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December, 2018 - Issue #171
courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock

Getting your Heart Ready for the Holidays
by Nicole Reilley

Ready for the holidays? This question usually causes us to think about gifts, decorations and parties, but what about our hearts? How do we get our hearts ready for the holidays?
This December, we will give practical tools and encouragement to ready our hearts for the holidays. Join us on Sundays at 9am for hymns of the faith and choir or 10:30am for contemporary worship and band. We have excellent children and youth programs at both hours! Join our inclusive community that is welcoming to all.

Looking to share your modern worship musical skills? We are expanding our band and are looking for drummers and bassists. Want to check us out? Listen to our sermons online at umcv.org.
Reverend Nicole Reilley of Valencia United Methodist Church 255-1301

Sunday | December 2
VUMC Advent Celebration

Celebrate the beginning of Advent with us with our annual tradition of snow, dinner, worship, tree-lighting and Advent craft-making! Reserve your space early - space is limited.

Come ChristmasSing Held at All New Venue
The Master's University School of Music presents the 35th annual Come ChristmasSing concert series, "Oh Come All Ye Faithful," featuring classic Christmas carols, holiday scenes and John Rutter's "Gloria." This year, the concert series will be held at an all-new venue, Grace Community Church, for one day only. Tickets, ranging from $12 to $15, plus fees, can be purchased online or by calling. 362-2255
courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock

Christmas Fun & Celebration
at NorthPark Community Church
Sunday | December 2
Christmas Cafe

The Christmas Cafe, held from 6pm to 8pm, is a free event that will showcase a range of singer/songwriters covering multiple generations. It's a time to hang out, enjoy an appetizer and dessert while listening to original Christmas songs and fresh arrangements to the classics. The doors open at 5:45pm.

Sunday | December 9
Cookies with Santa

Join friends old and new for a fun, free afternoon with Santa from 2pm to 4pm to enjoy cookies, crafts, story time, live music and a picture opportunity with Santa in front of a beautiful Christmas tree! Skip the long lines and high prices elsewhere; the entire event is free and geared for children 10 and under.

Sunday | December 23 & Monday | December 24
Christmas Services

Sunday, December 23 at 10:30pm and Monday, December 24 at 4pm and 6pm. Join NorthPark for one of three identical services to celebrate the true Christmas gift: that God was in the manger. Celebrate waiting, mystery, redemption, incarnation and joy - the themes that come together for the birth of Jesus.
NorthPark Community Church 296-6784

"Blessings to all of you with prayers that this Advent connects you closer to God, helping you discover Jesus's love
and joy of knowing the real MEANING OF HIS COMING!"
The Faithful Joseph Series Now at SCUMC
At Santa Clarita United Methodist Church, Reverend Cho will follow the series on Faithful Joseph written by Reverend Adam Hamilton. The earthly father Joseph played an important role in the life of Jesus; Christians don't talk about Joseph enough! Learn with Santa Clarita UMC about God looking at Christmas through the eyes of Joseph. Join SCUMC Sundays at 9am for Traditional Worship and 11am for the Contemporary Worship.
December 2: "Faithful: A Carpenter Named Joseph" Matthew 13:54-55
December 9: "Seeing an Angel, Being One" Matthew 1:18-21
December 16: "The Journey to Bethlehem" Luke 2:1-5
December 23: "Joseph, Mary and Jesus as Refugees" Matthew 2:13-15
Santa Clarita United Methodist Church 714-9360

Ways to Live your Faith this Season
1. Love thy neighbor. Yes, even when their guests take up all the street parking. Yes, even when their opinions differ from yours. Yes, even if they're not next door, but across town or border. Love everyone and show it with your actions and voice.

2. Be patient. Let the harried mom go ahead of you at school pick up. Speak soft words of encouragement to the new store cashier with a line out the door. Be someone's safe space - even if they're cranky.

courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock

3. Make eye contact and smile at strangers. The holidays can be a very isolating, lonely time, especially for people who have a higher propensity for feeling invisible - the sick, seniors, those battling homelessness, young people rejected by their families... Make authentic connections, even if they're very brief. Show them they matter with sincerity - or go bigger and buy them a coffee, invite them for a meal or take them shopping for their children.

Happy Hanukkah!
Hanukkah begins Sunday, December 2
and concludes Monday, December 10.
We're sending love to all who celebrate
the Festival of Lights!
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