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Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church

Grace Notes

Volume 42, Issue 12 December 2012

The Eighty-First Annual Candlelight Carol Service


Sunday, December 16, 5:00 p.m.
A traditional service of Lessons and Carols with music led by the Chancel, Junior, and Handbell Choirs of Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church.
Reception sponsored by the Presbyterian Women. Childcare provided.

Missions

Give the Gift of Dignity This Christmas!


This year in lieu of our participation in Angel Tree, we will be involved the Pride for Parents Christmas Store, a ministry of STEP. The Missions Committee is seeking donations of new, unwrapped childrens gifts with the original purchase price marked on them. These gifts will be marked down to 50% or less of the original price and made available to low-income urban residents during STEPs 22nd annual Pride for Parents Christmas Store held on December 8. Each year the store assists low-income parents by providing a dignified, affordable opportunity for them to give sacrificially in providing for their own children. The Missions Committee will be coordinating the donations, which need to be received by Sunday, December 2. Excellent gift ideas include: Black Baby Dolls, Electronics, Skateboards, Video Games, Arts & Craft Kits, Toy Cars & Trucks, Sports Equipment, Trains, Doll Accessories, Educational Toys, Building Blocks, Bicycles, etc. Gifts will be collected on stage in the Fellowship Hall. For more information, contact Matt Hartman (mchartman@vcu.edu, 212-1961) or the STEP office at 648-7552.

Childrens Christmas Pageant


Please join the children's Sunday school classes as they perform their annual Christmas pageant during the Sunday school hour on Sunday, December 9, 2012. The children will be performing on the stage in the Fellowship Hall. We look forward to seeing you there! -Megan Meyer and Erika Tabor

Openers/Closers December 2 December 9 December 16 December 23 December 30 Worship Kits Lisa Cardwell Grace Notes Deadline: December 21 is the deadline for submissions for our January edition. Elementary Sunday School Megan Meyer Sunday Fellowship Hour December 2 December 9 December 16 December 23 December 30 The Bairds Carol Wood The Spitzers Debbie Pritchard Kent Cardwell Cal Gray Wayne Casey Charlie Appich Rob Rosebro Wayne Casey

Stewardship Corner and Financial Update


Octobers contribution total of $32,900 was only 3.2% less than Septembers, which had five Sundays. For the first ten months of this year total contributions are about 8.1% higher than the same period last year. In October total income of $50,300 was slightly lower than that of September and benefited from a $10,000 transfer from Restricted Funds. Octobers expense total of $55,500 was up about 10% from September, due, in part, to annual elevator maintenance contract costs of $5,400 and insurance premiums of $4,900. Expenses for year-to-date are almost 10% higher than the same period last year, due mostly to building-related expenses including air conditioning repairs and tenant improvements for the Stuart Circle Building. Expenses in October exceeded income by $5,300, bringing the years General Fund deficit to $29,900.

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The Five Cents Per Meal offering in October was $267, and the Loaves and Fishes offering was $1,882. Both totals were close to Septembers numbers.

The Finance and Stewardship Committee is responsible for preparing an annual budget for Session approval. November 18 was Dedication Sunday, the time when we were to commit to God a portion of all He has given us. It is important that the Committee know the expected income for 2013 so that a realistic budget can be prepared to ensure that the ministries and programs of the church continue. If you have not yet returned your pledge card, please do so at your earliest convenience so that we can enter the new year with a new budget.

Resolution of the Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church Endowment Fund and Building Fund Boards of Directors acknowledging the retirement of John W. Roberts
WHEREAS, Mr. Roberts plans to retire on November 13, 2012 as a Director of the Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church Endowment Fund and the Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church Building Fund after actively serving both funds for over 51 years and 32 years, respectively; and, WHEREAS, Mr. Roberts has been a faithful member of Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church and has served in numerous offices and positions of responsibility through the years; and, WHEREAS, Mr. Roberts has earned the admiration and respect of his fellow Directors for his insightful leadership, dedication, thoughtfulness, faithfulness, loyalty, enthusiasm, professionalism, sense of humor and hard work on behalf of the Funds: NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Boards of Directors of the Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church Endowment Fund and the Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church Building Fund that they appoint John W. Roberts Director Emeritus. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Boards of Directors take great pleasure in recognizing the significant achievements of John W. Roberts, and herewith express their sincere gratitude for the invaluable contributions he has made to the Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church Funds. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this resolution be expressly entered into the permanent minutes of the Boards of Directors of both Funds and that copies be sent to Mr. Roberts family and to the Reverend B. Brinton P. Keyes, interim pastor of Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, to share with our church community.

