FEBRUARY 2018 MESSENGER

Posted by Cynthia Speicher, With 0 Comments, Category: Announcements,

THE MESSENGER
ALSACE LUTHERAN CHURCH
E-mail: [email protected]
Web: www.alsacelutheranchurch.org
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/alsacelutheran
2201 Kutztown Road, Reading, PA 19605
Phone: 610-929-8727
Fax: 610-929-5397
Morning Worship: 8:15 & 10:45 a.m.
8:15 Service Broadcast live over 1340AM
Streamed on the Internet at www.iheart.com
Sunday School for all ages – 9:30 a.m.

“Church on the Hill, Standing on the Word”
February, 2018

 

TIMELY ADVICE
-Unknown

If you are impatient, sit down quietly and talk with Job.
If you are just a little strongheaded, go and see Moses.
If you are getting weak-kneed, take a good look at Elijah.
If there is no song in your heart, listen to David.
If you are a policy man, read Daniel.
If you are getting sordid, spend a while with Isaiah.
If your faith is below par, read Paul.
If you are getting lazy, watch James.
If you are losing sight of the future, climb up the stairs of Revelatiom

and get a glimpse of the Promised Land.

 

CHURCH STAFF
Rev. Richard A. Nelson, Pastor
Rev. Charles E. Fair, Pastor Emeritus
Rev. Mark E. Brophy, Pastor Emeritus
Mr. David Rutt, Music Director
Mrs. Nina Rowley, Organist
Miss Cynthia Speicher, Secretary
Mr. William Reber, Jr., Sexton

CHURCH OFFICERS
Mrs. Sherri Mengel, Sunday School Superintendent
Mrs. Barbara Coller, Council Secretary
Ms. Carol Kunsman, Envelope Secretary
Mr. D. Richard Wieder, Treasurer

Council Members/Term Expires
Shelly Deeds End of 2020
John Funk End of 2020
Kimberly Grinage – President End of 2019
Peggy Harter End of 2020
Jeffrey Klinger – Vice President End of 2019
Payton Mentzer End of 2020
Donald Moll End of 2018
Mary Pachuilo End of 2019
Evelyn Sheetz End of 2018
Gerald Speicher End of 2018

 

 

SHINE!

According to Genesis 1:1-5, the first thing God created was light. Before light, there was only darkness. God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light (Genesis 1:3). Light was created before the sun and the moon. “God separated the light from the darkness” (Genesis 1:4).
If this “light” is not the sun, then what is it? (I will leave that for you to ponder!)

Light determines “day” and “night”. On the first day there was evening and morning. It was on the Fourth Day that God created the two “lights.” If you read Genesis 1:14-19, you will notice that the words “sun” and “moon” are not mentioned, probably because both words were used as proper names for pagan deities. In Genesis, they are light-givers to separate the day from the night and to give light to the earth: “God made the two great lights – the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night – and the stars” (Genesis 1:16).

As we are now in the midst of the Winter season, and the sun is only visible for a few hours, it can be quite depressing. We need the Light, and we need to be the light for others! In Matthew 5:14, Jesus tells His followers, “You are the light of the world.” But in John 8:12, Jesus says that He is the Light of the world.” We, then, are not the Light; the light we have to shine is a reflection of the true Light – Jesus! Any light that glows within us comes from Jesus. And so, we let our light shine for His glory!

There is a little story that illustrates this point. There was once a blind woman who used her meager resources to have a light placed on the street near her home, not because it would help her, but because it would contribute to the safety of strangers who passed that way. There is no better example of sharing the Light which Jesus has entrusted to us. It is by letting Light be seen that we glorify Him!

“Let YOUR light so shine before others that they may see your good works and give glory to our Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

With the warmth of Christ!
Pastor Richard A. Nelson

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Funerals
Margaret Turner
Betty Hohl
A. Myrle Wiand

 

New Volunteers are needed to work the sound system and radio transmission during our Sunday morning worship services. Anyone interested please speak to Lee Strause. Training will be provided.

 

WORSHIP SCHEDULE
Every Sunday at 8:15 & 10:45 a.m.
(The liturgical color for each Sunday is listed in parenthesis)

February 4 (green) – 5th Sunday after Epiphany – Guest Preacher, Pastor Don Kerns

February 11 (white) – The Transfiguration of Our Lord

February 14 (purple) – Ash Wednesday: 12 Noon and 7:00 p.m., Imposition of Ashes & Holy Communion

February 18 (purple) – 1st Sunday in Lent

February 21 (Wednesday) – Lenten Study, 1:30 & 7:00 p.m. in Bertha Weber Room

February 25 (purple) – 2nd Sunday in Lent

February 28 (Wednesday) – Lenten Study, 1:30 & 7:00 p.m. in Bertha Weber Room

March 4 (purple) – 3rd Sunday in Lent; Sacrament of Holy Communion

March 7 (Wednesday) – Lenten Study, 1:30 & 7:00 p.m. in Bertha Weber Room

March 11 (purple) – 4th Sunday in Lent; Daylight Savings Time Begins!
(Turn clocks ahead one hour)

 

SHARING THE MINISTRY OF ALSACE
Be sure to tell others about the ministry of Alsace:
It is a welcoming and friendly congregation. There is always inspiration and hope, not to mention good food! The people of Alsace have a sense of purpose and mission of serving others. Alsace centers its congregational life on the grace of God, which is for all people. Start spreading the news; that is, the “Good News” of God’s love and the ministry and mission of Alsace.

