Give at Christmas time for the Muhudu Village Orphans Fund in Kenya

Fill a great need! Since 2008, OCC and Mama Esther’s family have supported destitute orphans in their home village of Muhudu, Kenya. Many are healthy, attending school, and living with hope because of our generosity.

Gifts will be prioritized for food, uniforms, school fees, textbooks and soular backpacks. Meals are 50 cents each, or $100 per week for the group. Support a high school student at $350 per year.

We also hope to support concrete steps of economic development, starting with those graduating from high
school – that God might answer our prayers and vision of a village that can support its own children. This is
Kingdom work! Please pray and give generously with any amount, large or small! Small cash gifts can be put in the Zebra in the sanctuary. Please fill out an order form and specify Muhudu
Orphan Fund on your check to OCC.

Praise God for Successes in Muhudu Village

  • Recently a team including doctors and nurses from the US provided a one day health clinic in the Jumba
    home which served 300 people who would not otherwise have received medical care.
  • Pastor Eddie Jumba is now part of the leadership council for the Evangelical Covenant Church of
    Kenya
  • Orphans are now fed three times a week

Prayers for Muhudu

  • For Mama Esther as she is in Muhudu and able to be a part of village life and the ongoing care and feeding of the orphans.
  • For an end to the violence as the result of the election which has resulted in the universities being closed.
  • For opportunities for the students who have done well and graduated from high school and now need employment.
  • For economic development in the village.

Message from Pastor Nancy for December

I’ve been doing a little math lately, and I estimate it takes at least 100 hours of church family time per week, to prepare for and carry out our Sunday morning ministry. Can anyone calculate a more exact number? Consider:
9 choir members X 3 hours each to practice and lead worship = 27 hours; June Foster directs the choir and children’s choir, with Ben’s brilliant accompaniment; Toni prepares bulletins and much more; Andy prepares by cleaning. Sunday School teachers, nursery workers, coordinators, kitchen crews preparing fellowship meals, clean up. Sound crew, ushers, scripture readers, special musicians – How about Isaac, our new guitarist?, money managers… I help plan worship, prepare and preach, but our Sunday mornings are made rich and deep through volunteers with passion – for Jesus, for people, and for Orchard Covenant Church.

We experience the powerful presence of God during worship because each hour represents great investment of time and talent, and treasure. Add to that many hours of care and discipleship during the week!
Earlier this year, our Church Council convened a Finance Committee (nickname: FinCom) to review our financial process, encourage whole – life stewardship, and modify the budget as needed. Current members of Finance Committee are John Hayden, Dina Hokanson, Toni Wapner, Art Lawler, and Wally Ebner. I attend some meetings ex-officio.

I am thrilled with this deeper conversation about our money. God is at work! I am thankful for the good budget process we’ve followed over the years. The Covenant Denomination now recommends that we prepare a “Narrative Budget” as the best tool for presenting the church’s financial needs to our congregational Annual Meeting on January 28, 2018. Narrative Budgets have encouraged stronger giving and vision for ministry in many Covenant Churches. We will use our traditional line-item budget to prepare the new format.

In a Narrative Budget, the “bottom line” is the same as in the Line Item Budget – but all line items are assigned to appropriate ministry categories. For instance, my salary will be divided by percentages of my time, across the disciplines of my call, such as Pastoral Care, Worship, Christian Formation, and Evangelism/ Outreach for a new perspective on Orchard Covenant’s mission and ministry.

A former pastor always used to say, “Adventurous people try new things!” May the Holy Spirit of Jesus guide and direct us all to do his good will, in all things, including our church budget.

See you in Church! Pastor Nancy Ebner

December Dates to Remember

DATES TO REMEMBER

December 3 – First Sunday in Advent
December 4 – Council prayer and meeting
December 10 – Second Sunday in Advent
December 13 – Community Lunch
At Applebee’s – Bring $10.00
December 16 – Men’s Breakfast
December 16 – Rehearsal for Christmas Program
December 17 – Christmas Program
December 24 – Christmas Day, Worship at 11:00 am
December 24 – Christmas Eve Candle Lighting

Orchard Covenant Church Stewardship 2017 Question for Week 3: What do you dream of for OCC? What burden has God put on your heart?

