We have entered the season of Advent, that time of the year when we
prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus. Sometimes this
special time of the year can become lost in the busyness of the
season. I offer this poem to hold onto during this season.
The Child is Born Again
Each year the Child is born again.
Each year some new heart
finally knows love.
And in heaven
there is great rejoicing!
There is a festival of stars!
There is celebration among the angels!
For in the finding of one lost sheep,
the heart of the Shepherd is glad, and
Christmas has happened once more.
The Child is born anew
and one more knee is bowed!
—Ann Weems, Kneeling in Bethlehem
May this be a season of love and joy, of remembrance and anticipation,
of such wonder as we welcome the Christ Child into our hearts
anew. Merry Christmas!
BLUE CHRISTMAS SERVICE
Thursday, December 22 – 7:00 p.m.
For many, the Christmas season can be painful. Christmas can be a
poignant reminder of how things are different now. Hope UMC will
be offering a special worship service for those who would like to bring
their sadness to the comfort of God. This service will provide a
safe place to remember and honor the sadness that is being felt. If you
are struggling this Christmas season, we would invite you to come.
GIFTS FOR STAFF
The Staff/Parish Relations Committee is continuing the tradition of
giving each of the Hope staff members a monetary Christmas gift.
Hope members and friends are encouraged to give any amount towards a
Christmas gift fund that will be divided among the staff members.
Checks may be made payable to Hope UMC with “Staff Gifts” indicated on
the memo line. Thanks for your support of the ministry provided
by Pastor Nan, Pastor Greg, Judy, Jeri, John, Deb, Libby, Jennie, and
STILL MISSING JACKET
Since winter cold has returned, would you check your closet to see if
you have had the wrong brown leather jacket since last spring. My
all light brown coat was taken by mistake and your dark brown and black
jacket was left in its place—yours is hanging in the church coat
closet. Please return mine to the office.
We would like to thank the Hope family for all your prayers for our
grandson, Maverick. His recent surgery was
successful. His heart is beating at a normal rate, without
medication, for the first time since his birth two years ago.
Your prayers made a difference. God is good.
Randy & Kathy Baker
A big thank you to all those who attended my 90th birthday
celebration. My church family is important to me, and I was so
glad to share my celebration with you.
A big thank you to all those who filled and donated shoeboxes for
Operation Christmas Child—36 boxes have been donated. I hope our
church can do this again next year, so look for information next
SPECIAL CHARGE CONFERENCE
Hope UMC has been the recipient of gifts and bequests from the estates
of Betty Nason and June Oleson. We will be holding a special
charge conference on Saturday, January 21 at 10:00 a.m. to accept these
GET WELL WISHES go to
John Foster, who had knee surgery on November 9 in Des Moines; Greta
Thomae, who was hospitalized in Ames for several days last week; Marlys
Montz, who spent several days at Central Iowa Healthcare last week; and
Wilbur Hutchens, a current patient at Iowa Methodist Medical Center,
THE HOPE OFFICE WILL BE CLOSED
Monday, December 26 and Monday, January 2 for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
BLOOD DONATION MATTERS
Premature infants need 1-4 red cell donations. Cancer patients
need 3-10 red cell donations. Cardiovascular surgeries require
3-8 red cell donations and 1-10 platelet donations. Burn victims
need 10-20 platelet donations. The list goes on and on. The
biggest need for blood donations occurs during the period between
Thanksgiving and New Year’s each year. Why not consider making a
Did you know that someone needs blood every two seconds? Did you
know that less than 10 percent of the eligible US population donates
annually? Did you know that there is no substitute for human
blood? The Missions Committee would like to encourage the people
of Hope to prayerfully consider donating blood at the LifeServe Blood
Center of Marshalltown during this holiday season. Your gift may just
save someone’s life.
FALL PRAYER SEASON WRAPS UP
Beginning in mid-September, 49 people committed to daily prayer for
Hope United Methodist Church. Each day they read a scripture from
their “playbook” and prayed for Pastor Nan, our leadership, our
ministries, and for Hope to discern God’s vision for our future.
During this prayer season, we have been trying to turn the scripture
into a prayer for Hope. We have also tried to implement the
prayer practice of being attentive to God’s voice and expecting God to
respond. God has been at work at Hope, preparing us for what lies
ahead. God doesn’t join our work at Hope; we join God’s team and
follow his game plan.
Jesus spoke to the Chief Priests in the temple and said, “It is
written. My house will be a house of prayer.” Is God
leading you to be more intentional about your prayer life? If you
would like to continue or join the Prayer Team, the beginning of the
Winter Season is December 5. If you are interested in being a
part of this ministry, please contact Kathy Baker (641-485-8256 or
firstname.lastname@example.org); and we will get the new playbook to
you. We can only imagine how God will use this next season to
bless the future of our church.