 

CONGREGATIONAL INFORMATION & EVENTS
Disaster Relief Funds Update
Church Council, at its January meeting, decided to match the contributions through Benevolence funds, making a grand total of $4800. After careful consideration of where to best send our funds, it was decided to send equal donations ($1600 each) to three relief effort organizations. They are:
Centro Hispano (Hispanic Center) of Reading, PA to help displaced families from Puerto Rico;
Napa Valley Community Foundation in Napa, California for fire relief efforts;
Disaster Relief, cont.
Samaritan’s Purse – a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world – for hurricane relief in Texas and Florida.
Thank you for your generous donations to help all those affected by the devastating hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, and the fire in California.

 

Fellowship
The Fellowship Committee is continuing the Supper Club in 2018. We are compiling the list of restaurants for 2018. Check out the March Messenger for the “dining choices” for April through December, 2018. Same rules apply, ONE CHECK and NO COUPONS.

 

Hearing Devices
Wireless hearing devices are available to those who need or desire them for our worship services. They may be obtained by seeing Lee Strause on a Sunday morning.

 

Hersheypark
Discount tickets are being sold for the 2018 Hersheypark season. This year the “All-age Admission Tickets” are for ages 3+. The cost is $34.85 per person (cost at the gate is $67.80 per person). If you are interested in purchasing tickets, please sign-up on the sheet posted on the bulletin board outside the church office or call the church office at 610-929-8727 during the week. We need a minimum of 20 tickets purchased to get the discount. Orders are due by Sunday, April 1. If we do not have at least 20 tickets, we will not be placing an order. If we do have the 20 tickets, payment will be due by Sunday, April 29.

 

Hospital Admissions
Please inform the church office when a member is hospitalized or admitted to a health care facility, including room numbers. Due to the HIPPA laws, information about hospital and health care facility admissions is limited and often restricted. Without your help, we cannot track and follow up with visits and prayers.

 

How to Become a Member of Alsace Lutheran Church
Speak to Pastor Nelson if you are interested in membership, or know someone who might be!

If you are already a member of a Lutheran Church –
Simply call the church office (610-929-8727), give the secretary the name of your previous church, and we will request a Letter of Transfer.

If you are a member of another Christian Church –
Simply contact the Pastor, and you will be invited to a New Member class, after which you will join Alsace by Affirmation of Faith.

 

In the Event of Bad Weather
In the event that Sunday morning worship would need to be cancelled due to severe weather, you can now check WFMZ-TV. Check your local TV station, or you can see all the closings posted at wfmz.com. Also, if you are ever in doubt, you can call Kim Grinage (610-376-1962), Jeffrey Klinger (610-775-5787) or Pastor Nelson (610-944-6131).

 

2018 Lenten Schedule
The season of Lent begins on Wednesday, February 14 with Ash Wednesday. Worship Services of Holy Communion and the Imposition of Ashes will be conducted at 12 Noon and 7:00 p.m.
Mid-Week Lenten Studies will be offered at 1:30 and 7:00 p.m. on the Wednesdays in Lent. All will be held in the Bertha Weber Room. Members of Grace (Alsace) will be joining us for these Five Wednesday Lenten Studies.
Holy Week Services at Alsace Lutheran are:
March 28 – Holy Wednesday, Holy Communion at 7:00 p.m.
March 29 – Maundy Thursday, Holy Communion at 7:00 p.m.
March 30 – Good Friday Community Service, 1:00 p.m. with Holy Communion
March 30 – Good Friday Service of Tenebrae, 7:00 p.m.

 

Muhlenberg Churches Food Pantry
NEW: In addition to the items listed below, the Pantry is also looking for plastic grocery bags for the distribution. Bags can be put in the same box with the other items. Donations of the following items are most needed, as these items are not readily available from the Food Bank: toilet paper; paper towels; bath soap; laundry detergent; fabric softener; Kleenex; shampoo; toothpaste. Bring any donations to church and place them in the box marked “Muhlenberg Churches Food Pantry.” Thank you for your continued support of the MCFP!

 

Roadshow at Hershey Arena
This event is similar to Winter Jam but will be held in the Hershey arena on Saturday, February 17. Doors open at 4:45 and the show starts at 6:00 p.m. Cost is $10 per person. Artists include: Matthew West, Natalie Grant, For King & Country, Zach Williams and Bethel Music. If anyone is interested in attending this event but does not want to drive themselves, please call the church office by Sunday, February 11.

 

2018 Sacrament of Holy Communion Schedule
The Sacrament of Holy Communion will be offered on the following Sundays and Holidays: February 14 (Ash Wednesday-12 Noon and 7:00 p.m.); March 4; March 28 (Holy Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.);
March 29 (Maundy Thursday, 7:00 p.m.); March 30 (Good Friday, 1:00 p.m.); April 1 (Easter); May 6; May 20 (Day of Pentecost); June 3; August 5; September 2; October 7; November 4th; December 2.
2:00 p.m. Holy Communion in the chapel will be held May 6 and October 7.

