Come worship with us at our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service called “Shepherds Made Known the Sayings.” The sermon text is Luke 2:17.

Our Advent-Christmas message series is called, “Do Not Be Afraid.” What do you fear the most? What overcomes fear? How can we live with an absence of harmful debilitating fear? First we must recognize the source of our fear. Yes, fear can be helpful, and, yes, there are reasons to have fear. However, there are negative consequences of fear. When can fear be harmful and bad for us?

Harmful fear is fear that immobilizes us, fear that destroys our ability to live life “abundantly.” The fear that pushes us into a “cage” of doubt, discouragement and removes hope is wrong and not what God wants for us. At Christmas Eve, we celebrate the birth of Christ who gives us the strength that keeps us whole as God wants us to be.

Question of the week: Who composed and wrote, “Silent Night?”

Answer: Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht is a popular Christmas carol that was first sung in 1818 in Austria. The original lyrics of the song Stille Nacht were written by the priest Father Joseph Mohr and the melody was composed by the Austrian headmaster Franz Xaver Gruber. The song was first accompanied with a guitar, perhaps because the church organ was broken.

Christmas and New Year Schedule Updates
There is a Christmas Eve service on Dec. 24 at 6 p.m. That is our only special Holiday Service. There is no Sunday School or LifeGroups held on Dec. 29. On Jan. 5, we begin a series called “The Brave New World” and resume our Sunday School and LifeGroups at 9:15 a.m. on Sundays.

Update on our LifeCenter
The Planning Team is meeting on a regular basis with Rick Geiler, our architect. Our Planning Team’s next two meetings are at 7 p.m. on Jan. 7 and Jan. 13. The Jan. 7 meeting is to develop a plan on what we can provide to the building effort through our own construction abilities. For more information, contact Luke Renken at 402-440-1887.

Present plans are to distribute bid plans in January to be returned in late February. Construction will start as weather permits in March or April. Projected completion of the LifeCenter is Thanksgiving 2014.

We pray and trust that God will lead us as we go, serving Him. Our LifeCenter for Christ and Community Campaign Co-Leaders are R.O. Ouellette and Jason and Lynette Windhorst, Mike McHargue and Tom Hoegemeyer. Contact me, Pastor Larry at 402-641-3692 or for information on our prayer team and the vision we have in serving Him.

Prison Ministry Update: Jail and Prison Ministry Seminar
The Nebraska District is sponsoring a Jail and Prison Ministry Seminar on Saturday, Jan. 25, from 9 a.m. to noon at Immanuel Lutheran at 2001 S. 11th St., Lincoln. The leader is Liz Jeanette, area director for Prison Fellowship Ministries. There is no cost, but please register with by Dec. 15. For more information, contact Pastor Larry.