A message from Pastor Holly Aastuen
As a response to our Healthy Church Initiative's general encouragement to do more in the community, I've taken the baby step of reaching out to Discoveries for Children, the preschool that meets in our building. I volunteered to lead a time of singing and reading stories to the 3, 4, and 5 year olds and now every Wednesday afternoon at 12:30, 15 preschoolers and I read and sing and clap in the Aldersgate Chapel.
One thing that I've learned from this is that I love to sing and I love to pass on to these kids the love of singing. Singing brings out the joy in everyone, whether they sing just one note loudly or they join their voices in the melody with the rest. Another thing I've learned is that singing tends to focus kids. Oh, some of the 3 year olds are hard to corral, but for the most part, the 4 and 5 year olds are happy to give you all their attention when you're singing with them.
I've learned that this half hour of time with the kids is something I look forward to all week. Thinking about it occupies my mind. I look forward to introducing new songs to them. I am excited to remember old gems from my childhood like "Red and yellow and pink and green, purple and orange and blue…" I haven't thought about Shari Lewis in years, but now I find myself watching videos of her on YouTube to get ideas for my singing time.
Another thing I've learned from this adventure is that I really love kids! I'm not about to quit my job and work in a pre-school (those who do are really saints in my book!) but I'm going to enjoy this time with them for as long as I can. The last time I met with them, we sang a half a dozen songs, then I read to them the book Stellaluna. Apparently most of them had never heard the book. The part of the book where Stellaluna is separated from her mother and forced to act like a bird instead of a bat, the children were quiet. I thought they were just being attentive, but when we got to the part of the reunion between mother and child, the kids brightened and at the end of the story, they spontaneously clapped! They were so happy for Stellaluna and her mom. That same day as I walked down the Chapel aisle to leave after our time together, one little boy dashed out from the pew and gave me a hug. I got 4 hugs before I left the Chapel that day. Such joy! Such an unexpected gift.
In this season of Advent may you experience joy especially as you share your time with others!
Calling All Bakers!
(And Those Who Love to Eat Baked Goods!)
The Aldersgate Bell Choirs are holding a Christmas cookie sale on Sunday, December 8, following worship. Funds raised from this sale will support youth bell activities such as Adventure Ring and Kid’s Ring, opportunities for our youth to get together, learn, and perform with other young ringers. If you would like to contribute to the cookie sale and help support the Aldersgate bell program, please bring 3-6 dozen of your best homemade Christmas cookies to church no later than Friday, December 6. Please label your donation “Bell Choir Cookies”. Thanks for your support!
Theatre Of The Spirit Auditions in December
Theatre Of The Spirit is back again with a new production slated for March 21-23 and 28-30. We will let you know in the next few weeks which show we have chosen! We will be holding auditions on Saturday, Dec. 14, 10:00-12:00 and Sunday, Dec. 15, 1:00-3:00 p.m. at Aldersgate. Callbacks will be Tuesday, Dec. 17, 6:30-8:00 p.m. if needed. We will ask you to sing a song of your choice and to 'dance' a few steps! ALL who audition are cast in the production We rehearse each Saturday and one night a week beginning in January. Come join us for a wonderful time of fellowship and fun. There are also many opportunities to work backstage with costumes, lights, sets and props. Last year, we had 9 different faith communities represented in our production. We'd love to add your name to the program.
Important Year-End Financial Information
2013 CONTRIBUTIONS AND TAX INFORMATION For donations to be a charitable contribution deduction for the tax year of 2013, donors must deliver or mail checks (and have it postmarked) by December 31, 2013. Checks that are placed in the offering plate on the first Sunday in 2014 are not deductible for 2013, even if dated 2013. If you are paying contributions for 2014 in 2013, please mark the check clearly “2014 Contribution”. These contributions will be a listed tax deduction on your 2013 Contribution Statement and will count toward your pledge for 2014.
YEAR-END CLOSE & EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT The financial year-end is just around the corner. Have you purchased something for the church through a committee for which you plan to be reimbursed? Please complete a Payables Form (found in the office), attach the receipt(s) and have the form authorized by the committee chairperson or director of that area. Please be sure to fill in the line on the form that indicates the budget line item to be charged for this expense. Turn in the completed form with receipts and authorized signature no later than December 20. If you have ordered something for the church and the bill will not be received by December 31, please leave a note for Judy in the office with the vendor’s name, what item(s) were ordered, cost of order and what budget line item is to be charged. We must all be good stewards of the church funds throughout the entire year. Thank you for your help.
ATTENTION CHECK WRITERS When submitting a check to the office please indicate if it is for your 2013 annual pledge or the capital campaign, which is a 3-year pledge. As we near the end of the calendar year also include the year for which you are contributing. Thank you.
Healthy Church Initiative (HCI) Update
The Administrative Council has approved the proposed committee changes that came out of our HCI Vision/Leadership Team. Some committees, like Finance Committee, will be reduced in size, others, such as Hospitality and Worship, will be eliminated and their vital functions replaced with Teams focused on essential tasks. Our Community Outreach Team is meeting several times before the end of the year to develop a plan for community ministry programs that will help the church build relationships with its neighbors and help meet their needs.
Women of Aldersgate:
You are cordially invited to
"The Last (Potluck) Supper
the Final Chapter of the Church Basement Ladies
Are you a church basement lady? Do you know a church basement lady? Did you grow up with a
church basement lady? Here is an opportunity to
re-live those days!
Aldersgate has reserved a block of tickets for the performance on Friday, January 24, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $28 and the deadline to reserve your ticket is Thursday, December 19. Please feel free to invite a church basement lady from your family or neighborhood to join you for this wonderful
experience. We will arrange car pooling, etc at a
later date. We may want to leave early to enjoy
a meal together at The Green Mill.
Please email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
or call (952-929-6725) the church office to
reserve your tickets by December 19.