 

Senior Club
Our February Luncheon takes place on Tuesday, February 20. The meeting begins at 11:30, Lunch is served at Noon and the entertainment, “Joe Solysik” begins at 1:00. Tickets are $5 per person and can be purchased from Pat Berger.
Please bring an item(s) with you for the Alsace Social Ministry Pantry. Items needed are listed in the Brochure.

Payment ($110 per person) for the trip to Sight & Sound on Tuesday, April 17, is due to Pat Coller no later than February 20.

Payment ($82 per person) for the trip to the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre on Thursday, May 3, is due to Pat Coller no later than March 8.

Gift certificates can be purchased throughout the year from Irene Stoudt. You may call her at 610-929-8275.

 

Wednesday Bible Study
The Wednesday Bible study on the Letters of John has two remaining dates: January 31 and February 7. The Study begins at 1:00 p.m. Everyone is welcome!

 

COMMUNITY
Reading High School
We will continue collecting the following items for the Reading High School and the Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness Program (ECYEH). Their goal is to provide a resource room that will be available to students. This room will offer provisions to fulfill their basic needs such as food, hygiene products and school supplies. If you are able to donate any of the following items, please place them in the Chapel foyer. Thank you!

Hygiene Products: shampoo/conditioner; deodorant; toothbrush and toothpaste; liquid bath soap;
feminine hygiene products; hairbrushes; make-up
School Supplies: binders and folders; pens and pencils; spiral ring notebooks; backpacks
Baby Supplies: baby food; formula; diapers; wipes; baby clothes
Food: granola bars; Nutra grain bars; non-perishables; bottled water; ready to eat food; holiday
meals
Miscellaneous: towels; clothing detergent; camping mats; pillows; Gift Cards for grocery stores, clothing stores and fast food; BARTA bus passes; barber shop; Goodwill gift cards for interview clothing; monetary donations made payable to RHS Knight Closet.

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DATES FOR YOUR CALENDAR:
Sunday, March 4 – Communion Services, 8:15 & 10:45 a.m.
Sunday, March 4 – Youth Group to Lunch & Laser Tag with Good Shepherd, Noon
Tuesday, March 6 – Senior Club Board Meeting, 9:00 a.m.
Tuesday, March 13 – Church Council Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
Friday, March 16 – Messenger Article Deadline
Tuesday, March 20 – Senior Club Luncheon, 11:30 a.m.
Wednesday, March 21 – Soup Kitchen, 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 24 – Youth set up for Egg Hunt, 10:00 a.m.; Community Egg Hunt, Noon
Sunday, March 25 – Palm Sunday
Tuesday, March 27 – Messenger Mailers, 8:00 a.m.
Wednesday, March 28 – Holy Wednesday Communion, 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 29 – Maundy Thursday Communion, 7:00 p.m.
Friday, March 30 – Good Friday Community Service with Communion, 1:00 p.m.
Friday, March 30 – Good Friday Tenebrae Service, 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, April 1 – Easter Communion, 8:15 & 10:45 a.m.
Monday, April 2 – Office Closed
Tuesday, April 3 – Senior Club Board Meeting, 9:00 a.m.
Wednesday, April 4 – Supper Club, 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, April 11 – Church Council Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
Friday, April 13 – Messenger Article Deadline
Tuesday, April 17 – Senior Club Trip to Sight & Sound, 9:00 a.m.
Wednesday, April 18 – Soup Kitchen, 5:00 p.m.
Friday, April 20 – Youth Supper, 5:00 p.m.
Friday, April 20 to Saturday, April 21 – Youth 24-Hour Famine
Sunday, April 22 – Youth Praise & Worship, 8:15 & 10:45 a.m.
Tuesday, April 24 – Messenger Mailers, 8:00 a.m.

Wednesday, May 2 – Supper Club, 6:00 p.m.
Thursday, May 3 – Senior Club to Dutch Apple, 9:45 a.m.
Saturday, May 5 – Youth Group Mystery Trip, 10:00 a.m.
Sunday, May 6 – Communion Services, 8:15 & 10:45 a.m., 2:00 p.m.
Wednesday, May 9 – Church Council Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 13 – Mother’s Day
Wednesday, May 16 – Soup Kitchen, 5:00 p.m.
Friday, May 18 – Messenger Article Deadline
Sunday, May 20 – Communion Services, 8:15 & 10:45 a.m. Confirmation
Saturday, May 26 – Yard Sale on back parking lot, 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Monday, May 28 – Office Closed
Tuesday, May 29 – Messenger Mailers, 8:00 a.m.

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FEBRUARY BIRTHDAYS
February 1 – James Gruber, Mark Joy, Horst Tryon
February 3 – James Greth, Parker Strauss

February 4 – William Sassaman, Sr.
February 5 – Shelly Deeds, Kylie Gunter, George Hasker, Samuel Livingood
February 6 – Gloria Heere
February 9 – Isabella Long
February 10 – Deborah Bare, Fern Jarsocrak, Ava Ortiz

February 12 – Louis Ryder, Beverly Smith
February 13 – Louise Mirenna, Morgan Waits
February 14 – Derrick Redcay, Dennis Teitsworth
February 15 – Lloyd Bauer, Jr., Edith Hafer, Fern Madenford
February 16 – Suzanne Ryder

February 18 – Mabel Eschelman
February 21 – Doris Reifinger
February 23 – Fern Hartman, Jadon Ortiz, Daniel Sharp, Barbara Strause, Hugh Tait
February 24 – Gladys Funk

