Refreshing rains of the Spirit have been drenching our earth and our congregation with renewed vitality, growth and inspiration. Last week in worship we spent time exploring the work of the prophet Elijah who predicted a terrible drought for the Middle East during his tenure which was followed by torrential floods much like our El Nino system – ironically El Nino (translated “The Child Jesus”) system is ramping up just after we celebrated Christmas and are now following the star of Epiphany.
This week we received marvelous news from our sister congregation, 1st Presbyterian Church, Garden Grove, regarding our support for their shower ministry for homeless men, women and families. Rev. Cheryl Raine was pleased to report that due to some generous contributions from our congregation and others they were able to raise the $6,000 needed to qualify for a matching grant from our Presbytery to continue their needed ministry in their community. We have also begun to send volunteers to help with this program as is growing and in need of additional people support. Click here to see more about this great endeavor.
While the west coast drought is far from over the life giving rain is a welcome relief although with it often comes treacherous flooding and mudslides. The seasons and cycles of weather patterns are often parables of life – the ebb and flow of blessings and struggles with the consequences of certain choices not materializing for generations. The prophet Isaiah was keenly aware of what would be happening long into the future to Israel and Judah because of their choices to abandon God and worship the small gods of their neighbors in an attempt to look powerful. We will meet Isaiah this Sunday in worship as he experiences the call of God in his life and responds with a resounding, “Here I Am, Lord, choose me!” If you are following along in The Story, read chapter 16, “The Beginning of the End”.
Speaking of The Story – we have lots to offer! If you are interested in understanding scripture better and feeling a deeper connection to God’s word I would encourage you to find some time to dive into one of these opportunities: Worship – Sunday mornings at 10 AM, Pre-Game – Sunday mornings at 9:30 AM to preview the core message of the week, Small Groups – Mondays or Wednesdays at 7:00 PM to explore more deeply the heart of the story, Church in the Wild – Tuesdays at 5:30 PM currently meeting at The Anaheim Hills Golf Course Clubhouse to study the historical and theological context of the scriptures.
As we kick off this New Year you will find your offering envelopes on the patio before and after worship, we encourage you to pick them up so we can save the cost of postage. Also, many inquire about the “per-capita” envelop. “Per-Capita” is what we pay to the denomination as our “membership dues.” Per-capita supports the mission and ministry of the larger church both locally and globally. Per-Capita this year for churches in the Los Ranchos Presbytery is $27.72 per member so Canyon Hills will pay approximately $11,000 to our presbytery to honor our dues from our general budget. If you would like to make a contribution toward these dues you may do so using the handy envelop in your offering envelopes or send your contribution directly to Laura Kidd in the church office.
Our January newsletter is online, click here to read your copy today or you can download the attachment.
As a reminder the memorial service for Malcolm McNeill will be this Sunday, January 10 at 2 PM followed by a reception in our fellowship hall.
In His Service,
Rev. Lissa Smith