AWOL Movie Night
Friday, December 17 | 7:30pm Parkway United Church of Christ
Christmas Caroling
Saturday, December 18 from 9-11:45am and/or 1-2:30pm
9am team will start at church. We will visit other PUCCers as we sing traditional carols of the season. We will have small songbooks to share. Please bring a mask.
The 1pm team will walk a neighborhood and sing secular songs so dress for the weather, bring a water bottle and print song book for reference: Angela Lamb and daughter Alexa are coordinating this one. Gather outside her mother-in-law’s home -- 6253 Westminster Pl, St Louis 63130. (The neighborhood association knows we are coming and they welcome us!)
Please contact Angela (314-604-6797; to RSVP or if you have any questions.
Sing! Share the Spirit of the season! Santa hats, jingle bells & holiday attire welcomed.
Worship with us this Sunday - the fourth Sunday of Advent
December 19| 10:00AM

Worship In-Person in the Sanctuary or on Facebook Live… or later on YouTube

We will light four candles in our Advent Wreath – the candles of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. Our children and youth will help provide worship leadership as we take a fresh look at this timeless story of the Nativity. It’s all about love and light!
Reminder from The Stews
Nine shopping days 'til Christmas. Twelve pledging days until 2022. It's not too late to complete a pledge card but please don't delay! Pledge online from our website: OR Pledge cards are available in the Gathering Space. Mail your pledge card to the church office, place in the basket in the Gathering Space, or email it.
~Your Stewardship Commission
This link lists bulletin posts, with the top one as the most recent.
Livestream worship on Sundays. Look under videos for previous livestreamed services.
All our worship service videos in one place!
All Mid~Week Meditations that have been recorded on YouTube.
Sunday School Live and via Zoom
Sunday School for children through 5th grade:

Meeting ID: 383 733 977
Password: 819680
Sunday School for Youth/Teens each week:

Meeting ID: 815 6130 3581
Password: 702228
Christmas Eve Worship Services Friday, December 24
4:30pm Family Friendly Worship—A lively and spirited service with Nativity scriptures, carols and contemporary reflections. We will sing Silent Night by candlelight as we prepare to go out into this holy night.
7:30pm Candlelight & Communion—This traditional service includes the Christmas Gospel, choir and carols as we ponder what this love story means for us today. We will share Communion at our open table and sing Silent Night by candlelight.

Prayer List Updates
The hope, peace, joy and love of Advent.
Avery - due 1/6 born 10/17 - HOME from the NICU (Borgmann)!
Conrad Damsgaard - back at MO-Bap -- soon back to REACH Rehab?
Steve and Andrea Barnes - preparing for surgery on his elbows and wrists due to nerve damage from sarcoidosis and as his mother undergoes treatment for cancer.
Grieving families at the Holidays - including Albers, Larson, Nolte, Nourse, Peek, Smith, Sperry, Stappenbeck, Wandless, Wessel.
Marv Herpel - healing after back surgery at Delmar Gardens, Chstrfld.
The family of Keri Manor - grieving husband and 4 sons (McKenzie).
Scott Schmidt - paralysis after serious fall while hiking; some progress.
Lizzie - awaiting liver transplant (niece of Barb Kuhlmann).
People amidst grief & cleanup from deadly storms over wknd.
All impacted by Covid-19 - individuals, families, healthcare workers; If anyone needs help getting vax/booster or if anyone vaccinated would like to be on the Care Team, please reach out to
Carl Hudson - local educator in ICU at Mercy Hospital with Covid.

St Louis Association UCC Covenant Partner
Week ending December 19 - Mount Tabor UCC, St. Louis;
Week ending December 26 - Calvary UCC, St. Louis;

3 minute Christmas story – you will LOVE this! You’ll laugh or cry or both…and you’ll want to share this with someone else.
Which dangerous cookie was found in the Advent Calendar?
A Ninja-bread man.

How do you pick up a 2-ton Advent Calendar?
With a candy crane.

Why did the student bring their science book home for the holidays?
To create something for the Invent Calendar.


