Southminster Presbyterian Church

The Sounds of Southminster

              Thoughts from the Pastor      
“For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”  (Romans 8:24-25)

Advent is a season of waiting.  Waiting for us is particularly difficult because we are a fearful people.  We have been taught by our culture to fear scarcity when we have been given abundance to share with others.  We have been taught to fear other people and withdraw from those who are not like us, defending ourselves with guns, locked gates, and money.  We have been taught to fear our own self-worth and have listened to commercials tell us we are not beautiful enough, not smart enough, and not young enough.  People who live in fear are more likely to make bad choices.  Fearful people are more aggressive, angrier, and less open to possibility.  Henri Nouwen reminds us, “We can only really wait if what we are waiting for has already begun for us.  So waiting is never a movement from nothing to something.  It is always a movement from something to something more.”[1]  We move from simply waiting to waiting with hope.
Advent is also a season of hope.  Paul tells us we can hope only in what is not seen. Yet, we have seen God’s purpose and goodness in Jesus.  The kingdom of God has come in the person of Jesus Christ, yet we wait with hope for something more.  We hope for the promise of new life.
What are you hopeful for as you wait for the birth of Jesus?  As we enter this season of Advent together, let us be people who wait in hope and not fear. Jesus has taught us through his life, death and resurrection that God is stronger than fear, stronger than hate, stronger than even death.  Let us remember what God has already begun and renew our hope in God’s promises for new life as we prepare for the birth of our Lord.

Grace and Peace in this hopeful Advent season,

[1] Henri Nouwen. “Waiting for God.”  Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas (Farmington, PA: Plough Publishing House, 2001).

     NWC Update from Pastor Beth
Hello and a Joyous Advent to you and yours!   The New Worshiping Community has completed our Identity Statement and we have a NAME!!  After we share these things with the Session, we will announce them to all the Southminster Community.

We had an open meeting on November 12th, and several of the Southminster Traditional congregation attended.  It went very well, and we are looking forward to our next experiments with worship and service.

Speaking of service, the NWC will be helping with Room in the Inn at Hillsboro Presbyterian on December the 8th, providing dinner, breakfast, sack lunches and hosting help, and we’re really looking forward to it. 

Our next task is to listen to Scripture, the Holy Spirit and one another as we fine-tune our focus.  Please keep us in your prayers.   

December 17th
(Immediately following 11 am Worship Service in Fellowship Hall)

The Christmas Luncheon will be a Potluck
with the church providing turkey, ham, and drinks.

Please bring your favorite dish to share. 

If you look for Me at Christmas

If you look for Me at Christmas, you won’t need a special Star—

I’m no longer just in Bethlehem, I’m right there where you are.

You may not be aware of me, amid the celebrations—-

You’ll have to look beyond the stores and all the decorations.

But, if you take a moment, from your list of ‘Things to Do’,

and listen to your heart you’ll find,  I’m waiting there for you.

You’re the one I want to be with, you’re the reason that I came,

and you’ll find Me in the stillness, as I’m whispering your name


December 9th, 8:00 am – Fellowship Hall

GNO Supporting Safe Haven
Anita Kimbrough’s

5344 Skip Jack Dr.
Antioch, TN 37013
Monday, December 11th at 6:30 pm

Ladies click on the Safe Haven link below and bring your in kind donation to our
Christmas gathering.

Please RSVP to:
Pam Trolinger or Anita Kimbrough
Carpooling is available at the church 6pm
(in the parking lot.)


Priscilla Adcock – 12-01
Mary Hilton – 12-02
Danita Fisher – 12-03
Terry Christison  – 12-04
Mary Hilton – 12-05
Tony Arthur  – 12-09
Daylen Fisher – 12-10
JoAnn Hansel – 12-12
Parker Orser – 12-15
Sam DiCarlo – 12-17
Barbara Holmes – 12-26
Kaitlyn Abernathy – 12-29

Priscilla & Vernon Adcock        12-19

 Send a card to let them know you care!


“Presbyterian Disaster Assistance”
for Alternative Christmas giving.
There have been several natural disasters in the past few months, leaving families and communities devastated and homeless.  This year during the Advent and Christmas season, Southminster will take donations for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.  PDA is not a first responder program.  Once specific needs have been identified, PDA works with presbyteries in the affected area to send volunteers to help clean up and rebuild.  These volunteers are housed and fed by local churches in the presbyteries.

