Excerpts from the COS Bulletin. For the full bulletin, please visit the Members and Friends portal.
Happening This Sunday
Join us December 9 at 6 pm for this year’s Lessons and Carols Service. Church of the Servant’s Lessons & Carols service is always a special evening. The format is simple: scripture and song. But somehow the combination is profound. We hear scriptures of waiting and fulfillment, sing cherished carols of the season, and experience the variety of voices that make up our congregation. It is truly a wonder-filled service. Following the Lessons and Carols service, we invite all to stay and take part in a dessert potluck. Please bring a dessert to share.
College-Age Young Adults: There will be no lunch meeting today, or for the remainder of the year. We’ll plan to meet again in January.
Prelude Musicians Wanted! If you would like to provide Christmas music by singing or playing an instrument during our 5 PM Christmas Eve service prelude, please sign up on the sheet in the café area or email email@example.com.
Calling all storytellers, young and old! The 5 PM Christmas Eve Service is returning this year and will continue the much-loved tradition: Retelling stories of hope leading up to Jesus’ birth. We welcome anyone who would like to be angels, shepherds, narrators, musicians, backstage crew, stage/cleanup crew, and more! Our rehearsals will take place Sun., Dec. 23 at 9am and Mon., Dec. 24 at 3pm (before the service). If you and your family would like to be a part of this storytelling, please add your name/s to the sign-up sheets in the cafe area or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Thursday Bible study meets this week on December 13. We will study Philemon and Lesson 8.
COS 2018 New Psalm Contest – We are pleased to announce the winner of this year’s Psalm Contest is Noah McLaren, with his setting of Psalm 71, “All My Life.” Thank you to the judges for their hours of work listening to and singing through all the Psalm entries. The judging panel is made up of mostly COS members, all of whom have some combination of musical, theological, and literary training. We will welcome Noah to our worship service on Sunday, January 27, 2019, when we premier his winning Psalm setting.
To hear his Psalm and other top choices from this year’s contest, as well as past year’s winners, visit the worship page on the COS website (www.churchoftheservantcrc.org/newpsalmcontest). If you are interested in donating to the New Psalm Contest, contact Maria Stapert (email@example.com).
1088…that’s the number of neighbors who have walked through our Friendship ESL door, September – November. Imagine the interactions, language learning, and prayers offered (by our prayer team) for these people, most of whom do not know what churches look like inside (ours being the exception). Two new registrants last week from Myanmar– a young husband, wife and baby, Rohingya refugees. We hope they have a long, helpful, and joyous time at COS. All COS members are invited to attend the “end of semester” ESL Christmas parties on Wed. Dec. 19, 10am, and Thurs. Dec 20, 7pm.
In an email sent recently, Council has reminded us of the financial challenges facing COS. Over the last three months, general fund giving at COS has lagged significantly behind our basic operating needs. Council kindly requests that we all examine our giving to COS, and if catching up is necessary, please do so soon. As you consider calendar year-end giving, please remember the needs of your faith family. A special gift fulfilling or exceeding your 2018 pledge would be most welcome. Copies of the letter from Council are available in the café.
Pledge Update: COS has received pledges from 167 families and individuals, who have pledged nearly $800,000 to support our ministries next year. The average pledge is $4873, which is 10% higher than last year’s, and even with an inflation adjustment, is the second highest average in the last decade. If you have not pledged, you can still do so – in fact, the stewardship team would love to see another 50 pledges in the next few weeks. Please join us in making our commitments to our church family.
Thank you to all who generously contributed hats, gloves, mittens, and socks to the Camelot folks this year! All the beautiful hand-knitted hats were a real hit! The amount of items contributed far exceeded that of previous years and we were able to give something to everyone who stopped by.
-Camelot Community Partners
Thank you to all who made the Auction such a success this past Wednesday! Special thanks to the incredible team of culinary wizards who produced that delicious Puerto Rican meal!
Check out the new titles in our church library: Everything Happens for a Reason by Kate Bowler (speaker at Calvin’s 2018 Festival of Faith and Writing); Making Sense of God by Timothy Keller; The Gospel According to God by John MacArthur; Martin Luther by Eric Metaxas; Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay; Introducing World Religions by Charles Farhadian; 50 Women Every Christian Should Know by Michelle DeRusha; The Autobiography of G. K. Chesterton; and the classic Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder–in full color.
A Friendly reminder – Please fill in the open gaps of seating in the large sanctuary space so seats can more easily be found by visitors and latecomers. Thank you!
Did you know we send out a short COS newsletter every Friday afternoon? The newsletter offers a quick snapshot of the upcoming weekend, helpful links, reminders of important events, and the week’s calendar. If you are not receiving the Friday Newsletter, please first check your junk folder or promotions tab in your email. If the newsletters are not there, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the list. Also, please add email@example.com to your email address book to help prevent the newsletter from being filtered into a spam folder.
Finance Committee report on the first quarter of the fiscal year
Estimated Receipts $257,789
Estimated Expenses $319,330
Even with Council approved budget reductions in place our giving is 20% below expenses. Further reductions will necessarily affect program and/or staff.