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Messiah Lutheran Church 2727 Five Mile Rd. NE Grand Rapids, MI 49525 Phone: 363-2553 Fax: 363-7843 Church W ebsite: Church Email: Pastor Email: Parish Asst. Email: Pre-School Email: M essiah Enews: www.messiahgr.org messiahgr@messiahgr.org messiahgr@messiahgr.org rick.krueger@messiahgr.org DianeO@messiahgr.org groups.yahoo.com/group/messiahgr/

computer with speakers, you can listen to The Lutheran Hour on-line. Go to www.lutheranhour.org/ and follow the directions.

Large Print Bulletins
Large print bulletins are available for the divine services for those in need of one. Let your usher know if you desire to use one.

Our Mission Is …
To Know Christ and to Make Him Known by spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all through a Word and Sacrament ministry of worship, Christian education, fellowship, evangelism, and service.

Serving you ...
Staff: Rev. Dean M ues, Vacancy Pastor M r. Richard Krueger, Parish Assistant M rs. Diane Love, Office M anager M rs. Diane Oppenneer, Pre-school Director M rs. Marlene Anderson, Assistant Pre-School Director

Messiah Messenger is published monthly by M essiah Lutheran Church. News articles and information are usually due on the third Monday of each month. The staff reserves the right to edit material presented for publication. Messiah Lutheran Church links with other Lutheran Church— M issouri Synod churches to bring the gospel around the world. In addition, we have five mission projects: Rev. Jon M uhly, Moscow, Russia, Lutheran Heritage Foundation, MOST Ministries, Ephphatha Lutheran M ission Society, and International Lutheran Church, Grand Rapids (POBLO).

Lutheran Hour
The Lutheran Hour is broadcast on Sundays on WOOD 105.7 FM at 6:30 am, and on WPRR 1680 AM at 12 pm. If you have a
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Advent Prayer Breakfast
Messiah’s annual Advent Prayer Breakfast is set for Friday, December 11, starting at 7:00 a.m. Starting with a tasty breakfast and winsome fellowship, we’ll gather in the sanctuary for prayer time. When we’re finished you may stay longer if you want to pray private prayers or to meditate. Come and join us to watch and pray. Sign-up sheets are at the Welcome Center and will also be passed around on the clipboard in the Fellowship Hall.

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Wednesday, Dec. 2: Chicken dinner prepared by our Jr. Youth & Gathering Groups. Jr. High proceeds will help purchase gift cards for Concordia Theological Seminary’s Food & Clothing Co-Op. Wednesday, Dec. 9: Meatloaf dinner, prepared by Thrivent. Wednesday, Dec. 16 (before Christmas Reflections): Ham dinner prepared by Altar Guild.

An Opportunity to Witness
No other time in the calendar sets the stage for open expression of faith (witnessing, we call it) like the Advent/Christmas season. Following are some ideas you may want to use to witness the Christ of Christmas to others: ] ] ] ] ] Attend our upcoming Adult Bible class, Tools for Witness, starting Sunday, November 29. If you send Christmas greeting cards, send those with a distinctive Christian message; If you write a Christmas newsletter, start it out by sharing the significance of the season; Use Christmas seals on all your correspondence; Invite unchurched acquaintances to our special services (For example, if your friend is frazzled by the stress of the season, how about inviting him to Christmas Reflections? If she has young children, invite her family to the Children’s Christmas Service or to the Family Christmas Eve Service.); If you like to make Christmas cookies, give some to your unchurched friends, and include a Christmas tract (There are different witness tracts at the Welcome Center); Pray for the unchurched known to you that Christ would become a vibrant part of their lives.
Lu k e 3:4

Midweek Advent Services
Messiah will present Advent services on the first two Wednesdays in December. On December 2 & 9, an afternoon service of prayer, hymns and preaching will be held at 1 p.m.; a service of Evening Prayer will be held at 7 p.m. The theme for our Advent services is God’s Upward Call in Advent, featuring the following messages: December 2 Shape Up! Colossians 1:15-23 December 9 Light Up! Ephesians 5:6-14 Be sure to begin or continue your preparations for Christmas the right way – by hearing even more of the powerful, life-changing Word of our Savior! The Board of Elders has made arrangements for meals to be served before each of the evening midweek Advent services. We hope that these dinners simplify your preparation for worship, and provide an opportunity for members and guests to get better acquainted with each other. Serving starts at 6:00 p.m. Following are the menus:

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Readers for Christmas Eve
We are looking for three families to assist at the Family Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, (held at 7 p.m. on December 24) by reading portions of the Christmas Gospel. A sign up sheet will be posted at the Welcome Center soon, so those who wish to participate can volunteer for specific readings.

