December 2017 Newsletter

E-Newsletter for December 2017

Hi, just a reminder that you’re receiving this email because you have expressed an interest in Southminster Presbyterian Church. Don’t forget to add to your address book so we’ll be sure to land in your inbox!

You may unsubscribe if you no longer wish to receive our emails.

Southminster Presbyterian Church

An inclusive, welcoming community of Christian faith.

December 2017 E-Newsletter

What is the E-newsletter?

Subscribers will now receive a digital version of our monthly newsletter. Don’t worry–if you like receiving the paper newsletter, we are still sending them out. We know many of you love getting them in the mail, and that’s great! But, we have had some feedback that an e-mailed version is perfect for some.

If your paper newsletter usually winds up in your recycling bin (we are not offended), please sign up HERE to opt-in to receive the online version only. You will no longer receive paper newsletters monthly, and you’ll be saving some paper and ink.


Pastor John   


Dear Friends,
Christmas 2017.
I could give you a list of all the things happening at Southminster in December. You know the Christmas concerts, film screenings, Advent study, special services, Christmas boxes, Advent Faire, but I just get exhausted! Besides you can read all about it in the newsletter.
Instead I am going to love all of you who make Christmas happen.
For the shoppers and the bakers,
And the writers and the makers,
And the singers and the players,
And the jokers and the pray-ers,
For laughers and tear-shedders,
And the singles and the wedders,
And the givers and the lovers,
For those under the covers,
For the Jesus freaks
And the Buddha geeks
And the screamers in the street,
For foodies and the hoodies,
And for the keepers of weird,
On the exit ramps
The watchers watch as
Father Christmas strokes his beard.
It is all for you this Christmastide.
The crazy magical mix-up of life
Is born again in and among
The nearby and far-flung.
Breathe deep. Take it in.
Embrace the wisdom of Dolly Parton:
“Don’t y’all be fussin’ and fightin’ this Christmas!”
Love is thick and rich
In this thin place where
The holy and the everyday kiss.
Merry Christmas, Beloveds.
Truly. Merry. Christmas.

Southminster Life Events   


Super Wednesday Schedule 

Super Wednesdays are an inclusive group who gather for discussion and friendship. As we are finding through research, friendships and socialization are imperative for maintaining a strong mind as we age. However, it’s never too early to start! Everyone is welcome and encouraged to join in regardless of age. The broader the span, the healthier the perspective. The group atmosphere is warm and accepting and embraces sharing. There is time for serious thought as well as time for laughter and joy. Come have a cup of coffee or tea and join the shared camaraderie. You’ll be glad you did. There is no commitment, just drop in Room 7, at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesdays.  
Dec. 6th The Big Sick – Romantic Comedy – Kumail is a Pakistani comic who meets an American graduate student named Emily at one of his stand-up shows. As their relationship blossoms, he soon becomes worried about what his traditional Muslim parents will think of her. When Emily suddenly comes down with an illness that leaves her in a coma, Kumail finds himself developing a bond with her deeply concerned mother and father.
Dec. 13th– Coffee and Convo in room 144
Dec. 20th – bulletin folding
Dec. 27th – No Super Wednesday



Book Readers Group
The book selection for Dec 11th is Autumn by Ali Smith. It was shortlisted for the 2017 Man Booker Prize. Join us at 7:00pm in room 9.

Office Closures
The office will be closed the week of December 24th. Staff will be off until January 2nd. Feel free to leave a message with the office, and we will get back to you upon returning. Your administrator will be available limitedly by e-mail at Have a wonderful Christmas–we’ll see you in the new year!

Christmas Basket Time is Here!

We are partnering with Vose Elementary and have 20 families to help make their Christmas better. We are buying gifts and providing food for the family for a Christmas meal and food for a week.
Here is how you can help:
  •  Provide a money donation which will be used to purchase gifts and food for the families. Our biggest expense is providing fresh food such a fruit, vegetables, milk, cheese, butter, eggs, etc.
  •  Fill up the food barrel in the Peterson Gallery. Please help us provide flour, sugar, rice, beans, cooking oil, as well as, normal “food bank” items.
  •  Purchase gift cards through the script program. Please purchase cards that have a value of $20 to $25 each so we can disperse to many of the family members. Fred Meyer, Target, and Payless shoes are good choices.
  •  Take tags for the family members. Purchase the item(s) and return to the church by December 17th. Please remember to take more tags instead of splurging on one person.
  •  Sign up to provide a Turkey or Ham for the families. Bring to the church on December 23rd by 8:00 AM.
  •  Help wrap presents and sort food the week of December 18 through 22, 2017. We will be there each evening at 6:30 PM.
  •  Plan to deliver the food and gifts to the families the morning of December 23rd starting at 8:30.
 If you have any questions, Contact Karen Wittenburg.