REMEMBER THESE MEMBERS AND FRIENDS
Hawkeye Care Center, Marshalltown
Southridge Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Marshalltown
Iowa Veterans Home, Marshalltown
Bickford Assisted Living, Marshalltown
Glenwood Place, Marshalltown
George & Mary Dixon
George & Phyllis Funk
Anna Mae Henry
State Center Nursing & Rehab Center, State Center
Premier Estates, Toledo
Park Place, Mt. Pleasant
John & Marilyn Jones
Good Samaritan Society, Ottumwa
Mary Lou Banghart
Prayers, cards, and visits are appreciated by those listed above.
SMALL GROUP STUDY OPTION
The Prayer Questers would like to invite any individual with an
interest in prayer to consider joining the group beginning in
January. We meet on Tuesday mornings from 9:30 to 11:00. We
will be picking a new study on January 3 and would like to open our
group up to new members. We have chosen a variety of studies
about prayer over the past year which have usually included viewing a
DVD and individual reading at home. We also have sponsored a few
prayer events, including the Easter prayer vigil and the Prayer
Team. We would consider starting a second Prayer Quester group in
the evening if there is interest. If you are looking for a small
group to join, prayerfully consider joining the Prayer Questers.
Contact Kathy Baker if you are interested or for more information
(641-485-8256 or email@example.com).
ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL ADVENT STUDY
The Adult Sunday School Class is working through an Advent study
entitled Behold, written by Pamela Hawkins. The author describes
her study in this way. She says: “I invite you to behold
the Word with new eyes, new ears, new hearts, and new
possibilities. I hope that you will become freshly open to behold
the ancient Advent story of God’s self-giving of Immanuel, the Word
made flesh, and to cultivate an ongoing attentiveness to what God has
promised, is promising, and will promise to do in the world in the
name, power, and spirit of Jesus the Christ.” All are welcome to
participate in this study on Sunday mornings at 9:45 a.m.
IOWA RELIGIOUS MEDIA SERVICES
CHANGE OF POLICY
In the future, all materials checked out on Hope’s account with Iowa
Religious Media Services will need to go through the church
office. We ask that you go online (www.irms.org) to find the
title and the resource number for the materials you would like to
order. Please relay this information to Judy, and she will order
the materials for you. We will also take care of returning all
materials to IRMS.
Birthday Offering – December 18
Green Rainbow Covenant Stripe—
World Hunger and Poverty Relief
Living Gifts, Heifer International
Heifer International works with families and communities to end hunger
and poverty. Participants pass on their Heifer gift by providing
their animals’ offspring to other community members along with training
they have received, ensuring an ever-widening network of hope, dignity,
Noisy Offering – January 1 (collected by Hope children)
Rainbow Covenant Third Mile—Local and Institutional Giving
House of Compassion, Marshalltown
The House of Compassion offers temporary overnight
shelter, a daily Soup Kitchen, assistance with prescription drug needs,
a Supply Closet providing personal hygiene and household items, school
supplies, Christmas assistance, and gas cards.
IT’S SUPPLY CLOSET TIME
The Supply Closet at the House of Compassion provides up to three
essential household and personal hygiene items per month for families
in our area who meet low-income guidelines. These items cannot be
purchased with food stamps, and the cost can put a strain on those with
limited or fixed incomes. Hope Church is responsible for
providing items in December. Donations may be placed in the
grocery cart in the Hope hallway. Thank you for sharing and for
being “Christ” to our neighbors. Needed items include:
|Laundry detergent/softener || Shampoo/conditioner|
|Dishwashing liquid || Bar soap & baby soap|
|All-purpose cleaner || Toothpaste|
|Paper towels || Deodorant|
|Toilet paper || Shaving cream|
|Kleenex || Cold & flu medicines|
|Baby wipes & larger diapers || Aspirin & non-aspirin|
CHRISTMAS BOOKS NEEDED
We are in need of new Christmas books (we need 45 books) to be given to
the Wonderful Wednesdays participants on the night of their Christmas
program, December 14. There will be a box available by the
Christmas tree holding mittens and gift cards. If you don’t feel
like fighting the crowds, give a donation; and we’ll do the shopping
for you. Giving away free books is part of Change a Child’s Story
sponsored through the Iowa Conference of the United Methodist
Church. The goal of this initiative is to get free books into the
hands of preschool and elementary children. The goal of Hope UMC
is to give away 1200 free books to children by July 2017. To date
we have given away approximately 425 books. Thanks for your help
with this project.
WONDERFUL WEDNESDAYS CHRISTMAS PROGRAM
The children participating in Wonderful Wednesdays will be presenting
their annual Christmas program on December 14 at 5:00 p.m. A meal
for all the families will follow the program. Hot dogs and
toppings, chips, beverages, and table service will be provided.