Advent Collection Folders
Advent collection folders are being placed in members’ mailboxes. Offerings given are designated for Messiah’s “For Others” fund, which assists members and those known to us who have critical financial needs. This year, due to the great need, you will receive a folder that holds dollar bills. Coin folders which hold quarters will be available at the Welcome Center. Your generous contribution via the Advent collection folders will help in assisting families and individuals in financial need. Place your filled folder in the offering plate at one of the services during the Advent–Christmas season. God bless you for your generosity.

Christmas Cookies, Crafts, White Elephant Sale and Lunch
Mark the date - Friday, December 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. - for this annual activity at Messiah. Craft booths and gift-buying opportunities will be greatly expanded this year!!! Members of the congregation are invited to help with this special event by baking a batch or two of their favorite cookies - no need to make different kinds - by the time everyone bakes a batch or two , we will have a wonderful variety. Watch for a cookie sign-up sheet in the church’s narthex and adult Sunday morning Bible class. For those who like to make cut-out cookies, but don’t like to frost them, please take your cookies to the church kitchen by Monday, November 30. Volunteers are welcome to help decorate cookies on Tuesday, December 1 at 1 pm. You are also invited to bring in good “used but not abused” items for our white elephant sale. Last but not least, you are invited to our luncheon, served from 11:30 am to 1 pm. The menu will be chicken rice casserole, jello salad, dessert and beverage ($5), and a hot dog lunch will be available for children ($2.50).

Children’s Christmas Service Practices
Practices for the Children’s Christmas Service will begin on Saturday, December 5 from 9:30 - 11 am, continuing on December 12 at the same time, and December 19 from 10 am - noon (Pizza luncheon will follow rehearsal on the 20th, ending at 12:30 pm.) A final rehearsal will take place during Sunday School on Sunday, December 20th. Parents will receive updates on which grades will be required at each of these practices.

We need the cooperation of everyone as we prepare to tell the story of Jesus. We thank those parents who are so faithful in making sure their kids are there as we prepare. The Service will take place on Sunday, December 20th at 6:30 pm. Students are asked to arrive at 6 pm and meet in the Fellowship Hall.
Lu k e 3:4

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Ch ris tm as Se rv ic e Sc h e d u le
Pre s c h o o l Ch ris tm as Se rv ic e December 13, 2 p.m. Ch ris tm as Re fle c tio n s December 16, 7 p.m. Ch ild re n ’s Ch ris tm as Se rv ic e December 20, 6:30 p.m. Ch ris tm as Ev e Fam ily Can d le lig h t Se rv ic e December 24, 7 p.m. Ch ris tm as Ev e Co m m u n io n Can d le lig h t Se rv ic e December 24, 11 p.m. Ch ris tm as Day Co m m u n io n Se rv ic e December 25, 11 a.m. Ne w Ye ar’s Day Co m m u n io n Se rv ic e January 1, 11:00 a.m. Bring a friend to meet Christ, the Savior.

If your soul becomes restless as Christmas gets closer, and you want the peace that passes human understanding, come to Messiah’s Christmas Reflections on Wednesday, December 16. The evening starts with a candlelight meal prepared by the Altar Guild; serving begins at 6:00 p.m., with Christmas Reflections following at 7:00 p.m.

Parish Leaders Workshop
Messiah’s annual gathering of parish leaders is tentatively set for the morning of Saturday, January 16. This meeting of staff, officers and board members will address leadership and strategic planning. Leaders, reserve the date and mark your calendars; more information will be forthcoming!

Spiritual Growth Seminar - Jan. 30
Set aside Saturday, January 30, for an all-day spiritual growth experience led by Dr. Paul Maier, Russell Seibert professor of ancient history at Western Michigan University and second vicepresident of the Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod. Dr. Maier will be speaking on the topic of Martin Luther and the Reformation. Cost for the seminar will be $15 per person, which includes continental breakfast, lunch and all materials. Dr. Maier will also have copies of his books available for purchase. Space will be limited to 150 participants, so mark your calendars and make your plans now! Registration by sign-up at church, by phone or by email will begin on Sunday, January 3, closing on Sunday, January 24 or when registration is full.

