Dear Portland First Family & Friends,

I have to say, this has been one of the best advent seasons I’ve experienced in a long time. We have had wonderful weather (with lots of sunshine), my shopping is all done, and my daughter and son-in-law arrive in Portland one week from today! I can’t wait!

Christmas is a busy time for many of us, and it would be easy to get overwhelmed and forget something important we intended to participate in. Therefore, I wanted to take a moment and remind you of some important things happening between now and the end of the year at PDX First.

The Christmas Playlist

Over the next couple of weeks we will be finishing up our Christmas teaching series — The Christmas Playlist. This series explores the meaning behind many of the songs we find in Scripture that tell us about the birth of Christ. In week one of the series we looked at Mary’s song and discovered that it is a dangerous, revolutionary song that inspires us to be active participants bringing God’s mercy to those who are marginalized in our society.

In week two we looked at the story behind Zechariah’s song and learned three important truths:

  • God always has a plan.
  • God always has a pace.
  • God always fulfills His promises.

If you missed either of those messages, you can find them here.  I’d encourage you to take a listen and share them with someone you think they would encourage this Christmas.

This Sunday we will continue our series with a look at the angels’ song that they proclaimed to the shepherds in Luke 2. Their message of “peace on earth” stands in sharp contrast to the experience of many in the world then and now. So, what was the meaning of their song? How can we experience peace this Christmas when the world around us is filled with violence and pain? We will answer these questions and more this Sunday.

Each week the kids of PDX First have acted out our passage for the day. They have done a terrific job, and you only have two more Sundays to catch their adorable interpretations of the Christmas story. The final presentation on Christmas Eve will be a “no practice needed” presentation of the Christmas story. If you know someone who would love for their kids to have the experience of participating in a Christmas program, but doesn’t have time for hours and hours of rehearsal, please invite them to participate. You can find all the details they would need to know here.

We are looking forward to a great conclusion to the advent season, filled with worship, music, and a celebration of the Messiah who was, and is, and is yet to come! I hope you will be extra intentional about inviting people to join you for Christmas Eve at PDX First. We’ve made it easy for you by providing invite cards that you can pick up at Guest Services this Sunday.

The Garrisons’ Final Sunday

This Sunday will be the final Sunday that Robb, Karen, and Tanner will be with us prior to their big move to Colorado. If you have not yet taken advantage of the opportunity to share with them your love and gratitude for all they have meant to our community of faith over the years, please be sure and do so this Sunday. Join us as we say “goodbye for now” and wish them well!

Year-End Giving

By now, many of you have received a letter in the mail highlighting the importance of your year-end contributions. The letter highlighted some of the important things we have accomplished this year, but it also pointed out a significant shortfall in our budget. Without the additional budgeted income we will not be able to accomplish all that we had hoped to accomplish in the areas of missions, outreach, and evangelism.

So, in this season of generosity, please do not forget Portland First. With your help we can finish the year strong and prepare ourselves for an exciting 2018. Please prayerfully consider an end-of-year financial gift to Portland First Church of the Nazarene. You can make a donation by giving in our Sunday offerings, by mailing a check to the church office, through the PDX First Church app, or online at pdxfirst.org/give. Please note that in order for these gifts to be tax-deductible for 2017, they must be postmarked or given before December 31, 2017.

Merry Christmas!

Brandin Melton

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