"He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child." Luke 2:5
Mary and Joseph are on their way, but not quite yet there. The same with us and our Advent journey to Christmas. It is a journey to be sure, as is every day. So much to do, but lest we forget, also so much to take in. I like the way Frederick Buechner puts it, "The extraordinary thing that is about to happen is matched only by the extraordinary moment just before it happens. Advent is the name of that moment."
Mary was expecting. We are all expecting, not quite so dramatically as she, yet we do have a great many expectations. Maybe we have given much thought to how we want things to turn out, which may also set us up for disappointment. That may also cause us to miss a good many things because we have already decided what we are looking for.
So we need to take a breath and enjoy. Just now thinking of how rich those moments have been in our sanctuary space the last couple of days. The was the kids program and the choir concert, and the KOK Christmas program in front of a packed house. They provided so many grins. The topper was when nearly 10 month old Zandyn was baptized last Sunday morning, slapping the water and sending it flying. It was a moment filled with laughter and warmth, and completely unscripted.
May we enjoy the journey as as we hope to enjoy the goal.
In the peace of the Christ child, Pastor Randy
"Holy and loving God, for the extravagant gift of your Son, Jesus Christ, we thank you. For the obedience of a young mother who embraced an unexpected plan for her life, we praise you. For the loyalty of an earthly father whose love was tested, we exalt you. For the surprising grace notes in our lives that sound as angelic as a heavenly choir, we magnify you. For guiding light that appears as miraculously as a star to shepherds, we worship you. Come to us with hope, love, peace and light. Amen."
Thursday 12:00 p All Church Luncheon
Nativity sets can still be brought in and set up in the Narthex
Christmas Eve Candlelight Services @ 4:00, 6:00 & 11:00 pm
"The mountains shall bring peace to the people...." Psalm 72:3 KJV
Driving back to the church late Sunday afternoon. There were a few things to get ready before we went caroling. Turning on to TV Highway I was met with a pretty marvelous sight. There was Mt. Hood, bright and shining seemingly at the end of the road. The sun was beginning to set so the mountain had a faint pink glow to it as well. It was an astounding picture, and the beauty so caught me by surprise that I stammered, without thinking about it, "Wow!" There was no one else around to hear my exclamation, so I guess in the end I was speaking only to God.
Relishing the sight and the feeling it brought forward made me grin. My mind had been all over the place, and it seemed it was as if God had said, "How about this picture for a bit? How about a little peace and beauty to take you into the rest of the day?" It was a good idea.
How often that seems to happen. In my busyness I am given a gift to take in, even if just for a bit. It is not a moment that changes the task at hand. But it is a gift that will make what follows take on a different look and feel. When I am not ready for, or forget to find time for, peace in the moment, God provides. I am given an opportunity to take a deep breath and know some peace.
May we all know some peace, God's peace, in these days and times. Pastor Randy
"Jesus, sometimes we are so very tired. While we are captivated by the beauty of this season, sometimes we are exhausted by the busyness we create. Help us to find balance, to stop and be still, to see you around us and to be "you" to all we meet. May you be made great in all that we do. Amen."
Lessons for Sunday, December 15th Isaiah 35:1-10 Luke 1:46b-55 Matthew 11:2-11
Wednesday 6:00 p Advent Potluck Soup/Bread Supper 6:30 p Advent Jesse Tree/Devotion 7:00 p SOV Choir Rehearsal
Thursday 9:00 - 1:00 p KOK Preschool/Kindergarten 1:00 - 6:30 p Tabor Voice Studio 7:00 p LLL
Friday 1:00 - 9:00 p Palmeter Piano Studio/New Students welcome 4:00 - 5:30 p Childrens Christmas Pageant rehearsal
Sunday Scrip Order Sunday 6:00 p SOV Annual Christmas Concert & Children's Pageant
»Wanted Nativity sets to display in the Narthex, if you have one to share please bring it to worship on Sunday or drop it by the church during office hours.
»Last chance to order scrip for Christmas, this Sunday, December 15th
»Join us Sunday at 6:00 p for SOV's Annual Christmas Concert and Children's Pageant. Please bring a plate of cookies to share
Check out our favorite Christmas recipes from the SOV Cookbook, hand-picked for you!
submitted by Kathy Tabor
1 lb. ground beef
1/4 cup onion or onion flakes
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 can tomato soup
1 can cut string beans (drained)
2 cups prepared instant mashed potatoes
grated cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown ground beef, onion, salt and pepper and pour off fat. Put in bottom of casserole dish. Top with tomato soup and drained string beans. Prepare 2 cups instant mashed potatoes and spoon on top of string beans. Grate cheese on top.
Bake for 30 minutes.
submitted by Joyce Allison
"When cooled you'll see why it's called Earthquake Cake."
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup margarine or butter
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 sup chocolate chips
1 box German chocolate cake mix
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9x13 pan. Sprinkle coconut and nuts in bottom of pan. Mix cake as directed and pour over coconut mix. Mix cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. Spread over cake batter in dollops and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
Bake for about 45-50 minutes.
submitted by Ann Saalfeld
1 box German chocolate cake mix
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1/3 cup melted butter or margarine
1/2 tsp. water
14 oz. caramel
1/2 cup evaporated milk
6 oz. chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cake mix, pecans, 1/3 cup evaporated milk, butter and water. Press half of mixture into greased 9x13 pan. Bake in oven for 6 minutes.
Melt caramels with 1/2 cup evaporated milk. Pour over partially baked dough. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
Crumble remaining dough on top. Bake another 16-18 minutes.
SALTED PEANUT BARS
submitted by Corrine Gilbertson
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
3 cups miniature marshmallows
2 cups peanut butter flavored chips
2/3 cup corn syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups crisp rice cereal
2 cups salted peanuts
Combine flour, sugar and 1/2 cup butter. Press into ungreased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned. Sprinkle marshmallows over top and return to oven long enough to melt (3-5 minutes) then set aside.
