Christmas Season Greetings, my friends!
As many are consumed with the gifting process at the present time, here’s a different spin, as we take a moment for a devotional thought:
GIFT-GIVING SOLUTIONS Trying to find gifts for certain people - or letting others know what you want - can be quite challenging. After all, most of us don’t need anything. Realizing that the best gifts aren’t material items, offers a new perspective on giving and receiving. Consider these insights from author Charles Swindoll: “Some gifts you can give this Christmas are beyond monetary value: Mend a quarrel, dismiss suspicion, tell someone ‘I love you.’ Give something away - anonymously. Forgive someone who has treated you wrong. Turn away wrath with a soft answer. Visit someone in a nursing home. Apologize if you were wrong. Be especially kind to someone with whom you work. Give as God gave to you in Christ, without obligation, or announcement, or reservation, or hypocrisy.”
GOO FOOD FOR THOUGHT, WOULDN’T YOU SAY?
The Men of God Accountability Group and its study of The Resolution for Men wrapped up last night. Rhett tells me they will resume with a new study on Wednesday, January 4, 2017. We’ll let you know as details become available. Also, last night, Rhett and his team finished packing up hygiene kits, sorting knitted caps, counting candy canes, etc., etc., etc.; all the steps that combine to make up our Backpacks for Christ ministry outreach. Check in the foyer on Sabbath to see if volunteers are still needed at the various Backpack sites. One of the important aspects of Backpacks is the prayer ministry. The following is from Susan Skelton:
Volunteers needed on Backpacks Prayer Team!
We still need 4 more volunteers on the PRAYER team for Backpacks for Christ. Join Pastor Charles White and the team early Christmas Morning to connect with folks as they wait in line to receive their backpacks. The prayer team will pray with people INSIDE the building where it's warm. Be blessed and be a blessing as you spend a few moments getting to know the heart and hopes of a homeless person, and give them the priceless gift of prayer. To sign up, you MUST call/text to volunteer - Luke/Susan 480-888-6983. A bilingual (Spanish) speaking volunteer is one of the greatest needs!
For those who find themselves in the midst of a separation or divorce, PLEASE understand, there is Hope for the Hurting. DivorceCare is a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. Don’t go through separation or divorce alone. A 13-week program meeting once a week for 1-1/2 hours. The program includes a DVD and workbook. Please visit divorcecare.org for more info. Kids are welcome. Volunteers are needed to help with this program To learn more, sign up or volunteer, please call Lela Lewis 623.329.0078. Tuesday nights, 7:00 - 8:30, Room 2B.
A reminder to those who can benefit, the Camelback Church now hosts two Alcoholic Anonymous meetings per week in the Rotunda; Wednesday & Friday afternoons, Noon - 1:00pm.
A reminder for you choir folks out there, rehearsal tomorrow night, 7:00pm in the sanctuary.
This coming Sabbath (12-17), Family Circle Sabbath School resumes, beginning with refreshments for the kiddos at 9:15 in the Rotunda. I understand everyone has a great time during this program from 9:30 - 10:00; drop in and check it out! Pastor Jackie will bring us what will be his last sermon as Associate Pastor here at Camelback. It is entitled, “ REVISIONIST HISTORY,” and his scripture is Matthew 21:42-44. And following the worship service, we’ll feast together at our church-wide potluck and participate in a farewell “roast” for Jackie and Lauryl. The roast is more for Jackie, Lauryl, so don’t get nervous! The church will gift Jackie and Lauryl, but anyone wishing to privately gift them may do so, also! Please bring extra portions of your favorite dishes so that we may also provide nicely for our guests. Our monthly community service project to fellowship with the residents at Scottsdale Nursing & Rehab also takes place this Sabbath, for those who would like to participate. And later in the afternoon (4:00) & Saturday night (7:00), “O Come Emmanuel,” a concert of worship featuring the Glendale Sanctuary Choir and Orchestra, Kid’s Choir, and Bell Choir. Doors open 40 minutes prior to each concert. Glendale SDA Church, 6801 N 43rd Ave, Phoenix AZ 85019. For more information, go to gschoir.org or glendaleazsda.org
Another farewell to the Arizona Conference is taking place Sunday (12-18) at the Mesa Palms SDA Church Fellowship Room, 2:00-5:00pm, for Terry & Debbie Darnall as they conclude 26-1/2 years of ministry at Mesa Palms and 28 years in Arizona. They will be transitioning to the Joshua Crossroads Fellowship Church (“The Cowboy Church”) in Joshua, Texas. All are invited.
Sabbath, December 24, is our annual Homecoming. This is always a special service, with lots of beautiful music, and concluding with the Hallelujah Chorus, a tradition here at Camelback. Please plan to be in attendance on this Christmas Eve. Pastor Lou will bring us a homily and we will all be abundantly blessed by the entire service. That evening, from 6:00-7:00 we will have our intimate Candlelight Communion, another Camelback tradition, in the sanctuary.
And what has come to be yet another tradition here at Camelback is the Marty Goetz concert, New Year’s Eve, beginning at 7:00pm in the Sanctuary. Marty is a Messianic Christian praise and worship musician. He has been at Camelback almost every New Year’s Eve for the past 14 or 15 years. The sanctuary is always jam packed; people just love him. If you’d like to enjoy a special FREE treat, check it out!
As you think about your giving for this week, keep in mind that the offering is for Camelback Church Ministries. We are almost to year-end now, and we all need to be thinking about how we are going to contribute to the deficit, so that we can end the year in the black.
Every Young Person Deserves a Christian Education As an Arizona taxpayer, you are eligible to receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit when you make a donation subject to the state allowed maximum. Support quality Christian education through your tax credit donation. Visit us at www.AzAdventistScholarships.com or give us a call at 480-519-1379. Search for “Arizona Adventist Scholarships” on YouTube to see a video on how the program works.
Don’t forget, there are MANY needs in our church family and the community. As you pray, lift up these needs to the throne of God; He hears, and answers, every prayer.
As you welcome in the Sabbath tomorrow evening, may it be with thankfulness to God for His love and mercy and grace. And may your gratitude just overflow onto everyone with whom you come in contact.
I look forward to seeing you on Sabbath!
Love, Cherie O