Amber Congregational Church - To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose.
Our Weekly Schedule

    Sunday
Worship                           9:30 am
Sunday School              10:45 am

   Wednesday
Choir Practice                 7:00 pm

   Friday
Bible Study                     10:30 am
 

*The Lord's Table (Communion) will be celebrated
on the following Sundays in 2019:

First Sunday in Epiphany - January 6,
First Sunday in Lent - March 10,
Maundy Thursday - April 18,
Second Sunday in Easter - April 28,
First Sunday in Pentecost - June 9,
Mid-Summer - July 14,
First Sunday in Kingdom - August 25,
Covenant Renewal Sunday - September 8,
World Communion Sunday - October 6,
All Saint's Sunday - November 3,
Thanksgiving Sunday - November 24,
First Sunday in Advent/Christmas - December 1.


Our Church's Value Statement and Purpose Statement

 We believe the central and primary value in life is relationship,
love relationships with God and with one another.

Loving relationships that are committed to God,
accountable to each other, involved in Christ’s transforming work in our world.

 

Our Schedule of Monthly Meetings in the Life of the Church


   Monthly 

First Wed.                 Trustees                                                        8:00 pm 
First Sat.                    Elders                                                            9:30 am 
Second Wed.             Women’s Fellowship                               10:00 am 
Third Sat.                   Supper Club                                                6:00 pm
Last Sun.                    Congregation chooses hymns,  
                                        coffee hour after Worship

   Bi-monthly

Third Sun of Odd Months       Worship Committee               12:00 pm
Third Sun of Even Months      Education Committee            12:00 pm
Third Wed of Even Months     Outreach Committee               8:00 pm

   Quarterly

Last Wed of 1,4,7,10       Samaritan Committee                        8:00 pm
Third Sat of 2,5,8,11       Revitalization Committee                   9:30 am


Worship News and Notes

   It is unusual for Epiphany to actually fall on a Sunday but it does this year.  We will observe the day by concluding our Advent/Christmas series on the names of Jesus with the one from Matthew 2, the Nazarene.  Then to start off the new year I will give, as I did last year, a short series of sermons on the subject of retirement.  Yes, I am getting older and that day is just around the corner.  Part of how we prepare ourselves, you and me, for that is to see how these kinds of transitions were handled in the Scripture.  Last year we looked at Moses stepping down and Joshua stepping up.  This year we will look at how Joshua sought to prepare the people for his leaving.  The present plan is to continue this series every January until my retirement comes.  I don’t want it to sneak up on us so let’s use the years we have to make ourselves ready.  Please read and ponder these Scripture passages as you prepare for worship with us on Sunday morning.
 
Advent/Christmas/Epiphany
It’s All about Jesus!
 
Jan    6 – Jesus the Nazarene
   (Matthew 2:13-23)  Epiphany
   Communion
 
The Retirement of Joshua
The Focus of Covenant  (Joshua 23-24)
 
Jan  13 – The Coming Change of
   Leadership (23:1-5)
Jan  20 – Sanctity of Human Life
   Sunday
Jan  27 – The Centrality of the Book
   (23:6-16)
Feb   3 – The Cherished History
   (24:1-13)
Feb 10 – The Committed Choice
   (24:14-27)
Feb 17 – The Future Inheritance
   (24:28-33)
 
   Our average Worship attendancefor the month of December was 64.  Our financial giving to date is $104,353 of the 2018 budget of $107,556.   Giving envelopes for 2019 are available in the foyer at church.  When you begin using these on January 6, PLEASE DISCARD any old envelopes as the numbers have changed.  See Faith Stopyro (315-673-1516 or fstopyro@windstream.net) if you would like envelopes.
 
   You may have noticed that our hymnals are beginning to look a little ratty with most of the bindings having required a little reinforcement tape.  They have served us well for the last 28 years.  But it was published in 1986 and is no longer in print so we are beginning the search to try and find a replacement.  Interestingly there is a significant lack of new hymnals being printed, the result of more contemporary churches projecting their songs on large screens eliminating the need for books.  Nevertheless, there is a small selection of new hymnals still on the market and sample copies are being examined.  This is where you come in.  We want to be sure that the hymns and songs you like to sing would be included in any new hymnal we might purchase.  Please jot down a list of your favorites and give it to Rick Chaffee.  This process is in its beginning stages and you will be apprised of its developments as we move ahead.  Thank you for your contribution to continuing hymn singing in public worship.
 
Church Annual Meeting
 
   It is time to begin preparing for our church Annual Meeting.  Written reports from all boards and Directors should be submitted by January 20 so that our meeting packet can be printed for your review a week before our meeting on February 3.  A proposed budget for the 2019 church year has been prepared by the Trustees and will be included in that packet.  It will be presented for vote at the church Annual Meeting.  

 
Ministers Worship Schedule
for January
 
   If you would like to be included in any of the ministries noted below please speak to Rick Chaffee (636-8843) or Deb O’Brien (420-2471) and we will add you to the rotation.  Thank you. 
 
