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Thank you to all those who participated in the initial information meeting about Safe Families For Children!

Read below for the next steps for those who continue to have interest in helping with SFFC.

We'd like to know your level of interest and to get you on our email list. You can also RSVP for the training event at the Auer's Home this Saturday.

“I'm Interested” Form

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We are excited to tell you about an opportunity to get involved in our community through a ministry called Safe Families for Children. Safe Families is a volunteer ministry that exists to provide biblical hospitality, love, and support to families in crisis, largely through providing parents with safe places for their children to stay while they work to resolve whatever crises that they are experiencing, such as unemployment, homelessness, or financial difficulty. This ministry equips churches like ours to create support networks for desperate people in our community who have no one to turn to in times of crisis. They do this through creating teams of people to come alongside of these families in various roles. This is one of the really neat things about Safe Families - that there are many ways to be involved.

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Sunday we looked at the shocking act of service Jesus did when he washed the feet of the disciples. We considered the marvel of God in Christ stooping to wash the dirty feet of creatures he had made, the humility of Jesus cleaning and drying the feet of Judas Iscariot, the one who would betray him…. And at the end we read through a set of questions to help us evaluate our own service of others.

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For the Advent season this year we are doing something special. First, we are providing a set of Bible readings to go along with each day of Advent (December 1-25). Second, someone from the church will be providing a reflection on each day's reading. Our intention is to have these posted first thing each morning, maybe even the night before if things go extremely well. Here are the readings and authors for each day of Advent.

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In case you hadn't noticed, the Christmas season is here. Today is Black Friday, and I'm just about to head out for some shopping. We all have about twenty-seven parties scheduled in the next thirty days, and in stores and homes in that same period we'll hear about a thousand different versions of Carol of the Bells. I don't write this as a Scrooge. I love Christmas. But what I love above all the family traditions and celebrations is the Event at the center of it all: The Advent of the Messiah.

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If it’s true that grief leaves you with a limp, then we must have been quite a disabled crew. Each Monday for thirteen weeks, we trudged in from the cold to pray, listen, and process the reality of our unique losses, ranging from the natural (and still devastating) loss of mothers and fathers, to the tragic and sudden loss of young life. But if you had peeked in the window at 401 Upchurch St. those evenings, you wouldn’t have only seen tears.

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Several couples from church attended the tenth annual Hand of Hope fundraising banquet on November 5. Close to 300 people attended the dinner in support of Hand of Hope's ministry. Pam Tebow served as the banquet's guest speaker this year, and the evening was filled with encouraging stories from Pam and several Hand of Hope volunteers and clients of God's power and mercy and goodness working through the prayers and activity of his people.

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I would like to share with you a little bit about my beloved home country, Japan. I am mostly Japanese with a mix of Chinese and Caucasian. I was born in Japan and grew up there until I was 11 years old. Although I had always had a special love for Japan, I had very little contact with the Japanese community and the culture after I moved to the states. Even after I became a believer and I began praying for and reaching out to unbelievers, I did not have any special focus on the Japanese. It was not until I heard about the tsunami in Fukuoka in 2011 that the Lord put a special burden on my heart for Japan and it’s people.

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