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From the Pastor's Desk
December, 2015
Dear Church Family

Hard to believe, but the year is winding down quickly. Thanksgiving has come and gone and we are in the Advent season. Before you know it we’ll be celebrating Christmas and then the New Year. And, while I enjoy the season, I can’t help but feel every year that I am behind in a number of things. I don’t even know what things those might be, but I just can’t shake the feeling that I’ve forgotten something or someone.

No matter how I rack my brain I can’t come up with anything. Each year I get through the season with no one chasing me down say I’ve neglected something; no one angrily telling me there was something else I should have done. (Though there are always suggestions of what I could do!)

Maybe it’s not something I’ve forgotten, but something I’ve been expecting that’s left unfulfilled. Certainly I’m not looking for presents under the tree like when I was a child. God continues to bless and provide for our needs and a good many of our wants.

Maybe that thing which I still yearn for is God’s Kingdom to come. I am blessed with you, my church family, my parents, my loving wife, children and grandchildren, dear friends and countless other blessings. I want to see Jesus and bask in the glory of His presence. I want to see the risen King who once was the babe in the manger. I want to see the scars from the cross that bought me out of slavery. I want to know Him as I am known.

I enjoy our fellowship and the love we share in Christ, but I still wait for something else.

Romans 8:22-25: We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.

For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

May we all look forward and wait with sure hope in the One who will make all things new. Maybe this year?

Blessings, Pastor Steve

Upcoming Events

Celebrating December Birthdays

4 – Kyle Miller       17 – Paul MacDougall
15 – Joyce Slocum     31 – Virginia DeLooza

Church & Community Suppers - Good Food, Good Fellowship
5:00 pm, Mondays ~ $3.00 per person

December 7 – Chicken ‘n Biscuits

December 14 – Special holiday dinner of Marinated Roast Pork Tenderloin, Twice Baked Potatoes and Green Beans with Bacon and Mushrooms

December 21 & 28 – No dinners


Important dates from the Church Office
>>Articles for the January Newsletter should be into the office by Monday, December 21st.

>>Annual Reports are due by Monday, January 4th

>>The First Baptist Church Annual Meeting will be held on Sunday, January 17th.


Penn Yan Community Chorus Concert
Sunday, December 6th at 2:00 pm in our sanctuary

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
December 24 ~ 7:00 pm
News

ABW and Church News
The ABW has been requested for our White Cross Ministries to purchase sweatshirts and sweat pants for Cameron Community Ministries in Rochester. Any contributions from the congregation would be greatly appreciated either through monetary donations or purchase of these items:

Sweatshirts and sweat pants, 5 each for girls, boys, men and women
Sizes small to x-large.
Walmart sells them for about $5.00 each.

....Thank you and God Bless


THANK YOU
A big “Thank You” from the Board of Mission is sent to all those who contributed to the World Mission Offering in support of the work of International Missions. As of November 15th, we had received $1465 or $326 over our goal of $1139. Thank You!

Turkey Walk Update
A total of $4,453.25 was raised in this year’s Turkey Walk. There were over 60 walkers with Keuka College having the most walkers. The top three donations came from Keuka College, Penn Yan United Methodist Church and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. The students at Keuka College also helped with the set up and tear down and The Flour Shoppe donated refreshments.

If you didn’t have an opportunity to be a part you can still make a donation. Make your check out to Penn Yan Council of Churches and be sure to include “Food” on the memo line. Mail to PO Box 637, Penn Yan, NY.

Thank you to Cheryl Robbins and Diane DeLooza for walking and thank you to those who supported them. $453.25 was donated to the Turkey Walk in the name of First Baptist Church.


Stewardship
If you haven’t returned your 2016 Stewardship card yet, it’s not too late. You may bring it to church with you or send it through the mail. Remember, any gift is greatly appreciated.

Backpack Program Needs for December
Granola/Breakfast Bars
An energizing, quick snack to grab on-the-go!
You may leave donated items on the pew at the front of the sanctuary.

Advent
Advent comes from the Latin word meaning “to come.” This special season of the Christian year includes the four Sundays before Christmas Day. It is a time to prepare for God’s greatest gift, the birth of Jesus Christ.

You may wish to celebrate Advent in your home with a small Advent wreath as well as participate in Advent and Christmas Eve services at church.

The Advent wreath was first used by Protestants in Germany. Its circle represents God’s love; the evergreens symbolize the hope of eternal life; the four purple candles represent the four weeks of Advent; the white Christ candle, in the center of the wreath, is lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. One candle is lit each Sunday until all the candles are lit. As the fresh candle is lit, the ones from the previous weeks are relit.

The symbolism of the candles varies among Protestant traditions – they are often said to represent hope, love, joy and peace – but the purpose is the same: to prepare our hearts and minds for the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.


A CHRISTMAS PRAYER

We yearn, our Father, for the simple beauty of Christmas – for all the old familiar melodies and words that remind us of that great miracle when He who had made all things was one night to come as a babe, to lie in the crook of a woman’s arm.

Before such mystery we kneel, as we follow the shepherds and Wise Men to bring you the gift of love – a love we confess has not always been as warm or sincere or real as it should have been. But now, on this Christmas Day, that love would find its Beloved, and from You receive the grace to make it pure again, warm and real.

We bring You our gratitude for every token of Your love, for all the ways You have heaped blessings upon us during the years that have gone.

And we do pray, Lord Jesus, that as we celebrate Your birthday, we may do it in a manner well pleasing to You. May wall we do and say, every tribute of our hearts, bring honor to Your name, that we, Your people, may remember Your birth and feel Your presence among us even yet.

May the loving kindness of Christmas not only creep into our hearts, but there abide, so that not even the festivities of our own devising may cause it to creep away weeping. May the joy and spirit of Christmas stay with us now and forever.

In the name of Jesus, who came to save His people from their sins, even in that lovely name we pray. Amen.

From: The Prayers of Peter Marshall


First Baptist Church              Church Staff	
224 Main Street                   Rev. Stephen M. Sanden	
Penn Yan, NY 14527                Barbara Stewart: Music Director
Phone: 315-536-9821               Carrie Ahearn: Organist
E-Mail: pyfbc224@gmail.com        Jan Hafner: Accountant
Website: pennyanfbc.com           Peggy S Smart: Secretary
Office Hours: Mon-Fri, 9-Noon

Church Officers                    Our Schedule
Moderator: Nancy Marion            Sunday Worship - 10 AM
Vice Moderator: Sheryl Robbins     Sunday School - 10:15 AM
Church Clerk: Cheryl Stewart       Adult Sunday School - 11 AM
Church Treasurer: Mary Watkins
Finance Officer: Diane DeLooza
Missions: Jack Clancy
Trustees: Greg Miller
Deacons: Barb Stewart
Christian Education: Greg Marion 
ABW: Diane DeLooza

END