You may make a donation by using the form below and send it to the church or put it in the collection plate on Sunday. Write a check and In the FOR line you can designate your donation with the code  for the following or leave it blank for the general fund:
Harvey/Houston          DR000169-Harvey
Irma/Florida                 DR000194-Irma
Maria/Puerto Rico       DR000194-Maria
Mexico Earthquake     DR000014
Northwest Wildfires    DR000165

If nothing is entered the donation will go into the general PDA fund which currently supports volunteer teams in 23 states.

If you wish, you can make a donation as a gift in memory or in honor of someone else.  Cards will be available for notifying people of this gift.

For more information on PDA:

– – – – – – – – – – – Donation Form – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
(Alternative Christmas Giving)
Harvey/Houston              DR000169-Harvey
Irma/Florida                     DR000194-Irma
Maria/Puerto Rico          DR000194-Maria
Northwest Wildfires       DR000165
Mexico Earthquake         DR000014
 (If no code is entered- the donation will go into the general PDA fund which currently supports volunteer teams in 23 states.)

Enter Code(s) _________      __________      _______

$ Amount       _______________________________                                                          (Make check to SPC)

In Honor/Memory of:
Given by: __________________________________________

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Advent and Christmas Schedule
Southminster Presbyterian Church
Nov 26 through Dec 24    9:45 a.m. Forum Sunday School      
Study “The Journey” by Adam Hamilton
(Books available; $4 donation requested)

December 3     1st Sunday in Advent  
11:00 a.m. Worship with Communion

December 10   2nd Sunday in Advent     
                                           11:00 a.m. Worship

December 17    3rd Sunday in Advent  
 11:00 a.m. Worship– Lessons and Carols                                              followed by All-Church Christmas Luncheon

December 24     4th Sunday in Advent   
                                          11:00 a.m. Worship

December 24   Christmas Eve Service  
      7:00 p.m. Child Friendly Worship                                                               Communion and Candle-lighting                                                     (Bring gifts of non-perishable food items to Baby Jesus)

December 31      1st Sunday of Christmas                                                                                       11:00 a.m. Worship—Taize Service
A reflection service. Looking back on the year for                                   Southminster and looking forward to what we                                            imagine for 2018.                 (No Sunday School)

P R E S B Y T E R I A N    B A S I C S
 QUESTION: Since we have the New Testament, why do we need the Old Testament?

Presbyterians, with other Christians, affirm that both the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) and the New Testament are the Word of God and are essential for the church’s life and belief.  Early in its history, the church rejected the views of those like Maricon who argued that the Old Testament was not necessary for Christian understanding.
Both testaments are vital to understanding who God is and what God has done.  The Old Testament is the witness to Israel’s faith in the God who liberated the people from Egypt, called them into covenantal relationship, and gave them the Law as a guide for doing God’s will.  This God of Israel had made a covenant with Abraham and Sarah to be the God of their descendants and to make them numerous (Genesis 17).  God’s covenant promises were affirmed in other places, with other persons, such as David, to whom God promised a dynasty (2 Samuel 7: 1-17; 23:5, Psalm 89:3) and what later became the ‘messianic hope’ of the prophets (Isaiah 11: 1-9).  God will send a promised ‘Messiah’ to be God’s ‘anointed one’ (the meaning of the term), who as king will perfectly represent God and establish God’s reign at the end of time (Jeremiah 23:5-6; Zechariah 9: 9-10).
So the Old Testament with all its narratives and rich teaching is the context out of which Jesus emerged.  Followers of Jesus believe that he is the promised Messiah, from the line of David, and that he in himself fulfills the promises made by God in the various covenants of the Hebrew Scriptures.  The word ‘testament’ comes from the Latin term testamentum,which means ‘covenant.’  So to say the Old Testament is also to say the Old Covenant.
Theologically, the Old Testament provides the ‘promise,’ the New Testament the ‘fulfillment’ (Hebrews 6: 13-20).  Thus there is an important relationship between the two testaments.  One cannot be fully understood without the other.  Presbyterian Christians have maintained the ‘substance’ of the Old Covenant and the New Covenant are the same, but God’s covenant relationship with the people of God has been expressed differently in different periods.  The final and definitive expression of this covenant relationship is in Jesus Christ, who is the ‘New Covenant,’ the fulfillment of God’s promises (Jeremiah 31: 31-34; 1 Corinthians 11: 23-26).


