The United Way will hold its annual Back to School Fair on August 6th at Oshkosh North High. According to their press release, the committee organizing this event aims to serve over 1000 families, so the need is real.

The United Way is requesting that we hold a "Christmas in July" event starting June 20th. They would like donations of clothing and cash:

  • Shirts
  • Pants
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Hygiene supplies
  • Gift cards
  • Cash

The committee will supply us with gift tags for the Christmas tree. Look for them soon.

Good to know, but what the heck is a "Moravian Lovefeast"? Well, back in the earliest days of the church, Christians would often gather for what they called "agape," or "love," meals. These weren't communion services, more like today's potlucks. The faithful would get together, share bread, and talk about their faith or spiritual matters.

Eventually, that custom fell out of use. It was revived in the 18th century by a group of German pietists, the Moravians. It's still celebrated today in Moravian churches: in the midst of a service of hymns, prayers, and scripture, lay members serve one another buns, coffee and hot chocolate. And that's pretty much it! The idea is a simple act of worship based on sharing: a common meal and a common faith. The "preaching" of the service comes through the selection of hymns and scripture, and the testimony given by church members.index

Because the lovefeast is so simple, it's a natural with children and with special occasions. It seemed appropriate, then, to put together a service for the last Sunday in Advent, and invite the confirmands to participate. They will distribute the meal and help lead the service, as we hear a succession of nine lessons and carols retelling the Christmas story.

You also have a part! We will need scripture readers, of course. But more important, we need people willing to say a few words about their faith and its importance.

That might seem scary, so to help break it down, think about how you might answer questions like these:

  • What is something good that God has created in your life?
  • What is a promise that God has made to you, or to our community? Has it been kept?
  • What is the light that shines in our darkness? What light do we need to shine upon us?
  • What does it mean to say that Jesus is our peace?
  • How have you found favor with God? How are you a servant of God, like Mary?
  • What does it mean to you that our savior came into the world as a poor child? How does the life of a newborn baby give glory to God?
  • How do you search for Jesus in your life?
  • How do you receive Jesus, or believe in him? What does it mean to you to be a child of God?

Ponder these things in your heart and set your appetites on a bun. We'll see you on the 20th!

Search Committee    The committee has conducted one interview with a potential candidate, and looked at a number of profiles. We are taking the week of Thanksgiving to consider next steps before deciding how to proceed.

Board of Administration  Met on November 18th.

Completed work: Carpet cleaning is done. As expected, the total cost was $240, and it looks sharp! The boiler maintenance crew have come, and we should be set for winter. Snow plowing for the parking lot is contracted for the winter, and the snow blower is working. We are almost all the way done with revising the Constitution.

To do: We'll need to work on the windows on the east side of the building sooner rather than later, perhaps this spring.

Projects: Next month, we will put together the congregational budget ahead of the January semi-annual meeting.

Board of Christian Education    We have been talking about what to do with Confirmation classes after Pastor Dan leaves. Jack Seville has offered to continue with our confirmands if need be.

Executive Committee  Met on November 15th to review committee and financial reports, and to conduct new business.

  • Pastor Dan asked whether we want to publish the updated phone directory, or wait until a new pastor comes. We decided to go ahead.
  • An agent from Church Life asked if we would like an estimate for our congregational insurance policy. We're happy with Richardson.
  • Phi Beta Gamma sorority asked for a second chance with renting the sanctuary for their initiation ceremony. Pastor Dan will go over the contract with them carefully, and ask for a deposit. Ron will stop by when they are done to make sure everything is in order.

Worship & Community Life    Met November 2nd.

  • Discussed concerns about our ability to carry out a ministry with a refugee family. Pastor Dan and Mary Jo will try to line up some volunteers, and may ask other congregations if they would like to participate as well. It is unclear if a family will even come to Oshkosh in the next few months.
  • Hanging of the Greens will be held on December 6th. No need for St. Nicholas that day, unfortunately. We will have some soup and snacks and then decorate after worship.
  • Communion is scheduled for the First Sunday of Advent (November 29th), December 13th, and Christmas Eve.
  • Speaking of Christmas Eve, our service will be held at 6:00 that evening.

Pastor's Report

  • Visits/Contacts:  5
  • Meetings:  5
  • Worship Services:  4
  • Confirmation Classes:  3