Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category
1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.
Jesus Presented in the Temple
22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”
33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.
From the Book of Luke, Chapter 2, in the Bible, New International Version. For more, click here.
The Salvation Army needs your help. We are short on toys and may not reach our goal of providing Christmas to our neighbors in need. We have been able to fill nearly 270 request for help but are short on toys for nearly 100 families. We are in desperate need of brand new toys for girls age 6-12. Our shortfall comes due to a downturn in donations and our failure to receive our ‘Toys for Tot’ order. Please consider helping as every little bit can make a huge difference to a child in our community we are hoping that any agencies or community programs which have excess or have completed there distribution would be willing and able to share their resources.
Any thing at this point would help.
Please call (925) 778-0808 and drop off the toys at 620 E. Tregallas Road in Antioch, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information visit www.salvationsarmy.org.
The Antioch Corps of the Salvation Army has an urgent need for volunteers to participate as Bell Ringers for their annual Red Kettle Campaign.
Lieutenant Connie Hall, Commander of the Antioch Corps, explained the need at the weekly meeting of the Kiwanis Club of the Delta-Antioch at their weekly, 7:00 a.m. meeting at Denny’s Restaurant on Tuesday, December 9. “People are very generous,” she said, “but we are experiencing an acute shortage of volunteer Bell Ringers.” With only two weeks to go for the campaign, she said, “without more volunteers to man the red kettles, we’ll be several thousand dollars behind on this important fund-raiser. That would mean having to cut programs, something I never want to say.”
Following the meeting, Hall provided Herald staff with a tour of the Salvation Army facility, located at 620 East Tregallas Road, and spoke about the Red Kettle Campaign and the work that the Salvation Army does for the local community.
Hall said that the vast majority of the Salvation Army’s support is derived from donor contributions received in the local community. They look to local volunteers, who work two-hour shifts manning the kettles in front of local stores that have allowed them to set up the donation kettles beside the store entrances. Hall said that, with a 100% volunteer campaign, the group could raise as much as $100,000 in contributions over a Christmas season, with $0.86 of every dollar going “directly to support the Salvation Army’s various community programs throughout the year.”
During the tour, Hall led us through the rooms where the myriad of community support programs are administered. They included a food storage area for their food bank, meeting areas for support groups, and a small classroom providing after-school care for local school children. She said they also funded summer camp opportunities for children, PG&E assistance for those encountering a financial emergency, and programs designed to help members of the community find employment. “We’re not just giving a handout, we’re giving a hand up,” she said.
John Sullivan, Immediate Past President of the Delta-Antioch Kiwanis, was one of several of the members of the local service organization who volunteered to help with the Salvation Army campaign. At 10:00 a.m. on the same day Hall spoke, he was out in front of Hobby Lobby, standing beside a red kettle and ringing the bell that so many recognize at this time of year. During his two hour shift, about half of those leaving the store made donations. Many young children placed donations in the kettle as their mothers’ looked on, approvingly. Each was greeted with a heartfelt, “Thank you, Merry Christmas,” by Sullivan, and most responded by thanking him for his work.
Asked about his volunteer effort, Sullivan said, “I’m retired, and my whole purpose now is to give back to the community. I think it’s kind of fun to ring the bell, and see people, and to see their generosity.”
People interested in volunteering should call Salvation Army Lieutenant Purnell Hall, Connie’s husband, at 925-778-0808, extension 12. Information about the Salvation Army can be found on the web at www.thesalvationarmy.org.
The red kettle has been an American icon for nearly 125 years. From Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve, the ubiquitous buckets can be found outside thousands of storefronts in small towns and big cities across the country. They can even be found on your TV, appearing in dozens of movies.
Red kettles raise millions for Salvation Army programs that provide food, shelter, rehabilitation, disaster relief, and much more for people and families in crisis. Last Christmas season, nationwide, kettles raised almost $136 million.
Indeed, red kettles are a Christmas force. But have you ever wondered who started the red kettle tradition, where, and why?
Wonder no more. Below is a short history of the Salvation Army red kettle, one of the most timeless and successful Christmas fundraising tools of all time.
In December of 1891, Captain Joseph McFee of The Salvation Army in San Francisco, Calif., was stumped. He wanted to provide a Christmas dinner for 1,000 poor people, but had no way to pay for it.
Then, an idea. He thought back to when he was as a sailor in Liverpool, England, where on the docks of the city’s waterfront he remembered seeing a large pot into which charitable donations could be thrown.
The next day, McFee secured permission to place a brass urn at the Oakland ferry landing. Beside the pot, he placed a sign that read, “Keep the Pot Boiling.” Soon, he had all the money he needed to fund the Christmas dinner.
Two years later, McFee’s fundraising idea had expanded to 30 kettle locations on the West Coast. He’d grown the program with help from two young Salvation Army officers named William A. McIntyre and N.J. Lewis.
Soon after Christmas 1895, McIntyre and Lewis were transferred to the East Coast. They took with them the idea of a Christmas kettle.
McIntyre was stationed in Boston. During the 1897 Christmas season, he, his wife and sister set up three kettles in the heart of the city. Their effort, combined with others on the West Coast and elsewhere, resulted in 150,000 Christmas dinners for the poor, nationwide.
Red kettles spread to the Big Apple, where the New York World newspaper hailed them as “the newest and most novel device for collecting money.” The newspaper also observed, “There is a man in charge to see that contributions are not stolen.”
In 1901, kettle donations in New York City funded a massive sit-down Christmas dinner at Madison Square Garden. The meal became a tradition for many years.
The rest, as they say, is history. Captain McFee’s idea launched a tradition that has spread not only throughout the United States, but across the world. Although red kettles are not found in all of the 126 countries The Salvation Army serves in, they can still be found in such distant lands as Korea, Japan, Chile, and many European countries.
Join the movement
You can be part of the red kettle tradition by signing up to bell ring.
Thousands of hours of ringing are available at hundreds of kettle locations across the country. Bell ringers raise an average of $30 per hour. In just two hours of ringing, you’ll raise enough money to provide a week’s worth of groceries for a family of four.