Each month the Presbyterian Planning Calendar calls attention to special days for that month.  Here are those noted for December.  Please take a minute to pray for these special days.

Globally, the AIDS response over the past five years has seen unprecedented gains. Today, there are 18.2 million people receiving HIV treatment. More than two million additional people are beginning treatment each year.  But prejudice, discrimination and poverty continue to exclude many people around the world from this progress. Youth who can’t afford school fees miss out on sexual and reproductive health education. Because of gender inequality, women and girls are more vulnerable to HIV and its complications.
Help to raise awareness and offer support and empowerment by addressing HIV and AIDS through prayers and education.

HUMAN RIGHTS DAY    December 10, 2017
Human Rights Day is observed every year on December 10.  It was adopted by the United Nations in 1948.  This year, Human Rights Day kicks off a year-long campaign to mark the upcoming 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being — regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. It is the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages.  The Universal Declaration of Human Rights empowers us all. The principles enshrined in the Declaration are as relevant today as they were in 1948. We need to stand up for our own rights and those of others. We can take action in our own daily lives, to uphold the rights that protect us all and thereby promote the kinship of all human beings.
Pray for people throughout the world whose rights are denied them.

The Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions provides critical financial and housing assistance to qualifying retired members of the Benefits Plan, and financial and vocational assistance to eligible workers in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).  Rooted in a 300-year-old tradition, the Assistance Program embodies the connectional Church at its best. As the Assistance Program relies for its funding not on dues but on voluntary gifts, legacies, endowments, and one-half of the Christmas Joy Offering, it provides a way for caring Presbyterians to support those who serve the Church during their times of need. Assistance is granted for needs that lie beyond the scope of the Benefits Plan.
The importance of the racial ethnic schools and colleges of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is demonstrated in the continuing partnership between the two entities. The institutions have provided quality education to people who have contributed immeasurably to the church at large and to the world. Students are educated for the professions of their choice in an environment which supports and nurtures racial and ethnic heritage.  Many of the college students are the first in their family to attend college and come from low- to moderate-income families. They may be marginalized and would not be accepted at other institutions of higher learning. The secondary schools receive students earlier than typical schools and prepare them for acceptance at institutions of higher learning.  To many students, these institutions offer the additional support which is needed to truly excel. Tutoring and special courses in math, science and English encourage continued success as the students advance in their studies. This support gives many students a “second chance,” resulting in confident, competent, qualified men and women who emerge as leaders in society.
In Racial Ethnic Leadership Development, we help plan, coordinate and promote racial ethnic and women’s leadership institutes. Leadership institutes identify, equip and connect racial ethnic women and men, who are teaching and ruling elders, with leadership opportunities in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).  This ministry also strengthens and nurtures the gifts of racial ethnic leaders, and inspires them to greater leadership roles in congregations, mid councils and in General Assembly agencies.
You can help by contributing to the Christmas Joy Offering and by keeping these programs in your prayers.

Your Community Service and Outreach committee would like to know if you are interested in being part of a team to
Visit Our Visitors.  Once we obtain a list of interested people we will hold an organizational meeting to decide how we will go about this effort.
It is important to make contact
with visitors soon after they visit with us.

If you are interested please contact Jo Ann Hansel,, 615-945-4254 (C), 615-361-5762 (H).

Chocolate Cherry Cookies
                               by Emily McCluskey
3/4 c. sugar
2/3 c. butter
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (12-oz) bag chocolate chips, divided
2 c. oatmeal
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 (10-oz) jars maraschino cherries, well drained
Beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add melted chocolate chips; mix well. Stir in oats, flour and baking powder. Chill dough 1 hour. Shape into 1-inch balls. Press balls in center and place a cherry in the center. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. When cool drizzle the rest of the melted chocolate chips on top.

Communication Note:
 Calendar Updates and News are NEEDED so that they can be included in the next “Sounds of Southminster” Newsletter.
Please get those important things in to Debi in the church office as soon as possible.  Thank you!

      December 23rd 
If you have an article that you would like to submit for the January 2018 Newsletter please send it by the deadline to Debi at