Christmas Reflections

Remember last year’s preparations for Christmas?
The exhaustion? The need for relief? At some time during the run-up to December 25, we all need time to reflect. Would a quiet, serene setting to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas help ? How about words of comfort and joy from Scripture and prayer, along with music from Messiah’s Senior Choir and instrumental settings of familiar carols?

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Notes From the Choir Loft
The choir schedule for December is as follows: Sunday, 12/6 Sunday, 12/13 Wed., 12/16 Sunday, 12/20 Thurs., 12/24 Senior Choir Women’s Chorus Senior Choir Senior Choir Sunday School Men’s Chorus Senior Choir 8:30 am 11:00 am 7:00 pm 11:00 am 6:30 pm 7:00 pm 11:00 pm

Shop With SCRIP
Our SCRIP program is good for you and for Messiah! When you purchase gift cards through the program, we receive support for our general fund, our preschool, or the 2010 Youth Gathering Group. With Christmas just around the corner, it’s a great time to see what’s available and get gifts for your family and friends. At the shopwithscrip.com website, you can see what cards are offered, enroll in the program, and place your orders! Messiah’s enrollment code is 1699L8CD2244. Orders and payment are due by Friday, December 4. Contact Ruth Lueders to choose how you want proceeds from your purchases directed; she can also answer any questions you have.

Senior Choir will practice immediately following evening services on December 2, 9 and 16. The Choir’s final practice for Christmas Eve will be held on Wednesday, December 23 at 7 pm. All practices will take place in the sanctuary. If you would like to sing with us during this special season, please feel free to join us for a practice and try us out!

Time For Caroling
We invite you to sing the good news of God’s love to others! Caroling will take place on Saturday, December 12. Please consider taking part in one or both parts of this special opportunity: Caroling for Messiah's Shut-ins will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. A supper will follow at church. Neighborhood Caroling will follow, starting at 7 p.m. We’ll venture out and carol to our neighbors for 45 minutes, then have hot chocolate and cookies afterwards. Sign-up sheets for caroling are posted around church; please take a few moments to sign up and let us know you’ll be attending! This event is sponsored by the Board of Evangelism.

In These Winter Days
In these winter days it takes a little more time and effort to serve, and sometimes even certain things are added to our responsibility lists. You can help at Messiah by: ] ] ] ] ] Arriving early and shoveling sidewalks for worship services, classes and meetings; Salting icy areas but not overdoing it so neighboring plants are not harmed; Turning off lights after a meeting, activity or event; Closing ALL doors after meetings and activities; If you turned the thermostat up for a room, turn it down when you leave.

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Youth Group News and Notes
# Junior High youth will co-host the Advent Supper on Wednesday, December 2. The group’s proceeds will be used to purchase gift cards for distribution by the Food and Clothing Co-op at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne. This month’s Junior High Sunday Night is scheduled for December 13 from 5 to 7 p.m.; parents, if you would like to host this event (whether at church or at your home), please contact Rick Krueger. # Senior High youth are planning a movie night for December. Their Sunday Night is scheduled for December 6 at a time to be determined; parents interested in hosting should contact Rick Krueger.

Khodl, Dylan Martinal, Marcus Muniz, Emily Quackenbush, Danielle & Dominick Sheridan, Kevin Singleton, Jonathan Veitengruber and Emily Whip in your prayers as preparations begin. Also, thanks to Tim & Patti Martinal and Lori Kearney for volunteering to serve as adult leaders. The Gathering Group has an ambitious fundraising goal of $10,093.12. You can help meet that goal in many ways! Look for the following fundraisers coming soon: i “Heaven” bracelets, sold by individual youth, and also sold at our bazaar on December 4; i Luminaries for Christmas Eve, on sale soon; i the first Advent Supper on December 2, cohosted with the Junior High youth. You can also support the Gathering Group by: i placing your deposit bottles and cans in the box outside the fellowship hall; i purchasing gift cards for Christmas through Messiah’s SCRIP program. See the “Shop with SCRIP” article elsewhere in this newsletter; i joining Gordon Food Service’s Fun Funds rebate program. Contact Alicia Muniz for details.