  • ·       My dream is that we would truly be a light in our community for Jesus. And that we would find a particular ministry we could do. (feeding  the hungry? Helping immigrants? Being a sanctuary          church?)

    ·         I dream of a next generation here at OCC having the stability of life and the commitment to our mission to take the leadership / service roles.

    ·         My burden is to help those families achieve that stability.

    ·         My daughter being safe and sound.

    ·         God’s grace – struggling but for God’s love I’m a survivor

    ·         That we will become a more diverse congregation by age and participation

    ·         I dream for a youth worker. My burden is for youth.

    ·         I dream that our church will be filled with more people who will find their faith through Jesus Christ our Lord and join our loving OCC. The burden that has been put on my heart is a feeling, a calling to bring others to the Lord.

    ·         I dream of a continuing lively, loving fellowship, with a new generation who will give themselves away for the sake of Jesus. My burden is for transformed lives and mature disciples of Jesus who will take up the mantle of ministry in this place.

December Birthdays and Anniversaries

DECEMBER BIRTHDAYS
December 5 – Joie Joseph
December 8 – Mary Gibbs
December 10 – Sheron Boyle
December 14 – Mary Ann Henriques
December 17 – Gabrielle Thibideau
December 24 – Alicia Thomas
December 25 – Jesus of Nazareth
December 26 – Wally Ebner
December 29 – Jacob Thomas
December 29 – Kalie Thomas

ANNIVERSARIES
December 7 – John and Linda Howell
December 16 – Ward and Connie Clark

Building Our Church by Practicing Generosity: Tithe, Time, Talents, and Testimony by Pastor Nancy

In our small groups we’re reading about Moses leading Israel out of Egypt and forming them into the People of God.Now it’s time to order their worship by creating a place to focus on God, rich in materials and beauty, so they can understandGod’s holiness. Moses calls the congregation to respond with generous hearts and willing spirits:
Exodus 35:4-10, 20-22 4 Moses said to all the congregation of the Israelites: This is the thing that the Lord has commanded: 5 Take from among you an offering to the Lord; let whoever is of a generous heart bring the Lord’s offering: (all sorts of beautiful materials are listed)…10 All who are skillful among you shall come and make all that the Lord has commanded: (parts of the tabernacle and enclosure are listed) 20 Then all the congregation of the Israelites … came, everyone whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing, and brought the Lord’s offering to be used for the tent of meeting, and for all its service, and for the sacred vestments. 22 So they came, both men and women; all who were of a willing heart …everyone bringing an offering… to the Lord.

Four Questions for Practicing Generosity and Building Our Church:

When I say “build our church,” I don’t mean only the needs of our awesome building, which is such a gift from God. We are the Church! We, the people, are Orchard Covenant Church! What must we give, to build the People of God?
I have four questions for you. Let’s look at our ministry family with thankful and generous hearts, and a vision for
the future. And let us consider how we can give with generous hearts and a willing spirit.

What do you love about our Church? On Oct 22 we had many wonderful and encouraging responses to this
question, which are listed on our website, www.orchardcovenant.org/news.

Who do you love from our church? Who has made a difference in your life? (answers coming soon!)

What is your greatest dream for Orchard Covenant Church? (Nov 5)

What is your financial commitment to the church? And how will you grow in service in Jesus’ name?

(Nov 12) On November 19 we’ll return our pledge cards and Covenant World Relief banks.
Included in this Messenger is a pledge card – also available at church. Pledge cards discipline us to grow in our giving and give what we promise. Notice the “4 T’s:” Tithe, Time, Talents, and Testimony. Please make promises to God, to practice generosity at Orchard Covenant, in 2018.

Orchard Covenant Church Stewardship 2017 Question for Week 2: Who do you love at our church? Who has made a difference in your life?

