November 20, 2020
From Pastor Paul
Dear OLCC,P family,
We are several weeks into our “Overflowing Generosity” 2021 Stewardship Campaign. This year is logistically challenging with our inability to distribute or receive Faith Promise cards during in person worship. At this point, we are about halfway to our Faith Promise Goal of $500,000 – 72 Faith Promises for just under $230,000. Please take some time if you have not done so already to return the 2021 Faith Promise Card you received in the mail several weeks ago, or go to www.olccp.com and click on the “Giving” tab and you will find a link to make your Faith Promise online securely. As always, we appreciate your faithful support for the life and ministry of this faith community. (Stewardship packets are available by calling the church office and requesting one to be mailed out to you).
Speaking of the mail, most of you have by now received the letter mailed to the congregation earlier this week announcing my pending retirement as of December 31st. I know it came as a surprise to many of you. As I shared in that letter, this was a decision Jan and I prayed over and wrestled with during the past 12-18 months. I began some form of church ministry in 1978 immediately following my graduation from Gordon College. I have continued since then, during my years at Fuller Seminary as well, to be involved in some type of full or part-time church or pastoral ministry with only one 3 month sabbatical break in 2016 (Thank you, OLCC,P!). So after 42 years, it is time for a new season in life and new adventures which God has in store. Following my ordination in 1984 I have served 5 different congregations beginning and ending in Michigan (Grand Rapids first and Orchard Lake last) with stints in Pennsylvania (Grove City, Oil City, and Pleasant Hills) in the middle of the Michigan ministry sandwich.
Each place has provided unique blessings, challenges, memories, and friendships. Jan and I have been blessed to be loved, supported, and encouraged through the seasons of our marriage and family life by wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ in each place. My deepest thanks to my wonderful, amazing, and faithful wife who has shared in it all – the countless evenings out, weekends unlike anyone else, seeing my ups and downs, joys and discouragements, all the while adding her own unique gifts of love and caring in the lives of so many through the years! We complete our ministry in Orchard Lake with the same sense of gratitude, humility, and appreciation for the opportunity to be in partnership with you all for the Gospel. Thanks to each one of you for your encouragement, prayers, patience with my various idiosyncrasies, and the privilege of sharing times of joy and challenge in your lives over the past 11 years! We leave with both joy and sadness as we move into this new season in our journey!
So enough of that subject! This week we complete our series of messages on Anxiety with a message on Anxiety and Refreshment. The beloved words of Psalm 23 will be our focus, reminding and affirming for us that we have a Good Shepherd who is caring for us, watching over us, present with us in the dark valleys of our journey, and promising to bless us with goodness and mercy all the days of our lives! That in and of itself should be a refreshing affirmation for all of us as we travel through these challenging days together. Be sure to participate in our video service this Sunday by going to www.olccp.com and clicking on the “Join Video Worship” box, or by going directly to You Tube and entering our church name to bring up the service.
Worship and Building Update
In accordance with our Covid-19 Response Plan approved by the Session calling for us to follow protocols of our County and State health officials, OLCC,P will be suspending all in person activities for the next 3 weeks through December 8th. The Office will still remain open Monday – Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with minimal staff coverage available and support for our congregation as needed during these times. Please only come to the office if absolutely necessary and then call first to verify someone is there to help you. Worship services will be recorded and made available on Sunday mornings for the duration of this time as well. We will reassess all these plans during the first week in December.
Each Sunday we will be recording the service to post on our YouTube channel in time for Sunday morning worship in the comfort of your own homes. Due to the current COVID-19 conditions we anticipate doing this for the foreseeable future, as disappointing as that is for all of us. You can access the video services via our website, www.olccp.com, and clicking on the Video worship box, or by going directly to YouTube and entering our church name in the search box. We will continue to assess conditions and various health and government guidelines as the weeks go by.
OLCC,P on You Tube
Our “Overflowing Generosity” 2021 Stewardship Campaign is in progress. To date, we have received 66 Faith Promises for $211,000 toward our Faith Promise goal of $500,000. Covid restrictions make this year’s Stewardship appeal more challenging logistically. We ask you to prayerfully consider how you can share in Overflowing Generosity to support and advance our ministries and activities in 2021. Please return your 2021 Faith Promise Card by mail, or go to www.olccp.com and click on the Giving tab where there is a secure link for you to make your 2021 Faith Promise online. Additional stewardship packets are available at the church office if you did not receive one. Thank you in advance for your faithful support for OLCC,P!
Pray for one another...
