Pastor Kip's Email
December 8, 2017
Happy Friday! This Sunday will be the Second Sunday of Advent! Can you believe that? Christmas Eve will be here so soon. And remember that on Christmas Eve, we will have one service in the morning at 10am which will be the Fourth Sunday of Advent, and then on Christmas Eve evening we will celebrate Christmas Eve with two services - 5:00 and 7:00pm.
This Sunday will be a great Sunday because we have new members joining. As of the time of this writing, I do not know at what services they will be joining. So we'll all be surprised Sunday.
Also this Sunday at the 9:30 service we will have a small bell choir team playing with the choir's anthem and the children will be singing with the choir as well. It promises to be an amazing performance! Thank you bell choir, choral choir and children's ministry for putting all of this together.
And speaking of putting things together, I know that you enjoyed the duet of Katherine Cornelius and Bob Rhoden last Sunday. They sang at each service and they were wonderful at each. Thanks to you both.
Last Sunday during the message time we looked back at the prophecy of Jesus' coming through the message of God to his people through the voice of Micah. And my hope was that we could begin to get a sense of just how big and wondrous God's plan of salvation truly is. This week our reading is from the Gospel of Mark.
In this reading we will listen to Jesus telling his disciples that they must be ready for the second coming of the Son of Man. The scripture is Mark 13:24-37. This is an apocalyptic reading, meaning simply that it relates to the end of the world. Others may define the idea as being the end of time. And still others insist that its definition includes the presence of great destruction. So, Jesus is speaking about the end of the world/time as we know it now, to allow for his second coming.
Our reading is commonly divided into three segments; the cosmic signs, the lesson from the fig tree and the parabolic warning. The focus of the text is that the second coming of Jesus is going to take place, only the Father in heaven knows when, and our main objective is to be ready. Now it is interesting to me that our main objective seems to cut across our natural human nature. It is more to our nature to be on the lookout for this event in the sense that we want to know when it is happening. Since no one knows the when of this event, then it makes sense to be focused on our readiness for the event.
But what a terrible time to have to be reminded that we are to be ready for the second coming, right in the middle of the Advent Season. Why is this a bad time? Because we have so much to do already with the coming of Christmas! The Advent Season can be seen by many folks as the "countdown" to Christmas. We know when that is coming, and we are rushing around getting ready for its arrival. And that's the point, we don't know when the second coming will take place, so the only thing we can do is always be ready, no matter when it comes. If it comes on Christmas Eve or day, will we be ready, in light of all we had to do to get ready for Christmas? I hope so. Remember there will be no great advanced notice. It will just come.
OK, I look forward to seeing you at your favorite service this week.
God Bless-Pastor Kip
Today (Friday) at 2:00 pm at Strickland Funeral Home in Crystal River there will be service of remembrance for Virginia "Ginny" Hicks where you may say your farewells to her and pay your respects to the family.
Okay, a quick little reminder about tomorrow morning's second Saturday of the month Pancake Breakfast from 8 to 10 am. Don't miss out on a tasty and filling breakfast for just $4.00. Yep. Just $4.00. AND if you saved your insert from last Sunday (ahem....per my reminder in last Friday's weekly email), then the breakfast is just $3.50. Now where else could you get fluffy and light ALL YOU CAN EAT pancakes and sausages for that price? Nowhere that I am aware of! And what a good cause. Our sponsor of this breakfast is the Serendipity Men's group and they do such good works with the donations they collect by helping local charities such as The Sanctuary Mission and The Grace House, among others.
A few upcoming local events for those of you who don't have facebook.
INVERNESS PARADE THIS WEEKEND
Click this link for more info:
Winter Waterland at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
Dec 8-9 (Friday and Saturday) and Dec 15-16 Details here:
Many free or low cost events are happening in our sunshine state this time of year. Get out of the house and enjoy one (or more) or them. Bring a sweater though!
Christmas Celebration of Lights
HOMOSASSA - The Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, along with the Friends of Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park, will host its annual Christmas Celebration of Lights, a seven-evening event, from Tuesday, Dec. 19 through Christmas Eve, Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017, and again on Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017.
The park will open at 5:30 p.m. on these evenings and will remain open until 9 p.m. The Celebration of Lights will feature an all new synchronized light and sound display in the Garden of the Springs by Sebastian Hawes. Vicky Iozzia and Nills Anderson will host and present special appearances by our nightly entertainment. Holiday lights, decorations, music and refreshments will create the perfect setting for this holiday wonderland.
The Wildside Café will be offering a selection of refreshments. The Friends will also be selling popcorn in the Garden of the Springs. A donation of $5 for adults and $2 for children ages 3 through 12 is suggested. Children age 2 and under are admitted free. For our visitors' convenience, transportation will be provided by tram from the Visitor Center parking lot on U.S. 19 to the West entrance on Fishbowl Drive. For more information, call the park office at (352) 628-5343, Mondays through Fridays. The event will take place: 5:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. Dec. 19 - 24, and Dec. 26, 2017 Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park 4150 S. Suncoast Boulevard Homosassa, Florida.
Remembering the Reason for the Season,
Donna Munsen, Administrator