What’s Up December 2020

December 2020, Volume 3, Issue 12

In this issue, read about:

Advent and Christmas at FPCPA

While Advent and Christmas will be different this year, the season can still be a time of reflection, deepening and discovery – perhaps in new and interesting ways.

To enter into the season and allow time for more reflection, beginning the week of November 23, Breathe, Beverages with Bruce, Bible studies, and webinars will not be held. Film Group also will not meet in December.

Here are the opportunities your Worship and Music Ministry Team along with Staff are planning:   

Advent Jazz Services: Wednesdays, December 2, 9, 16, and 23, from 12:00 noon to 12:30.

Register at http://bit.ly/FPCPAJazz

Join us for a time to stop and reflect on the coming of Christ through music, prayer and jazz with Andy, Bruce and Jonathan Bautista.

 Advent Sunday Worship Services: November 29, December 6, 13 and 20 at 10:00 a.m.

These services will follow traditional themes in music and worship with a different family or individual lighting the Advent candles in their homes.

Christmas Eve: Thursday, December 24 – two services:

Register for both at https://bit.ly/FPCPAChristmasEve

5:00 p.m.           Traditional service with lots of carols and two virtual choir anthems (African  Noel and Still, Still, Still). Candle-lighting while singing Silent Night

11:30 p.m.         Late Service featuring music and readings led by Bruce and Andy. The lighting of the Christ Candle at midnight will take us into Christmas Day.

Belonging Class and New Members

Thanks to Bruce’s initiation and design (and with much help from staff and elders), we just completed the first “Belonging” membership class comprising two sessions held on Sunday after church earlier this month. 7-10 people attended one or both sessions, with several members and Elders joining as well. This marks the resumption of membership classes, which have not been held at FPCPA for several years. It was jam-packed with theology, polity, community information, and various ways for those interested to commit and plug into our congregation. The larger plan is to rotate between “Belonging” (i.e., church membership) class and “Believing” (i.e., faith and belief) classes such that we will have two of each type of class over the course of a year. Stay tuned for the first “Believing” class to be announced in the new year. 

Session has approved two new members:

Ev Pugh will join via a transfer of membership from Seventh Avenue Presbyterian Church of San Francisco. They are currently studying at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, in St. Paul, Minnesota. Ev plans to become the third generation of the Pugh-Reyes-Chow family to become a Minister of the Word and Sacrament in the PC(USA).  

Karen Huddleston will join via a transfer of membership from Southminster Presbyterian Church of Beaverton, Oregon. She has attended FPCPA for about four years and has been active in the Choir, the Audio/Visual/Tech team, the Film Group, and the Young Adults Group. Karen has also agreed to become a Session Member.

They will be officially welcomed into our congregation during worship on Sunday, December 6. There will also be a brief congregational meeting following worship that Sunday to approve Karen’s Nomination to Session.

Social Justice and Cool Planet

Both Social Justice and Cool Planet have been working on plans to distribute the remainder of their 2020 budgets. We will support our usual partners, but have also added a few others that are working in the fields of environmental and racial justice.

Heart and Home Women’s Winter Shelter. We have received a request from this group to host 15 women for six weeks from January 10 to February 21. Peninsula Bible Church will host them for the first six weeks, starting soon, and the Unitarian Universalist Church will host mid- February to early April. For several years we have supported this group with donations of cash and coffee cards; you may remember making Valentines in the Narthex for the women. 

Normally University Lutheran hosts in January-February, but they do not have a big enough space for the currently required social distancing. University Lutheran and Heart and Home will provide meals and supervision during this time period, so our main contribution is the use of of Fellowship Hall. We will meet with Chyrise and the Pandemic Task Force to see if we can say yes to this request. 

Holiday Donation Drives.  Several of our partner organizations have had extraordinary requests for their resources this year and have responded quickly to new ways of operating.

See https://fpcpaloalto.org/holiday-donations-2020/ for information on how you can contribute to holiday drives from four of them. Social Justice will contribute $250 to each drive.

Memories of Advents and Christmas Eves Past