ThiS week At st. peTer’s | 12-24-23

St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church

2169 74th Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19138

Church Office: 215-424-5122   Fax: 215-424-7841

e-mail address: stpetersinfo@yahoo.com

Revs. Gwendolyn Johnson-Bond & Neil A. Bond, Co-Pastors

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Fourth Sunday of Advent                                                    12-24-2023

LOVE…

Welcome. The season of Advent reminds us how much we long for God, how much God longs for us. And God’s love for us is greater than our sins, failings, and fears. The gift of Jesus Christ to the world is the ultimate proof of God’s amazing grace. God is truly with us!

     

TODAY

9:00AM         All Saints Choir warm-up for worship.

10:00AM       + ADVENT WORSHIP +  (in person and online)

11:20AM        All Saints Choir rehearsal.

7:00PM               + CHRISTMAS EVE WORSHIP + (in person and online)     

 

Traveling to New Orleans.

The ELCA Youth Gathering 2024 is next July in New Orleans. Thanks for assisting in their fundraising. You can pick up your cheesecake or cookie dough order today, 11AM – 1PM or 5 – 7PM.

 

ThiS week At st. peTer’s

Monday…       Christmas Day. Oh, what a wonderful child!

Wednesday, 10:00AM   Diane Hughes (volunteer office administration).

Wednesday, 10:30AM   Senior Ministry “Games and Social Activity” in Rhoda Hall.

Thursday, 7:30PM                    AL-ANON PROGRAM. Find encouragement to end your own codependence!

Friday, 8AM / 10AM            Viewing / funeral for Ruth Kearse, who joined St. Peter’s on January 22, 2017.

 

What’s Happening…

December 31…  FIRST SUNDAY OF CHRISTMAS.  College and Career Student Sunday.

Hybrid Worship at 10:00AM. Our preacher will be Minister Tiese Giles of St. Mark’s Lutheran.

January 1…   NEW YEAR’S DAY. A new time to live into fresh opportunities for faith!

HO, HO, HO! Do you know about Saint Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra, a city in what is now the country of Turkey? He lived in the fourth century… was tortured and imprisoned because of his faith for a while under the persecution of the Roman Emperor Diocletian… was later present when the Nicene Creed was being formulated… and was known for his kind love and generous charity to the poor. One legend is that he would toss little pouches of coins through the windows of the poor, and sometimes the coins would land in stockings that had been washed and hung on the window sill to dry. The reputation of Saint Nicholas lived long after him. Devotion to him was found in every European country, including Holland where he was known as “Sinter Klaus”. Early Dutch immigrants brought their tradition of “Sinter Klaus” to North America, where he has been transformed over the years into a fat, jolly, red-nosed (and, for many years, Caucasian) gentleman in a snowsuit and red cap who especially sits in malls and shows up on commercials and in Christmas-themed movies. He is now more of an advertising gimmick and a symbol of greed, so that excessive and expensive gift-giving is both expected and virtually mandated by our society, which can’t figure out the difference between “needs” and “wants”. In the spirit of Saint Nicholas let’s seek to reach out to those who are in need. And let’s understand that the values we pass on to our children are more transforming than the glittery glamourous “valuables” we gift them with. 

Christmas Poinsettias 2023

1 red poinsettia given in memory of Anthony Love by Tyesha Love-Blackshear.

1 red poinsettia given in honor of Barbara Steele by Rashidah Perkins.

1 pink poinsettia given in honor of Olliyah Perkins by Rashidah Perkins.

1 white poinsettia given in memory of Ollie Drayton by Rashidah Perkins.

1 red poinsettia given in memory of Theodore and Hattie Outlaw by Diana Hillsman.

1 red poinsettia given in memory of Linda Blair by Ida Swindle.

1 white poinsettia given in memory of my wife, Mary Wilson, by Howard Wilson (brother to Brenda Draper).

1 red poinsettia given in memory of my daughter, Nicole Draper, by Brenda Draper.

1 white poinsettia given in memory of my mother, Janie Wilson, by Brenda Draper.

2 red poinsettias given in memory of Edith and William Echols by Judy Echols.

1 red poinsettia and 1 pink poinsettia given in memory of Johnsie Sippio and Jaqueline Henderson by Janice

Henderson.

1 red poinsettia given in memory of Alvin W. Rouse and Wayne A. Rouse, my brothers, by Beverly E. Morris.

1 red poinsettia given in honor of Ms. Agnes Nelson by Beverly E. Morris.

1 red poinsettia given in honor of my parents, Robert and Beverly Morris, by Tanya K. Morris.

1 red poinsettia given in honor of my mother, Ida Mae Thompson, by Roland Thompson.

1 red poinsettia given in memory of loved ones by Shelvia Samuel.

1 red poinsettia given in honor of my daughter, Tamika Hughes, by Diane Hughes.

1 white poinsettia given in memory of Brenda Jones by Diane Hughes.

1 red poinsettia given in memory of Travist and Emma Johnson, parents, and Kenneth Johnson, brother,

by Pastors Gwen and Neil.

1 pink poinsettia given in memory of Donald and Edith Bond by Pastors Neil and Gwen.