Richard Davidson, professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin has popularized a concept he calls neuroplasticity, by which he means humans can learn things like happiness as a life-skill, just as one learns to play a musical instrument or to become a gifted cook or athlete. We are not born with these abilities; they are learned by experiments, growth, and practice. Dr. Davidson asserts happiness (or joy if you will) also requires experimentation, growth, and practice.
Our brains are built to be malleable, to change in response to clarity of purpose, repeated feedback, and affirmation. It is possible to train our minds to know sustained joy.
Using MRIs and other neurological instruments, Dr. Davidson has been able to document scientifically physiological changes in the human brain that result from practices such as meditation, showing appreciation, and performing acts of compassion and courtesy.
These practices can change our minds and, perhaps, our souls. Human plasticity or malleability is the good news John the Baptist proclaimed in challenging us to change/repent. It is good news because we can.
Advent is a season to prepare for the coming of Christ, not the coming of Christmas. John prepares us by calling us to believe in our own capacity to change. THAT, my friends, is GOOD NEWS
~Michael Piazza
Christmas Gifts for ECH Family
Many thanks to all those who donated wonderful gifts for our adopted family including three little boys and a single unemployed mother. She received over $400 in gift cards plus many gifts, toys, and clothes for the boys. We send her prayers to find a suitable job in the new year.
If God is Love, Don’t Be a Jerk
Join us this winter as we invite ALL PUCCers to engage with our friend John Pavlovitz and others who find him to be challenging and inspiring.
Secure a copy of his newest book, If God is Love, through your fave book distributor or pick one up from church for $15 (checks to PUCC with JPav Book in the memo) starting on December 19.
We will give you access to 6 pre-recorded videos from John, one each week, beginning the week of January 9. You can watch it whenever you can.
We will come together in-person at church for Live Zooms with John and others for six Wednesdays at 7pm CT beginning on January 19 and ending on February 23. (Links and recordings will be available if needed.)
We will come together again for a special live closing message on Saturday, February 26 at 8pm CT in the Heritage Room - or you can do it from home.
Questions? Please contact; 314-872-9330
** More about the book….
Imagine for a moment what the world might look like if we as people of faith, morality, and conscience actually aspired to this mantra.
What if we worked to create a world that was more loving and equitable than when we arrived?
What if we invited one another to share in wide-open, fearless, spiritual communities truly marked by compassion and interdependence?
What if we daily challenged ourselves to live a faith that simply made us better humans?
John Pavlovitz explores how we can embody this kinder kind of spirituality where we humbly examine our belief system to understand how it might compel us to act in less-than-loving ways toward others.
This simple phrase, "Thou Shalt Not Be Horrible," could help us practice what we preach by creating a world where:
* spiritual community provides a sense of belonging where all people are received as we are;
* the most important question we ask of a religious belief is not Is it true? but rather, is it helpful?
* it is morally impossible to pledge complete allegiance to both Jesus and America simultaneously;
* the way we treat others is the most tangible and meaningful expression of our belief system.
In If God Is Love, Don't Be a Jerk, John Pavlovitz examines the bedrock ideas of our religion: the existence of hell, the utility of prayer, the way we treat LGBTQ people, the value of anger, and other doctrines to help all of us take a good, honest look at how the beliefs we hold can shape our relationships with God and our fellow humans―and to make sure that love has the last, loudest word.

2nd Mile Advent
We continue to receive your gifts for 2nd Mile Advent—an opportunity to stretch our hope, peace, joy and love across the area and the wider church. All gifts are shared evenly among the three mission partners in January. Please clearly mark your financial gift “2nd Mile Advent.” You may want to honor someone in your life with a 2nd Mile Gift—perhaps that person who is hard to buy for and/or who does not have any real needs right now. We are grateful for your generosity.

Circle of Concern
Each day, Circle of Concern feeds families from the food pantry, shares financial assistance, and distribute school supplies, Thanksgiving turkeys or holiday gifts.

Mission: Circle of Concern feeds the hungry and provides assistance to low-income families living in west St. Louis County.
Our Vision: Improving every life in the community by reducing hunger and poverty

Our Values: integrity in all they do; respecting the innate worth of every Circle stakeholder, including clients, volunteers, donors, staff and community partners, and striving to reflect that respect in every interaction; collaborating with many partners so that the work of Circle is successfully accomplished; being responsible stewards of the time stakeholders donate, the talents they share and the funds they invest; committing to excellence which ensures the highest quality services for clients today and the resources to sustain them in the future.

Emmaus Homes
Emmaus Homes knows that adults with disabilities want to be independent. In order to do that, they need a home and a community that embraces their unique abilities. EH believes everyone deserves the resources needed to live independently.

EH understands it’s tough to manage life alone, which is why for 125 years, as a faith-based organization, they have provided high-quality service caring for the whole person for their whole life – including the individual’s spiritual life.

The Christmas Fund
The Christmas Fund has been caring for active and retired clergy and lay employees of the United Church of Christ for over 100 years,
providing emergency grants, supplementation of small annuities and health premiums, and Christmas “Thank You” gift checks each December to our lower-income retirees.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the emergency financial needs of many who serve the church have increased dramatically. In such a time as this, the need for the Christmas Fund is more urgent than ever.
Donations for Video Project

Because of the need during the pandemic for video streaming of our church services, and because of the desire of members and friends to continue streaming even after the pandemic, we will be installing a new video system in the sanctuary. This will remove videography duties from our busy pastor’s responsibilities, and will allow for more automatic and seamless video streaming of services. Council recently approved a contract for the purchase and installation of video equipment, and Kent Tallyn and others are assisting with the installation. The project will cost about $30,000.

The Ruth Murray Memorial Fund, funded in part by insurance proceeds that she left to the church, will pay for a portion of this project. We welcome further donations for this project.
We appreciate your submissions of jokes, quotes, photos, videos, weekly opportunities, Mid~Week Meditation ideas, scriptures that are important to you, hymn/song suggestions, poetry, etc. We would love to hear from you
Visit our social media for a mix of pix and to see what other PUCCers would like you to attend/experience/ponder/pray about with them.
Please post a picture of you/yours on our social media:
(314) 872 9330
2841 N Ballas Road,
St. Louis, MO 63131

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