Tuesday, December 4 at 12:00 noon in the Sanctuary Come hear the J. R. Tucker High School Choir and join us for lunch in the Fellowship Hall following the concert.

Any questions, please contact Suzanne Sizemore at 288-7757.

All Circles Meet on Tuesday, December 11


PW Circle 2 11:00 a.m.

ircle PW C cle ng Cir Eveni 7:00 p 32 .m. Ave. Leys

PW Circle 3 9:30 a.m. Social Room Hostess: Jane Londre y

Covenant Room Hostess: Julia Poppell

marle 9 Albe

ie ss: Sall Hoste

Thank You - Merci - Danke - Gracias - Grazie - Tak - Ksz


Dear Grace Covenant family, I would like to thank all of you who have prayed for me over the past year for a healthy recovery from my foot surgery. Thanks to all of your prayers, my foot healed without any problems and I had the courage to start running again (after more than 10 years of not running). I would also like to thank my anonymous friend here at church who made it possible for me to purchase running shoes to start my journey. On Saturday, November 10, 2012, I successfully ran the HCA Virginia 8K race, almost exactly a year after my foot surgery on November 18, 2011. I met my personal time goal that I had set for myself (1 hour), finishing with a time of 1:00:16, running the whole race (4.97 miles) and feeling great!! Thank you again for your prayers; I am proof of the power of prayer! -Erika Tabor

Thank you to everyone who graciously donated Christmas cards to the Greensville Correctional Center. The inmates are always so grateful to receive these cards so that they can mail them to their families and friends. Any cards you do not use please save for next year. Thank you to Becky Reeves for organizing this.

Many, many thanks to my Grace Covenant friends, for the surprise tributes on Wednesday night! I was deeply moved to see the great friendship rewards shown to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you! And God bless us, every one. I shall think of you a lot (and also, think a lot of you!) in my California home. I'm around till Candlelight. Love, Evelyn

December
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday
2 3 Mens Lunch 12 noon Prayer 9:15 am City Church Womens Sunday School 9:30 am Bible Study 7:30 pm Worship 10:55 am Fellowship Hour 12 noon Congregational Lunch 12:30pm
4 Staff Meeting 10:00 a.m. Care Team Meeting 2:00 pm 5 CC Womens Bible

Study 9:30 am
Carol Choir 4:30 pm Junior Choir 5:00 pm WNL 6:00 pm Chancel Choir 7:15 pm

9 Prayer 9:15 am 10 Kids Christmas Pageant 9:30 Mens Lunch 12 noon Worship 10:55 am Fellowship Hour 12 noon Congregational Lunch 12:30pm

11 Staff Meeting 11:00 am

12 Carol Choir 4:30 pm PW Circle Meetings see page 5 Junior Choir 5:00 pm Care Team Meeting 2:00 pm CDC Board Meeting WNL 6:00 pm Finance and Stewardship Chancel Choir 7:15 pm Meeting 6:00 pm

16 Sunday School 9:30 am 17 Worship 10:55 am Mens Lunch 12 noon Fellowship Hour 12 noon Congregational Lunch 12:30pm CANDLELIGHT SERVICE 5:00 pm 23 Prayer 9:15 am Sunday School 9:30 am Worship 10:55 am Fellowship Hour 12 noon Congregational Lunch 12:30pm
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18 Staff Meeting 10:00 am Care Team Meeting 3:00 pm CDC Parent Meeting 5:00pm 25 Merry Christmas! Church Office and CDC Closed.

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24 Church Office and CDC Closed. Christmas Eve Service 5:00 pm 31

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Thursday

Friday

Saturday 1

CDC Chapel 10:00 am

Hanging of the Greens 8:30 am

Chancel Choir Rehearsal 10:00 am

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CDC Chapel 10:00 am

14 Caroling at Westminster 6:00pm CDC pot luck dinner 6:30pm

15 Chancel Choir Rehearsal 10:00 am PEOPLE Group 6:00 pm 476 Fords Road Manakin-Sabot 23103 22

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CDC Chapel 10:00 am SESSION Meeting

21 GRACE NOTES DUE!

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The Sanctuary will be decorated on Saturday, December 8, at 8:30 a.m. Join in the fun! All are welcome we guarantee you will leave with the Christmas Spirit!

