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Newsletter for December, 2019

Christmas Film Festival

Throughout the month of December, we will be showing Christmas movies in place of our midweek services on Monday evenings at 6:30.

The first movie we will show (December 2)is especially for the children. It is called The Star and was released around Christmas time 2017. This animated film retells  the account of Jesus’ birth from the point of view of the donkey that accompanies Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. It features a voice cast that is interesting and diverse. Bring the kids and grandkids for this fun-filled feature.

The second movie that we will show on December 9 is a bit of a buried treasure. It is one of the very best versions of the classic tale A Christmas Carol ever made. It is the only animated movie ever made for television that won the Academy Award for best animated short.

Finally, on December 16, we will be showing a movie that we’ve shown before. It’s 2006’s The Nativity Story. This is, flat out, one of the very best movies based on a biblical account ever made. With very little dramatic license and some helpful insights to the political situation of the day, it tells the simple, yet beautiful, account of Jesus’ birth. Come and enjoy all of these movies.

Christmas Brunch

Our Ladies Aid is hosting a time of fellowship after our service on Sunday, December 8.  They will be providing the coffee and the other drinks.  If you want to come, we ask that you  bring a brunch type dish to pass. 

This is a fun and tasty way to start up the Christmas season.  All are welcome to come and enjoy. (They made sure that there was no conflict with Packer game on that day.)

Tuba Christmas and Horns a Plenty

2019 is the 46th anniversary for Tuba Christmas concerts/events which are presented throughout the world. In addition, it is the 30th anniversary of Tuba Christmas in the Fox Valley. This year, the Fox Cities concert will take place on Saturday, December 7 at 7:00 PM at the Chapel of Lawrence University in downtown Appleton.

Tuba Christmas  was conceived in 1974 by Harvey Phillips as a tribute to his teacher and mentor William J. Bell, born on Christmas Day, 1902.

There is also another special Christmas concert taking place in our area this month. Horns a Plenty is a concert that features mostly (but not exclusively) French Horns.

This year’s concert takes place on Saturday, December 21 at 7:00 PM in the Fox Valley Lutheran High School Auditorium. At this concert, there will be an attempt at a world record. The organizers of the concert hope to have 100 French Horn players perform the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah. Both concerts are free and open to the public.

Fox Folk Marienettes

The Fox Folk Marionettes Troupe is looking forward to a special December season this year. In addition to our traditional performance at the Apple Creek YMCA on December 7 at 11 AM and 1 PM, the troupe is hosting a special 60-minute Christmas show for the 4K – Grade 3 students in the Fox River Valley on the FVL stage.

These will take place on December 10 and 17 (Tuesdays) at 10 AM & 1 PM.

This presentation will begin with the audience favorite “The Gift of  the Princess” that tells the story of the Wisemen coming to visit the young Jesus in Bethlehem.

After a short, interactive intermission, the show will continue with “Children of the Kingdom” — a newly written Christmas fairy tale that encourages the audience to continue to share the message of Jesus. Morning and afternoon shows will be offered. Parents and grandparents are encouraged to attend.

Christmas Day Service (And New Years Eve)

In the Christmas Day service (December 25 at 8:30 AM), we will be looking at one of the most familiar passages in all of Scripture, Luke 2:6-7 (quoted on the front page of this newsletter) and ask ourselves, “Have we been picturing it wrong?” The answer might surprise you and (we hope) deepen your appreciation of this event.

Over the course of the last several years, we have reinstated the ancient church practice of offering the Lord’s Supper on Christmas Day (that is the “mas” part of Christmas).

New Year’s Eve falls on Tuesday this year. What we will be doing is to celebrate New Years Eve and Day in our regular worship service on December 29. This will be a special communion service. We will also have a communion service on Monday December 30 at 6:30 PM which will feature the same sermon as the sermon on Sunday. You are welcome to attend either service to thank God for the blessings. There will be no Service on December 31.

Christmas Eve Service

Most of us probably have at least one in our house. Many of us have more than that. They range in size from miniature ones that we hang as ornaments on our Christmas trees to large ones that we put out on our lawns. I am speaking of manger scenes.

This year, our Christmas Eve service will revolve around manger scenes (creches). Each one that we look at will be a little bit different and will tell about a different aspect of our Christmas celebrations. As always, the children of our congregation will have an important part to play.

The older children will have the privilege of reading the Scripture lessons, the little children will join them to sing a number of songs (including “Away in a Manger,” of course), and Pastor Lillo will be sharing a series of devotions based on the imagery of the different manger scenes. This service takes place on Tuesday, December 24, at 3:00 PM.

Other December Happenings

The children of our congregation will be practicing for the Christmas Eve service several times before the Christmas Eve service. The times for those practices will be determined and announce shortly.

We will be decorating the church for the Christmas season on Saturday, December 7 at 1:00 PM. All are invited to come and help. All help is greatly appreciated.

Remember that we always have the opportunity to help the residents of Brewster Village worship their Lord on the first Monday of the month at 9:45 AM. If you want to help, come around 9:30 AM.

The students of FVL will be presenting a sacred concert for the Christmas season on Sunday, December 15, at 4:00 PM. This is a concert that will feature all of the vocal groups of FVL.

Every Friday morning at 8:15 AM, there is a special worship opportunity for the students of Immanuel Lutheran School in Greenville. All are welcome to come and worship with the students in these weeks leading up to Christmas.

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