Holland Presbyterian Church

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“But Jesus called the children to him and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

                                    Luke 18: 16-17


 

    

 

     Well, here we are.  The season of frantic buying – at least to judge from the reports after Black Friday.  The season of parties, of decorating homes up to the point of  being light-pollution nuisances, Christmas card/annual letters to those whom we don’t think of all the rest of the year, and concerts – especially at schools where it is forbidden to mention the reason we’re celebrating.  Does this sound like the ramblings of a Scrooge-like cynic?  Have you detected any hint of why or what we are celebrating in all this? 

     Fortunately, we are still able to get the Christmas spirit through our little children.  We can still explain what the manger scene represents, read the old, old story about that holy night so long ago, and share the gifts and love around the Christmas tree.    

     For many of us, it's a little hard to recall the excitement of our own childhood at Christmas time.  But, for most of us, as adults, we can experience the wonder and delight when we're in the presence of a little child opening a gift.  Here, we see a face reflecting pure, unfeigned joy.  We hear innocent laughter and smile at their excited dancing.  And this is the time when we have an opportunity to gently tell the real Christmas story, while they are still trusting, able to believe, and can understand why we give presents at this time of year.

      Jesus made it abundantly clear that we are all to try to retain that child-like ability to trust and to believe in Him.  Indeed, He said we must have a faith that is like a child's innocent ability to trust, or we cannot receive the kingdom of God. 

     In our age and our society, it is very difficult to keep from becoming jaded, doubting and cynical.  But we're not born that way.  Can we ever go back to that age of innocence?  No.  Therefore, how reassjuring it is to recall Paul's word to the Ephesians: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God..." 

     Perhaps, in the midst of stressing over all the demands of this Christmas time, our prayer this season, and all seasons, should be to receive this wonderful and saving gift from God - faith.  This is the one gift that will make us like all children, including those who gathered at Jesus' knee - innocent, trusting and joyful. 

     Have a Blessed Christmas.

 

 

Our Church Family
 

Not too many of our church family and friends chose to enter this world in this month, but it doesn't mean we'll ignore them just because Someone greater than any of us entered this world in December.

3  -  Charlie Potter birthday.

11 - Irene Nauman birthday.

       John W. Potter birthday.

16 - Tyler Woodring birthday.

Our best birthday wishes to each of you on your special day, especially to Lt. Potter over in the Middle East on board the USS Mahon.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Keep Gloria Markle in prayer as she goes through some rough treatments for her cancer.  Pray for strength and courage.  And give thanks for all those who have been helping her through this time.

Keep Carrie Shaffer in prayer.  Carrie has been in the hospital several times in recent months.  Pray for total recovery and strength and that she'll be able to maintain her independence, including watching the chickens.

Give thanks that Isaac and Amy Stanley seem to have made a full recovery from their colds - and that Geoff escaped altogether. 

Also give thanks for Nettie Rainey's recovery from a bad cold as well.  Pray for travel safety as she helps her recently bereaved sister. 

Keep praying for returning strength and healing for Marcelle Figlo as she recovers from her serious infection.  On the other hand, give thanks that she seems to be healed from the Hep C virus that has plagued her for many years. 

 Keep Harry and Rae Taylor in prayer as they do more traveling since Harry's retirement.

Keep our military personnel in prayer at all times as they serve our country in dangerous places.  Especially keep Paul Stofonak, Kyle Trippeda, Mark Washburn, Alex Falkner and John W. Potter in your prayers for their safety and dedication.

Always remember Holland Church in your prayers – for a continued sense of serving the Lord in our work, for the officers who seek to guide our mission, for Pastor Geoff as he leads and teaches and for God’s will to be done in all our efforts.

 

 

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Prayer Concerns
God Hears and Answers Prayer

Keep our shut-ins in prayer and also in contact.  Let them feel our concern and receive encouragement from we who are able to get out and about. 

Special prayers

 

            Carrie Shaffer

            Dave Derbyshire

            Madeline Templeton

            Sandy and Irene Nauman

            Pauline Search

 

 

 
Email us with your prayer requests

Ring out the old, ring in the new,

Ring, happy bells, across the snow:

The year is going, let him go;

Ring out the false, ring in the true.

