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Peace Update, First Week of Advent

In Worship this Week
Advent 1
Liturgical Color: Blue
Psalm Psalm 25:1-10
Daniel 6:6-27

In Worship next Week
Advent 2
Liturgical Color: Blue
Psalm from Luke 1:68-79
Joel 2:12-13, 28-29

This week we welcome Bishop of the Central States Synod, Gerald Mansholt, to worship with us. He will be preaching and presiding at worship at 10:00 a.m., as well as leading our adult forum time at 9:00 a.m. Everyone is welcome to join us to hear from him and learn how we are connected to the Body of Christ in other places throughout our state, nation, and world. After worship, please join us for a light luncheon.

Christian Education
Sunday school meets each week from 9-9:45 a.m. There are classes for children ages 2 yrs to 6th grade. These classes are using the Spark curriculum, based in the stories of the Bible. Teens are invited to join the Adult Forum, our adult Sunday school group. We will be framing our discussion with the book Lutheran Questions, Lutheran Answers, by Martin Marty (available at Amazon.com for about $13). This will lead us into discussions on everything from ethics to Scripture, from the faith of our neighbors to the social statements of the ELCA, and beyond. Bring your questions and your coffee and join us!

Upcoming Worship Opportunities
Advent mid-week worship! On December 5, 12, & 19 we will gather for soup suppers at 6:00 p.m. and worship at 7:00 p.m. These services will focus on various forms of prayer, introducing and giving time for practice of three different forms of contemplative prayer.  Take some time out from the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparations to experience the true spirit of Advent, as we wait together for our coming Savior.

Blue Christmas, December 18, 11:00 a.m.
A Blue Christmas worship is a time of worship and prayer, acknowledging that Christmas can be a difficult time for some of us, especially those who have lost loved ones. This will be a time for remembering the joy brought to our lives by those absent, as well as the promises delivered to us by our incarnate savior. Please join us for this special worship service, and invite those you know who might be particularly lonely or grieving at this time. If you are interested in helping with the service, or able to help with a light luncheon following, please see Pr. Aimee.

Christmas Eve
Our Christmas Eve candlelight service, including a program from our Sunday school, will be at 6:00 p.m. on December 24.

Sunday, December 2, the Washington Civic Chorus presents its Christmas concert. The concert starts at 3 p.m., at St. Peter’s UCC Church. Come early for a seat!

On Friday evening, December 7, the Ambassadors of Harmony will perform their Christmas show at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center at the University of Missouri St. Louis.  The Ambassadors of Harmony is a chorus of about 250 men (!) who love to sing – and are ranked internationally for their efforts.  See their website at www.aoh.org.  This annual Christmas show sells out nearly every year. If you are interested in attending this concert, Rich and Phyllis Steckel will help coordinate carpools from Peace Lutheran for those going to the Ambassadors’ Friday Evening performance. Buy your own tickets by calling 866-516-4949. Ticket prices are $26, $30, and $36, plus a $3 handling fee. Ask for the Senior Discount for those over 55. The group will join together for a Dutch-treat supper before the concert, which begins at 8:00 pm.  Contact Phyllis Steckel (636-239-4013 or psteckel@charter.net) for more information. If you cannot make the Friday-evening performance, the Ambassadors of Harmony also will perform their Christmas concert on Saturday, December 8 (2:00 pm and 8:00 pm) and on Sunday, December 9 (2:00 pm and 7:00 pm).

Saturday, December 8, St. Peter’s UCC has a bus chartered to go to the Jazz Nativity concert and theatre program in Webster Groves. The bus will also tour the holiday lights. Bus leaves at 5 p.m. Limited seats are available. Call St. Peter’s for reservations: 636-239-6176

Sunday, December 9, 7:00 p.m. – the Peace Bell Choir will join bell choirs from other local churches for a joint Christmas concert at St. Peter’s UCC. Refreshments will follow. Bring a canned food item for the local food pantry.

On Saturday, December 15, the National Lutheran Choir will perform “Marvel of this Night” at the Christ Church Cathedral (1210 Locust Street; corner of 13th and Olive) in downtown St. Louis.  The National Lutheran Choir is from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., and travels to St. Louis annually for a Christmas performance. If you are interested in attending this concert, Rich and Phyllis Steckel will help coordinate carpools from Peace Lutheran for those going to the National Lutheran Choir’s Saturday evening performance, which begins at 5:00 pm.  Buy your own tickets by calling 888-747-4589 or go to http://www.nlca.com/season/2012-2013/st-louis-2012-christmas-festival .  Tickets are $25.00 for adults and $20.00 for students.  (In the past, the Steckels have purchased tickets at the door with no problems.) The Christ Church Cathedral (http://www.christchurchcathedral.us/) is worth the visit in itself.  This Episcopal parish was founded in 1819 and early church members included explorer William Clark and US Senator Thomas Hart Benton.  The present-day building was opened in 1867 and dedicated as the Cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese in 1888. The group will join together for a Dutch-treat supper after the performance, which will conclude about 6:30 pm; we should be back to Washington by about 9:00 pm or so.  Contact Phyllis Steckel (636-239-4013 or psteckel@charter.net) for more information.
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Peace Lutheran will be participating in Advent Conspiracy again this year.
The goal of Advent Conspiracy is to encourage Christians to observe the season of Advent, rather than diving straight into Christmas. This gives us the chance to remember the darkness in the world, and the reason that the light of God has chosen to come into it. We will try to spend less, give more, worship fully, and love all, by committing to buy one less gift, and committing ourselves to give of ourselves, by spending time with our loved ones. Our focus for Advent Conspiracy this year is Grace’s Place, a crisis nursery here in Washington. Together we will be making blankets for the children at Grace’s Place, and collecting much needed items for these children, including diapers, wipes, pull-ups, socks, underwear, pajamas, other blankets, hats, gloves, and stuffed animals. If you are able to donate any of these items, please bring them to the collection site in the Narthex under the bulletin board. Please make sure that clothing items are new and unused.

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