Third Sunday of Advent - December
Pastor Steve Clark preaching
"Contours of Mary's
Dream" by Lauren Wright Pittman (inspired by Luke
For this Sunday, READ
Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 and Luke 1:46-55 and REFLECT: What do you make of the fact that at the
beginning of his ministry, Jesus chose the beginning of the
Isaiah text as his "lesson" to read in the synagogue, and
then said to those listening that "it has been
fulfilled in your hearing"? The prophet uses a variety of
images to describe the deliverance being announced; is there one
that particularly resonates with you at this time in your
life? The Luke text is traditionally called the
"Magnificat"; if you were to create a list of the
"points" Mary is making in these verses, what
would be on your list? Is there one or more of them that
particularly resonates with you?
Artist's Statement: As
I read Mary’s song this year, I felt a sting of grief, one that I
hadn’t felt in response to this text before. In the wake of George
Floyd’s murder, artist Titus Kaphar created an image for Time
magazine devoted to Black mothers. In his image, 'Analogous
Colors,' he depicts a Black mother fiercely and lovingly holding
her child. However, her child is cut out of the image, leaving a
harsh, blank hole with shadows where the child should be . . . When
I read the Magnificat, Kaphar’s image came into sharp relief. How
could I image Mary holding the contours of her dreams for the
world, while also holding the contour of her loss? Mary’s son would
be publicly murdered at the hands of the State. Mary’s song
reverberates for all mothers who have had dreams for their children
shattered by senseless violence.
TO JOIN US in worship this Sunday, December 13, CLICK ON
above to go to our Concord website. Near the bottom of the
home page, click on the same picture to connect with the worship
video. The worship video will be
accessible after 9:00am each Sunday morning.
Sunday, December 13
This special service of scripture readings
and music will be online at 4:30pm this Sunday and available
for viewing any time after that. Matthew Pressley and Jeff DeVault
are working diligently with choir members and other musicians to
provide a very special celebration of the season.
join us for the Service of Lessons & Carols, CLICK ON THE PICTURE
above to go to Concord's website. Near the bottom of the home page,
click on the same picture to connect to the worship video. The
Lessons & Carols video will be accessible after 4:30pm this
the Spirit -
This year Concord will be supporting the
Friendship House Transitional Housing program with Christmas
gifts. A request has been made for various gift cards for the
17 women living in the houses. Concord will
be collecting the following gift cards for each resident through
- Walgreens ($20)
- Target ($20)
- Walmart ($20)
- Dollar Store ($20)
- DART Bus Card ($15)
So that we can keep track, please use SignUpGenius
to let us know what you will be purchasing. CLICK HERE to visit the site,
then click on the item(s) you want to donate. Next click on
"Submit and Sign Up," choose the number of gift cards
you'd like to donate, then "Sign Up Now." You'll
receive a confirmation email and so will we.
Once you have signed up, you may drop off
your gift card(s) to the church office by
Sunday, December 13. (Place the cards in an
envelope and label the outside with your name and "Share the
Spirit." If the office is closed, please drop the cards
through the mail slot at the Church Office entrance.) Contact Christina Pressley (302-740-8078)
with questions or to arrange a gift card pick-up.
NOTES from December 2
- RECEIVED REPORT from Finance & Stewardship that the full amount
($248,000) of the Payroll Protection Program loan we received
earlier in the year has been forgiven. In light of that
information and the proportionate amounts of payroll for the
Preschool and for the congregation, Session APPROVED designating 75% of
the amount ($186,000) for use by the Preschool and 25%
($62,000) for use by the congregation. They further APPROVED designating $15,500 of the
congregation funds toward benevolence needs, directing the
Mission Committee to recommend community ministries/programs
to receive those funds.
- RECEIVED REPORT of the Nominating Committee that they have
nominees for all six open positions (three elders and three
deacons) to be presented to the congregation at the December 6
- HEARD FROM PASTOR STEVE that in light of new state restrictions on
gatherings, the staff is recommending cancellation of the
planned in-person Christmas Eve service. After discussion,
looking into requesting a waiver from the state that would
allow for larger attendance, which Steve agreed to do. [FOLLOW-UP: After contacting the
appropriate state agency, Steve learned that any gathering
would require collecting personal data for contact tracing in
the event of a participant subsequently testing positive for
the virus. Given the logistical hurdles for making that
happen, Session was polled by email and agreed to cancel the
- RECEIVED REPORT from the Technology Committee with an update
on current status of the search for a vendor to supply
equipment for future live-streaming of our worship services.
That report included a recommendation for designating up to
$40,000 for the purchase and installation of the equipment.
After lengthy discussion around expected use of the equipment,
Session APPROVED the
expenditure. Session also affirmed creating a process, to take
place in January, for communicating to the congregation (a)
the current status of this project; and (b) the expected ways
in which the technology and equipment will be used. The plan
is for information to be communicated to the congregation via
an all-congregation email, and all-congregation mailing, and a
congregation conversation, via Zoom, in which members can
voice their question and concerns. [NOTE: News from the November Session meeting, reported
in the December Courier, provided
some details about the purpose and process for this project.
