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Help to find the Jolly in the Holidays 


This seasons feels relentless. There's a 4th Grader practicing recorder nearby, endless communication with frustrated and sorrowful friends and family, and losses that are piling up, both big and small. I'll bet you've got a list, too!

Those burdens can consume our focus, just trying to keep things together for one more afternoon, day, or week. But now it's Advent. Inviting us to stop and notice the gaudy joy of tinsel, the joyful twinkle of colored lights. To take a breath and gasp at the magnificence of a God who loves us enough to come down and join us in this relentless mess.

I'm determined that none of us should miss it! It has been a real joy to put together a supply kit and virtual resources for you that will give you the chance to enjoy advent at your leisure.

You're in charge. I hope you will embrace every cheesy, silly moment to make memories with your family. Christmas in 2020 is not going to be the same as other years. What if in your family, they remember that it was a good different?

It is my prayer that you will find in the slow, quieter Advent of 2020, that God has prepared joy and blessings for your family that you would not have expected.

So here's your 2020 CYF Advent Plan:

  1. ADVENT BOXES: Swing by the church anytime, starting tomorrow, to pick up a Box from the brown deck box under the overhang. 1 per family will give you everything you need!
  2. WEDNESDAY NIGHT ACTIVITIES: We're meeting December 2nd & 9th. Then we'll have a winter break. We meet at 6:30PM and it's the same Zoom link every week. 
  3. REINDEER GAMES: Spice up your Sunday worship by playing along. The supplies are in your box, but the games can be adapted to what you have around the house. Tune into worship, or find them posted on the YouTube channel each week, and play together!
  4. JINGLE JAM: A half-hour Advent party for the whole family! Supplies are in your box and the video will be here, available starting the 3rd. The event is themed around the Advent Candles. 
  5. CHRISTMAS EVE AND WORSHIP: this year's Christmas Eve service will be unique and special and will be streamed all day, so that you can access it online, at whatever point in your celebration you would like to worship. Watch Social Media for links and invitations that will make joining us easy, and inviting your friends and family easy, too! Our new interim pastors, Deb and Jim Harkness, are also planning to have families come light candles each week. They are just getting to know people, so it might be a help to them, if you're interested in doing this, to let them know.

Even when we aren't meeting for Zoom, lessons continue every Sunday on YouTube. Subscribe to the CYF YouTube Channel for an easy link. The printable guide is always in the comments. "Like" First Baptist on Facebook and find links posted each week to remind you.


We are wrapping up 2020 with a two-week Christmas series about something we all need: JOY. Check out the CYF YouTube Channel and if you've "liked" FBCdsm's Youth Group on Facebook, links will post to remind you.

If your student hasn't yet, contact Pastor Emily to arrange to get your FBCdsm Youth Group Fall Gift!

Odds & Ends:

  • Thanks to Dusty Creech for bringing joy to the neighborhood by putting the angels in the windows of the church!

  • The prayer wall will continue to be available for you to visit with requests and holy moments of prayer. 

  • I'm sending you a gift card for Starbucks, if you send me a holiday-themed joke. Don't be shy, I need some laughs and Dad-Jokes!

May God grant you health, joy, and all the good-humor you need to finish the year well!
Pastor Emily

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FBCdsm · 8250 NW 62nd Ave · Johnston, Ia 50131 · USA

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