Continued healing and health for: Pat Ball, Fiona Bell, Alexander Bogaerts, Carol Brooks, Nancy Burton, Ron Carlson, Rebecca Caufield, Celia Church, Bud Conrad, Tom Conrad, Peter Cooper, Alan Coopland, Joan Coss, Judy Day, Irene Guymer, Herbert Jarvie, Jackie Johnson, Larry Lankford, Jim LoPrete, Gordon Lyon, Bill Marvin, Jean Mattinen, Trudy Morse, Joyce Pitchford, Sarah Robertson Nadeau, Jack Rothley, Sally Russell, Greg Sables, Don Schimmel, Jim Skeeters, Dara Sperstad, Mark Stone, Pam Sturgeon, Charlie VanSwearingen , Doris Wiegert, Vickie Wilson, Robin Wright, Madie Zurkan.
The Advent Boxes are Here
Families who have children in preschool-5th grade are invited and encouraged to come to the church and pick up an Advent box (please, only one per family). In this box, you will find packets of cocoa mix to enjoy a "Gratitude Hot Chocolate", muffin mix to share and celebrate with your family on Christmas morning, glow sticks to take outside and shine a light against the darkness, strips of paper to create an Advent chain, and materials to make an Advent wreath (please be sure to take one charger plate as well). These boxes will be available by the Welcome Table as you enter the church. We even have a few extra boxes for grandparents who would like to share a box with their grandchildren. They will be available on the Monday and Tuesday after Thanksgiving from 10:00-2:00. An abundance of gratitude is given to Sally Montera and Kristin Trenholm for their great care, creativity, and effort in designing and filling these boxes. Truly, they're a lovely gift!
A Series of Special Services for Advent “Arise and Shine”
In this Advent series for traditional worship we welcome the Christ Child, who is the light of the world, arising in our lives this season. In celebration, we, in turn, shine with the light of Christ in various ways for all the world to see the brightness of his love. Each week will focus on a different aspect of the light of Christ and how we are enlightened by him throughout our lives. The theme verse for the entire series is: “Arise, shine, for your light has come” (Isaiah 60:1). Begin now to prepare your hearts to enter into this special season of anticipation and expectation!
November 29, 1st Sunday in Advent: Rising Light (Isaiah 60:1): Living in the light of Jesus, we prepare to celebrate his birth. Repenting of our sins, we put away the works of darkness and dress in the armor of light.
December 6, 2nd Sunday in Advent: Reflected Light (Zechariah 9:16): During Advent we remember the birth of Jesus, the Light of the world. We reflect his light in our daily lives.
December 13, 3rd Sunday in Advent: Healing Light (Malachi 4:2): With repentant joy we anticipate the birth of our Savior. We listen to his Word and live according to it until he comes again.
December 20, 4th Sunday in Advent: Eternal Light (Daniel 12:3): We look forward to Jesus’ Second Advent, when we will be raised in glory to live in his presence and shine like stars forever. Come, Lord Jesus!
December 24, Christmas Eve: Glorious Light (John 1:1-14): We celebrate the coming of the Word made flesh through whom we are given the blessing and privilege of being born not of the flesh but also of the Spirit.
December 27, 1st Sunday of Christmas: Joint Service of Lessons and Carols: Members of different congregations in Detroit Presbytery will contribute together to this special recorded Joint Service of Lessons and Carols as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ!
Morning Devotionals during Advent:
Each morning at 9:00 a.m. during Advent (November 29- December 26), a video sharing time will be offered following the daily Advent Devotional pamphlets available at the church (copies in the Little Free Library by the front entrance). You may join the Zoom Meeting each day at the following
(Meeting ID: 813 1069 3651, Passcode: 772301).
This time is to simply meet up with fellow believers, to read the bible verses and daily Advent devotional, and to pray: for one another, for loved ones, for those who are sick, suffering etc. If you have any questions please contact John Vermeulen. (firstname.lastname@example.org) We sincerely hope you will consider connecting with our church family in this way.
You can also sign up to do one of the Advent readings on Sign Up Genius. We also sincerely hope you will consider connecting with our church family in this way. To sign up go to https://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050F44A4A922A6FC1-advent
A Baby Shower for Jesus!
Everybody knows that having a new baby means having a baby means buying lots of supplies, especially diapers and wipes! We are asking for donations of diapers, (all sizes, including pull-ups,) and packages of wipes. You may leave your gifts at the stable, located in the area between the two front doors of the church, effective November 30. These gifts will be given to the Baldwin Center in Pontiac.
Advent Bible Study
"Arise and Shine" Bible Study each Thursday morning and evening during Advent. December 3, 10, and 17 at 9:15 a.m. or 7:15 p.m. These classes will be lead by Pastor Paul and Pastor Linda Please pick up your Bible Study book in the church office but please call first. The classes will be held via Zoom.
