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Redwood United Methodist Church Volume 6 Issue 12 December 2017
To connect the unconnected to a To connect the unconnected to a To connect the unconnected to a To connect the unconnected to a
community of faith where Jesus community of faith where Jesus community of faith where Jesus community of faith where Jesus
Christ transforms them into worldChrist transforms them into worldChrist transforms them into worldChrist transforms them into world----
changing disciples. changing disciples. changing disciples. changing disciples.
Love God (Worship)Love God (Worship)Love God (Worship)Love God (Worship)
Love Others (Small Groups)Love Others (Small Groups)Love Others (Small Groups)Love Others (Small Groups)
Serve the World (Mission)Serve the World (Mission)Serve the World (Mission)Serve the World (Mission)
CCCCHURCHHURCHHURCHHURCH SSSSTAFFTAFFTAFFTAFF PastorPastorPastorPastor
Rev. Bradley S. DulaneyRev. Bradley S. DulaneyRev. Bradley S. DulaneyRev. Bradley S. Dulaney email@example.com
Minister of Community OutreachMinister of Community OutreachMinister of Community OutreachMinister of Community Outreach Rev. Susan HughesRev. Susan HughesRev. Susan HughesRev. Susan Hughes
firstname.lastname@example.org Director of Music MinistriesDirector of Music MinistriesDirector of Music MinistriesDirector of Music Ministries
Ashley CundiffAshley CundiffAshley CundiffAshley Cundiff email@example.com
Director of Children & Youth MinistriesDirector of Children & Youth MinistriesDirector of Children & Youth MinistriesDirector of Children & Youth Ministries Jessi FortnerJessi FortnerJessi FortnerJessi Fortner
firstname.lastname@example.org Administrative AssistantAdministrative AssistantAdministrative AssistantAdministrative Assistant
Stacey SinkStacey SinkStacey SinkStacey Sink email@example.com
TreasurerTreasurerTreasurerTreasurer Pat HorningPat HorningPat HorningPat Horning
Lisa EdwardsLisa EdwardsLisa EdwardsLisa Edwards Nursery AttendantNursery AttendantNursery AttendantNursery Attendant
Worship, Communion, Carols & Candlelight! Christmas Eve Services at Redwood UMC
Sunday December 24, 2017
Bring your friends and families to join us for one of our special times of worship! With Christmas Eve falling on a Sunday, please note differences from past years service schedules.
8:30 a.m. Worship ServiceThis laid-back service keeps the fourth Sunday in Ad-vent. With carols led by Pastor Brad on the guitar, the service will include a sermon in the Advent series Faithful. Childcare is provided.
11:00 a.m. Family Christmas Eve ServiceBring your children and grandchildren to this hands-on Christmas celebration, which will include a newly-revised impromp-tu staging of the Christmas story (by those kids who choose to participate), as well as carols sung by candlelight. Childcare is provided.
8:30 p.m. Candlelight & CommunionThis traditional Christmas Eve service is filled with warmth and hope. With carols led by our choir, the service concludes with Holy Communion and the lighting of candles. Childcare is provided.
11:00 p.m. Candlelight & CommunionThis traditional, Midnight service is a meaningful way to celebrate Christmas. With carols and special music, the service concludes with Holy Communion and the lighting of candles to welcome this holy day. A Note on Sunday School & Small GroupsPlease note that, on Christmas Eve, De-cember 24th, Sunday school classes or adult small groups will NOT be meeting. How-ever, Sunday school and small groups WILL meet on New Years Eve, December 31st.
R&RR&RR&RR&R Reflections and Ruminations from the Pastors Study...
How Cancer Has Changed Me
On Good Friday this year, as I was
carrying a large cross around Rocky Mount
with fellow Jesus-followers, I was absorbing
the news from the day before that my wife,
Kim, had breast cancer. The weight of the
cross burdened my body, and its hardness
cut into my shoulder and against my head
just as the thought of my wife having cancer
burdened my mind and cut my heart. Nearly
eight months have passed, and my mind and
heart have been changed through the crucible of cancer.
Ive grown to embrace how much in life is truly beyond my
control. Who wouldve ever thought that my wifea model of
health and wellness, with no significant family history of cancer
would develop breast cancer in her early 40s? Even when you do
everything in your power to stay healthy, safe, secure, etc., life has
this way of throwing you curve balls you never wouldve expected or
wanted. This rocked me to my core. It helped me to loosen my grip
on things, and be/er accept whatever comes my way with open
hands, open mind and open heartwhether I like them or not. I
used to get angry or frustrated more o0en when things didnt go
according to my plans. But now, I more easily receive what comes,
and surrender my will (wants, desires, dreams, longings) to some-
thing greater than myself. Like Jesus praying in the Garden of Geth-
semane, I am able to say, Not my will, but your will be doneeven
when what is happening around me isnt necessarily in accordance
with Gods will as I understand it. I be/er trust that, with God, no
trial, suffering, wrong or defeat is wasted, because grace can take
what is ugly and make it beau8ful.
I be/er grasp how precious and wonderful is life. The prospect
of losing the one person I love more than anyone else in this life
opened my eyes to just how good it is to live in this world. When
crea8ng all of this (and us), God called it good. And how truly good it
is! Being confronted with the possibility of losing my wife opened
my eyes to the blessedness and loveliness I so o0en had overlooked.
I used to let my eyes focus more on all thats wrong with the world.
(A0er all, thats what perfec8onists are good at doing!) But God has
be/er perfected my vision, so that I see the beauty and magnificence
of the created world energized by the Holy Spirit.
With my eyes opened more fully, I feel Im be/er able to love.
Part of this is realizing how very deeply I love my wife. (Having
walked with her through the past months of poison and pain, surgery
and sorrow, uncertainty, sickness, and loss, I feel our bonds have
grown stronger.) But its also in realizing Im loving others more fully
than I did. My heart bursts more when I see my kids get off the bus.
I no8ce people more than I used to. I find myself looking more into
peoples eyes, and glimpsing their fear, their hope, or their joy. God
has stoked the fires of love in my heart. And while Im painfully
aware of how far short my love s8ll falls, I trust the Holy Spirit to
grow a more Christ-like love in my heart.
None of this is my doing. I could not change myself if I tried!
Gods taken something horrible, and used it to shake me loose, so
that I might be/er trust and rely on the unforced rhythms of
grace (ref. Ma/hew 11:28-30 Message transla8on). This is all Gods
work. The cross Jesus carried was one of the most wretched, horri-
ble, unjust moments of human history. The Triune God took the
death that we offered Gods Son, and transformed it into life. The
crucifixion and resurrec8on of Jesus is the fountain from which grace
upon grace flows. The cross I carried on Good Friday became what
carried me and changed me through this unwanted journey. As we
together journey to Bethlehem over the coming weeks, I pray God
will also use those unwelcomed journeys of our lives to change us
more and more into the people we were created to be.
Your brother in Christ,
Rev. Brad Dulaney
Advent-Christmas Worship Series
S 8:30 11 ..
Dec24(8:30a.m.only) The Journey to Bethlehem
Susans MusingsSusans MusingsSusans MusingsSusans Musings Thoughts from RUMCs Minister of Community Outreach...
This past Sunday was a fantas8c
celebra8on as we talked about the year in
review and truly gave thanks for the small
and mighty ways God has worked in and
through our community of faith. One of
the ministries that was celebrated was
our Wednesday night intergenera8onal
ministry that we affec8onately call "The
Connec8on." Nancy Beach,