ADVENT VESPERS- BEGINS TONIGHT!
On Wednesdays in Advent, you are invited to come together around the table for a simple meal at 6 p.m., and at 7 p.m. Holden Evening Prayer with personal reflections on “What are we waiting for?” featuring storytellers:
•       Julie C. (December 6)
•       Mary L-H (December 13)
•       Melissa B. (December 20)

On the longest night of the year, Wednesday, December 20th, our vespers service will honor the full experience of the holidays, naming the pain, sadness, or loss that can accompany these "merry" days.  Please invite friends and neighbors to this Blue Christmas worship, a part of our Mission focus on mental health throughout the year.

ADVENT SOUP SUPPER VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: As we gather in community, we'll enjoy hot soup meals at 6pm before Wednesday worship this Advent!  Sign up to serve as a kitchen volunteer or to bring soup, bread, or dessert.

ADVENT ALTERNATIVE GIVING: ECLC's Mission Team invites you to consider alternative gifts that support ECLC mission partners this Advent. Look for these opportunities on Sundays:
December 10:        Hands to Hands Knitters supporting Southside Family Nurturing Center    
Holiday Gift Drive for NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)
December 17:        Target gift cards supporting residents of 66 West
Gifts for children in immigration detention supporting Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Service

DEC 10 SUNDAY FORUM: ECLC's Mental Health Practitioners.   What's the state of Mental Health in Minnesota? A panel of ECLC members who work in mental health will share their thoughts--and give ideas of how our congregation can make a positive impact.

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Join Melissa and the Christmas Choir after midweek vespers the next three Wednesdays (7:45ish) in the sanctuary for BRIEF choir rehearsals in preparation for us singing at the 10:00 pm Christmas Eve service.

PACK FOOD THIS MONTH:  Community Emergency Service needs helpers to pack food in its food shelf on Thursday, December 14 from 9:30-11:00. Join a group of ECLCers by emailing Dick M.

CALLING ALL YOUNG MUSICIANS for a Christmas Eve prelude at the 3:00 service! All instruments and voices welcome to share your prepared selection - non-holiday-related recital pieces welcome! Sign up by emailing Melissa.

GUN VIOLENCE: NO MORE MOMENTS OF SILENCE  On Thursday, December 14th, the 5th anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting, join Protect MN for an Advocacy Workshop from 5-7pm to learn about current gun bills ($20 includes dinner) and/or come for a 7-8pm Interfaith Service of Dedication to All Victims of Gun Violence. Hosted by Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in St. Paul. Register here for the advocacy workshop; no RSVP needed for the worship service.  Email ECLC's Larry E. with questions.

ADVOCACY ALERT TO PREVENT GUN VIOLENCE:  ECLC's mission partners at Protect MN urge all concerned about preventing gun violence to learn more here and oppose HR 38, "Federally Mandated Concealed Carry Reciprocity" which would force each state to recognize the concealed carry laws of every other state.  Many MN Representatives are co-sponsors of HR 38 and need to hear from concerned constituents; call your Congressperson today.

EL SALVADOR NEWS: The students ECLC sponsors will be starting school again the end of January. We will be signing up for our sponsorships again soon, so please think about supporting a Cristo de Paz child. The New York Times just featured a story on the gangs in El Salvador.

ISRAEL / PALESTINE TOUR FALL 2019 We welcome your input to help design the Tour to “The Holy Land” we will be taking in two years—whether you definitely want to go or are just thinking/wishing about it.  A survey is at the sign-up center with a map which will help you determine what activities/sites interest you—plus a space for your suggestions.  Take the survey home to study, to reflect, then return by January 1st to the signup center.  We will be meeting with a professional Tour Group to develop the Tour based on your survey responses.  Direct any questions to the Tour Team.

HOLIDAY TOY DRIVE HELPERS NEEDED: Help sort and organize toy and gift donations for Plymouth Christian Youth Center on Friday, December 8th from 9am-Noon. We'll unpack and organize over 1,500 donated items for community residents to "shop" for the next day! Email Lauren to sign up.

SHORT STORY GROUP The Short Story Group will have our annual Christmas Brunch at Marilyn D’s house, on Friday, December 15, at 10:00 am.  All women are invited to join us as we share stories, poems or readings of the season. Please call Marilyn for directions & to RSVP.