 

  • Mary Ann H. and Dale J. Without them it wouldn’t work and I thank them. And Betty S. of course.
  • The Jumbas
  • Nancy and Wally
  • The Children
  • What I love about this church, that’s easy – the togetherness which comes from each person, in different ways, but from their hearts.
  • And who made a difference – that would be Wally. He’s always doing something for others and always with a smile on his face. He helped me move my things from the 3rd floor to a storage pod. And not once did he complain! True friend.
  • Bro. Michael F. and his family
  • Ben Ts’ gift of music inspires our worship.
  • I love the R. family. The children are smart and delightful. Butoyi and Jacqueline are inspirations of what God’s children look like at our best. The courage, persistence, servant hearts and loving ways point me to God.
  • The Choir – they lift my soul to Jesus through their beautiful music!
  • Jesus has made a difference in my life – He has saved my soul. AMEN!!
  • Many people. But my Sunday School children come to mind.
  • My Sunday School children make a difference in my life also. They teach me.
  • Marlon and Gail for their loving spirit.
  • Mike and Jeanne for their giving of love to everyone.
  • I love everyone. Jesus changed my life.
  • Jesus and all people.
  • Mike and Jeanne F.
  • Dale J. She has been a true picture of Jesus Christ to me for many years. I consider her a mentor.
  • It’s hard to choose one or two – I love everyone, and God has used all of them to change me.

Orchard Covenant Church Stewardship 2017 Question for Week 1: What do you love about our church?

 

  • Children
  • Worshiping with kind and loving Christian people
  • Diversity of people, diversity of worship styles, strong biblical teaching, small personal size
  • The people are real and so we are putting God’s Word into flesh
  • All are welcome here!
  • Freedom to speak from my heart, freedom to grow because loving each other is valued above having the same opinions
  • The World has come through our doors and been embraced, and we are enriched.
  • Our Pastor Nancy and Wally. However, the Love that is given to all that enter this church, is amazing. For Love is the greatest of these!
  • I love that each person has a place, this place, and opportunity to love another with Jesus at the center of that love.
  • What I love about this church is that it teaches me about the Lord our God. Another thing that I love about this church is how they teach kids how to read the Bible at a young age so that they can grow knowing the Word of God. Thank you.
  • Community!
  • I love that Everyone here wants to change the world for the better. This is a place of peace, love, and positivity for everyone.
  • The Choir
  • Everything is love and caring for each other.
  • The diversity of our church. It feels like what Heaven will be like. Rich, poor, disabled or not, black, brown, white, addictions or not. God loves all.
  • That we all CARE about each other.
  • Our willingness to share what we have with those who do not have.
  • I love the spirit of sharing / loving /support / giving present in this church.
  • The Pastor, friends, family, the help it gives me, the service she gives, the organ music and all the quiet songs
  • The multicultural aspect. Our emphasis on mercy, grace and justice, our reading of Scripture in a deep way. Most importantly – Jesus is the Center
  • Care and friendship
  • I love this church because it is a place where God is doing his miracles, because one of the miracles what that he brought many people together.

New Additions 10-26-17

  • That we show love to everyone that walks in our doors.
  • That we don’t see race but see everyone as God’s creation.
  • That we really care for people and their needs.
  • Because of our giving nature.

Welcoming the Community

We warmly welcome all who come.

● We help people re-settle in this community from places of war and conflict. This involves many aspects of life at home and in the community.

● We change what we do and how we do it to accommodate differences.

● We want to treat everyone as equal in God’s sight, and invite people equally into the ministry of the church.

● Our ACTS tutoring program provides support for at-risk students. This is an act of justice, as statistics show that children who read at grade level or above are less likely to get into trouble with the law.

● Our Muhudu Orphans ministry provides nutrition and education for orphans in Kenya with no options in life before Mama Esther started feeding the orphans.

● We support healthy inter-faith relationships – Non-violence walks

● After the Jewish Community Center and the Islamic Society experienced hate crimes, we showed up at community events to support and build understanding.

We provide space for 12 step programs;
● Study the Bible together,
● Talk about Jesus,
● We want to be brothers and sisters in Christ, all equal in
● God’s sight,
● Calling people to commitment – to Jesus – to the church.