St. Paul Lutheran Church
Castle Rock, Washington
A community of faith that worships, grows, and serves
"We are one body in Christ, united in baptism, renewed through
worship and prayer, and sent by God to serve"
Good News of St. Paul
November - December
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.” (John 1:1-5)
As I sit here writing this, the rain has let up temporarily. The sky is getting a little lighter, but I’m not sure how long that is going to last. I am not particularly fond of this time of year. This is the time of year when I get up it’s dark, or when I get home from church it’s dark, or I have to turn on the lights in the middle of the day when a storm blows through. The thing is we still have another 8 weeks before we reach the solstice, and the days again become longer. Some would say that I have Seasonal Affective Disorder. I want to sit around doing little, I want to eat more, and I have a harder time concentrating on the things I need to (like writing this article). But I wonder if there isn’t something more profound going on here.
In the bible the word “darkness” has several metaphorical meanings. Many of us can relate to the fact that in one sense darkness represents death. It is the eternal nothingness, a place from which there is no return. This time of year represents that death. We see the leaves dropping from the trees, the grass has stopped growing, and the plants are beginning to wither. It is a time that reminds us of our own mortality. Darkness has also been associated with the Day of the Lord, that is judgment in connection with Christ’s second coming. There has been a lot of talk about the End Times recently, and frankly there are days that sure seem like it is the end of the world (wind howling, rain coming down in buckets, etc). However, darkness can also mean ignorance of God’s will. This is what the writer of John’s Gospel was getting at in the verses above. We live in an age, a society, and an area of the country where many live in “darkness”. There are many who only understand God as either being a benevolent deity, not interested in the affairs of we mortals; or, the understanding runs to the other extreme of an angry, vengeful God who does nothing but wreck havoc on humanity. And yet throughout the bible we read and hear of God’s continual involvement with the people of all nations, and of God’s love for God’s creation. This involvement is realized in the person of Jesus, the God-child, being born in a lowly manger in the middle of Palestine 2000 years ago. This is the light that the Gospel writer speaks of, the light that shines into the darkness of human mis-understanding of who God is. It is Jesus, who gives light to our lives, and to the lives around us.
As we come into this time of holiday parties, of trying to find the right presents for our loved ones, of putting up decorations and lights, I hope and pray that we, as a community of faith, will continue to be the Jesus-light that shines in the darkness of the lives of others.
Monthly Financial Report
Figures are regarding
the General Fund:
Approximately $13,000 is needed each month to cover expenses.
Thank you for your faithfulness!
Volunteers Are Needed
We are asking you to seriously consider giving of your time in one or more areas listed below. Time changes things but our need for willing people to fill in necessary positions goes on. Please give it prayerful thought.
• Altar Guild Member - two week stints setting and cleaning up after communion on Sunday. (See Sharon Blankenship or Janet Eiden for details.)
• Lector - Read the First and Second Lesson on Sunday morning. With rotations, you would read about 2 times every 6 months. (See Geri with questions.)
• Communion Assistant - help administer the bread/wine on Sunday morning. With rotation, you would assist on average 2 times every 3 months. (Occasionally a substitute is needed when someone is unable to serve on their assigned Sunday, so there are opportunities to fill in). This is a ministry that is truly in need of more members. (See Glen Agren or Earl Small for more information)
Our sympathy to the Ron Sturgill Family. Ron passed away on Sunday, October 28th. A celebration of memories is planned for 4 p.m. Friday (11/2) at the Woodworkers Local Lodge, 536 Oregon Way, in Longview.
There will be no quilt show this year.
Trunk or Treat
Thank you to Al Black, Jacki Whittaker, Sharon Blankenship, Nick Petkovich, and Pastor Bob who handed out candy to the kids (and some parents!) at the Trunk or Treat event. Over 120 kids were served!
Pastor Bob's Shoutouts
Thank You to:
• Paul & Jackie Schwinn for cutting the tree by the fellowship door and clean up. Also, Earl Small for removing the trunk.
• The youth and adult helpers who made the delicious apple cider!
• Al Black for organizing the Trunk or Treat event, Leann Beall for putting together the Smile, God Loves You tracts, and the volunteers who handed out candy to the kids on Halloween.
• K.C. Babcock for her faithfulness in visiting the lonely and the sick.
• Diana Rahn, Katrina Hinesley, Neal Johnson, and Glen Agren for committing to the two years of the Imagine Program.
