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December 2014 News and Notes from Curwensville Alliance Church

Click here for the church calendar.

Sunday Worship

Join us on Sundays at 8:00 am and at 10:45 am as we worship together.

Church Luncheon

On 12/14, we will have a Church Luncheon after the second service. Bring a dish to pass and a salad or dessert to share. As is our tradition, there will be no evening service on that day.

Poinsettias

Please note the live poinsettias in the sanctuary, presented in memory of loved ones. A publication with details is available on the literature table in the lobby. Thank you.

Youth Ministry

VELOCITY will be off until after Christmas. We will be resuming Jan 4 for our New Year’s celebration.

Invisible War Small Group

All are welcome to attend the Wednesday Group, The Invisible War, meeting at 7 pm in room 207.

New Women’s Group

Would you like your quiet time with God to be more rewarding in the New Year? Join us Wednesdays from 6:30-8:30 pm in room #103 for an 11 week study by Cynthia Heald called Becoming A Woman of Prayer. Sign up on the bulletin board if you plan to participate; please indicate if you need childcare. Start date is in January. Books will cost around $8. Questions? See Laurel Shields.

Alliance Men host the Women

The Alliance Men invite the women to breakfast on 12/20 at 9 a.m. at the church, Please sign up today. Thank you!

Christmas Eve by Candlelight

Invite a friend as you join us on Christmas Eve for our annual Candlelight Service at 7 pm. Thank you!

Holiday Schedule

There will be no small groups meeting on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve.

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PODCAST: Advent – The Pardon of Christ

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 11/30/2014, the first Sunday of Advent

Almost every government has it — The Pardon. It’s that ability, given to heads of states, to look at someone who has been convicted of a crime (or is at least in danger of being prosecuted for a crime) and say to them “You’re free. The crime no longer stands against you.” If you think about it, it’s kind of an odd tradition. But it is a privilege used by presidents and governors every year. Generally, the pardon is given due to extenuating circumstances, I guess.

Perhaps the concept comes from God, who, due to extenuating circumstances pardons those who trust in Jesus. The extenuating circumstances are that Jesus, seeing our guilt, chose to come to earth and die in our place. When we trust in Him, God pardons us.

C. L. Bancroft said it well.

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

To look on Him and pardon me.

This podcast addresses the question, “Have you received your pardon?”

PODCAST: Are you at church for the Virtues, or something else?

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 11/23/2014 by Pastor Steve Shields

Some time ago a thought occurred to me:

Many people in churches in America today are there because they love the values inherent in Christianity. They love the virtues. Their love for this is like no other love in their lives. They love virtue more than they love themselves — so they deny themselves, working hard to be virtuous. They love virtue more than they love their families — and when a family member goes awry, they struggle not to close the door on that person’s life. They love virtue more than they love Jesus.

Wait…. What? They love virtue more than they love Jesus?!

Yeah — they know about Jesus. Some of them even know him personally, but honestly, they are not coming to church for Jesus. They are coming to church for the virtues.

Here’s what’s striking: When I shared this thought with other pastors, each of them responded like they had heard a familiar melody for the first time. You know what I mean, right? They immediately recognized what I was saying, even though they had never thought of it in those terms.

These pastors are not alone. When this sermon was presented at Curwensville Alliance numerous people felt like God was speaking to them about their lives.

Give it a listen and see what He might have to say to you.