Today is our fourth Sunday in Advent. Advent is a season of four weeks including four Sundays that prepare us for Christmas. Advent derives from the Latin adventus, which means “coming.” The season proclaims the comings of the Christ — whose birth we prepare to celebrate once again, who comes continually in Word and Spirit, and whose return in final victory we anticipate. The Advent wreath is a simple circle of evergreen branches, a sign of life without end; its four Advent candles encircle a central white Christ candle.
Today and next Sunday, we will receive a special offering for the Dollars for Scholars program to benefit Camille Gray. The United Methodist Dollars for Scholars program involves matching support from a student’s church, the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation (UMHEF ), participating United Methodist-related schools like Emory & Henry College where Camille attends, and participating UMC Conference Foundations like the Holston Foundation . Here’s how it works: (1) our church supports the student with $1,000 sent to UMHEF on a church check; (2) UMHEF will match that $1,000; (3) Emory & Henry College will match with $1,000; and (4) the Holston Foundation will match $1,000. The potential scholarship total is up to $4,000. Make checks payable to Bluff City UMC and put Dollars for Scholars in the memo line. We need to send the church check to UMHEF by January 1.
Thanks to all who have made Generosity Commitment pledges to support the mission of Jesus Christ through our congregation in the coming year. If you have not had the opportunity to consecrate your personal financial giving commitments for the coming year, you can place your yellow Financial Giving Commitment Card in the offering plate during worship, or deliver it to the church office.
The Church Office will be closed the week of December 26—January 2. AmazonSmile. If you shop at Amazon.com, please consider using AmazonSmile and selecting our church as your preferred charitable organization. AmazonSmile donates 0.5% of the price of eligible AmazonSmile purchase to the charitable organization you select. When you want to shop at Amazon, access AmazonSmile at the website https://smile.amazon.com , and use your regular Amazon user ID and password. The shopping experience is identical to Amazon.com, and it does not cost you more. Thanks!
Several years ago, donations were made to a designated fund for the children’s bell choir program (current balance of $194.62) and to a designated fund for the children’s rotation Sunday School ministry (current balance of $102.53). We have not done these particular ministries since at least 2008 and perhaps before; and do not anticipate doing them again. We would like to move these funds to the Designated Children’s Ministries fund to be available to more generally support our ministries with children. If you donated any amount to either the children’s bell choir program or the rotation Sunday School, please contact Pastor Dan to discuss this matter .