As most of you know, we are now ‘LIVE’ with the new security system for the main door. This door will stay locked at all times. The only access will be with a key card, or, if you come during office hours Monday - Friday (9 a.m. - 1 p.m.), someone will let you in.
If you requested a key card, or if you didn’t and need one, see Geri. The old key system will no longer work. Your key can be disposed of or turned in to the office.
Craft Vendors Wanted
The Community Home Health and Hospice is seeking vendors (creators of handmade items, bakers, and volunteers) for their annual Winter Wonderland Bazaar held on Saturday, December 1st.
If you would like to be a part of this, contact Christina at (360)703-0314.
Family Promise of Cowlitz County
See their October Newsletter (included on page 7) giving you the latest information regarding this program.
PLEASE NOTE: The next Community Family Promise Meeting will be Tuesday, November 13th at 7 p.m. at New Song Worship Center, 161 Aaron Drive inn Lexington.
Blood Drive Coming
The next Blood Drive is Monday, November 19th from noon - 6 p.m.
Please consider giving. Remember, the blood stays in our local area to help save lives!
Prayers for Members and Friends
Please remember these people with your prayers, phone calls, visits or cards:
Those with Health Concerns: Laurie Ross-Aristide, Al Black, Bob Bruner, Beth Hinesley, Christine Koppert, Crystal Hummel, Angie Bouder, Angie Manfreddi, Jean Jones, Eric Smith, Darlene Jackson, Don Miller, Katie Frei, Mary Mage, Linda Titus, Katie Ogden, Peggy Droz, Ron Sturgill, Lisa Hill, Gayle Agren, April Erdelbrock
Those Serving in the Armed Forces: Hunter Whitten, Sam Gallow, Tyler Kleine, Eddie Oswalt
Thanksgiving Worship Opportunities
• On Sun., Nov. 18th, there will be a Joint Thanksgiving Service with the Lower Columbia Cluster Churches at 3 p.m. at Bethany Lutheran in Longview. A pie social will follow.
• The annual Castle Rock Community Thanksgiving Eve Service will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, November 21st. At the time of this writing, the location is yet to be determined. Be watching your Friday e-mails, and, of course, the bulletin.
• Breakfast with Santa - Sat., Dec. 8 in fellowship hall (C.R. Co-op Preschool event)
• Sunday School Christmas Program - Sun. Dec., 16 at 10:30 a.m.
• Christmas Eve. Communion/Candlelight Services at 7 and 11 p.m.
• NO Christmas Day Service on Dec. 25. Office Closed - Dec. 25
1 Josie Foster Swim
3 Jason Koppert
4 Denise Foster
5 Pr. Bob Sinclair
6 Brad Ness
8 Tina Smith
10 Bob Larsen
11 Seth Foster
12 Palma Jensen
13 Don McClay
15 Laura Berg
18 Jerod Vandehey
19 Anna Cunningham
21 Chris Masten
22 Lindsay Berg
Glee Ann Erdelbrock
23 Cody Sicklovan
24 Barb Lane
26 Danny Oswalt
27 Kristin Knutson
29 Katrina Hinesley
30 Leann Beall
November Baptismal Birthdays
9 Joe Shero
12 Anita Gallow
15 Patsy Grizzle
17 Steve Foster
19 Jim McDaniel
20 Carol Adams
25 Jordan Jenkins
26 Bev Crocker
30 Cory Johnson
2 Bill Clayton
4 Shirley Johnson
6 Ed Berndt
7 Linda Solberg
10 Emily Foster
11 Nicki Highlander
12 Glen Agren
17 Amy Whitten
20 Kim Grizzle
21 Alyssa Gallow
23 Linda Diepenbrock
25 Judy Albright
28 Maggie Ashby
29 Granville Oswalt
30 Andy Kotera
December Baptismal Birthdays
1 Geri Skreen
2 Emily Ashby
4 Jakob Houser
6 Brad Ness
10 Linda Solberg
11 Bronteʹ Martin
15 Sandee Ness
19 Ashley Lyon
20 Sarah Bryan
21 Jill Lair
25 Leann Fadness-Beal
26 Ed Berndt
30 Adam Foster
31 Vineta Thomsen
8 Steve & Jeanette Foster
11 Tim & Katie Ogden
18 Karen & Mike Cloke
23 Monte & Cathy Hartshorn
23 David & Vicki Masten
26 Lowell & Jan Bamford
28 Richard & Geri Skreen