Help Us Give a Warm Welcome!
Messiah’s Board of Evangelism is looking for people who like to say “hello!” We need volunteers willing to call on visitors to our worship services, as well as others who come in contact with us through our preschool and other avenues. If you’re willing to say “hello” to new people, please contact Rick Krueger or Dan Hula (chairman of the Board of Evangelism). Visitor callers meet to review calls and sign up for calling weeks on the second Thursday of each month. Our next callers meeting is scheduled for Thursday, December 10 at 7 p.m.

Tools for Witness
As noted on page 3, Advent & Christmas are great times to tell others about God’s love in Jesus Christ. However, in all the busyness and craziness, it can be the hardest time for us to be ready to witness! What simple tools can we use to share the Gospel with family, friends and co-workers? Adult Bible Class will start a three-week topical study, Tools for Witness, on Sunday, November 29 at 9:45 a.m. in the fellowship hall. We’ll explore how we can use gifts God has already given us in His Word and His Church to share our faith: ‚ The Apostles’ Creed ‚ The Christmas story ‚ The story of Jesus Please join us for this essential study!
Lu k e 3:4

Gathering Group Update
Sixteen youth involved with Messiah have registered for the 2010 National LCMS Youth Gathering – our largest Gathering group ever! Please keep Christopher & Sarah Ahrens, Mitch Griffis, Jon Hoffman, Hannah Jordan, Megan Kearney, Jacob & Sean

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Sunday School News & Notes
Even if you do not have children of Sunday School age, please consider coming this year to the children’s Christmas service. Choirs and congregation will sing the Quempas Carol from the four corners of the church in a beautiful and timely reminder that the love of God surrounds us. The passing of the “song” from choirs to congregation reminds us of the support that we give one another in the body of Christ as we go about the task of proclaiming Jesus Christ in word and deed. With the Advent season upon us, our Sunday School schedule includes time for the children to rehearse for the service. Please note that not all children need to come to all of the Saturday morning rehearsals. The lessons in December are the foretelling of the two most important births of all time: John, whose preaching of a baptism of repentance prepares the way for the Christ, and Jesus Himself, who saves His people from their sins. The Birth of John Foretold (Luke 1:5-25) December 13 The Birth of Jesus Foretold (Luke 1:26-38) December 20 Dress Rehearsal during SS hour December 27 No Sunday School Rehearsal Schedule: Sat. Dec. 5, 9:30 – 11:00 am 5th grade and older (sectional rehearsal) Sat. Dec. 12, 9:30 – 11:00 am 1st grade and older Sat. Dec. 19, 10:00 – 12:30 pm All children (Pizza at noon) Sun. Dec. 20, 6:30 pm Children’s Christmas service Monte Bell Sunday School superintendent December 6

Christmas Goody Bags and Pizza
If you would like to help defray the cost of pizza for the children after their rehearsal on Saturday, December 19, and also for goodie bags that we give out at the Children’s Christmas Service, please take the envelope that was placed in your church mailbox, put in your donation and place it in the offering plate. If you misplaced your envelope, there are extras on the Welcome Center. We thank you for your help!

Mothers In Touch
This month Mothers In Touch will be studying, tree-decorating, cookie-exchanging and having lunch....all in one day!!! Please join us on Wednesday, December 16 starting at 9:30 am. Bring a dish to pass for lunch and 2 dozen cookies if you'd like to take part in our annual cookie exchange! Childcare will be provided for our bible study and tree-decorating. Give yourself a "time-out" for this fun time of Christmas fellowship.

Parish Service Guild Christmas Party
The Guild Christmas party, to which all ladies of Messiah are invited, will be at church on Thursday, December 10, at 6:30 pm. All those coming are asked to bring a dish to pass and a white elephant gift for THE GAME. This is an evening of mostly funny business, so come, ladies of all ages, and join us for fellowship and food!

Thanks for the Pop Tabs
A Huge Thank You to all those who have brought in pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House. Please keep them coming!!! Put them in the can at the CLRC outside the Fellowship Hall.