February 25 – Marie Kisling
February 27 – Jack Clark
February 29 – Catherine Shade

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FEBRUARY ACTIVITIES
Friday, February 2 Youth to Camp Swatara, 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, February 4 Worship Services, 8:15 & 10:45 a.m.
Junior Choir, 9:00 a.m.
Sunday School, 9:30 a.m.
Sherry’s Hodge Podge orders can be picked up

Monday, February 5 Christian Education Committee Meeting, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, February 6 Senior Club Board Meeting, 9:00 a.m.
Men’s Choir, 10:00 a.m.
Senior Choir, 10:30 a.m.
Alsace Ringers, 7:00 p.m.
Reunion Choir, 8:15 p.m.

Wednesday, February 7 Bible Study on 3 John, 1:00 p.m.

Sunday, February 11 Worship Services, 8:15 & 10:45 a.m.
Junior Choir, 9:00 a.m.
Sunday School & Confirmation, 9:30 a.m.
Youth Bells, 5:00 p.m.
Youth Choir, 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday, February 13 Men’s Choir, 10:00 a.m.
Senior Choir, 10:30 a.m.
Church Council Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
Alsace Ringers, 7:00 p.m.
Reunion Choir, 8:15 p.m.

Wednesday, February 14 Ash Wednesday Communion, Noon & 7:00 p.m.

Friday, February 16 Messenger Article Deadline

Sunday, February 18 Worship Services, 8;15 & 10:45 a.m.
Junior Choir, 9:00 a.m.
Sunday School & Confirmation, 9:30 a.m.
Reading Royals Game, 4:00 p.m.

Tuesday, February 20 Senior Club Luncheon, 11:30 a.m.
Alsace Ringers, 7:00 p.m.
Reunion Choir, 8:15 p.m.

Wednesday, February 21 Lenten Service
Soup Kitchen, 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, February 25 Worship Services, 8:15 & 10:45 a.m.
Junior Choir, 9:00 a.m.
Sunday School & Confirmation, 9:30 a.m.
Youth Bells, 5:00 p.m.
Youth Choir, 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday, February 27 Messenger Mailers, 8:00 a.m.
Men’s Choir, 10:00 a.m.
Senior Choir, 10:30 a.m.
Alsace Ringers, 7:00 p.m.
Reunion Choir, 8:15 p.m.

Wednesday, February 28 Lenten Service

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YOUTH PAGE
February Birthdays

Cameron Hoke – February 12
Bryanna Rivera – February 14
Jaxon Geddio – February 21
Hailey Schlieve – February 24

Shelly Deeds – February 5

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Remember to sign up for all events on the sheets posted on the bulletin board outside the church office, or by responding to the Facebook Page.

February 2-4 – Winter Retreat at Camp Swatara – “You’ve Got a Friend”

February 18 – Meet after church to Stuff Eggs for Egg Hunt
Reading Royals Hockey Game, 4:00 p.m.

March 4 – Laser Quest (Let’s win the trophy back!)
Details to follow!

A Note about the 24-Hour Famine!
We have tentatively scheduled the Famine for April 20-21 (Friday night to Saturday night). During the Famine, we keep busy with interactive games and simulations to learn about those who suffer from hunger. We also take drink breaks, but have no food for 24 hours. The Famine is also a fund-raiser for World Vision, which provides food, shelter, and other services to those who live in poverty.
We need to have a minimum of 15 participants in order for the Famine to happen.
Also, participants must collect money from sponsors for World Vision. Anyone who wishes to participate in the Famine must sign up and commit to attending and getting sponsors by the time of the Winter Retreat. If you have any questions, speak to Pastor Nelson or any other youth advisor.

Upcoming Dates for Your Calendar:
March 24 – Egg Hunt; “The Works”
April 20-21 – 24-Hour Famine (note: a minimum of 15 must participate)
April 22 – Youth-Led Praise & Worship
May 5 – Mystery Trip!?!
May 26 – Yard Sale
June 2 – Breakfast at Shady Maple and Quilt Shopping for Peach Festival
June 21-24 – Shore Trip to Ocean City, NJ
July 13, 14 & 15 – Peach Festival Prep


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SUPER BOWL FUNDRAISER

Posted by Cynthia Speicher, With 0 Comments, Category: Announcements,

The Youth Group is selling dips, jelly and soup mixes from Sherry’s Hodge Podge to be picked up for Super Bowl Sunday. Orders and payment must be made by Sunday, January 14th so we can get the orders filled and ready for pickup by the Super Bowl.

Items being sold are:
Dips – Cheddar Bacon Ranch, Garlic & Herb, Sun Dried Tomato & Basil, Pina Colada, Cheddar Ranch, Garden Party, Cheesy Onion, Taco, Old as Dirt but still kick ‘in (Bacon Horseradish) and Chive & Garlic. Cost is $3.00 each.

Jelly – Apple Raspberry, Peach and Black Cherry. Cost is $5.50 each.

Soup Mixes – Chicken Noodle, Instant Creamy Potato, Beef Barley and Chicken Rice. Cost is $6.50 each.

