Ready for Christmas?

Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near (Matthew 3:2)

It seems like everywhere we go during the month of December people will be asking the same question. At the grocery checkout counter – “Are you ready for Christmas?” At the bank – “Are you ready for Christmas?” At the doctor’s office­ – “Are you ready for Christmas?”

I think the answer to that question depends on how you define “ready.” Let me ask you this question: “Are you ready for Jesus?” Now that puts the idea of being ready in a whole different Christmas light, doesn’t it?

The world is not very fond of the words “repent” or “repentance.” But they are good words. They mean “to make a radical change in one’s life, to turn and go in the opposite direction from sin toward God.” Repentance involves an element of grief over the way we have lived apart from God and a decision to run toward God. That was God’s idea of the way to prepare for Christ’s arrival in the book of Matthew, and it is still God’s idea of Christ’s arrival today.

Reflect for a moment on the words to this poem by Alice Hansche Mortenson and then answer the question, “Are you ready for Christmas?”

“Ready for Christmas,” she said with a sigh
As she gave a last touch to the gifts piled high…
Then wearily sat for a moment and read,
Til soon, very soon, she was nodding her head.
Then quietly spoke a voice in her dream,
“Ready for Christmas, what do you mean?”
She woke with a start and a cry of despair.
“There’s so little time and I’ve still to prepare.
Oh, Father! Forgive me, I see what You mean!
To be ready means more than a house swept clean.
Yes, more than the giving of gifts and a tree.
It’s the heart swept clean that He wanted to see,
A heart that is free from bitterness and sin.”
So be ready for Christmas – and ready for Him.

During this Advent season may we prepare our hearts and minds not only for the celebration of the birth of Jesus but for the very fulfillment of the promised return of Christ.

Grace & Peace,
Bob Clark

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Small Groups

Sunday School. Sunday mornings 9:00 AM. Any one willing to volunteer as a sub please email Robin Stolarcyk. Open to all youth pre-k through high school. Please contact Robin Stolarcyk for more information. (Contact the church office for Robin’s email address)

Christian Fellowship Class. Sunday mornings 9:00 AM.  Please join us. Please contact Shirley Prentice for more information.

Pastor’s Study & Prayer Group: Sunday mornings 11:30 AM, Room B6. Everyone is welcome to join. Questions contact Pastor Bob (910) 260-0551 or 648-4326. No Class 4th Sunday, join us for Pot Luck Luncheon in fellowship hall.

Youth Group meetings, 1st & 3rd Sunday evening of each month at 6:00 – 7:30 PM in the Loft. All youth 5th – 12th Grade are invited to attend. Please contact: President: Mason Stolarcyk, 743-0545 or Pastor Bob (910) 260-0551 for more information.

Unity Circle: Ladies Group, 2nd Monday of every month 11:00 AM. All ladies are invited to join. Contact Bev Hamm for more information. (Some dates the ladies have luncheon’s instead so check with Bev if you are interested in joining.) No meetings in January, February, July & August.

Ladies Monday Night Book Study: Monday evenings 6:30-7:30, Room B4 (Disciple Room). All ladies are welcome! Contact Karen MacKenzie if interested.

Rachel Circle: Ladies Group: 3rd Tuesday of every month 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM in the Frazer Room (B18). All ladies are invited to join. No Meetings in July & August. Contact Marita Root  for more information.

Women’s Book Study Group, Tuesday’s at 12:45, Disciple Room (B4). A time of Bible Study, friendship, good food, & great conversation. Contact Carol Krizan 648-4353 for more information. All women are welcome to join!

Knitting for the Lord: Tuesday, evenings, 6:00 – 7:00 PM, Room B2. Prayer shawls are available for those in need. Please contact Sue or Lynne if you know of someone in need. Contact Sue Alcott or Lynne Masland for more information & for summer meeting places & times. 

Choir: Thursdays 4:00 – 5:00 PM. Everyone is welcome to join. Contact Carla Fako for more information. No meetings after memorial day for the summer.

Note: If you need contact information for any of the leaders above, please contact the church office at or 607-648-4339.

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Night  to Shine Night sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation will be held at Chenango Valley School District Feb 7, 2020 from 6-9 PM.  The registration is open! Please go to to register. 

January Mission.  The Sunday School will be working on the Heifer Project.  We’re on a mission to end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way.  There is a jar to collect loose change in the Narthex.  Next week, the children will be asking you for your loose change as well!   

Altar Flowers: If you would like to have flowers on the altar in honor or memory of loved ones, call Marion Ramsey, 648-6794, & specify if you would like the $15 or the $20 arrangement & if you will pick up the flowers after the Sunday service or would like them taken to a shut-in.

Woman Of Faith conference: Would you like to attend? Fri. May 29th-Sat. May 30th 2020 @ Clarke Summit University called LYFE (Living Your Faith Everyday)! Includes workshops, music, & speaker Sheila Walsh! Topic: Incomplete & It’s Okay; Speaker: Sheila Walsh; Cost: $155 includes overnight stay & all meals. Contact Michelle Stoll for more info. Continue reading

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