Christmas Concert in the Community  

Please click here for a list of local Christmas concerts and festivities. 


Christmas Eve Services 

Christmas Eve, Sunday, December 24th, 10am
Join us for a traditional worship service on Sunday morning at 10:00am.
Christmas Eve, Saturday, December 24th, 5 pm
This is a marvelous, loud, filled with excited children, exuberant family
Christmas Eve, Saturday, December 24th, 11 pm
This is the traditional Southminster service to honor the night language of the Christmas Story through music, scripture, legend, and candlelighting. Featuring music from the chancel choir and bell choir, this is a central part of the Christmas celebration you won’t want to miss


Losing Our Religion Film  

Southminster will be screening the film “Losing Our Religion” on Thursday, November 30th at 7:00pm. All are welcome.
Losing Our Religion is a documentary about community, acceptance, and a view inside the complicated lives of clergy who are stranded in the rising tide of non-believers. $5 Donation will be accepted to pay for film screening fees.


Upcoming Southminster Christmas Events  
Southminster Christmas Concert

We’ll be holding our annual Christmas concert on Friday, December 8th at 7:00pm. This is a great family concert and will feature our wonderful ensembles and other groups who have shared their talents with us in worship. All are welcome (the more the merrier!), so bring your family and friends! Join us for fellowship and refreshments after the concert.


Hanging of the Greens – Saturday, December 2nd
Join us on Saturday, December 3rd at 9:00 am to “deck the halls” and get the tree ready. 
Advent Fair – Sunday, December 3rd
Bring the entire family and join the fun! This year’s Advent Faire features THE SECRET ROOM, cookie decorating, making ornaments, cornflake wreaths, and more! Plus, you will have an opportunity to learn a chime part and sing for the congregation enjoying the Advent Faire!! Santa may even make an appearance!
The Secret Room is for children 4th grade and younger – they can shop for free for a gift for their parents!! We have fabulous Christmas gifts. Please bring your small unwrapped items and leave them in the copier room to donate.
Donations of cookies to be served during the Faire would be greatly appreciated. Please contact Mary or Sandy if you can provide a dozen or two.
Christmas Trains 

Once again, the Christmas trains are pulling into the station! The 2017 model train display for both children and adults will be available during the Christmas holidays in the Peterson Gallery. The dates and times are:
Christmas Eve service – 5:00pm
Tuesday, Dec. 26th – 1:00 to 3:00pm
Thursday, Dec. 28th – 1:00 to 3:00pm
Friday, Dec. 29th – 1:00 to 3:00pm


The Birth of Jesus and Other Sons of God 

This is the tile of an Advent Study led by John. The class will be filled with much discussion. John will present insights from a book by Westar member, Robert J. Miller, Born Divine: The Births of Jesus and Other Sons of God. The book is not required reading. The theme of this series is to look at the wide variety of birth stories of ancient heroes and gods, not to take away from the Jesus story, but to add to it. Join us in Room 7 from 7 – 8:30 on consecutive Tuesdays, November 28, December 5 and December 12. On December 19 we will have a Longest Night Service in the sanctuary at 7 p.m.


Grubby Sunday Thank You’s  

Southminster Buildings and Grounds Committee GREATLY appreciates the effort put forth on Grubby Sunday! We wish to thank:
  •  Frank Angelo and Doug Eddy for cleaning up the broken concrete and exposed re-bars in the parking lots.
  •  Aleta Parker for pressure washing the front entry areas.
  •  Karen and Craig Butler for removing a small dying tree along the fence by the community gardens.
  •  Michael Hawkins for installing the new sump pump in the sanctuary courtyard.
  •  Audrey Scheidler for cleaning and dusting in the sanctuary and other areas.
  •  Jeanne Reinhardt and Judy Thompson for cleaning and dusting in the Peterson Gallery and other areas.
  •  Dave Pierce and Michael Hawkins for pressure washing the patio area behind the choir room.
  •  Mike and Judy Yeakey for washing windows inside and outside.
  •  Rebecca Walp for cleaning the kitchen areas.
  •  The church youth for moving the moss taken off the choir patio area to the compost pile and for cleaning the sinks/area under them, and dusting in rooms #6 & #8


