Archive for 2018

From the Pastor’s Heart

Posted December 1, 2018 By admin

Recognizing newsletter deadlines, once again, I have the peculiar task of writing a Christmas message even before I’ve worked up an appetite for Thanksgiving turkey. So, to get in the mood for the season I’m playing Christmas music on the computer as I write. Most of us have our favorite Christmas song and I am no different. My favorite is O Holy Night. I love this song and it never gets old.

Many of my favorite artists have recorded O Holy Night. There are dozens of renditions that will literally bring a tear to my eye. Like so many, I get caught up in the emotional response to beautiful music played by amazing musicians or sung by gifted vocalists. Throughout my years as pastor, members of previous congregations have given their renditions of this beloved song, only to reduce their pastor to tears of joy as they offered their gift. You may wonder what it is about this song that solicits such a reaction for me. Truly, beautiful as it is, it is not the melody. O Holy Night captivates me so because of its message. The words speak so strongly to the power of God’s love.

In 1847, a priest commissioned Frenchman Placide Cappeau to write a poem for the Christmas mass. He knew this poem would be central to the priest’s proclamation so it must be scriptural and reverent. The poem would have to speak to the struggle of our human condition and at the same time declare the hope of God’s people fulfilled through the birth of the Christ child. Turning to Luke’s gospel, Cappeau imagined what it might have been like to witness the birth of Christ on the holiest of nights. Cappeau’s poem speaks of a night extraordinarily different than most. The sky was so clear that the stars seemed to shine brighter than ever before. The opening of the song leads us into this same vision:

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining;
this is the night, of our dear Savior’s birth!

We’ve all witnessed Christmas nights such as this. Yet, we realize that even at Christmas, the world is still filled with difficulties and challenges . There is a reason God came to earth in human form. Our world is one bent on disobedience, selfishness, and anger. Each week, as we confess our sins we admit our part in the world’s calamity.

We cannot pretend that God is not privy to the instances where we have not kept his commandments. We cannot live as though he has not seen the wrongs we’ve done toward one another. Even the most faithful among us has sinned against God and against a neighbor. Yet, there is hope, and this is where O Holy Night gets my full and complete attention. Cappeau writes:

Long lay the world, in sin and error pining;
Till he appeared and the soul felt his worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices;
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

God has kept his promise to save his people; he has sent his Son, the child of Mary to be Savior and Lord. Cappeau offered his congregation a declaration of God’s grace and forgiveness made possible through the life, death and resurrection of a single child born on that holy night. Just as he was born in humility, Jesus would also humbly endure the burden of shame brought about the world’s sin. The message of O Holy Night proclaims the powerful truth of God’s salvation made known as the King of Glory makes his entrance into the world for the sake of all humanity. This is no ordinary child. This is no ordinary night. This Christmas, as I have and always will, I invite you all to worship with me and the rest of your church family on the holiest of nights. Come hear the message of God’s grace as we remember how our Savior and Lord breaks into our time a space yet once more. Hear the words of the gospel and realize the thrill of God’ssaving grace.

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night; O night divine!

Grace to you and peace, this Christmas,
Pastor David Nuottila
From the Pastor’s Heart

Pastoral Devotion for December

Posted December 1, 2018 By admin

Read John 1:1-14

Since the beginning, light has been a sign of life and hope. As God spoke, light burst forth and shattered the darkness. Throughout John’s account of the gospel of Christ, a theme of darkness and light winds its way through each chapter.

Imagine the first Christmas morning, the first hint of sunlight breaking through the dawn of a new day. Its warm rays illumine the form of the new family; the father and mother huddled close, gazing upon their child born during the night. Those first beams of light shine upon the child who is wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Yet even brilliant rays of sunlight cannot compare to the splendor of his radiance. For this child is light for the world.

In these days of uncertainty, in the midst of doubt and fear, darkness often falls upon the human family. Yet, through the babe born unto Mary and Joseph, light shines. In Christ there is hope; in him there is peace, through him only is light, and the light is life for all people.

In the beginning, God said, “Let there be light.” Today, this same light shines in the hearts of God’s people, a light that no darkness can overcome. Ours is to testify to the light of Christ. Through him only, is there hope for life without end.

Prayer: We thank you, O God, for the light that shatters the darkness, the light of your Christ. Amen.

Church Office Information

Posted November 27, 2018 By admin

The Church Office will be closed for the Christmas and New Year Holiday beginning December 24, 2018 and returning on Wednesday, January 2, 2019. Hope you all have a Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!!!

Family Fun Fellowship

Posted November 27, 2018 By admin

We will not have a 5th Family Fun Fellowship Event in December.

2018 Year end Closing

Posted November 27, 2018 By admin

Financial Year End information is due by December 31st. If you have any paperwork (reimbursement requests, receipts to back cash advances, and any leftover cash, etc.) for 2018, please turn your information in to Caroline so she can close out the year. If you have any questions, please see Caroline.

Annual Report Information

Posted November 27, 2018 By admin

If you are responsible for a team schedule or report for the annual report book, please be sure and get it to Sherry in the Church Office no later than December 31st. If you submit your schedule or report to Sherry and do not get a reply that she has received it, please give her a call at the church office 803-345-2309. Yearly reports will be printed in the report book but teams that do not provide this information will not be reflected.

Married Couples Retreat

Posted November 27, 2018 By admin

If you have been wondering about attending our Married Couples Retreat but thought you missed the deadline you are in luck. There is still time to get your name on the list and reserve your place. This retreat will offer time for married couples to relax at a beautiful camp along the beach while learning more about God’s blessings in marriage. The retreat will begin at 7:00 pm. Friday, January 25th and continue through 11:00 am. Sunday, January 27th. Participants may check-in on Friday as early as 3:00 p.m. and enjoy some of the sights and sounds of the Carolina coast. Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday is included, as well as supper on Saturday evening. Supper on Friday and lunch on Saturday are on your own. Registration fee is $300.00 per couple. Registration forms are available in the Narthex. Please contact Pastor David Nuottila if you have any questions.

Christmas Morning at St. Jacob’s

Posted November 27, 2018 By admin

On Tuesday, December 25th, we will be having a Christmas Service at 10 AM. All are welcome to come and celebrate the birth of our Lord.

Our celebration of the Nativity of our Lord will be held on Monday, December 24th, Christmas Eve beginning at 7:00 p.m. Invite your friends, neighbors and family members to join us for Candlelight Worship with Holy Communion on this holiest of nights. All are welcome to come sing praises unto the New Born King.

Up and Going Meeting for December

Posted November 27, 2018 By admin

We will meet December 13, 2018, in the Fellowship Hall. Joan and Gary have devotions, the program, and entertainment. Please bring Holiday finger foods to share for lunch, drinks will be provided, and 1 white elephant gift per person (a gift you have at home and would like to get rid of) for fun exchanging. Our Christmas Party is always so much fun. Look forward to seeing you there.