If you want to place and order you can call the church office at 610-929-8727 or send an email to [email protected] Checks should be made payable to Alsace Youth Group and mailed to: Alsace Lutheran Church, Attn: Cindy, 2201 Kutztown Road, Reading PA 19605.


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READING ROYALS HOCKEY GAME

Posted by Cynthia Speicher, With 0 Comments, Category: Announcements,

Alsace Lutheran Group Night at the Reading Royals

Join us with the Reading Royals on Faith and Family Night, Sunday, February 18th at 4:00 p.m.
Ticket Price: $15 Silver Zone

To order tickets, please call the church office at 610-929-8727 or send an email to [email protected] The deadline to order and make payment is Sunday, February 28th.
Checks should be made payable to Alsace Youth Group and mailed to: Alsace Lutheran Church, Attn: Cindy, 2201 Kutztown Road, Reading PA 19605


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DECEMBER 2017/JANUARY 2018 MESSENGER

Posted by Cynthia Speicher, With 0 Comments, Category: Announcements,

THE MESSENGER
ALSACE LUTHERAN CHURCH
E-mail: [email protected]
Web: www.alsacelutheranchurch.org
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/alsacelutheran
2201 Kutztown Road, Reading, PA 19605
Phone: 610-929-8727
Fax: 610-929-5397
Morning Worship: 8:15 & 10:45 a.m.
8:15 Service Broadcast live over 1340AM
Streamed on the Internet at www.iheart.com
Sunday School for all ages – 9:30 a.m.

“Church on the Hill, Standing on the Word”
December, 2017/January, 2018

WHAT IS CHRISTMAS
-Helen Steiner Rice

Is it just a day at the end of the year?
A gay holiday filled with merry good cheer?
A season for presents – both taking and giving?
A time to indulge in the pleasures of living?
Are we lost in a meaningless, much-muddled haze?
Have we closed our eyes to God and His love?
And turned our eyes from “The Bright Star Above?”
Oh, Father in Heaven, renew and restore
The real, true meaning of Christmas once more.
So we can feel in our hearts again that
“Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men”
Is still a promise that man can claim if he but
seeks it in Thy name.

CHURCH STAFF
Rev. Richard A. Nelson, Pastor
Rev. Charles E. Fair, Pastor Emeritus
Rev. Mark E. Brophy, Pastor Emeritus
Mr. David Rutt, Music Director
Mrs. Nina Rowley, Organist
Miss Cynthia Speicher, Secretary
Mr. William Reber, Jr., Sexton

CHURCH OFFICERS
Mrs. Sherri Mengel, Sunday School Superintendent
Mrs. Barbara Coller, Council Secretary
Ms. Carol Kunsman, Envelope Secretary
Mr. D. Richard Wieder, Treasurer

Council Members/Term Expires
Richard Bailey, Jr. End of 2017
John Funk End of 2017
Kimberly Grinage – President End of 2019
Peggy Harter End of 2017
Jeffrey Klinger – Vice President End of 2019
Donald Moll End of 2018
Mary Pachuilo End of 2019
Evelyn Sheetz End of 2018
Gerald Speicher End of 2018
Lee Strause End of 2017

THE LEGEND OF ST. NICHOLAS

During the last years of the Roman Empire, in the city of Myra, the regional bishop died. A local man, Nicholas, who was known by all to be a very holy person and a devoted follower of Christ, was elected as the new bishop with little or no opposition. Nicholas’ first act as bishop was to give away all his wealth, for he was a very rich man. He started giving all of his possessions and money away, but an angel appeared to him in a dream one night and said, “Nicholas, you must not give all of your wealth away. Save three bags of gold until I tell you what to do with it.” Nicholas did what the angel commanded and hid three bags of gold under his bed. Every night he waited for a message as to what to do with the money.
When the angel finally returned in a dream, the angel said, “Nicholas, tonight you must take one of your bags of gold and go to the pawnbroker who has three daughters. He is very poor and his daughters will not be able to marry without a dowry. Otherwise they will be sold into slavery.” Nicholas woke from his dream, got dressed and took one bag of gold, went to the pawnbroker’s home, dropped the bag of gold inside an open window, and quickly fled; he didn’t want to disturb the family. In the bag was sufficient gold for a dowry for the eldest daughter, allowing her to wed. She and her father were full of joy.
The next evening the angel returned to Nicholas in a dream and said, “Nicholas, take another bag of gold and go to the pawnbroker’s home for his younger two daughters are in jeopardy of being sold into slavery.” Nicholas immediately woke and went to the home. He went to the window, but it was locked. He went to another window, slowly and quietly opened it, dropped the bag of gold inside, and again quickly fled. Now two sisters were happy, but not the youngest.
The next evening Nicholas had another dream, as he knew he would, for all good things come in threes. The angel came and repeated the story from the previous two evenings. Nicholas got up and went to the pawnbroker’s home. Meanwhile the pawnbroker was very curious who was leaving these bags of gold. Like Nicholas, he knew good things come in threes and thus he locked the door and all the windows, forcing, he hoped, the generous benefactor to go to the back of the house where he could be discovered. Bishop Nicholas arrived and tried a window, then another, and another, but all were locked. But instead of going to the back of the house, he climbed up the side and reached the roof. From there he dropped the gold down the chimney. Again, there was sufficient money for a dowry for his youngest daughter. The pawnbroker never knew of the bishop’s kindness, but others did and later told the story of Nicholas. Over time, the story of Nicholas’ goodness reached central Europe. To this day, people remember the man who became known in legend as Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus), as a man who gave gifts imitating God’s gift of himself to the world.
This legend of Bishop Nicholas, and the birth of Jesus recorded in Luke, are integrally related. In each case, a promise was made and a gift given. This is what certainly lies at the heart of, not only the Christmas message, but the Christian faith!

