December 2015 News

THE UNIQUENESS OF JESUS

“Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: ‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”
Luke 2: 29-32

the uniqueness of Jesus newsletter pastor jim article Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 9.05.06 PMThese words of Simeon testify to the uniqueness of Jesus. These words apply to no other person ever born in history, nor will they ever apply to anyone born in the future. They are reserved for the most unique person who ever lived.

The Holy Spirit revealed to Simeon that when he was looking at the infant, Jesus, he was actually looking at God’s salvation for all people. Jesus is also the most polarizing person who ever lived, as Simeon also declared: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.”

Jesus is fully God and fully man. He is not “half God” and “half man.” He is the second Person of the Trinity in the flesh. He is “God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father. . .” as we confess in the Nicene Creed. And, as the God-Man, Jesus lived an absolutely sinless life—something that can be said of no one else in history.

But the thing that truly sets Jesus apart and makes him entirely unique is his contribution to mankind. Jesus lived and died as a substitute for every person who has ever lived or ever will live. He lived a sinless life, and he died as a sacrifice for those who have sinned. And, yet, we are the ones who receive the credit for this accomplishment. God sees us in all that Jesus did. God sees US as perfect! And God sees Jesus’ death as if we died. And God sees Jesus’ resurrection as if we have risen and are living a new life!

When Jesus spoke from the cross and said, “It is finished,” those words didn’t just apply to Jesus’ victory; they were words of victory for us too! When Jesus walked out of the tomb after three days, it meant that WE have new lives, and so we cheer for that victory.

Paul writes: “Or, don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through Baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too might live a new life.” Romans 6: 3-5

By God’s grace, all that Jesus is and owns has become ours. This is why he was born! ~Pastor Jim

 

SPECIAL CHRISTMAS WORSHIP TIMES

Christmas eve worship newletter Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 9.28.26 AMCHRISTMAS EVE • 7PM & 11PM

CHRISTMAS DAY • 10AM

Saturday, Dec. 26th • No Worship Service

 
 
 
 

SUNDAY SCHOOL CHRISTMAS PROGRAM
DECEMBER 20TH, 10:30AM • “THE WELL”

Sunday school program newsletter Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 9.25.51 AMBethlehem’s Sunday School Christmas Program will be Sunday, December 20th at 10:30 a.m. in our yellow brick church–”The Well”–where Bethlehem’s children will help share the living water of Jesus Christ with all who thirst this Christmas.

 
UPDATE: Click any concert photo to enlarge…
 
 
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Sunday Schoolers’ Christmas Songs, Readings & Tree-topping Star Bring a Hush to Bethlehem

 

BETHLEHEM LUTHERAN MEN’S GROUP • BREAKFAST
DECEMBER 19TH, 8AM

mens breakfast newsletter Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 10.09.07 PMBethlehem’s Men’s Group will meet for breakfast Saturday, December 19 at 8 a.m.

P.S. Come hungry!

 
 
 
 
 

CONGREGATIONAL MEETING • 2016 BUDGET
DECEMBER 13TH, NOON

teamwork makes the dream work newsletter Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 9.34.52 PMAn important congregational meeting is scheduled for Sunday, December 13 at noon. The main item on the agenda is approving the 2016 budget.

 
 
 
 

BETHLEHEM CHRISTMAS CONCERT
DECEMBER 13TH, 4PM • 401 W MAIN ST.

Our Bethlehem Christmas Concert will feature live music performances as usual by the Bethlehem Choir and also The Messengers who perform every Sunday at our Contemporary Worship. There will be Bible readings and also traditional Christmas carols so everyone can sing along. Light snacks (Christmas cookies, chips, crackers, etc.) will be served downstairs in the Fellowship Hall after the concert. More details will be posted here as they become available so check back in December and save the date today! Click on one of the videos below to watch a sample song from one of our past Christmas celebrations!