Details for the expanded communication plan are
currently being worked out; watch for more details in the next
couple of weeks.]
- ELECTED TWO ELDERS (Alan Jewett and Ron McKinney) to serve as
Concord commissioners to the special Presbytery Meeting (via
Zoom) at 4:00pm on December 8. The special meeting is to act
on the nomination of the Rev. Cynthia L. Kohlmann to be the
Connectional Presbyter for New Castle Presbytery.
As always, if you have questions or
concerns about any of these matters, feel free to contact Pastor Steve or any member of
Our weekly MUG
& MUFFIN study meets again next Wed.,
December 16 from 10:00-11:00am. To join
the Zoom gathering, follow the instructions below.
To join ONLINE, click on this link.
To join by CALLING IN:
(1) dial 646-558-8656
(2) If asked, enter the meeting number 879-780-5150 (no
(3) When asked for participant ID, just press the # sign
(4) When asked for meeting password, enter 489133, followed by
the # sign
Concord Photo Gallery
If you have photos you'd be willing to
share with your Concord family, please send them to Margaret. Show us how you're preparing for the
holidays, how you're worshiping, special occasions, children or
pets being adorable...! We'll try to share your photos in Concord Connects as space permits.
Baby Moses? No, it's
Dottie Harding's grandson Porter checking out a baby-sized basket.
Christmas Kitten, decoratively relaxing on her window sill.
congregational meeting held last Sunday.
sympathy for Rick and Rob Bates following the death of their father Bill
Bates last week. Burial will be private; memorial service will be
planned once Covid restrictions have been resolved. (obit)
Prayers of condolence for the family of Dottie Harding
following the death of her mother's cousin Marshall Austin from
Covid on Nov. 30.
Also safe travels for Dottie's daughter Anne, husband
Clay, and baby Porter (plus dog & cat) as they
travel home by car to CO after spending 3 months in GA.
Continued healing prayers for Phil Lind - at
home for now but future hospitalizations may be necessary to deal
with fluid retention issues.
Prayers for Carol Lind - seeing a hand
surgeon this week to get help with injuries suffered in a fall.
The Janas family - quarantined at home
after Eric was exposed to Covid at work.
The Brutus family - also quarantined
after Aleea was exposed to Covid by a classmate last week.
Anna Mae Landt - currently in quarantine
at Maris Grove after dining with another resident who later tested
Alan Jewett's brother Bruce and Bruce's two daughters
- all tested positive for virus. Bruce is feeling unwell at times
but daughters are asymptomatic.
Healing prayers for Kathie Pownall's niece Carlyn - recovered
from Covid but suffering lingering serious health issues
interfering with her return to work.
Prayers of sympathy for the family of former member
Jeanette Durstein-Brown who recently passed away.
Continued prayers for 11-yr.-old Shane Newton, brother
of a Preschool student - recent surgery to remove a
brain tumor. Will be receiving
PT and continuing treatments at CHOP.
Prayers of strength and healing for Paul Persak's wife
Maria - currently battling cancer.
Prayers for the speedy recovery of Gail Dill's grandson
Nic, who is very ill with mononucleosis.
Continued prayers for Gail Greene,
visiting a pulmonologist and cardiologist next week for continuing
Prayers for our country as new virus cases continue to
rise - heal the sick and infected, protect the
vulnerable, and be with our frontline healthcare workers as they
work to help those in their care. Especially guide those
responsible for approving and distributing the new vaccines - grant
them wisdom and discernment.
A Diaspora Prayer Group prays on Mondays at 9:00am for those
on the church prayer list (of which this is just a part). If
you would like to add names/needs to this list and this
ministry of prayer, click here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reverse Advent Calendar
Concord Youth Group is trying something new this year –
a REVERSE Advent Calendar — and you are welcome to join them!
This is the
opposite of a typical Advent calendar where we receive a little
gift as we count down the days to Christmas. Instead, with this
calendar we give back daily by placing a non-perishable food item
in a box or bag each day. (See p. 4 of the December Courier for
suggestions.) Drop off your items to Concord
Church by Sunday, December 20 so they can be shared
with Hanover Food Pantry for Christmas.
Give the Gift of Chickens!
The Guatemala Partnership of our New Castle Presbytery
invites you to consider making a special gift to our partners in
Guatemala. Levels of hunger and food insecurity have skyrocketed to
daunting levels during this pandemic, especially in rural Guatemala.
These chickens provide a sustainable food source for
Each gift of $40 includes three chickens,
delivery, training, and special feed for the first month—providing
an indigenous family with more than a dozen eggs every week.
This makes a great holiday gift for friends and family, especially
this year! Custom gift cards are available to honor a loved one.
Click HERE for more info and how to
Karla Koll - Presbyterian World
Mission Co-Worker Letter
Our mission co-worker Karla Koll
has posted an update from Costa Rica.
Catch up on how God is at work in this part of the world!