Friday, December 18 Announcements: Worship, Christmas Eve Worship/Outdoor Hymn Sing, Living Nativity Experience & More!

1.  No in-house worship this Sunday, December 20. A prerecorded worship will be available on our YouTube channel this Sunday by 8:00 a.m. Pastor Ioan will be delivering a message based on Luke 1:26-38. Below is a devotion based on that Scripture.  

“In her terror and fear at this unexpected birth announcement, Mary can at least muster a question, “How can this be?” In the angel’s message, Mary has heard two “words” of promise: “of his kingdom there will be no end,” and “nothing is impossible with God.” Once again something important to Luke is hidden in the usual translation. In the original Greek, “nothing” is literally “no word.” That is to say, “with God no word (i.e., no promise) is ever impossible.” The new possibilities of God’s promise are already breaking in for Mary. In the very next breath Mary responds by assuming her new role as faithful “servant”: “Let it happen to me in accordance with your word!”   
     We stand poised near the end of our Advent journey ready to celebrate the wondrous birth of Jesus “in accordance with God’s grace-filled word of promise.” May that word once again inspire us to respond like Mary as faithful servants of the good news.”
– James Boyce

2. Christmas Eve Service December 24 – Pre-recorded traditional service on YouTube at 3:00 pm Christmas Eve.

3. Christmas Eve Outdoor Hymn Sing – In the spirit of the first Christmas and all that Mary and Joseph experienced in the birth of our Christ Child, we will come together in an outdoor candlelight service as innkeepers, shepherds, kings, and angels, bearing our gifts of faith, hope, joy, and love.

  • December 24 worship will begin at 5:30 pm and will be limited to 30 minutes.
  • We will gather on the south church lawn.
  • Please stay in your family groups and maintain at least 6 feet between each group.
  • You may bring lawn chairs or you may choose to stand.
  • Please save the first parking row for those who will want to stay in their vehicles.
  • Music will be led by song leaders through our speaker system.
  • Please wear a mask; you may sing behind your mask or hum along if you prefer. 

4. Christmas Eve help needed – The church needs outdoor Christmas lights for an approximately 7ft. tree.  We also need 2 pop-up sunshades for our musicians with instruments to be under.  If you can help with any of this please contact Pastor Ioan (626) 419-6331.

5. Virtual Sunday Bible Study – We gather virtually through Zoom at 9:15 am. We discuss the Scripture passage that the sermon for that Sunday focused on. In the sermon you hear one particular interpretation. In Bible Study we will use questions to approach the passage in a discussion style. We welcome insights into Scripture passage that you’ve gleaned in you over the years and more immediate feelings and thoughts that came to you that day.  All are welcome to join in the discussion or listen.

To access Zoom on Sundays at 9:15 a.m. click the link below and enter the required Meeting ID number and the Passcode. Or call by phone the below number and then follow the prompts to dial the required Meeting ID number and the Passcode number.
Zoom Sunday Bible Study Link:
Meeting ID: 899 7325 9796
Passcode: 1120
Dial-In by Phone:
+1 312 626 6799
Meeting ID: 899 7325 9796
Passcode: 1120

6. Virtual Sunday School – We miss having the joy of our kids at church and we know families are under strain with navigating a Covid world as well.  During the Advent and Christmas season we will be adding kid-focused lessons to our Sunday prerecorded YouTube worship.  Directly following our regular worship, you can stay tuned or call the kids over and have a short time for worship dedicated to our pre-school to early/middle elementary age kids.

7. Virtual Advent Wednesday Devotion and Prayer – St. Paul is continuing its Advent tradition of a weekly 7:00 p.m. Wednesday worship by doing so virtually. It is a time for music, candle lighting, Scripture reading, short devotion and prayer. We gather together through the computer or phone program called Zoom. This will allow us to end each time together with a check-in and prayer. To access Zoom on Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. click the link below and enter the required Meeting ID number and the Passcode. Or call by phone the below number and then follow the prompts to dial the required Meeting ID number and the Passcode number.
Zoom Advent Wednesday
Meeting ID: 864 0947 6014
Password: 1120
Dial-In by Phone:
+1 312 626 6799
Meeting ID: 864 0947 6014
Passcode: 11208.

If you missed last Wednesday’s devotion, you can find it here:

8. Virtual Christmas Choir Concert – We know that this Christmastide is feeling different with gathering around computer screens instead of in pews.  We all must both love our neighbor and intentionally attend to our own spiritual needs.  For those of us who are spiritually uplifted through music, we want to encourage you to try out this virtual concert opportunity:
St. Paul has made our 2009 Christmas Cantata available on our YouTube channel.  Please visit:
9. St. Paul Congregation – If you would like to make a monetary gift to the Pastor for Christmas, please drop it off to one of the following options:
      -To Dan Nielsen at American State Bank via the drive up.  Please put it in an envelope to Dan’s attention.      
      -Put the envelope in Dan Nielsen’s mail box at the church
      -Put the envelope in the lock-box outside of the church office.
      -To Dalene in the church office
Please give your gift by December 23rd. Thank you and Merry Christmas!
10. Christ in Our Home Devotionals for the first quarter 2021 are now available from the church office. Let the office know ( if you’d like one placed in your church mailbox or if you’d like one mailed to you.

11. The First United Methodist Church is hosting the annual Living Nativity Experience again this year at the Madison County Historical Complex on Monday and Tuesday, December 21st and 22nd. There will be a few adjustments this year in light of COVID. Mainly, as families arrive they will be given a number and asked to wait in their vehicles until it is time for them to go through the experience so that it will be just one family at a time. See the event posting on Facebook: . In addition to our typical shepherds and angels that are usually played by kids, we need adult help as well—six on each shift! Please prayerfully consider whether you can spend some time supporting this ministry this year. It will be all outdoors but shifts are just one hour long. Click on the link below to sign up or contact Megan Barrett ( or 515-249-1204)

12. Pastor Ioan is available for one-one-one conversation and in-home communion. Please feel free to reach out to him. or 626-419-6331. 

13. Furniture Ministry – We are lifting up our St. Paul Furniture Ministry this holiday season for financial donations. Your donation will help buy a higher quality of furniture at auction and keep furniture safely stored till needed. It is a long-standing ministry of St. Paul to help hurting families when they need help making a house feel like their home for themselves and more so their family. Make your checks payable to St. Paul Lutheran Church with “Furniture Ministry” in the memo line. Thank you!

Church office phone: 515-462-4270

Church office email:

Pastor Ioan Ittu: 626-419-6331

Pastor Ioan email: