Have Faith
December, 2023 - Issue #226
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courtesy of Shutterstock

Hope for the Holidays
If life is getting you down, here's some hope for the holidays - beliefs from the Bible and courage for Christmas! Enjoy these truths, look up these verses and know that no matter how difficult things get, there is always hope in God.
God's Word teaches that hope deferred makes us sick (Proverbs 13:12); not to put your hope in wealth (1 Timothy 6:17); that God has a plan, hope and future for us (Jeremiah 29:11); that God's Word gives us tangible hope (Romans 15:4); that God Himself gives us hope (Psalm 62:5); and how our souls get downcast without God (Psalm 42:5).
We should place our hope in God (Ps.39:7, 65:5, Jer.14:22); in Christ (1 Cor.15:19, 1 Tim.1:1); in His Name (Psalms 52:9, Matt.12:21); in His Resurrection (Acts 23:6); in His return, called our blessed hope (Titus.2:13, Rom.8:24-25); in His Glory (Romans 5:2, Col.1:27); in Eternal Life (Titus 1:2).
Keep hoping, even when you don't like life (Job 13:15) and in the midst of disaster and evil (Jeremiah 17:17). Hope in God all day long (Psalm 25:5) and in God continually (Psalm 71:14).
Experience hope at The Bridge every Sunday, including Christmas Eve morning, at 10am. Merry Christmas!
Dave White is pastor of The Bridge.

Christmas Turned Upside Down
by Andy Mattick
Friends, I wish I could make every Christmas perfect. But there always seems to be that "thing" that goes wrong - a mistake made in menu-prep, a poorly-chosen present (Or, worse yet, word.), a canceled flight or an unresolved grief.
Christmas never quite goes to plan. This year, Valencia UMC is celebrating an "Upside-Down Christmas" and studying how our Christmas story and the original Christmas story are exactly that - the opposite of expectations.
Join us for worship throughout the Christmas season at 9am for choir and hymns or 10:30am for praise music and band. For 2023, we are offering special, single services of worship on the morning of December 24 and December 31 at 10am, as well. And, we know that a piece of the upside-down Christmas is grief, loss and struggle - so we offer a Blue Christmas service on December 18 at 7pm.
On Christmas Eve, we celebrate Merry Christmas and God's richest blessings. We have a Family Service at 4pm, identical candlelight services featuring our choir and band at 7:30pm and 9pm and a candlelight and communion service at 11pm. We are #hereforgood.
Reverend Andy Mattick is lead pastor of
Valencia United Methodist Church.

Celebrate Christmas at Christ Lutheran
by Sarah Scopio
Christmas is a special time at Christ Lutheran Church.
Life today can be very busy and noisy, if not downright chaotic and confusing. At Christ Lutheran, it is our aim to guide and grow people into paths that are ancient, wise and true.
Join us for Sunday morning worship at 8am or 10:30am. Nursery care is available at both services. Our Sunday Catechism Hour from 9:15am to 10:15am offers spiritual formation for every age and stage of life.
In addition to Sunday School, we have small groups for the whole family, including junior high Confirmation classes, high school ministry and adult bible studies for men, women and couples.
Celebrate with us at one of our Christmas Eve services at 10am, 5pm and 11pm.
Whether you're exploring churches or looking for a place to call home, we invite you to join us for worship and see for yourself what makes Christ Lutheran so special.
Sarah Scopio is the director of communications at
Christ Lutheran Church.
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