The Longest Night Service- Dec. 19th 7pm  

Before Christmas was Winter Solstice. Our ancestors were star watchers, night gazers. They knew the darkness, its secrets, the dangers concealed under its cover. All mythologies have tales of the Longest Night just before Day breaks and Northern Hemisphere turns its face toward the Sun for six months of longer and longer days. The Longest Night is an opportunity for us to acknowledge our journey in the dark through whatever paths that journey takes us. Perhaps loss or grief, a recognition of impermanence or mortality, a need for silence in the midst of the cacophony of electric lights and noise. Invite a friend. Darkness offers its own Gift.


Keeping in Prayer 

Please keep in your hearts and prayers:

Lou Balmer

Also, our Facebook group page is a great place to share prayer requests, post events, pics, and connect on-line. It is a private group and you must be a member to see and to contribute posts. Contact John or Liz if you need assistance. The website is
Our Visitation Team is active and visiting with those who are unable to attend worship. If you know of someone who might like to have this connection with the church contact John.

Progressive Spirit & Beloved Community Podcasts

The main web page is From there you can find many links to download podcasts such as iTunes. During September, interviews were posted with…

The Mystery and Physics of World Trade Center Seven
This is the fifth episode in my series on 9/11. These are interviews with those who are speaking out about the 9/11 false flag and cover up. These are scientists and scholars who are showing us that the science supports what we see with our own eyes, that the three World Trade Center Towers collapsed due to controlled demolition.
Today, I speak with David Chandler, the high school physics teacher who made NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, revise their report on the destruction of World Trade Center Building seven, a 47 story building that collapsed in the late afternoon of September 11th, 2001. David Chandler showed that building seven fell at free fall, that is the acceleration of gravity. David Chandler lives in Portland and he spoke with John Shuck in the KBOO studios. His website is 
Losing Our Religion, 9/11 Truth, and the Political Jesus
Leslea Mair is the president and CEO of Zoot Pictures out of Winnipeg, Manitoba. She talks about her latest film, Losing Our Religion, a feature length documentary about preachers who are not believers, and what atheists do when they miss church. Allowed access to the 600 members of The Clergy Project – a safe haven for preachers from all faiths who no longer believe – the documentary follows ex-members and clergy who are still undercover. The film will be screened in the Portland Metro on November 30th.
Celene Lillie and Art Dewey are members of the Westar Institute, a critical thinktank for religious issues, particularly early Christianity. Dr. Lillie is the Director of the Tanho Center in Boulder, Colorado, and the author of The Rape of Eve: The Transformation of Roman Ideology in Three Early Christian Retellings of Genesis. Arthur Dewey is professor of religion at Xavier University and the author of Inventing the Passion: How the Death of Jesus was Remembered. They will be speaking about The Political Jesus.
How to Live from Love and Improve Your Memory
This is a personal episode. I talk about my son and Scott talks about his brother. Tough losses. Big Love. Then Dr. Budson and I talk about why I keep forgetting where I put my keys and other memory lapses. A lot can be done to manage our memory. Here are seven steps to keep up.
Scott Stabile, is the author of Big Love: The Power of Living with A Wide Open Heart. His inspirational posts and videos have attracted a huge and devoted social media following, including over 350K Facebook fans and counting. A regular contributor to the Huffington Post, he lives in Michigan and conducts personal empowerment workshops around the world.
Dr. Andrew Budson along with Maureen OConnor have co-written an accessible and helpful guide to caring for our memory. Seven Steps to Managing Your Memory: What’s Normal, What’s Not and What to Do About It? Dr. Budson is Professor of Neurology at Boston University School of Medicine. His special interests are Memory, Alzheimers disease, and Dementia.