Wishing All a Blessed Christmas and Joyous New Year!
The Rev. Richard A. Nelson

PLEASE NOTE: Pastor Nelson will be away December 26 through January 2. Please call the church office with any pastoral needs. Pastor David Reinwald of Kissingers Church will be providing pastoral care while Pastor Nelson is away.

Baptisms
Owen Michael Weller
Parents: Ernest & Melissa Weller, III

New Volunteers are needed to work the sound system and radio transmission during our Sunday morning worship services. Anyone interested please speak to Lee Strause. Training will be provided.

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WORSHIP SCHEDULE
Every Sunday at 8:15 & 10:45 a.m.
(The liturgical color for each Sunday is listed in parenthesis)

December 3 (blue) – 1st Sunday of Advent; Sacrament of Holy Communion
December 10 (blue) – 2nd Sunday of Advent;
Recognition of Social Ministry Committee and Soup Kitchen
Sunday School Christmas Program (snow date, Dec. 17)
December 17 (blue) – 3rd Sunday of Advent;
December 24 (blue) – 4th Sunday of Advent; 8:15 Worship Only;
No Sunday School and No 10:45 worship
December 24 (white) – Christmas Eve – 5:00 p.m. & 11:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 31(white):
8:15 a.m. Worship, featuring Christmas carols and Lessons (led by Ryan Breisch)
9:30 a.m. Sunday School Christmas Movie with refreshments
No 10:45 a.m. worship
January 7 (white) – Epiphany Worship; Sacrament of Holy Communion
January 14 (green) – 2nd Sunday after Epiphany
January 21 (green) – Youth-Led Praise & Worship
January 28 (green) – 4th Sunday after Epiphany (Souper Bowl Sunday)
February 4 (green) – 5th Sunday after Epiphany

Sharing the Ministry of Alsace
Be sure to tell others about the ministry of Alsace:
It is a welcoming and friendly congregation. There is always inspiration and hope, not to mention good food! The people of Alsace have a sense of purpose and mission of serving others. Alsace centers its congregational life on the grace of God, which is for all people. Start spreading the news; that is, the “Good News” of God’s love and the ministry and mission of Alsace.

2017 Advent Theme
The 2017 Advent Theme is “New Beginnings.” The theme hymn is “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” which will be sung each Sunday as a candle is lit on the Advent wreathe.
December 3 – “Don’t Fear the Wait”
December 10 – “Blazing a Path to Christ”
December 17 – “A New Day is Coming”
December 24 – “Perceiving the Presence of God”

Babysitting
Parents – need to do some Christmas shopping but can never find the time? When was the last time you had a nice “Dinner for Two?” The Youth Group is here to help! On Friday, December 8 from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m., they are offering FREE babysitting for children from infant to age 11. There will be games, crafts and snacks for them to do while they are here. Forms can be picked up on a Sunday morning or you can call the church office to sign-up. The deadline is Sunday, December 3 so we can make sure we have enough supplies for all who are attending.

Christmas Shopping
The youth are selling Scrip Gift Cards: Forms can be picked up on a Sunday morning or you can call the church office during the week. Deadline to order and make payment is Sunday, December 3.

Christmas Worship
Christmas Eve 5:00 p.m. Children and Family Worship
A special gift and blessing for all children present
“Candle-lighting” with glow sticks

Christmas Eve 11:00 p.m.
Traditional Candlelight Worship
Special Prelude Music begins around 10:30
This service is broadcast live on 92.3 FM and 1340 AM and at iheart.com

Fellowship
The Fellowship Committee is continuing the Supper Club in 2018. We would like your assistance in selecting the restaurants for each month, beginning in April through December. The list of restaurants is included in this Messenger. The deadline to return the list is Sunday, January 28. Same rules apply, ONE CHECK and NO COUPONS.

Hearing Devices
Wireless hearing devices are available to those who need or desire them for our worship services. They may be obtained by seeing Lee Strause on a Sunday morning.

Hospital Admissions
Please inform the church office when a member is hospitalized or admitted to a health care facility, including room numbers. Due to the HIPPA laws, information about hospital and health care facility admissions is limited and often restricted. Without your help, we cannot track and follow up with visits and prayers.

How to Become a Member of Alsace Lutheran Church
Speak to Pastor Nelson if you are interested in membership, or know someone who might be!

If you are already a member of a Lutheran Church –
Simply call the church office (610-929-8727), give the secretary the name of your previous church, and we will request a Letter of Transfer.

If you are a member of another Christian Church –
Simply contact the Pastor, and you will be invited to a New Member class, after which you will join Alsace by Affirmation of Faith.

In the Event of Bad Weather
In the event that Sunday morning worship would need to be cancelled due to severe weather, you can now check WFMZ-TV. Check your local TV station, or you can see all the closings posted at wfmz.com. Also, if you are ever in doubt, you can call Kim Grinage (610-376-1962), Jeffrey Klinger (610-775-5787) or Pastor Nelson (610-944-6131).