2014 Christmas Concert Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas Youtube Frame Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 1.27.42 AM2014 Christmas Concert Emmanuel Youtube Frame Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 1.27.00 AM

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

MANNA GIFT CARDS • HELP OUR YOUTH!
ORDERS DUE DECEMBER 13TH

manna gift card newsletter Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 8.58.39 AMHelp Bethlehem Youth and yourself by placing your Manna Gift Card order by December 13th. If you order a $25 Boston Market gift card, the Bethlehem Youth Group will be sent $3.25 (13%). There are many other restaurants and retailers to choose from so why not pick up a few this holiday season? Questions? Call Tracy on 630-267-8739 or Karen on 847-426-7311.

 

S.O.S. • SISTERHOOD OF STITCHERS, SERVING OUR SAVIOR
DECEMBER 13TH, 9AM

A thought to remember: If you want OTHERS to be happy, practice compassion. If YOU want to be happy, practice compassion.

sos sled dog scarf newletter article Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 9.17.19 PMWe are wishing everyone a MERRY CHRISTMAS and God’s blessings throughout the NEW YEAR. As this year comes to an end and we celebrate the birth of our Savior, let’s look back on our many blessings from the past year.

Everyone who has been a part of this very important mission has been a true blessing to those with the simplest of needs and wishes for warmth and comfort from all of you who have helped to supply our knitters and crocheters with yarn and needles to work with to those who have made the beautiful, warm and comfortable hats, mittens/gloves, scarves, afghans, prayer shawls, baby hats and blankets, quilts and washcloths.

Soon we will be delivering all the stored-up items to those who need them during the cold winter months ahead. THANK YOU for thinking of those who have need of these items with compassion. They will, to be sure, be wishing for you the happiness you richly deserve just as we do also.

Our next meeting will be on Sunday, December 13th, from 9:00-9:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall near the refreshment counter. When Pastor’s Bible Class begins, we will quietly knit on our prayer shawls together. Please consider joining us in this important mission field in whatever way that you are able.

Questions? Please contact: Mary Jacox 847-304-3808 or Dorothy Pigors 847-836-0456.

 

CHRISTMAS GIVING TREE • HIS MINISTRY (HEARTS IN SERVICE)
UNWRAPPED GIFTS DUE DECEMBER 13TH

giving tree newsletter Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 10.01.54 PMHIS Ministry is once again sponsoring the Giving Tree. There is a Christmas tree in both churches decorated with gift tags for residents at the Association for Individual Development. AID provides services to individuals who have developmental, physical and/or mental disabilities plus those who have suffered a trauma or those at risk. Some of these residents have no family.

Each tag has the resident’s name, age and their “wish list.” These are just suggestions and you can purchase one of the items or as many as you choose. All gifts are appreciated! Please return the unwrapped gifts to church by Sunday, December 13, as AID picks them up the next day. Questions? Please contact Debbie Smith on 630-939-3731 or debbiesm@aol.com. Thank you!

 

BETHESDA THRIFT SHOP • VOLUNTEERS!
DECEMBER 11TH & 31ST, 9AM-4PM

A thought to remember: Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.

bethesda thrift shop hats mittens scarves newsletter Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 9.46.35 PMAs Christmas approaches many people are finding their way to our shop. The one driveway in and out is clearly marked even though the roadwork is not yet finished.

Although many feel the Christmas season starts the day after Thanksgiving, our shop is bustling with shoppers looking for decorations, ornaments, gifts, books, toys and every kind of household item connected with that fast-approaching special Christian holiday. Warm clothing is sought after for the arrival of winter cold and snow, and new treasures appear on the shelves daily. Visiting our shop is like a happy adventure for everyone–men, women and children alike. All donations are always welcome and thankfully received by our busy staff as are volunteers to keep the shop neat and the shelves well stocked.

Anyone who would like to join us in our volunteering efforts, please just come on the day that Bethlehem is in charge of providing workers. The next day that we will be there is on December 11, the second Friday of the month. We usually come between 9:00-10:00 a.m. and work until about 4:00 p.m.; however, any amount of time you are available will be appreciated. We also help when there is a fifth Thursday so December 31st is another opportunity for volunteers to help out. Questions? Please contact Dorothy Pigors on 847-836-0456.

