Church Family Newsletter | December 17, 2022
On the two gift distribution days, we served:
- 1,242 angels (children 12 and under and seniors 55+)
- 2,456 total persons served
- 556 applicants (that doesn't include the separate families served in the Silvercrest)
- 133 of those family applicants were adopted out
This doesn't reflect the families served with Christmas food boxes only given out from the El Sobrante and the Concord/Antioch Pantries.
There were hundreds of people involved behind the scenes from donors - individuals, families, school groups, social clubs, businesses, etc - and volunteers - liaising, sorting, organizing, bagging, tagging, shopping, running around, delivering, and loading vehicles - helping with the food, toys, gifts, and clothes.
THANK YOU, GOD! AND THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED IN SMALL OR BIG WAYS!
Each family received a candy cane with the Christmas message and an invitation to our church service. Our prayer is that each volunteer and recipient family will feel God's love.
Continue to be in prayer as this is the last week of the red kettle campaign. The days feel even longer as the body and mind get tired and the emotional tank is taxed. Yet, our spirits grow with excitement as we near Christmas Day, a special Christmas Sunday. Planning ahead, we realize that some may be traveling out of town to be with family, but we will reserve our special treats for that day. (We will hold onto those treats for the following Sunday or two.)
Christmas Food for the Soul
Note: Today’s devotional is offered as a resource that you can use with your family to help make the most of the Christmas season focus.
Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again.” John 6:35
With Christmastime comes lots of good food. Christmas candy, cookies, cakes, pies, and Christmas dinner are all part of the special nature of our Christmas celebrations. It’s commonly noted that on average, people gain between five and ten pounds during the holiday season. Yikes! But, while we’re enjoying stuffing ourselves with Christmas goodies, how about doing some thinking on our spiritual nourishment?
Christmas is a wonderful time to remember that Jesus is the “bread of life.” It’s a powerful illustration of what Jesus is meant to be to our lives. He’s the source of life. He’s the food our souls need!
This Christmas, make sure you’re feeding your soul a healthy diet of Jesus.
1. What can you do this Christmas to make sure you are filling your soul with Jesus?
2. Can we ever have too much of Jesus? Why or why not?
Bake and decorate homemade Christmas cookies. Allow everyone in the family to participate in some way. Let everyone in the family request their favorite kind of cookie. As you make cookies, use the content above to remind your family that Jesus is the “bread of life.”
Jim Liebelt, Homeword Daily Devotional
“The sun'll come out Tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar
That tomorrow There'll be sun!
Just thinkin' about Tomorrow
Clears away the cobwebs,
And the sorrow 'Til there's none!
When I'm stuck a day That's gray, And lonely,
I just stick out my chin And Grin, And Say, Oh!
The sun'll come out Tomorrow
So ya gotta hang on 'Til tomorrow
Come what may
I love ya Tomorrow!
You're always A day A way!” [From the musical “Annie”]
Forgive me if I just replaced your usual or preferred earworm with the words and melody above, but I have a reason — those words are a good example of faith! And faith is at the very heart of what it means to have a personal relationship with God.
Unless you are a very unusual person, you live by faith — and I’m not talking in a particularly spiritual way! You thoughtlessly flip a switch to turn on lights without verifying your home’s wiring, the supplier’s connections, or the power station’s status.
Why is this? I would suggest it is because the last thousand consecutive times you flipped that switch the lights came on. And in fact, you would be surprised and alarmed if they didn’t. And the first suspect in your diagnosis of darkness would be the light bulb itself. Faith in lighting assumes that what has been true in the past will continue to be true in the future. I can make similar arguments about making a phone call, getting on public transportation, mailing a package, ordering from Amazon, or believing that the sun will come up tomorrow!
Faith in everyday life involves a trust that parts of the infrastructure that are not understood or are unseen will function normally! The evidence that it is all present and correct is that the light bulb emits light when you flip the switch!
The writer to the young Christian Church made a similar observation in a letter addressed to believers who had grown up as Hebrews:
“Now faith is being sure we will get what we hope for. It is being sure of what we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1 NLV
May I suggest that you read all of Hebrews 11 for example after example of characters exercising faith in God’s directions even though they could not see or understand how it would work out.
“Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” Romans 4:3 NLT
Paul, writing to the Roman Church, cites Abraham as an example of exercising faith. It sounds so simple until you understand that Abraham was almost a hundred years old and his wife Sarah had been childless for almost as long. But although he could not understand how, Abraham still chose to believe God’s promise that his descendants would literally be so numerous as to be uncountable in spite of the seemingly overwhelming evidence to the contrary. This pleased God!