Muhlenberg Churches Food Pantry
The MCFP continues to serve the needs of those in our community. Donations of the following items are most needed, as these items are not readily available from the Food Bank: toilet paper; paper towels; bath soap; laundry detergent; fabric softener; Kleenex; shampoo; toothpaste. Bring any donations to church and place them in the box marked “Muhlenberg Churches Food Pantry.” Thank you for your continued support of the MCFP!

2018 Sacrament of Holy Communion Schedule
The Sacrament of Holy Communion will be offered on the following Sundays and Holidays:
January 7; February 14 (Ash Wednesday-12 Noon and 7:00 p.m.); March 4; March 28 (Holy Wednesday); March 29 (Maundy Thursday); March 30 (Good Friday, 1:00 p.m.); April 1 (Easter); May 6; May 20 (Day of Pentecost); June 3; August 5; September 2; October 7; November 4;
December 2.
2:00 p.m. Holy Communion in the chapel will be held May 6 and October 7.

Senior Club
Gerald Speicher will be in the Library on Sunday morning, before and after Sunday School, to collect your $3 membership dues for 2018. You may also mail your dues (checks only) to him at:
3311 Marion Avenue, Laureldale, PA 19605.

Our Christmas Luncheon will take place at The Inn at Reading on Tuesday, December 12 at 12:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased from Mary Jane Hoffman.
Gerald Speicher will have your 2018 membership cards and you will receive the 2018 Brochures.

Our final trip for 2017 will take place on Wednesday, December 20, when we travel to the American Music Theatre for their Christmas Show, “Home for the Holidays.”

Trip sign-up will take place on Thursday, January 4. Doors open at 8:00 a.m., sign-up begins at 8:30.

The first Luncheon will take place on Tuesday, January 16. Meeting begins at 11:30, lunch is served at Noon and the entertainment, “Musical Cousins Plus One,” will begin at 1:00. Tickets are $5 per person and can be purchased from Pat Berger.

Gift certificates can be purchased throughout the year from Irene Stoudt. You may call her at 610-929-8275.

Souper Bowl Sunday
January 28, 2018
This annual event raises money for local food pantries and soup kitchens. Please bring an extra dollar or two with you and drop it off in the soup kettles as you leave worship. All donations will be given to Alsace Soup Kitchen and the Muhlenberg Churches Food Pantry.

2017 Christmas Program
Sunday, December 10, 9:30 a.m.
(snow date, December 17)
Bertha Weber Room
Presented by the children and youth of the Sunday School
Invite your friends and family members!

Volunteers Needed at Muhlenberg Churches Food Pantry
Thursday, January 18, 2018
Alsace Church is the host church for the January distribution at the Muhlenberg Churches Food Pantry on January 18. If you are able to lift heavy boxes, please arrive by 2:15 p.m. To help only with the distribution, please arrive by 2:30 p.m.

Wednesday Bible Study
The Wednesday Bible study will resume on January 10, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. with a 5-week study on the Letters of John. Here is the schedule:
January 10: Introduction; 1 John 1 – 2:27
January 17: 1 John 2:28 – 3:24
January 24: 1 John 4 and 5
January 31: 2 John
February 7: 3 John

Youth Fundraisers
1) Chick-fil-A Calendars – $10 each
Each month has a special item or items. There are even some “mystery” ones that you find out at the beginning of those months.
2) Sherry Hodge Podge Dips, Jellies and Soup Mixes for Super Bowl Sunday, February 4. Cost is $3 for Dips, $5.50 for Jellies and $6.50 for Soup Mixes. We are only taking orders! The deadline to place your order is Sunday, January 14. You can see someone in the Bertha Weber room on a Sunday morning or call the church office during the week to place your order. Payment needs to be made by January 14. Checks should be made payable to Alsace Youth Group.

Community Events
Reading Civic Theatre presents “Fiddler on the Roof” on December 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. and December 17 at 2:00 p.m. at the Miller Center for the Arts (2nd & Penn Streets, Reading). Alsace member, Samantha Grinage, will be playing Hodel. For tickets call 610-607-6270 or go on-line to www.readingcivic.org or www.racc.edu/millercenter.

We will continue collecting the following items for the Reading High School and the Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness Program (ECYEH). Their goal is to provide a resource room that will be available to students. This room will offer provisions to fulfill their basic needs such as food, hygiene products and school supplies. If you are able to donate any of the following items, please place them in the Chapel foyer. Thank you!

Hygiene Products: shampoo/conditioner; deodorant; toothbrush and toothpaste; liquid bath soap;
feminine hygiene products; hairbrushes; make-up
School Supplies: binders and folders; pens and pencils; spiral ring notebooks; backpacks
Baby Supplies: baby food; formula; diapers; wipes; baby clothes
Food: granola bars; Nutra grain bars; non-perishables; bottled water; ready to eat food; holiday meals
Miscellaneous: towels; clothing detergent; camping mats; pillows; Gift Cards for grocery stores, clothing stores and fast food; BARTA bus passes; barber shop; Goodwill gift cards for interview clothing; monetary donations made payable to RHS Knight Closet.

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

Long ago a Child came down
To a little sleepy town,
And upon that Christmas morn,
Christ the heavenly King was born.

