December 20 at 7 p.m. – Advent Service in the sanctuary
December 24 at 10:30 a.m. – Sunday Worship Service in the sanctuary
December 24 – Christmas Eve Service in the sanctuary
A musical prelude begins at 7 p.m. and the liturgy begins at 7:30 p.m.
December 25 at 10:30 a.m. – Christmas Day Service in the sanctuary
Choir rehearsal is on Thursdays at 7:00 p.m.

Weekly sermons are available at

Help Build Our Nativity
As part of our Advent worship, the congregation is invited to help build our Nativity in the
sanctuary. Each week, we will add figures to the scene as we light the Advent wreath.
The congregation is welcome to share figures or images that represent the various parts of the
scene as follows:
December 17, Advent 3Joseph
December 24 – Advent 4 – Mary
If you have questions, please contact Liz Larson at

Advent Midweek Services
Come celebrate Advent as we await in joyful expectation the coming of Christ among us. We
will we pray Holden Evening Prayer Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. December 20.

Help Needed
We are looking for a few people to help with the Christmas Eve reception following the service.
If you can help take in and plate the food donations before the service or can stay after the
reception to clean up, please email the office or talk to June Daehler.

Interfaith Cot Shelter Meals
Every winter, Immanuel provides and serves three meals at the Interfaith Cot Shelter in
Northampton. Thank you to Martha Armstrong, Ruth Rinard, Chris Mattocks, and June Daehler for the November meal. Our next meal is
January 10th and then our final meal is March 13th.
You can provide a food item and/or come and serve/clean up. Serving is 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. If you would like to be involved, contact Abby Dallmann at

Caring About Neighbors
The Orange Bag Project is an ongoing service ministry where the Sunday School collects nonperishable food for the Amherst Survival Center. On the second to last Sunday of each month,the children present the items at the altar during the offering and Marvin Daehler brings it to the Survival Center.
Our November donation weighed in at 220 pounds.

Dear Friends in Local Faith Communities
Lucio Perez remains in sanctuary at First Church Amherst. Many faith communities are
providing regular meals for him and many people have stepped forward to take turns being in the church with him! The overall level of support has been terrific.

People keep asking how they can help. At this point, Lucio’s greatest need is for funds to
support his family. Their basic rent, utilities, and food (at a very modest level) are $1,400 more per month than his wife brings home from her low-wage job! (And, she’s just been notified that she will be laid off for 6 weeks starting in December.) The family needs funds while Lucio is in sanctuary. It is a huge stress on Lucio, that this situation continues.

We welcome donations from everyone in all the local faith communities. We recognize, of
course, that every faith community faces its own fund-raising challenges. We propose, therefore, that each faith community ask their members to request donations for Lucio’s family from those beyond their own faith community. Many people in the wider community would like to help, if someone would just speak to them and tell them how.

Online donations are easy at Contributions to the
Immigrant Sanctuary Fund are tax deductible. More information is available at this link. Please share this link widely. Or checks can be sent to First Church Amherst,
165 Main St., Amherst, MA 01002 with “Immigrant Sanctuary Fund” in the memo line.

Collecting Necessities
The Student Council at Fort River School in Amherst is working with Nueva Esperanza in
Holyoke to collect necessities to support Puerto Rican families who have fled the island in the wake of the hurricanes and are currently living in the Holyoke area.

From now until December 7th, there will be a box in the narthex to collect new and unopened: soap, shampoo, conditioner, dental floss, toothpaste, toothbrushes, diapers, baby wipes and hairbrushes. If you wish to contribute, please leave items by December 7th so that they can be delivered to the school.


Coffee Hour Sign-Ups
Sign-up sheets are on the Parish Hall door by the parlor, but if you forget to sign-up, you can
call or email the office and Diana will put your name on the sign-up sheet for you. Each week
we will publish a list of upcoming dates that no one has signed up for. If you have a future date
that you would like, but it hasn’t been listed yet, just notify the office. You can sign-up for all
tasks or just one – set-up, clean-up, provide snacks.
Most of December and all of January are available.

Lectio divina
Lectio divina, the art of divine reading of the Bible will be held every Wednesday from 3:30 to
5 p.m. at the UMass Newman Center (472 North Pleasant Street) in Classroom 1. For
more information contact Michael at (413) 251-9855 or

Immanuel Book Group
My Name is Lucy Barton, by Pulitzer prize winning author Elizabeth Strout, is our next Book
Group selection. We will gather on
Wednesday, January 3, 2018, from 6 to 7 p.m. at Panera
Bread in Hadley.
If you would like to order food or drink, please arrive a few minutes early.
Discussion starts promptly at 6 p.m. All are welcome; we look forward to seeing you there.

Keeping the Peace this Holiday Season
In the midst of the writing, wrapping and baking: take one hour to join Jennifer Wasmer for a
Webinar that will help you make your Holidays more Joyful. Turn your attention to how to
really enjoy this time with family and friends – regardless of political persuasion or any other
differences that might color our points of view. In this Webinar, you’ll learn Five Tips for
having More Joyful Conversations this holiday season.
Please register at Full suggested donation of $17 will go
to Feeding America,
Join Jennifer on December 17th, and give the Gift of Peace to yourself and your loved ones.

Book-Art Workshop
Make the perfect present for the holidays! Make your own creative gift for the people you love
at the Multi-Arts Book-Art Workshop on
Saturday, December 16 at 10:30 a.m. at Immanuel,
867 N. Pleasant Street
. Make an accordion book or a flower book. Write a poem, words of
love, appreciation, or good wishes. It will be a uniques gift that will warm the heart of the
receiver. For adults and children. Suggested donation of $5-$10. A minimum of 10 people are
needed to hold the workshop, so email if you will be attending.

Caring for God’s Creation
Immanuel sees composting and recycling as one part of our mission as a church — caring for
God’s creation. With this in mind, we have begun using specially designated containers to help
us focus on drastically reducing our waste. Starting
this Sunday, we will also begin using
compostable plates, drink ware and eating utensils. There are posters in several locations at the
church that will guide in what can be recycled, composted or trashed. 

We Need Your Recipes!
In our ongoing partnership in the Food Insecurity Coalition with graduate student organizations
at UMass, we are creating a cookbook to raise money for a fund that will be available to
students and their families who are experiencing food insecurity. Specifically we would like
your international recipes that are associated with you or your family’s immigrant history.
Please use the template which can be downloaded by clicking
here. Email your recipes to Sandy

Daily Devotional Booklets
Copies of the ELCA daily devotional “Christ in our Home” are now available on the table in
the narthex and in the entryway near the bookrack. They arrive quarterly and provide a brief
scripture reading and reflection for each day written by people across the country.