Those attending are welcome to bring a kid-friendly side dish. We
invite you to come and be a part of this special event for these
BE A DRIVER
Meals on Wheels of Marshalltown is in need of a few fill-in or regular
drivers. We have lost some drivers to the South for the winter,
and some long-timers have retired. Hope Church has at least four
couples on routes, and we thank them—we need to fill 90 routes per
month. A typical route is one day per month for an
average of one hour delivery time. We deliver hot meals every day
of the year. Saturday routes are the hardest to fill but also
have the fewest deliveries. The mission of MOW is to help clients
stay in their homes as long as possible. If you would like to
take a route (someone will ride with you the first time), call Andrea
475-3345—or if you have questions, call John at 750-3840. Note: a sub is usually easy to get if you need one.
Saturday, December 10
6:00 p.m. Soup supper: chili, chicken
noodle, cheesy vegetable, along with bread and relishes. Free
will offering for 2017 Mission Trip to Virginia.
7:00 p.m. Cantata, “At Last Noel,” presented by Chancel Choir. Composed by Randy Vader,
Jay Rouse, and Rose Aspinall, the
cantata is based on familiar and well-loved Christmas carols to set the
stage for Jesus’ birth.
December 11 – 3rd Sunday of Advent
Appointed scriptures: Isaiah 35:1-10; Luke 1:47-55; James 5:7-10; Matthew 11:2-11
Pastor Nan’s sermon: “Who Are You Expecting?”
8:15 a.m. Chancel Choir.
10:45 a.m. Hope Minstrels.
5:00 p.m. Sunday
School Christmas program: “For the Glory of the King.” Meal
following program: maid-rite sandwiches, chips, relishes, cookies.
Wednesday, December 14
5:00 p.m. Wonderful Wednesdays Christmas program and meal (see related article).
December 18 – 4th Sunday of Advent – Birthday Offering
Appointed scriptures: Isaiah 7:10-16; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-25
Pastor Nan will preach.
8:15 and 10:45 a.m. Chancel Choir, Chimes of Hope & Hope Minstrels.
Thursday, December 22
7:00 p.m. Blue Christmas service (see related article).
Saturday, December 24 – Christmas Eve
Appointed scriptures: Isaiah 9:2-7; Psalm 96; Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-20
5:00 p.m. Family service with candle lighting. Music: small group.
7:00 p.m. Communion service with candle lighting. Chancel Choir.
Sunday, December 25 – Christmas Day
Appointed scriptures: Isaiah 52:7-10; Psalm 98; Hebrews 1:1-4; John 1:1-14
Pastor Nan will preach.
10:00 a.m. ONE SERVICE ONLY.
(9:00-9:45 a.m. – Coffee/fellowship.)
Sunday, January 1 – New Year’s Day – Epiphany Sunday – Noisy Offering
Appointed scriptures: Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12
Pastor Nan will preach.
10:00 a.m. ONE SERVICE ONLY.
(9:00-9:45 a.m. – Coffee/fellowship.)
CAREGIVERS SUPPORT GROUP
On Friday, December 16, Iowa River Hospice will host a caregivers
support group called Common Bonds at 2:00 p.m. This group
regularly meets the third Friday of each month at Hope UMC. Volunteers
can be available for companionship for your loved one so caregivers are
free to attend. The role of caregiver is one of the most
challenging, and support is helpful. All are welcome.
Please call Iowa River Hospice at 753-7704 to register or visit
I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year.
HOPE UNITED METHODIST WOMEN
Susanna Circle will gather Saturday, December 10 at 9:00 a.m. in
Fellowship Hall for a breakfast meeting before delivering gifts to a
House of Compassion adopted family. Hostesses will be Mary Borton
and Joyce Salasek. Bev Risius will give devotions.
Mary/Martha Circle will meet Wednesday, December 14 at
9:30 a.m. in Fellowship Hall with hostesses Becky DauSchmidt and
Shirley Hesse. Eileen Mitchell will lead devotions. Treats
will be packed for delivery to shut-ins and others. Bring
individually wrapped cookies or candy and a Christmas gift bag.
Faith Circle will meet Thursday, December 15 at 6:00 p.m. at the home
of Caralee Hutchens, 2207 Wakefield Drive. Caralee is in charge
of devotions and the program.
All women are invited to Circle meetings with no obligation to join.
COOKIE CARRY-OUT THANK YOU
The UMW would like to thank all members of the congregation for
supporting the annual Cookie Carry-out on December 4. Whether you
baked cookies or bought cookies or both, we appreciate your
support. This year’s event raised $426, which will be allocated
to mission projects selected by Hope UMW. Once again, we were
blessed by many helping hands.
THE LATEST NEWSLETTER
from Larry and Jane Kies, our missionaries in Zimbabwe and recipients
of our annual Christmas offering, is posted on a hallway bulletin board
as well as on the Hope website: www.lifeinhope.org
REMEMBER TO RETURN CIRSI CHRISTMAS GIFTS, if you have taken a tag from the tree, by Sunday, December 18.
NEWS DEADLINE FOR JANUARY NEWSLETTER
Tuesday, December 27