Join the Drive-By Retirement Celebration
Saturday, December 12
By now most of you have learned that after 11 years of loving and tireless ministry to OLCC, P and the greater community, Pastor Thwaite is retiring on December 31st. Unfortunately, COVID-19 safety concerns will prevent us from offering our thanks and best-wishes to Pastor Paul and Jan with a traditional dinner, hugs and handshakes. The Session has, however, planned a drive-by celebration in the church parking lot which is scheduled on Saturday December 12th from 12:00 noon until 1:30 p.m. Ushers will direct cars into the two driveways to the EAST parking lot of our church where they will form a line which will move west along the lake to pass by Paul and Jan who will be standing in front of the West entrance door to our church. To prevent potential traffic congestion on Commerce Road, we are asking well-wishers to spend no more than 30 seconds talking to Paul and Jan through their car windows. Ushers will be on hand to receive cards and love gifts and you should exit via the WEST parking lot driveway. Donations for a parting gift may also be made by accessing the “Giving” button on the OLCC, P website.
DRIVE-BY CELEBRATION TRAFFIC FLOW
December 12 12:00 noon – 1:30 p.m.
Old English Christmas Celebration
Bundle Up! The OLCC,P Family Advent Celebration will take place on Sunday December 13 at 12:00 in the church parking lot. Join us for hot chocolate, cookies, stringing cranberry and popcorn garland, decorating a jingle bell and other old English crafts and games. Alex Wilson from the Paint Creek Art Gallery will be here to lead us in making a special Christmas art project. We will conclude our time together with holding up battery-operated candles to celebrate the great love and hope of Christmas as we listen to the story of Jesus' birth. Please watch for any modifications/ changes to this activity due to inclement weather and/or changes in Covid-19 restrictions.
OLCC,P Pictorial Directory
We have received our pictorial directories from Lifetouch and they are available from Nancy Ratajczak or the OLCCP office. Unfortunately, we discovered errors shown below. Labels are available from Nancy Ratajczak or the church office to cover up the address errors or you can just update your directory as follows:
Halfmann, Joe & Dee Ann
3967 Streamwood Ct
Auburn Hills MI 48326
Lyon, Gordon & Joan
5601 Hatchery #325
Waterford MI 48329
4254 Crestdale Ave
Orchard Lake MI 48323-1128
168 Mockingbird Hill
Plant City FL 33565
Open Door Donations
Open Door continues to serve the needs of our community during these times. We will have the collection bins by the tents on Sunday mornings for your donations to help serve others. Items recommended include: Cereal, Peanut Butter / Jelly, toiletries, canned chicken / tuna, pasta sauce and noodles, soups, and the ever popular mac n’ cheese! Thank you in advance for your support!
Looking forward to a great year of exploring their faith journey!
Face Mask Offer
Greetings to all. Hope you are all well and safe. To be safer we are all asked to wear non-surgical masks when in public. I have been making masks and would like to share them with you. I will be putting them on my porch for your pick up. These are made from fabrics out of my closets so the prints are what they are.
If you have a tightly woven, 100% cotton fabric that you would like to donate, there will be a bin for that. Please put your mane on it so if it isn't used, it can be returned.
Please call before you come so I can tell you if there are some available or when they will be. I will leave them on my porch.
5255 Greer Rd.
West Bloomfield (directly across from Grectchko school}
Online Resources from The Upper Room
Resources for Spiritual Wellness in Anxious Times. For navigating the pandemic, this link makes available to you a robust list of timely practices—for individuals and families as well as your faith leaders. Included are digital devotionals, videos, eCourses, podcasts, etc., all of which can be accessed and distributed free of charge to everyone in your congregation.
A PDF File of the September/October issue of The Upper Room is available to our standing order churches. Because you are a paid subscriber, we want to provide this service to you since we realize many readers are currently reticent or unable to pick up their copy of the devotional guide because of the virus or closed church office. We encourage you to freely share with everyone in your congregation as a gift.
Resources for the Spiritual Work of Overcoming Racism. For addressing the spiritual virus of racism that continues to tear our society apart, we’re compiling and adding more content each week to this list of helpful resources. Included is my blog which sets the context for the formational work of anti-racism—Reaching In, Reaching Up, Reaching Out: The Spiritual Work of Overcoming Racism.
OLCC, P Calendar
Our calendar is available to browse live 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at OLCC,P Calendar. You can browse all events coming up. You can also subscribe to the calendar on the same page.
Rev. Dr. Paul H. Thwaite (Sr. Pastor): email@example.com
Rev. Linda Cochran (Temp. Supply Assoc. Pastor) firstname.lastname@example.org
Margaret Bell (Organist): email@example.com
Stacey Cheff (Business Administrator): firstname.lastname@example.org
Emily Grakul (Faith Community Nurse): email@example.com
Martha Piesko (Director of Children’s Ministries) firstname.lastname@example.org
Bruce Snyder (Director of Music Ministries): email@example.com
Jennifer Taub (Office Administrator): firstname.lastname@example.org
Doug Wilson (Sexton)