 

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,

For those that here we see no more,

Ring out the feud of rich and poor,

Ring in redress to all mankind.

 

Ring in the valiant man and free,

The larger heart the kindlier hand;

Ring out the darkness of the land,

Ring in the Christ that is to be.

                                Alfred, Lord Tennyson

 

         

 

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Jesus did not come to make God’s love possible,

but to make God’s love visible.

 

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At their August meeting, the Session awarded two $1,000 scholarships to our college students: 

Joseph Lewis, grandson of Bob and Nettie Rainey, who will be a sophomore at Western Connecticut State College, studying Music.
 
Amanda Smith, granddaughter of our organist, Linda Schuerle, who will be a junior at Penn State, and is studying Elementary Education.
 

We’re happy to be able to assist these two in getting their education, and we wish them well through this coming year. 
 
 
 

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     The first Sunday of each month is Loose Change Sunday.  What does that mean?  A large jar will be waiting as you enter the church.  This jar will have an opening just large enough to accept your loose change.  Where does it go?  When sufficient funds have accumulated, the deacons send it to an organization that converts the money into phone cards for our men and women serving in the military.  What a great idea!  So empty your pockets, pour out your loose change jar and clean off the bureau so that our servicemen and women can call home and let their loved ones hear their voices. 

 

Thanks to LaRue Hooper for providing such a lovely display of pumpkins and fall flowers in the front of the church during October and November.  Diana Cashman will be the flower deacon of the month for December.  If you wish to provide flowers any Sunday, let her know.


 
 

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                                           Order your Poinsettias now

Every Christmas, a beautiful arrangement of poinsettias appears before the pulpit, bringing further beauty to the sanctuary.  Poinsettias can be ordered through Paul Kuphal in memory of, or to the glory of loved ones, or just to help add to the beauty of the arrangement.  All orders should be in by December 21.


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Holland Church note cards are now available.  Five notes with envelopes for $6.00.  Featuring a lovely painting of Holland Church, you’ll want to use them often.  See any deacon.  They’re really nice! 
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Brittany (age 4)

had an ear ache and wanted a pain killer.  She tried in vain to take the lid off the bottle.  Seeing her frustration, her Mom explained it was a child-proof cap and she’d have to open it for her.  Eyes wide with wonder, the little girl asked, “How does it know it’s me?”

 

Angels, explained by children~

 

It’s not easy to become an angel!  First, you die.  Then you go to Heaven, and then there’s still the flight training to go through.  And then you got to agree to wear those angel clothes.    Matthew, age 9

 

Some of the angels are in charge of helping heal sick animals and pets.  And if they don’t make the animals get better, they help the child get over it.

                                                                         Vicki, age 8

 

What I don’t get about angels is why, when someone is in love, they shoot arrows at them.

                                                                         Sarah, age 7

 

A neighbor related this story:  Whenever she’s disappointed with her spot in life, she stops and thinks about little Jamie Scott.

Jamie was trying out for a part in the school play.  His mother told her that he’d set his heart on being in it, though she feared he would not be chosen.

On the day the parts were awarded, she went with the mother to pick him up after school.  Jamie rushed up to his mother, eyes shining with pride and excitement, “Guess what, Mom,” he shouted, and said those words that will remain a lesson to her … “I’ve been chosen to clap and cheer!”

 

Birthdays are good for you.  The more you have, the longer you live.

 

Faith goes up the stairs that love has made and looks out the window which hope has opened.

 

A cartoon in the British publication Punch portrayed a man praying at his bedside.  He said to the Lord, “Is there some way you could help me, but make it look like I did it all myself?” 

 

 

 
 A message from Meals on Wheels in Hunterdon:

Meals on Wheels needs volunteer drivers in your area. Serve your homebound senior neighbors a hot noontime meal. The commitment to drive is only once a month. It will take only an hour or two once a month to get that good feeling of giving. Call our office at (908) 284-0735 to offer your time or for more information. Help us, help others. Many thanks.