 

WOMEN’S GUILD CHRISTMAS LUNCH GATHERING • WHITE ELEPHANT BINGO!
DECEMBER 10TH, NOON • FELLOWSHIP HALL

womens guild Christmas party newsletter article Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 8.48.02 AMA light lunch will be served followed by White Elephant Bingo. Bring a wrapped gift–something you no longer want. All Women of Bethlehem are invited. Please join us for a fun time!

 

WOMEN’S GUILD NEWS (LWML)

Bethlehem’s Women’s Guild met November 12th. We decided our annual Christmas gifts will support associations that spread God’s wonders, namely: F.I.S.H., St. Matthew’s Soup Kitchen, Orphan Grain Train, Bethesda, Lutheran Child & Family Services, LCMS Armed Forces, Lutheran Hour, Lutheran Bible Translators, Sonrise, Concordia Seminary, LCMS World Relief, Ends of the Earth Ministries, Phil’s Friends, and Samaritan’s Purse. We are also participating again in Dickens in Dundee on Saturday, December 5, with a luncheon and bake sale. The Dundee Historical Society will be holding their annual Christmas sale in the downstairs Sunday School room as they have in past years. Hope to see you there! See details below…

 

ANNUAL SOUP & SANDWICH LUNCHEON • $7.50
DECEMBER 5TH, 10:30AM-2PM • 401 W MAIN ST., WEST DUNDEE

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UPDATE: STAY TUNED FOR LINK TO GALLERY WITH MORE PHOTOS SOON!

dickens in dundee newsletter Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 9.14.54 AMOn Saturday, December 5th, the Ladies Guild of Bethlehem will sponsor its annual Soup & Sandwich Luncheon from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. downstairs in our Fellowship Hall. The luncheons is $7.50 with all proceeds going to the F.I.S.H. Food Pantry in Carpentersville. The annual Bake Sale to help fund the food for the luncheon will be held from 9 a.m. thru 4 p.m.

If you can help with the luncheon, please contact Martha Lehman on 847-476-9935.

Donations of baked goods would also be greatly appreciated.

Please come out and support these holiday events!

 

ANNUAL DICKENS OF A SALE-christmas-tree3
DECEMBER 5, TIME TBA • 401 W MAIN SUNDAY SCHOOL ROOM DOWNSTAIRS

Along with the special luncheon on Saturday, Bethlehem will be hosting the annual Dickens of a Sale in the Sunday School Room downstairs. This Dickens of a Sale is sponsored by the Dundee Township Historical Society and features Christmas decorations/items. Check back here in December for more details on this special Christmas sale you won’t want to miss before heading over to Dickens in Dundee!
 
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UPDATE: STAY TUNED FOR LINK TO GALLERY WITH MORE PHOTOS SOON!

UPDATE: See the photos/article that ran in the Daily Herald online & in print this month!

 

PRAYER MINISTRY • DECEMBER PRAYERS

joy prayer ministry newsletter Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 9.26.59 PMDuring December, our Bethlehem Prayer Ministry will be praying for:

  • The expansion of our Home Huddles ministry (We have 4 Home Huddles/43 people)
  • The work of the Elders at Bethlehem and that God would identify others who are qualified to serve in this important spiritual leadership role
  • The fulfillment of Philippians 2: 1-2 in our midst: “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.”

 

MISSION OF THE MONTH • COMMUNITY CRISIS CENTER, ELGIN
H.I.S. MINISTRY/MISSIONS

community crisis center newsletter Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 9.42.05 AM
The Community Crisis Center was founded in 1975 by a group of dedicated volunteers to meet the needs of individuals and families in crisis. Employees provide comprehensive services to individuals and families in crisis due to domestic violence, sexual assault, or economic/financial difficulties. The Crisis Center is one of the oldest domestic violence shelters in the state and was instrumental in organizing both the Illinois and National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Services include a 24-hour crisis hotline and information and referrals, emergency temporary shelter for 40 women and children who are homeless due to domestic violence or financial crisis, individual and group counseling, medical, legal and welfare advocacy, financial assistance to abate homelessness, emergency food pantry, batterers’ intervention program, a distinct children’s program, and community education.

The Community Crisis Center service area includes northern Kane County from St. Charles to the northern edge of the county and far northwest suburban Cook County; there are no service area limits for domestic violence victims.

 
 
 

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