In saucepan, cook peanut butter chips, corn syrup, vanilla and remaining butter until melted and smooth. Stir in cereal and peanuts. Pour over prepared crust. Cool before serving.
submitted by Mert Warneking
1 cup water
2 cups wine (Suggestion: 1 cup Riesling, 1 cup Chablis)
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. Johnny's seasoned salt
2 lb. grated pasteurized & processed Swiss and American cheese*
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
In top of double boiler, put water and wine. Put on direct heat and bring to boil. Add butter, garlic powder, seasoned salt. Bring back to boil.
Put pan on top of double boiler and add 5-8 cups grated cheese. When cheese is melted, add 3 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup cold water. Cook for 30 minutes. Will be quite thin, but will thicken later. To thicken add more cheese, to thin add wine.
Spray fondue pot with PAM. Can make 2 days ahead. Serve with breadsticks or chunks of heavy bread.
*I found this cheese at Safeway in the specialty cheese section.
submitted by Mert Warneking
"I've made this a lot--makes a lot--freezes well."
3 lb. ground beef
1 lb. green peppers
1 lb celery
1 lb. onion
1 large can mushrooms
1 jar stuffed olives, halved
1 12 oz. pkg. egg noodles (cooked)
1/4 lb. margarine
1 lb. medium or sharp cheddar cheese
2 cans tomato soup
2 cans tomato paste
2 cans tomato sauce
Dump into large pot and mix. Put in refrigerator overnight. 1 1/4 hour before serving, put into baking pan and cover with cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes.
Serves 15 people.
EGGNOG POUND CAKE
submitted by Caryl Husk
"Christmas time favorite."
2 Tbsp. soft butter or margarine
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 cup eggnog
1/4 cup melted butter or margarine
2 Tbsp. rum or 1/4 tsp. rum flavoring
Grease 10 inch tube or bundt pan with soft butter. Press almonds against sides and bottom. Set pan aside.
Using electric mixer, combine rest of ingredients and beat batter until smooth and creamy--about 4 minutes medium speed. Pour batter into pan.
Bake 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Invert cake onto rack to cool.
WORLD'S BEST CHEESECAKE
submitted by Katy Carter
"This is worth all the time and effort it takes--believe me!"
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. grated lemon peel
1 egg yolk
5 pkg. (5 oz.) cream cheese
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. grated orange peel
1 Tbsp. grated lemon peel
1/4 tsp. salt
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup whipping cream
Sprig of fresh mint to garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease spring form pan, remove bottom. Mix 1 cup flour, butter, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp. lemon peel and 1 egg yolk with hands. Press 1/3 of mixture evenly on pan bottom. Place on cookie sheet and bake 8-10 minutes. Cool.
Assemble bottom and side of pan. Press remaining mixture all the way up side of pan. Heat oven to 475 degrees.
Beat cream cheese, 1 3/4 cup sugar, 3 Tbsp. flour, orange peel, 1 Tbsp. lemon peel, salt and 2 eggs in large bowl until smooth. Continue beating, adding remaining eggs and 2 egg yolks, one at a time. Beat in 1/4 cup whipping cream on low speed. Pour into pan, bake 15 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees--bake 1 hour. Turn off oven, leave cheesecake in oven 15 minutes. Cover and refrigerate at least 12 hours--but no longer than 48 hours.
Beat the 3/4 cup whipping cream in chilled bowl until stiff--spread over cheesecake before serving. Garnish with sprig of fresh mint.
"I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being." Psalm 104:33
This is the time of the year when traditions that we have may be the most noticeable. It may be the kind of food prepared especially for, and only during, the time leading up to Christmas. It is one of the ways we live out Advent as a true time of preparation for Christmas. Maybe it is in when and how we decorate our homes, or particular ornaments and where they are place. I think of singing, especially when we decorate our own Christmas tree. Listening to Emmylou Harris, or Annie Lennox, or Vince Guaraldi, and singing along. It warms the time. Then singing some more as the days of Advent rush by. Thinking of 30 plus years of caroling with various church members, sometimes in big bunches, sometimes just a few, singers of all kinds of ages. Sometimes dealing with rain and snow, usually bracing temperatures, but singing no matter what.
Many times we have been joined in song by the very ones we came to sing to. Sometimes those who joined us in song could remember little else, but the words of Silent Night, or some other favorite, made something click and memory returned even for just a bit. Such moments still bring a smile, or a tear, and indeed the psalmist was right in saying, "I will sing to the Lord as long as I live."
May we sing as long as we have being, Pastor Randy
Come sing this Sunday night. We will leave the church building at 4:45 to go caroling.
Thanks to the elves who decorated the church on Monday. It looks great.
"Spirit of wisdom and truth, shine your light into our hearts and lives. Awaken us where we slumber. Expose the darkness we try to hide. Uncover what we are afraid to see. Greet us with the warmth of you love that we may choose to walk in your grace and live by your light. Amen."
Lessons for the Second Sunday in Advent Isaiah 11:1-10 Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19 Matthew 3:1-12
Wednesday 6:00 p Advent Soup/Bread Potluck 6:30 p Advent Jesse Tree/Devotion 7:00 p SOV Choir Rehearsal
Thursday 9:00 - 1:00 p KOK Preschool/Kindergarten 6:30 p Men's Night (New location) Lil Cooperstown 2947 SE 73rd Hillsboro)
Friday 9:00 - 11:30 a KOK Preschool 1:00 - 9:00 p Palmeter Piano Studio
Sunday Christmas Caroling and Chili/Soup potluck meet at SOV @ 4:45 p for caroling and soup drop off