1 white poinsettia given in memory of departed St, Peter’s members in 2023 – Sheila Bradley-Vitruk,

Fannie Thompson, Donna Hunt Jones, Ruth Kearse – by Pastors Gwen and Neil.

 

Some 2023 giving statistics (with today and next Sunday to go):

ELCA World Hunger Appeal, $2,593 received to date in 2023.

Lutheran Charities Appeal, $1,173 received to date in 2023.

The 3 Lutheran-related local social ministry organizations that we support serve over 30,000 of our neighbors in need:

  • KenCrest Services;
  • Lutheran Settlement House;
  • and GemmaServices.

Mission Offering

For July – December we selected Mothers in Charge, Inc., a Philadelphia anti-violence organization. We have received $700.00 to date. (January – June Mission Offering was Covenant House of Philadelphia, servicing homeless and runaway youth. We received and have sent $647.20.]

Lutheran Disaster Response (Maui Wildfires, Palestine etc.), $575 received to date.

Yesterday we thanked God for the life and faith of our St. Peter’s church member Donna Jones, who completed her earthly journey on November 14. Donna joined St. Peter’s on February 18, 2007. Victory through Christ!

Giving in 2024 (beginning January 7)

The individual boxes of offering envelopes (52 weeks, additional Church Year opportunities, plus other opportunities to serve Christ both at and beyond St. Peter’s) are now available. If you don’t see your box or want to receive a box, please contact Pastor Neil, Pastor Gwen, or Diane Hughes.

Giving in 2023 (two Sundays to go!)

Perhaps you missed some Sundays in church, and it “helped you” miss some offerings. Perhaps you intended to mail your offering or give online but distance “made you” forget. Or maybe earlier in the year you thought God wasn’t really blessing you and giving you enough so you purposely “paused” in your giving. Sometimes we each miss the mark of discipleship in one way or another. It’s not too late for heartstrings to be touched… to offer your gratitude and your generosity to God… to put your faith into action at and through St. Peter’s… to give a missing offering or an extra offering or to remember to pay for a rental event that used our facilities and utilities in the past year. Those present in the Sanctuary can put their offering response to Christ’s love in the offering plate. Those who are farther away might mail a check or money order to St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 2169 74th Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19138… contribute online through bit/ly/stpetersgiving and set up one time donation or recurring weekly gift to selected categories…or text to Give+ at 833-914-0896 and follow the instructions to register and record your contribution.

 “Trudi’s Challenge is a year-long goal of 70 persons committed to extra giving in the amount of $143 per person, (That amount would have been $10,010) with $2,438 received to date in 2023.

 “Trudie’s Raffle was a raffle of a $147 package of beef products, $1,600 was received this month.

 

This week someone will need your patience, your love, or your faith.

giving silent, vibrant, star-shaped praise to the Christ Child!

 

Have you ever wondered why poinsettias are the flowers of Christmas? The flower is from Mexico, where a legend tells of a poor girl or a poor brother and sister with no gifts to give to the Christ child at Christmas. On the way to worship she gathers or they gather some weeds for a bouquet. When the bouquet is placed at the feet of the Christ child or of the Virgin Mary, beautiful red poinsettias suddenly bloom. Mexicans in the eighteenth century thought the shape of the leaves were symbolic of the Star of Bethlehem, and thus the plants became associated with the Christmas Season. The first United States ambassador to Mexico, Joel Poinsett, brought the plant to this country in 1828. The actual flower of the poinsettia is small and yellow. But surrounding the flower are large, bright red leaves, often mistaken for the flower petals.

Some Christians have found meaning in the color of those red leaves as symbolic of Herod’s brutal slaughter of the innocent children in an attempt to kill the infant Jesus, or of Christ’s own future suffering and crucifixion, or of a passionate commitment by the believer to follow Christ. New colors of poinsettia plants have been developed over the years, and today there are many shades of red and pink, as well as whites, creams, purple, peach, yellow, neon orange, marbled, speckled, and bi-colored. Sometimes leaves are even dyed.

Upcoming Events

Jun
19
Wed
2024
10:30 am Whole Foods Distribution
Whole Foods Distribution
Jun 19 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Whole Foods Distribution Use entrance on Briar Rd. to access the lower classroom area. Need more information? Check out this event’s ministry page.
Jun
23
Sun
2024
10:00 am Sunday Worship Service
Sunday Worship Service
Jun 23 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be gathering together for worship service on Zoom using the following information: MEETING ID: 5977365682 MEETING PASSWORD: 204934 You can also join us for...
Jun
30
Sun
2024
10:00 am Sunday Worship Service
Sunday Worship Service
Jun 30 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be gathering together for worship service on Zoom using the following information: MEETING ID: 5977365682 MEETING PASSWORD: 204934 You can also join us for...
Jul
3
Wed
2024
10:30 am Whole Foods Distribution
Whole Foods Distribution
Jul 3 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Whole Foods Distribution Use entrance on Briar Rd. to access the lower classroom area. Need more information? Check out this event’s ministry page.
Jul
5
Fri
2024
8:30 am Senior Food Box Distribution @ St. Peter's Rhoda Hall
Senior Food Box Distribution @ St. Peter's Rhoda Hall
Jul 5 @ 8:30 am – 10:00 am
Check out the Senior Food Program’s page for more information.