The amazing story of Christmas is that God didn't wait for the world to get right before he came into it as an infant. Jesus came into the world at what could be seen as the worst of times. He was born in a country with a ruler who killed thousands of babies just in case one was a threat. And the ones who made the Christmas announcement knew just the right thing to say.... Do not be afraid. The angel Gabriel said the same thing to the priest Zechariah and the engaged soon to be pregnant Mary. We need to hear the same message. Because our world is still the same. It still isn't right. We can easily find ourselves afraid of the things outside our control- nuclear weapon tests, fires burning in forests and terrorism seemingly everywhere. And we can easily be afraid of the things inside our heart - our deepest fears and powerful longings. Christmas is for a world in need of hope. As we count down to Christmas together, this week we will pull back the curtain on the life of a teenager. Her dreams were coming true. She was about to get married and begin her new life. And then... the angel showed up. On Sunday, we will light the advent candles, listen and sing Christmas music and bask in the beauty of our church decorated for the season. We will also take communion together. The baby Jesus grew up in the world that still needed to hear the angels' message. People still wanted to kill the life-giver. But, Jesus never stopped loving. He never stopped healing. He never stopped giving himself. I can't wait to celebrate Christmas communion with you. I'll be preaching in the Sanctuary and in the Kirk Center. Also this weekend, some very important family business. Congregational Meeting and Reception honoring Beth Case After all the services, we will have a brief congregational meeting for the purpose of concurring with the request of Beth Case to dissolve the pastoral relationship and to transfer her membership to the presbytery of Texas. The meeting is a necessary thing in our Presbyterian polity.... But most important, it is a reminder of the reception we will have on Sunday from 11:15--1 pm. In the Fellowship celebrating Beth. I know you have made plans to be a part of celebrating our friend and pastor, Beth Case. For more information, click here.... Gifts for the King In services, we will have available Gifts for the King envelopes. If you receive envelopes in the mail, this envelope is a part of your envelope box. This is an end of the year opportunity for you to give an extra gift for the mission and ministry of FPCB. I am very proud of our staff and leadership holding down expenses where possible, and also very grateful for your generosity to date. In order to end the 2017 year in the black, we anticipate we will need $150,000 over and beyond your regular giving. Please consider making a gift to help us end the year strong. Your pattern of increased commitments for 2018 lead me to be confident that we can do this together.

With Christmas Anticipation,

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Dr. Marnie Crumpler
Senior Pastor