosity toward our family. In fact, you’ve become family. Thank you.
While God is calling us to a different ministry, we will continue to pray for God’s leading in your lives and in the church. We pray that you will continue to be champions for the gospel of Jesus Christ. We pray that you will remain committed to fostering a multi-cultural, multi-generational community in which all people can feel at home. We pray that through your energy and influence, you will continue to invest in ministry to the youngest among us. Most of all, we pray that you will proclaim and anticipate the coming of our Lord until the day in which we see Him.
Today, we can relate to Paul’s words to the Thessalonians:
We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father.
As we close this note, we proclaim over you the blessing that spiritual leaders have proclaimed over their people for thousands of years:
The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.
Pastor Jonathan & Jaclyn, Lucy Robby, and William
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 thank you to all our Interior Decorating crew. Our facility truly reflects the Christmas spirit. Thank you to each of you for your vision and beautifully placed décor arrangements.
Shout out to Pollyanna Moody and Matt Mandrones for providing us with such lovely music last week. Thank you!
Today’s worship service is at 11:15. Pastor Jonathan will present our Bible message titled “Finding the Center.”
Today, we will have a farewell potluck for the Russell family immediately following the second service. You are invited to stay, enjoy great food, good friendships, and make new acquaintances. (Please note, this will replace the potluck we normally have on the first Sabbath of January.)
Devotional books! Your devotional books are here. Please pick them up in the Narthex or see Lorrie Wescott. Thank you.
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.
Sunday, January 14, 11:00 am, there will be a baby shower for Laura and Gabe Pinto. They are expecting a baby girl in March. Come and celebrate with us in the fellowship hall. Brunch will be served. They are registered at Target and Amazon.com. Everyone is welcome!
Sabbath January 20, 3:00 pm, His Praise Men’s Chorus will present a concert. You will not want to miss this inspiring service.
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.
First Friday will be held on January 5 from 7:15 pm to 8:30 pm in the lower level amphitheaters of Adventist Medical Center, Portland. First Fridays are a time of music and spiritual fellowship and we would like to encourage you to join us. The January First Friday service will feature praise and worship by Oasis Praise and an inspirational thought from Pam Strachan-Proudfit. Registration for the free January 5 First Friday soup and salad dinner will open on December 22 and will run through Wednesday, January 3. Be sure to reserve your spot! Remember that registration is on a first-come, first-served basis and each dinner guest must register separately. Soup and salad will be served from 5:30 to 6:30 pm on Friday, January 5.
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 email@example.com.
Happy New Year!