In case you think this was an isolated miracle, the writer to the Hebrews has this to say:
“What more should I say? There is not enough time to tell of Gideon and of Barak and of Samson and of Jephthah and of David and of Samuel and of the early preachers. It was because these people had faith that they won wars over other countries. They were good leaders. They received what God promised to them. They closed the mouths of lions and stopped fire that was burning. They got away from being killed with swords. They were made strong again after they had been weak and sick. They were strong in war. They made fighting men from other countries run home. It was because some women had faith that they received their dead back to life. Others chose to be beaten instead of being set free, because they would not turn against God. In this way, they would be raised to a better life.” Hebrews 11:32-35 NLT
This is why Paul can write to the Church in Ephesus and confirm for them that they are truly saved and that their faith or belief or trust in the promise of Jesus is the catalyst to unlock this gift:
“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.” Ephesians 2:8 NLT
In the same way in the circumstances of life, we should search out the promises of God that are applicable to our situation and not just intellectually assent but act based on the promise being true. Expect God to come through for you regardless of the circumstances.
“And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 NLT
Although many pieces have to fall into place to make it so, it’s as simple as flipping a switch and expecting light!
"Jesus looked at them intently and said, 'Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”’ Matthew 19:26 NLT
Blessings on you and yours,
This will take you to Jim Black's collection of articles since starting the newsletter.
This Week's Schedule
- 8:30 AM - TLP Meeting - Fireside Room
- 9:00 AM - Praise Team Rehearsal - Chapel
- 10:00 AM - Adult Sunday School - Library
- 10:15 AM - Time of Prayer - Prayer Room
- 11:00 AM - Worship Service - Chapel
- 12:15 PM - Food & Fellowship - Fireside Room
- 12:45 PM - Youth Music Rehearsals - Chapel
- 6:00 PM - Men's Bible Study - Fireside Room
- 7:00 PM - Songsters Rehearsal - Chapel
- 8:00 PM - Senior Band Rehearsal - Chapel
- 10:00 AM - CAMEO: Red Kettle Day - Library
- 7:00 PM - Christmas Eve Candlelight Service - Chapel
- 11:00 AM - Christmas Sunday Service - Chapel
- Food pantries will be closed for the week. Reopening January 3 (Concord) and 5 (El Sobrante).
- The office will be closed on December 26, 27, 30, and January 2.
Community Care Ministry - Rest Home Visitation
Retired Officers' Christmas Party
Ladies' Game Night Christmas Party
Distribution Days - Tuesday & Thursday
Distribution Day - Friday: Christmas Food Boxes & Silvercrest
International Prayer Focus
This initiative of turning our thoughts and prayers towards the same part of the world at some point in the same week is a beautiful way to unite us as a global Army family and I thank you for the commitment that you each give to this.
The Prayer Focus requests for December 2022. We will be praying for the following territories:
28 November – 04 December 2022 | Middle East Region
05 – 11 December 2022 | The Philippines Territory
12 – 18 December 2022 | Nigeria Territory
19 – 25 December 2022 | USA Western Territory
USA WESTERN TERRITORY
Regional leaders: Commissioners Doug and Colleen Riley
- Homeless Efforts - Please pray for our efforts in working with homelessness to get them into housing and a continuum of care. The USA Western Territory has many homeless, particularly teens who have nowhere to go and who feel unloved. Pray that we can find solutions to help men, women, boys, and girls up and out of their situations.
- Revival - Pray along with us, for spiritual revival in our Territory. We believe we are in the midst of it and want to continue to be faithful to God through all He calls us to do.
- Candidates – Pray for men and women to continue to answer the call from God to full-time service in The Salvation Army as Officers.
- Christmas Efforts – Pray for our officers, employees, and volunteers on the field who are in the midst of Christmas planning.
- Officers – Please pray that God will continue to bless and equip our Officers as they serve each day to bring hope and the good news of Jesus Christ each and every day.
Click here to share your requests. Requests will be prayed for in our Prayer Room and distributed through our Prayer Chain. Requests can be made anonymously.
Junior Soldier Rally
The theme for the rally is National Parks! All Prospective and current Junior Soldiers are invited to attend.
Event: Junior Soldier Rally
When: January 28, 2023
Time: 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM (Check-in starts at 9:30 AM in the Chapel Lobby)
Where: Sacramento Citadel Corps
Who: 7-14 years old
Cost: $15.00 (lunch included)
Registration is due Friday, January 20, so please let Major Ann know if you are interested in going. We plan to leave the corps at 8:00 AM.
You can make a tithe payment, give an offering, or donate towards the World Services fund.