Its That Wonderful Time of the Year!


Our Candlelight Carol Service is December 16. Once again we ask that you display a yard sign in front of your house as an invitation to neighbors and friends to share this wonderful Grace Covenant tradition. The signs will be available for you to pick up on Sundays, December 2 and 9, and also on Wednesdays, December 5 and 12. The signs will be near the front West door and near the glass office at the rear door of the church. Please place the signs in your yard where all can see for the two weeks before our service. After the service on December 16, please bring the signs back to the church to be cleaned and stored until were ready to use them again next Christmas. Please help us reach as many friends and neighbors as possible to share the Good News of the birth of our Savior this Christmas.

Wednesday Night Live!


Each Wednesday evening we gather at 6:00 p.m. for table fellowship, followed by a program from 6:30-7:15 p.m. We provide child care for preschoolers, and a childrens program for school-age children. All are welcome! Take a break from cooking dinner and join us for a friendly, relaxing, and inspiring evening. For more information, contact Vanessa Strait in the church office at 359-2463, or info@grace-covenant.org.

Meals for December:


December 5: December 12: Roast pork with apricot sauce, new potatoes, kale, salad, rolls, and sheet cake. Baked ham, sweet potato casserole, green peas, biscuits, salad, fruitcake cookies.

All meals are $5.00 per person, $12.00 per family, and $2.00 for students. First-time guests eat free.

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Grace Notes

A Note of Thanks from the Worship Committee


As the end of the year draws near, we want to take a moment to thank all of those who have helped make worship at Grace Covenant on Sunday mornings such a meaningful and joyful time for us to be together proclaiming our love for God our Father. Our Reformed traditional style of worship is enriched each Sunday with the beautiful music from our choirs and organ; thank you, Chris and all the members of all the choirs. Each week our gifts are collected and we are greeted by our ushers; thank you. Thank you to the greeters who give a handshake and smile before we even enter the sanctuary. The Word is read and the prayers are offered and childrens stories are presented thank you to the lay readers and childrens ministers. Thank you to the openers and closers of the building each Sunday; you come early and stay late so that we may enter with ease. Thank you to the child care workers who care for our smallest so that their parents may be in worship with us. Thank you to those who prepare the communion elements and light the candles and change the paraments with the season. Thank you to those who donate and arrange the flowers each week, and those who then rearrange and deliver them to the sick or to homebound members and friends. Thank you to those who decorate the sanctuary at Easter and Christmas to make us more aware of our Saviors life and death given for us. Thank you to those who tend to all the details of weddings and funerals to make those special worship services even more special for the families and friends of our loved ones. Thank you to the radio ministry and sound system operators that enable all to hear the Good News being rightly preached at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church. Thank you to those who serve refreshments after worship to show our hospitality to all who worship with us. Thank you to those who dust and polish and vacuum our beautiful worship space. And thank you to all who have preached Gods holy Word from our pulpit this year. We all long to know Him better and to follow the calling He has for each of us. Our thanks to all of youfrom the Worship Committee Congratulations to Matt and Leslie (and Callan and Thatcher, too) Hartman on the birth of their daughter! Ellery Jane Hartman November 22, 2012 (Thanksgiving Day) 8 lbs 10 oz and 20"

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Grace Notes

December Birthdays
1- Geoff Campbell 2- Callan Hartman 5- William Cole 11- Emily Johnson 13- Cynthia Holmes 16- Mary Mitchell 16- Lloyd Bostian 16- Pat Bell 17- Bitaseme Mboe 18- Jan Kessel 20- Jane Horner 20- George Gray III 21- Carson Price 21- Aaliyah Tunstall 23- Louise Buhrman 23- Gaynelle Worley 25- Cal Gray 25- Jake Savage III 25- Travis Croxton 25- Cissy Mesco 25- Pritchard Whitley 27- Harris Hampton 27- Claiborne Hubbard 30- Michael Luning

