The Vista

News and Events for Vista Ridge United Methodist Church

December 17, 2015

Pastor Mary Beth's Musings

“I don’t know what it is, but I just feel anxious.”

In my years as a pastor, I’ve heard this comment more than a few times. But I seem to be hearing it more. No wonder, given everything that’s going on in our world. Every day, it seems that there’s another story, another commentary, another blog, another photo, another video that identifies something for us to be anxious about, something to fear.

In the Gospels, especially the Gospel of Mark, the main characters (beside Jesus) often exhibit fear. Jesus’ response to their fear, over and over again, is this:

“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?”

You see, fear is the opposite of faith. I appreciate what Rick McDaniel says about faith and fear:

“Fear keeps us from loving deeply, keeps us from giving freely and keeps us from dreaming wildly. It keeps us from loving deeply, because when you are afraid, you don't want to risk and only in risk can you experience true, deep, satisfying relationships. Fear keeps us from giving freely because it creates a scarcity mentality. You think there is only so much and you can't part with what you have, so you are never able to give freely … Fear keeps us from dreaming wildly because you can't have huge, crazy dreams about what you could do if you are filled with fear. The idea of taking risks is abhorrent so you play it safe and miss out.”

As we conclude our Advent series “Seeking Christ in Christmas” this Sunday, we’ll hear a very familiar story in which an angel says to some terrified shepherds, “Fear not!” It’s a beloved and well-known story, known even beyond church walls, thanks to Charles Schulz! But perhaps this year we can hear something new for us in these anxious and fear-filled days.

I’m praying for you. I hope you’re praying for me.

Glory to God!

Pastor Mary Beth

Watch your mailbox for a letter about the church's end-of-year financial status and your giving statement.

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The Discovery Preschool presents the story of Jesus' birth.

Online Giving Opportunity

Vista Ridge has implemented an electronic option to make financial contributions and donations to the church. There is no charge to use this online giving opportunity, which is available 24/7.

Electronic giving is especially helpful to those who rarely carry cash or checkbooks and depend mainly on a debit card to make purchases. Simply click on the link below and follow the steps by adding contact information and the card number to make a donation—either in the convenience of your own home or during the offering time at Sunday worship.

The Finance Committee urges the congregation not to make any offerings or gifts to the church on a credit card unless it can be paid off each month. They do not want to encourage anyone to go into debt.

If you have any questions about this new electronic giving opportunity, please ask Pastor Mary Beth or Bill Burden.

Online Giving Opportunity

A secure and convenient way to make financial commitments and donations to the church.

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Christmas Eve Worship Services

Invite your family and friends to join us for Christmas Eve worship on Thursday, December 24. There are two ways to participate.

Children’s Candlelight Service, 5 p.m.—This Christmas Eve service invites all children to become part of the worship service. Children will choose a costume and join in the retelling of the Christmas Story. The service includes communion, candlelight and singing. This is an interactive opportunity to worship together!

Traditional Candlelight Service, 7 p.m.This service of scripture, carols, candlelight and communion will allow participants to celebrate the season and the birth of Christ. It also provides a quiet, reflective time to pray together, and simply show support for one another.

Churchwide Breakfast on December 27

Join us for a pancake breakfast hosted by the church staff at 9:45 a.m. Sunday, December 27, in the Fellowship Hall. There will be no Sunday School. Worship will be at both 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Winter Clothing for Salvation Army

The Classic Women are collecting gently used winter items for the clients served by the Lewisville Salvation Army. These include winter coats, sweaters, sweatshirts/hoodies, hats, gloves and shoes. Our local Salvation Army stocks a clothing room with items for all members of a family—infant to adult. All donated items are then provided free of charge to those in need. Place donations in the collection box in the narthex.

Faith Funds Shopping Cards

Haven’t finished your Christmas shopping? Avoid the mall craziness and shop Sunday morning at the gift card table in the church narthex. There are a variety of shopping card options, including retailers, restaurants, fast food and entertainment. The church receives a donation from each sale.

Sermon Podcasts

Miss a worship service? Listen to past sermons here.

Vista Ridge United Methodist Church

Traditional Worship, 8:30 a.m. Sunday

Blended Worship, 11 a.m. Sunday