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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)


    Rev. Bradley S. DulaneyRev. Bradley S. DulaneyRev. Bradley S. DulaneyRev. Bradley S. Dulaney pastor@redwoodumc.org

    Minister of Community OutreachMinister of Community OutreachMinister of Community OutreachMinister of Community Outreach Rev. Susan HughesRev. Susan HughesRev. Susan HughesRev. Susan Hughes

    susan@redwoodumc.org Director of Music MinistriesDirector of Music MinistriesDirector of Music MinistriesDirector of Music Ministries

    Ashley CundiffAshley CundiffAshley CundiffAshley Cundiff ashley@redwoodumc.org

    Director of Children & Youth MinistriesDirector of Children & Youth MinistriesDirector of Children & Youth MinistriesDirector of Children & Youth Ministries Jessi FortnerJessi FortnerJessi FortnerJessi Fortner

    jessica@redwoodumc.org Administrative AssistantAdministrative AssistantAdministrative AssistantAdministrative Assistant

    Stacey SinkStacey SinkStacey SinkStacey Sink stacey@redwoodumc.org

    TreasurerTreasurerTreasurerTreasurer Pat HorningPat HorningPat HorningPat Horning

    treasurer@redwoodumc.org PianistPianistPianistPianist

    Lisa EdwardsLisa EdwardsLisa EdwardsLisa Edwards Nursery AttendantNursery AttendantNursery AttendantNursery Attendant

    SSSSttttaaaacccceeeeyyyy SSSSiiiinnnnkkkk

    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.

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    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 ..

    December3 ACarpenterNamedJoseph

    December10 WhoseChildIsThis?

    December17 RaisingaChildNotYourOwn

    Dec24(8:30a.m.only) The Journey to Bethlehem

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    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,


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