Child Development Center


Thank you for all of your support during our Fall Festival! Our little ones were able to have fun dressing up in costumes in a safe, Christian environment. Without use of the Fellowship Hall, we would not have been able to set up so many fun booths for the children and parents to participate in games. The Moon Bounce was a huge hit, and we appreciate you allowing us to borrow your equipment for a day. During the month of October, we learned all about harvesting crops, farmers, and the end of the summer season. Thank you for your help in teaching our children to thank God for another season of success, and to appreciate how God sends us our blessings. In chapel for the month of November, we are learning all about what it means to have a thankful heart. We will serve turkey for lunch on November 21, and the children will re-enact the very first Thanksgiving. They will discuss why the pilgrims were so thankful for their food, and how the Indians were so nice to share it. Our teachers will discuss what we have to be thankful for, such as family, friends, and school. We'll talk about how fortunate we are to have the food we eat and the school we go to. Last month, we learned how to pray to God and what prayer means. Now, we'll put that into practice by thanking him for our blessings every day! The Christmas season is coming up fast! In addition to our turkey lunch, we also look forward to a Christmas pot luck dinner for parents of the CDC. Our parents will build the sense of community by congregating and getting to know each other. We will continue to minister to the community by providing a strong, Christian support system for young families and their children. -Nicole Williams Director of CDC

To my dear Grace Covenant family As I write this, Thanksgiving is behind us, and Advent is just days away. We have celebrated Gods ministry through our dear sister Evelyn Tower as she prepares to move to California, and we have given thanks for the safe arrival of Ellery Jane Hartman. We will baptize two infants this month, and several in our fellowship will make the commitment of membership on December 16. Terms for eight of our officers (deacons, ruling elders, and trustees) are drawing to a close, and as many as five more are preparing to be ordained in January. To every thing there is a season, writes Qoheleth, the author of Ecclesiastes, and a time to every purpose under the heaven (Eccles. 3:1, KJV). I am grateful for the season of Advent. No matter where I find myself welcoming new officers and new members, or saying farewell to others; attending holiday events at the kids schools or traveling to visit with family; praying, reading, writing, preaching the season of Advent arrives and directs my gaze to the majesty and the scandal of the Incarnation. It reminds me that, however intent I may be upon living a faithful life, it has no meaning or value apart from the gracious and precipitating event of Christs birth. As Paul reminds us, to live is Christ (Phil. 1:21). In the midst of year-end budget discussions, pastor searches, engineering assessments, discipleship programming, fellowship events, Lessons and Carols Candlelight, chapel services with the CDC children, and Honduras Mission Trip preparations, Christ comes. It is His coming, His leaving heaven and arriving on earth to dwell among us or, Eugene Peterson put it, to move into the neighborhood (John 1:14, The Message) that undergirds our faith and life. I pray that God may use this season to direct your gaze similarly toward His humble glory. Let His amazing grace refresh, inspire, terrify, and comfort your heart. In the midst of the busy-ness of the holidays, be still and know that the Lord is God (Ps. 46:10). Carla, Deborah, and Elijah join me in praying that the Lord may lead you to a closer, brighter, and more blessed walk with Him in the weeks to come. Yours in the gracious fellowship of His Holy Spirit,

There are many passages in Scripture relating to prayer. The Psalms are essentially prayers. Jesus taught His disciples, and us, to prayThe Lords Prayer. The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy and urged . . . that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people Prayer is a vital part of the life of a Christian. It is what keeps us close to God. A small group of Grace Covenanters gathers in the Social Room at 9:10 every Sunday morning to pray for the ministries of our church, for those who are suffering pain, illness, or loneliness, for the missionaries we support, for the leading of the Holy Spirit so that Gods Word is truly and faithfully taught and preached, and that we are led by the Holy Spirit to the true worship of God. This small group would like to become a larger group. An invitation to make this happen is extended to all who would like to add this time of prayer to their Christian witness. Please prayerfully consider joining in this important ministry of Grace Covenant.

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Grace Notes

-Finances Continued
Offering EnvelopesEnvelopes for 2013 may be picked up beginning December 9. If you don't have envelopes and would like envelopes, we will happily assign a box of envelopes for your 2013 contributions. Please contact Martha Rubin, the bookkeeper, in the church office at 359-2463 x. 205.