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LifeLight begins Joshua
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:1-2) These are some of the encouraging words we studied this fall in our LifeLight Bible Study of the Book of Hebrews. Over 40 participants met on a weekly basis and we are now in recess for the Advent season. Our next LifeLight study is the Book of Joshua. God's grace is portrayed in the book of Joshua, who is clearly a type of Jesus. His very name is the Hebrew equivalent of our Savior's name Jesus, which means "The Lord Saves." His function as the triumphant leader of his people into the promised land foreshadows our Lord "bringing many sons to glory". As Joshua succeeded Moses and won the victory unobtainable by Moses, so Jesus succeeds the Mosaic law and wins the victory unobtainable by the law. Everyone is welcome to join our LifeLight study of Joshua beginning Sunday, January 2. Look for more information after the Christmas season.

Christmas Basket Food Collection
We will be furnishing 23 Christmas baskets to families from NECM referrals and our own church family this year. Please place your donations on the table in the Narthex either this coming Sunday, December 6th, 13th, or 20th. We will pack and deliver the baskets on Monday, December 21st. We especially need canned meat or tuna, beans, soups, baking supplies, canned fruit, cereal, pasta and sauces. We have 45 children in these families; so there is a great need for most everything. Thrivent will furnish the chicken, milk, bread, and eggs. The rest is up to us! Thank you for your generosity and may God richly bless you!

Christmas Basket Delivery is December 21st
We need 5 or 6 people to deliver Christmas Baskets on Monday, December 21st. If you can help, please call Nancy Buss at 363-0222. Thank you so much!

Hat and Mitten Tree
The Hat and Mitten Tree will soon be up and ready for you to hang hats, mittens, gloves, scarves, and even slippers on the branches. These will be added to the Christmas food baskets and any additional items will be given to a local charity to disperse to deserving families. Kids love to help with this project - your enthusiasm for giving is a real witness of care for our neighbors in need. Thank you very much.

Thanks to All Who Helped with the Thanksgiving Baskets
Whether you gave a donation of food, sorted it all out, packed baskets, or delivered them; we truly appreciate it all. We are so blessed to be able to help in this needy cause and it is truly wonderful to know that so many of you care and wanted to help. Blessings to all!

Quilters
Quilters will not meet in the month of December. We have completed 2 quilts.
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Thank you from Pastor Hoese
I can’t help but recall the words of the Apostle Paul who wrote to the Thessalonians, “How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?” (1Thess. 3:9). It has been such a joy serving God by serving you the past eighteen years. Your love for Shirley and me has been so evident as together we lived under the forgiveness of sins won for us by Christ from the first day until now. Thank you for who you are and what you did to wish me well upon my retirement. The tasty meal, the service of Farewell and Godspeed, the generous gifts from the congregation and members, the expressions of deep appreciation both verbal and written, and more are evidence of God’s love and your love for me. Hence, “How can I thank God enough for you in return for the joy I have in the presence of God because of you?” I thank God, and I thank you. May God in His rich mercy bless you abundantly as you, through Christ, have blessed me. Yours in His love, Rev. Terry E. Hoese

Intentional Interim Minister Update
On Sunday, November 1st the congregation met and voted on the Elders’ recommendation to issue a call to Pastor Dan L. Seng to be our vacancy pastor. The vote was unanimous to call him. The elders immediately sent an e-mail and an official letter calling him to be our pastor. The following is his answer! Dear Mr. Reinke: Thank you for your recent letter informing me of the call extended to me by Messiah Lutheran Church, Grand Rapids, MI, to serve as your Intentional Interim Pastor. I am humbled and honored by the congregation's decision. Please be assured that I am prayerfully and carefully seeking the guidance of the Spirit of God in this matter and sincerely hope to be able to respond affirmatively to the congregation's call in the near future. Please know also that I keep you and the gentle people of Messiah in my daily prayers, and trust that you and they will pray in my behalf for the Spirit's guidance in my deliberations. Thank you again, for the happy news! Yours in Christ, Rev. Dan Seng The elders and the finance committee will be meeting with Pastor Seng on Tuesday, November 17, to discuss the details of what Messiah wants and expects from him as their pastor, and what he expects from us. We also ask the congregation remember us in their prayers as we work through this very important decision.

Prepare th e w ay of th e Lord; m ake his path s straigh t –

Lu k e 3:4