   Greeters
Jan   6 – Adele Reagan, Deb O’Brien
Jan 13 – Gary Sanford, Roxanne
   Pikarsky
Jan 20 – Adele Reagan, Mark
   Henderson
Jan 27 – Jim Frary, Chuck Harris
Feb  3 – Lynn and Doug LaFrance
 
   Worship Leader
Jan   6 – Nancy Barber
Jan 13 – Gail Frary
Jan 20 – Cathy Smith
Jan 27 – Sherry Persad
Feb  3 – Deb O’Brien
 
    Ushers
Jan   6 – Jeff Southard, Mark
   Henderson
Jan 13 – Deb O’Brien, Chuck Harris
Jan 20 – Jim Frary, Cheryl Curtis
Jan 27 – Mike Curtis, Terry Wheeler
Feb  3 – Dave Heath, Jeff Southard
 
   Acolyte
Jan   6 – Dahlia Schultz, Riley
   LaFrance
Jan 13 – Rose Locke, Ryan Swierk
Jan 20 – Alex Locke-Wright, Lilly
   Schultz
Jan 27 – Megan Heath, Paige Swierk
Feb  3 – Dahlia Schultz, Riley
   LaFrance
 
   Nursery
Jan   6 – Lynn LaFrance
Jan 13 – Jenn Schultz
Jan 20 – Kristin Heath
Jan 27 – Cathy Smith
Feb  3 – Lynn LaFrance

 
 





 





 Outreach News and Notes
 
   Freeze Out, a glow-in-the-dark run/walk at Onondaga Community College will take place on Friday, February 15.  Proceeds from this go to the Syracuse Rescue Mission’s programs to end homelessness right here in our community.  For more information please speak to Lynn LaFrance (315-480-0696).
 
   The Friendship Luncheon will not be held again until the first Wednesday of March.  We have found the weather to not always be cooperative for this event so have decided to take a short winter break.  When we resume Linda Henderson and Laurie Torrance will be our organizers.  We hope to keep providing these fellowship meals as a means of encouraging friendship and community.


Education News and Notes

   Bible study is an important part of our church life.  It is essential for all Christians if they are to evaluate and live life as God directs to have a kind of basic framework for thinking.  The Bible provides this to us with its stories of good and evil, sin and forgiveness, time and responsibility.  So what do you know about the teaching of Jesus, about his life and death?  Why are Christmas and Easter so important to our everyday decision making?  What about the stories of David and Moses and Elijah?  What can we learn from the kings and prophets that can help us face our present realities in a Christian manner? 
 
   To try and provide some opportunities for learning the Amber Church regularly schedules Bible studies each week.  Sunday Worship is a major source of this Biblical learning time and obviously is open to everyone to attend.  Instruction for youth is given in JAM time (Jesus and Me) during the Sunday Worship hour. The Adult Sunday School class which follows our Worship is primarily a teacher led discussion on a particular Bible theme or a specific Bible passage.  Our Friday Bible Study meets each week for an hour, from 10:30 to 11:30.  We chose a morning meeting time to try and accommodate those who don’t want to drive at night, so do take advantage of this if you are able.  We have also been encouraging the One-to-One meetings that many are involved in which meet at their own schedules. Let’s be real people of the book as we learn and grow together.
 
   If any youth are interested in attending our Confirmation Classes we will schedule them for the first couple of months of 2019.  We have tended to meet on Sunday, either during the Sunday School hour or in the afternoon, however, the time is flexible and dependent upon those desirous of attending.  Confirmation is the event when youth profess their faith, confirming what their parents professed when they had them baptized.  We do ask that parents help guide their children toward this commitment but we do want the decision to be the child’s not the parent’s, else personal faith is really not being confirmed.  If you are interested please get in touch with Rick Chaffee either by phone or email (315-636-8843, rickchaffee314@gmail.com).
 
   And don’t forget the Church Library as a source for your own personal faith development.  We have books for all ages, novels and biographies as well as books on Christian living and issues of special concern.  There are a good number of books for children as well so do stop by and check a few out.
 

Counseling

  Sue Ellen Harris, LCSW-R has opened a counseling practice here at the church and will be taking appointments at 696-8521.  Mrs. Harris is a licensed Clinical Social Worker with 25 years of professional experience addressing oppositional behavior in children and youth, improving marital communication and family functioning, and treatment of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and complicated grief.  She will also be holding periodic informational sessions to the general public on a variety of counseling issues.  She practices a sliding scale fee structure.


January Birthdays and Anniversaries  

   Birthdays
Lisa McVicar (2)
Marilyn Fish  (2)
David Seymour (4)
Jonathon Just (5)
David Angelo (6)
Garrett Crysler (8)
Jennifer Simmons (8)
Viola Darling (9)
Christine Robinson (16)
Eric Robinson (17)
Ryan Swierk (21)
Karen Kipp (21)
Melanie Shelley (22)
Karen Bailer (23)
Ellie Southard (26)
Trinity O’Brien (26)
Melanie Epp (26)
Doug Kipp (27)
Teagan Swierk (30)
 
   Anniversaries
Hamilton McCarthy & Dorothy
   Herold (5)

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