Youth News – December 2017  


Sunday Mornings:  Worship 10:00am, Connections & Everyday Leadership 10:15am

All Youth First Sunday Breakfast by Robin: Sunday, December 3 – 9:40am
Sr. High Portland Urban Plunge at First Presbyterian – Dec. 1-2

Middle School – DV8
December 3 – Advent Fair!  Hosting the Secret Room!  See Don for details. Lots of fun for the whole family including Photos with Santa!
Friday, December 8 – Southminster Family Christmas Concert (Choirs) – 7pm.
December 17 – Children and Youth X-mas Pageant 10 a.m. Special:  11-11:45 a.m. White Elephant Gift Exchange (Under $5 or used).
December 17 -All Youth & Families Chili & Caroling w/ Sai Babba 5-8pm  
December 24 -Family Christmas Eve Service at 5:00pm — See Friends.
Candlelight Christmas Eve Service at 11pm

8/High School — SNL
December 1-2 – Portland Urban Plunge (see flyer for details)
December 3 -ADVENT FAIR Sunday!  Be ready to help with Secret Room.
Friday, December 8 – Southminster Family Christmas Concert (Choirs)- 7pm.
December 17 – Children and Youth X-mas Pageant 10 a.m. Special: 11-11:45 a.m. White Elephant Gift Exchange (Under $5 or used).
Dec. 17 –All Youth & Families Chili & Caroling w/ Sai Babba! 5-7:30/8pm
December 24 -Family Christmas Eve Service at 5:00pm  — See Friends.
Candlelight Christmas Eve Service at 11pm
College – Alumni
Saturday, December 16-Gathering at Don’s, 7:00-9:30 p.m.
This year’s gift exchange theme:  White Elephant Gift Exchange (Under $5 or used).  Bring a favorite Goodie to share!
December 24 -Family Christmas Eve Service at 5:00pm
Candlelight Christmas Eve Service at 11pm – See Friends!
Contact Don @ getting together for coffee before Dec. 17th.
Read the Bible Cover to Cover      


1 & 2 Timothy and Titus are called the pastoral epistles. They are supposedly letters by Paul to his followers, Timothy and Titus. For various reasons, many scholars doubt these letters are in fact by Paul, but come from a much later time in the church. The concerns reflect matters of established communities.
I Timothy: This letter written to Timothy is advice from an old pro to a rookie in ministry. “Fight the good fight of the faith.” (6:12)
II Timothy: This is more personal than the first letter, and quite fatherly: “I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands…” (1:6)
Titus: This is the third of the pastoral letters (I & II Tim. and Titus). “Paul” writes to Titus, who is “my loyal child in the faith” and reminds him to do the job in Crete, which includes putting things in order there.
The Gospel of Mary Magdalene is not found in the Bible. This text was discovered in the 19th century in Egypt. It is not a complete text. In this text, Mary is closer to Jesus than the other disciples. Jesus tells her things he does not tell the other disciples. When she reveals to them what she has seen and heard they do not believe her. It is intriguing to compare the Gospel of Mary with the pastoral epistles and other letters of the New Testament, especially in terms of attitudes toward women. In the Gospel of Mary, Jesus says: “Do not lay down any rules beyond what I appointed you, and do not give a law like the lawgiver lest you be constrained by it.”
The Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles were written by the same author. It is helpful to read the two as one complete narrative. The Gospel of Luke takes Mark’s Gospel (and possibly Matthew’s Gospel or a source common to Luke and Matthew) and embellishes it with memorable events and parables. Luke contains two of the most famous parables of Jesus that are not found in the other gospels: the Parable of the Good Samaritan and the Parable of the Prodigal Son. It is Luke’s gospel that forms the narrative basis for the church year from Advent to Ascension.
Acts is possibly quite late, possibly 2nd century, and attempts to tell the history of Peter and Paul. While we often think of Acts as history, it is not history as we would describe it. It is more along the lines of historical romance or historical fiction. It paints a picture of how the author wants readers to see the development of the church. The main character in Acts is the Holy Spirit. In the tradition of travel narratives, Acts takes the reader on the adventure of the church in its earliest days. Much of the squabbles surrounded the role of the Gentiles in the church. Should Gentiles be required to become Jews before they could become Christians or could they simply bypass circumcision and the Law altogether? Arguably the author of Luke-Acts has done more to shape the church’s understanding of itself than any other New Testament author. Historians are now deconstructing Luke-Acts and showing fairly convincingly that it is more fiction than history.

You can find December’s guide here: 

December Bible Guide

Here is the quiz for December:

December Bible Quiz

Here is the family quiz for December:

December Family Story Quiz 

Have fun and keep those fabulous prizes in mind!

Printable Calendar for December       

Click here for a copy of December’s calendar that appeared in the paper newsletter for printing at home. 

Contact John
Won’t you be my friend?  
Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterVisit my blog             
Southminster Presbyterian Church| 503-644-2073 ||
Southminster Presbyterian Church, 12250 SW Denney Road, Beaverton, OR 97008
Sent by in collaboration with
Constant Contact