The Thanksgiving through Christmas Season always brings times of special joy and opportunities to spend one of our most important treasures – “time” with friends and families.  We were blessed with the area “Thanksgiving” service followed up with the “Hanging of the Greens” plus our opportunity to provide 540+ Thanksgiving Baskets to families throughout Midland County. Our youth ministry and other helping adults made this service project extremely successful blessing not only families in need but “us.”  Thank you for everyone who helped!

Our youth meetings of December 4th and December 11th will be discovering the topic Called At Christmas” where we will explore being called to Believe, called to Serve, called to Rejoice and called to Witness.  On December 18 there will be a youth Christmas party from 2:00 to 4:30 then there will be no youth meeting on December 25 (Christmas) and January 1 (New Year’s Day and Winter Retreat).

During January & February we will be studying “Jesus & Sticky Questions” with no youth on Sunday, January 29 because Pastor Jerry & Connie have the opportunity to travel and serve in Guatemala.  There will be a Super Bowl Party on February 5th, then we will study “Jesus & Sticky Questions” on the remaining Sundays in February.

We hope everyone has enjoyed their new Mt. Haley T-Shirts, Hats, and Hoodies.  The sale was very successful and we collected some money for Winter Retreat.  We will have another sale in the future. Our Scripts gift cards netted us some money for Winter Retreat and we thank those who participated.  Pop Bottles & Cans still are a valuable resource for funds and we appreciate those who contribute.

The Michigan Church of God Winter Retreat happens over the New Year’s weekend.  The cost for each student is $99 which includes 2 night’s lodging, 5 meals, a New Year’s Eve pizza party, the worship band, “Sanctified” and our speaker, Steve Van Fossen.   There is a $49 registration fee needed by December 7, 2010.  The Spaghetti Dinner originally scheduled for December 9th has been changed to Friday, December 16 because Pastor Jerry & Connie need to attend a funeral memorial service for a family member in Phoenix, Arizona.  Thank you for your flexibility in this situation, however, we hope you can still support our youth in this much-needed fundraiser. Please pray for Connie and I as we take care of our family matters and then plan for the Winter Retreat for our group and the state CHOG.    Winter Retreat has been an exceptional CHOG weekend where the hearts of many youth have been changed and their lives touched by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Last month, we spoke of Prayer Partners for the different members of our youth ministry.  This is something I would like to begin in January and we will be matching up families and youth.  I spent some time explaining the prayer partner ministry in the November newsletter and we feel we now know the “regular” attendees in the youth ministry.  The list includes Brennan Mudd, Jaylee Martin, Thomas Jenson, Lacinda Vinson, Sabrina Torres, Shane Mudd, Isabella Krolikowski, Chase Brenske, Nick Torres, Corey Forster and Paul Hassen.  We have others who attend, but haven’t settled into regular attendance patterns.  We are averaging 12-15 students a week and hope to increase as we reach out the hands of Christ.

We continue to thank you for your prayers, love and support.  May we wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Pastor Jerry

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