A. E. Schlieser Charitable Trust Makes Gift to Building Fund


The Building Fund of Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church wishes to acknowledge and give thanks for a bequest of $243,000 from the A. E. Schlieser Charitable Remainder Trust. Edwards Schlieser, born in 1917, was a life-time member of Grace Covenant. His wife, Stella, joined Grace Covenant in 1956. Mr. Schlieser passed away in August 2011 and Mrs. Schlieser joined him in the Church Triumphant in June of this year. By including the Building Fund among their beneficiaries, the Schliesers recognized the Funds essential ministry of faithfully stewarding the care and maintenance of our buildings. We are most thankful for this gift, and humbled by the thoughtfulness of the Schliesers in providing such a significant bequest. This is a major step in achieving the Building Fund goal of $2,000,000. As we express deep appreciation for this generous gift, our hope is that you will follow their example and consider naming our Church and/or our Endowment and Building Funds in your Will, no matter the amount. Each director of the Funds has done so.

For more information on how to include Grace Covenant in your bequests, please contact Jake Savage at jsavage@bbandtcm.com 780-3230 or Jennifer Schooley at jschooley@schooleyfirm.com 938-7544

Christmas Memorials
The Worship Ministry offers you the opportunity to give thanks this Christmas by donating poinsettias and greens in memory of a loved one. Names of those remembered will be printed in the bulletin of worship for the December 16th Lessons and Carols Candlelight Service.

Deadline is Monday, December 3.

Poinsettias
The poinsettias are $10 each. Please make checks payable to Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church and write Poinsettias in the memo line.

POINSETTIAS
IN MEMORY OF IN HONOR OF __________________________________________________________ BY

Christmas Greens
Donations for greens in any amount will be accepted. Please make checks payable to Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church and write Christmas Greens in the memo line.
IN MEMORY OF IN HONOR OF __________________________________________________________ BY

The Staff
Brint Keyes

2012 Officers
Our Elders serve the church as leaders. Our Deacons lead the church in service. Please feel free to approach them with any questions or feedback about Grace Covenants ministries. CLERK OF SESSION: Everett Reveley ELDERS: Jordan Ball (14) - Nominating (M); Finance Kent Cardwell (12) - Fellowship (M) Wayne Casey (13) - Property, Small Groups (M); Jack Corley (13) - Finance, Mission Matt Hartman - Missions (M) Virginia Hudson (14) - Evangelism (M) Cheryl Jacobs (12) - Worship (M); Fellowship Katie McCullough (13) - Administration (M) Dana McKnight (14) - Finance, Worship, Stewardship Christof Meyer (12) - Christian Ed (M), CDC (M) Tom Miller (12) - Christian Education Joy Nevin (14) - Administration Everett Reveley (12) - Finance (M), Stewardship Robert Rosebro (13) - Property (M) Rob Turner (14) - Worship, Nominating DEACONS: Pat Ball (12) - Flowers Cherry Corley (12) - Communication Cards Susan Farrell (12) - Transportation, Care Team Nikki Hazlegrove (13) - Vice-Moderator - Meals Jan Kessel (14) - Care Team Jim McCullough (13) - Deacons Fund, Nominating Ann Pais (14) - Care Team Erika Tabor (14) - Secretary - Communication Cards Judy Waldron (14) - Moderator - Cards Dawson Watkins (13) - Care Team Carol Wood (13) - Prayer, Communication Cards Sid Yates (12) - Ushering TRUSTEES: Lloyd Bostian (13) Kent Cardwell (13) Caroline Leith (14) John Nevin (12) Taylor Reveley (12)

Interim Pastor
Revbrint@verizon.net Chris Martin

Director of Music and Organist


martin@grace-covenant.org Vanessa Strait

Administrative Assistant
strait@grace-covenant.org Martha Rubin

Bookkeeper

bookkeeper@grace-covenant.org James Greene

Temporary Sexton
Christopher Tweel

Seminary Intern

Christopher.Tweel@upsem.edu Church Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. Phone: (804) 359-2463 Fax: (804) 278-6298 www.grace-covenant.org Sundays: 9:30 a.m.
10:55 a.m. 12:00 noon

Sunday School for all ages in the Education Building Worship Service in the Sanctuary Congregational Fellowship in the Social Room

Grace Covenant Child Development Center Nicole Williams

Director director.gccdc@verizon.net www.gracecovenantcdc.com