The Church Staff
of
Alsace Lutheran Church
Wishes Everyone
a
Blessed Christmas
and a
Happy, Healthy New Year!

Dates for Your Calendar:
Sunday, December 3 – Holy Communion, 8:15 & 10:45 a.m.
Sunday, December 3 – Peach Festival Meeting, 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, December 5 – Senior Club Board Meeting, 9:00 a.m.
Wednesday, December 6 – Supper Club at Mimmo’s, 6:00 p.m.
Friday, December 8 – FREE Babysitting, 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Friday, December 8 – Advent Sleepover, 8:30 p.m. to Saturday, 8:00 a.m.
Saturday, December 9 – GREC Christmas Concert, 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 10 – Sunday School Christmas Program, 9:30 a.m.
Tuesday, December 12 – Senior Club Christmas Luncheon, 12:30 p.m.
Tuesday, December 12 – Church Council Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 13 – Soup Kitchen, 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 16 – Journey to Bethlehem at Woodcrest Retreat, 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 20 – Senior Club to American Music Theatre, 9:00 a.m.
Friday, December 22 – Shady Maple Midnight Gladness, 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 24 – Worship, 8:15 ONLY
Sunday, December 24 – Christmas Eve Family Service, 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 24 – Christmas Eve Traditional Candlelight Service, 11:00 p.m.
Monday, December 25 – Office Closed
Monday, January 1 – Office Closed
Tuesday, January 2 – Senior Club Board Meeting
Thursday, January 4 – Senior Club Trip Sign-ups, 8:30 a.m.
Thursday, January 4 – Youth take down Christmas decorations, 6:30 p.m.
Sunday. January 7 – Holy Communion, 8:15 & 10:45 a.m.
Tuesday, January 9 – Church Council Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 13 – Youth to Sky Zone, 1:00 p.m.
Sunday, January 14 – Youth Service rehearsal, 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, January 16 – Senior Club Luncheon, 11:30 a.m.
Wednesday, January 17 – Soup Kitchen, 5:00 p.m.
Friday, January 19 – Messenger Article Deadline
Sunday, January 21 – Youth Praise & Worship, 8:15 & 10:45 a.m.
Friday, January 26 – Youth to Harrisburg Quake
Sunday, January 28 – Winterfest, 3:00 p.m.

YOUTH PAGE
Birthdays
12/2 – Logan Rea 12/3 – Hunter Fake 12/7 – Aiden Gehret
12/8 – Kyle Seiz 12/11- Chelsea Lewis 12/17-Felicia Phillips
12/20 – Gabrielle Ferling 12/21 – Brandon Rothermel 12/23 – Jayda Garwood
12/24 – Evan Dobson 12/26 – Hunter Moyer 12/26 – MaKenna Moyer
1/1 – Gabriel Sharp 1/8 – Sydney Hartman 1/8 – Zachary Reinhard
1/2 – Kyla Bailey 1/15 – Daegn Gehris 1/15 – Tyrus Kauffman
1/17 – Jaden Kelly 1/17 – Austin Swartley 1/21 – Mason Stricker
1/23 – Julian Sharp 1/24 – Angelina Garwood 1/25 – Malachi Kauffman

Remember to sign up for all events on the sheets posted on the bulletin board outside the church office, or by responding to the Facebook Page.

Thursday, November 30 – Decorate the church for Christmas, 6:30 p.m.
Please help us decorate the church for Christmas!
Parents and siblings are welcome to come and help!

Friday, December 8-Saturday, December 9 – Advent Sleepover with Babysitting
Meet at the church by 5:15 p.m.
We will provide babysitting service from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
At 9:00 p.m. we will go “Glow” Bowling, then return to the church for snacks and devotions.
Cost is $5 per person.

Friday, December 22 – Midnight Gladness at Shady Maple
Leaving the church parking lot at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $13, paid by Dec. 17.
Family members and friends are welcome!

Thursday, January 4 – Remove Christmas Decorations
Meet at the church at 6:30 to take down and put away all the Christmas decorations.
The more help we have, the less time it will take.

Saturday, January 13 – Trip to Sky-Zone & Practice for Youth-Led Worship
Meet at the church by 1:00 p.m. We will have a 90-minute session at Sky-Zone.
We will return to the church for pizza party, and then rehearse for the Worship.
Cost for Sky-Zone is $18.

Sunday, January 14 – Youth Meeting & Practice for Youth-Led Worship
Meet at the church at 7:00 p.m.
If you want to participate in the worship, please speak to Pastor Nelson

Continued on next page…

Sunday, January 21 – Souper Bowl Sunday & Youth-Led Worship

February 2-4 – Winter Retreat at Camp Swatara – “You’ve God a Friend”
See the registration form and register by January 21!

Upcoming Dates for your Calendar:

February 18 – Stuff Eggs; Reading Royals game
March 4 – Laser Quest
March 24 – Egg Hunt; “The Works”
April 20-21 – 24-Hour Famine (note: a minimum of 15 must participate)
April 22 – Youth-Led Praise & Worship
May 5 – Mystery Trip!?!
May 26 – Yard Sale
June 2 – Breakfast at Shady Maple and Quilt Shopping for Peach Festival
June 21-24 – Shore Trip to Ocean City, NJ
July 13, 14 & 15 – Peach Festival Prep


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