Advent 1: Even when we are perplexed, we can trust God is at work for his people’s good.
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord” (Psalm 122:1).
I am always thankful when members of our congregation share their testimonies. Here, Brooke Johnson, a graduate student in chemistry, shares hers:
When I think about God’s faithfulness towards me right now in my second year of the Chemistry PhD program, I would be remiss not to mention how the Lord has used Stone Hill Church to encourage and nurture me. Briefly, I would like to share with you how key verses from our Romans 8 series have revealed essential truths that I needed.
First, I have the privilege to be researching new antimicrobials. However, there are times when research deadlines, fellowship applications, teaching duties, and homesickness, leave me overwhelmed and exhausted, paving the way to vicious cycles of self- doubt and inadequacy. Verse 1 reminds me that, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” I rejoice because Jesus has set me free from the bondage that comes from me missing the mark.
There are times when I am tempted to worry about my research results, or professors’, colleagues’, and my student’s perceptions of me. Verse 15 resets my mind. It says, “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.” As a black woman in STEM who has often felt out of place, it is edifying to be reminded of my position as the daughter of the King.
While I believe that God cares for me and is intimately concerned with everything that concerns me, the seemingly unending negative newsreel has lately left my prayers at a loss for words. However, verse 26 comforts me in that, “We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express”. The sighs, groans, and hymns that I sing when I do not know what to say are precious to our Lord. Where else can I turn but to Jesus Christ?
Church Financial Update: This is the time of year when we come together to provide the financial support to continue and strengthen the ministry of Stone Hill Church. The church typically receives over 25% of our income in December. We need $456,000 to meet the budget. Because of the generous giving of many, we can provide Thanksgiving Baskets to families in our church and community who appreciate the extra love. We are blessed to support the Transformation Church in Trenton. We invest in life-changing outreach, meeting physical and spiritual needs in Haiti, Turkey, and many more locations around the world. In our summer Camp, we share the gospel with busloads of children and celebrate the message with their families at the end of the week. Please prayerfully consider your part in supporting Stone Hill Church. Help us continue to fulfill the mission and calling God has placed on this local body of believers.
Members of Stone Hill are encouraged to nominate Elders and Deacons: You must be a church member to nominate and all nominees must be church members. Fill out the form found in the Westerly Prayer Chapel, and place it in the Nomination Box, bring it by the church office, or email your nominees to firstname.lastname@example.org. All nominations will need to be in by December 4, 2019.
No Empty Stocking: This Christmas Stone Hill has the privilege of joining Princeton Human Services, and Ministries at Stone Hill, in making kids’ Christmas gift wishes come true. You can help! Choose a stocking from the Christmas tree in the atrium. Make sure to record the gift tag number on the checkout sheet, along with your contact information, and take an information sheet. Unwrapped gifts will need to be returned to Stone Hill by December 3, 2019.
Family Christmas Celebration: December 8, from 4-7 p.m. Come enjoy the musical "Jesus Light of the World", presented by the Children's Choir, gather for a simple dinner in Harris Hall, and top the night off with amazing Gingerbread-House making in the Atrium. Kids will have a great time with their families and friends, a time of fun, and really sweet fellowship! Invite your friends!
Casseroles Needed for ISI Christmas Banquet: International Students (ISI) ministry is holding their Annual Christmas Banquet on Saturday, December 7. Each year, Stone Hill provides casseroles for this event. If you are able to make a casserole for this event, please email Connie Darrow email@example.com by December 4 to let her know.
Christmas Eve Services at Stone Hill: We will have our family friendly service beginning at 5 p.m. There will also be a service at 11 p.m., with communion, ushering in Christmas day, the celebration of our Savior’s birth.
Christmas Choir Concert: Join the Stone Hill Choir as they present the Christmas portion of Handel’s masterpiece, MESSIAH, on Sunday, December 15 at 6:30 p.m. The choir will be accompanied by The Stone Hill Chamber Orchestra, with soprano, Rebecca Gater, mezzo-soprano Amy Wells, tenor Arthur Harris, and baritone Steven Condy, all under the direction of Bob Doll. Admission is free. Join us after the concert for a free holiday reception.
WANTED: Jesus followers who love children! Currently we are in need of assistants in our Pre-K, Kindergarten, 2nd, 3rd and 5th grades; options of bi-weekly, weekly or substitute positions. If you would like to make a difference in the life of a child by showing up in their lives, connecting with them and supporting their learning of God's word, please email Betsy Ferrer or Lindsei Lansky at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by the Children's Welcome Desk.
AWANA Store: Gently used items are needed for the upcoming AWANA Store on December 11. If you have items our AWANA clubbers would enjoy, or might make good Christmas gifts for family and friends, please bring your donations to the Children's Welcome Desk by December 8.
Youth Christmas Party: Sunday December 13 at 6:30 p.m., Stone Hill Youth will be hosting it’s annual Youth Group Christmas Party! Whether you are a youth group regular or have never been before, it is a great night to come, bring friends and get involved in the Christmas-themed chaos. There will be a photo booth, karaoke, a human gift wrapping contest, an ugly sweater contest, a white elephant gift exchange and more, as well as pizza, cookies, brownies, hot chocolate and apple cider. Come out and join in the fun, December 13, and bring friends. We hope to see you there!
Stone Hill Learning Center: Please join us on Thursday, December 12 at 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. for our annual Christmas program. Students will perform skits, songs, and recitations; student projects and art work will be on display. Price of admission is an appetizer or dessert to share with 10 people.
D6 Advent Guide: During this Advent season, walk through the Old Testament prophecies about Jesus with your family and prepare your hearts for Christmas. Available today at the Welcome Desk for parents of infants through High Schoolers.