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Thursday, December 17, 2020

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Sunday's Service - December 20, 2020

Advent Sermon Series ~ A Christmas Carol

The featured Scripture is: Luke 2:8-18
for Mike's message: A Christmas Carol Part 4: What Child is This?

Join us Sunday ~ In-Person & Online ~ Worship at 11am

Connecting Life Church Facebook Page

Come Grow With Us!


Scenes From Last Sunday



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Candle Lighting ~ Fourth Sunday of Advent

The Shannon Family will lead us in a reading of John 13:34-35
as they light the Candle of Love.

Guy Family, Lighting the Candle of Joy


As we light this candle, we celebrate the JOY we have in God...

Worshiping Together

Spend Sunday morning with us ~ online or in-person at 11:00am.
Use the Facebook link Connecting Life and let's grow together! We can continue to join
together in Worship and Praise and Prayer, whether in the Sanctuary or on Facebook.

Please send your prayer requests in for our Joys & Concerns email that will go out on
Monday morning! The CGCC website has a Contact/Prayer Request page, you can
email Jen Lynch directly, or use


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Christmas Eve Service ~ December 24th at 3:30pm

You are invited to come worship with us during our afternoon service, complete with special music and candle-lighting. This year's service will look different than any before it, but it will still be a joyous time as we celebrate the birth of Christ. Social distancing guidelines will be followed, extra seating will be available to allow proper spacing, and masks must be worn for the entire service. Anyone who is unable or unwilling to wear a mask is invited to participate online. We will livestream on Facebook so everyone can feel comfortable joining in to this time of worship and praise. If you are experiencing any symptoms associated with illness, we ask that you remain at home and join us on Facebook. We can't wait to worship with all of you, near and far!


Info Requested for Christmas Eve Bulletin

Sunday is the final day to submit the names of loved ones you would like to honor in our Christmas Eve bulletin. Email any name you would like included to by the 20th or leave a note at the desk. If you have any questions, please talk to Pastor Mike or Jen Lynch.

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Adding to the Chrismon Tree

This Sunday is your last opportunity to stop at the table next to the Chrismon tree to grab an ornament kit to take home! You can have fun assembling one of these special ornaments then bring it back on Christmas Eve and hang it up to help celebrate the names and qualities of Jesus. Craft supplies and directions are provided. (Not provided ~ scissors, glue, and a hole punch.) Thank you to everyone who has already returned their beautiful creations!

2020 Year-End Contributions

The Finance Committee would like to remind you that, to be included in 2020, your contributions need to be received by or postmarked by December 31st. Thank you for your generous support all throughout the year!

Bible Studies & Ministries

We will be following the health and safety directives during small group meetings and events as well as Worship. Masks and social distancing are required anytime you are in our building, as we try our best to stay healthy together. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation!

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Sunday Morning Bible Study
9:30am, upstairs in the Activity Room ~ Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan

Ladies Bible Study ~ Not meeting Dec. 25 or Jan. 1
Friday, at 9am in the Activity Room ~ Who Do You Say That I AM? by Becky Harling

Wednesday Morning Prayer Group
10am, participate via Zoom ~ Personal Meeting ID: 6936117456, Password: prayer


Designed to help adults grow as Christ followers:
* Taylor LifeGroup: On hold during December
* Weimer LifeGroup: Every other Tuesday, 10am on Zoom, next meeting December 22

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Children's Ministry

Merry Christmas to all of our Collide Kids and families! We look forward to learning and growing with you in the new year!


Youth Group

Stay safe and healthy this holiday season!
We look forward to planning Youth Group as
soon as it is safe to do so in 2021.




For whom are you praying today?
How can we pray for you?

We are here to pray with and for you, anytime! Prayer needs sent by early Monday morning will be included in the weekly Joys & Concerns email. We are also glad to send out prayer requests and praise reports anytime throughout the week!



Thank you to Darla Smith for writing and Marcia Kreps for sharing Darla's uplifting words with us.

"Every day is a blessing from God."

"The Word God gave me this week I had seen on a post from Facebook. “UNEXPECTED.” Every day we are given the opportunity to experience “unexpected,” whether it be good or bad. Our minds can focus on the bad “unexpected” and miss out on all the good “unexpected." My mind went to the shepherds in Luke. They were tending to their flock by night. It was probably dark, possibly cool, and something “unexpected” happened. God’s glory came down! How exciting - how scary - how “unexpected” - in the middle of the night. How humbling that God chose the shepherds to be the first to hear the “unexpected.” A Savior is born! They had heard about it for generations, that the Messiah would come, but were they really expecting that to come to pass? They were not expecting the “unexpected.” I pray that we are tuned into the Holy Spirit to expect the “unexpected.” God, use us to help someone through a difficult “unexpected” time. Use us to enjoy the excitement of a blessed “unexpected." Let us share our story of the “unexpected” with someone that needs to hear. Holy Spirit, guide us every day to expect the “unexpected” in our lives. Let us use that to help others through their every day. Praying your “unexpected” is a steppingstone of great things to come!"

There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.” ~ Luke 2:8-12 (MSG)

We are pleased to report that we more than met our goal for the special Christmas Missions Offering for the two local families. Thank you for your partnership in helping spread God's love through generosity this Christmas season!



December Worship ~ Online & In-Person

Pastor Mike Hileman ~ Sundays at 11:00am
Join us at church or online via Facebook Live: Connecting Life

We will continue to be guided by the health and safety guidelines set forth by the
governor and the health department, so we require masks to be worn in our building.
We're excited to welcome you to Worship, in church and online!


Christmas Break

Goodness Grows will be closed for Christmas and New Year from December 24th through
January 3rd, resuming normal hours on Monday, January 4, 2021. The church office will not
be open on a set schedule during this period. If you need to reach us, please don't hesitate to
call, text, or email and we will get back to you as soon as possible!

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Our Mission Statement: To cultivate personal, social, and community growth through gardening, education, and opportunity for people of all abilities.



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News of the Week

We have been busy in the kitchen this week, making homemade bread and chicken soup. Our friend Sue Weaver dropped in for a visit and brought us a big tray of amazing Christmas baked goods. Thanks Sue! We also were able to spend time outside and even took a long nature walk in the woods, accompanied by Jill Snyder. We made it all the way back to our far property line. It is so wonderful to have winter days that still let us enjoy the great outdoors!

Next week we will celebrate Christmas together on Wednesday. It will be a short week, full of fun and also cleaning to make sure Common Ground is ship-shape for Christmas Eve. Then we will be on break until 2021, when it will be time to start really digging in to the planning for our gardens and fields. We can't wait!

Check out our newsletter for December 2020. Just click the button below.

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Handmade Goodies at GG ~ Good for Christmas Giving!

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Handmade Painted Snowmen

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Cat Toys

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Jungle Jam & Juicy Jam

Goodness Grows Jungle Jam and Juicy Jam available at Reach for the STARS online: Shop Local.
They even provide curbside pickup in Salem to encourage social distancing. We are also glad to arrange a jam pick up here at GG. Check out our jam table in the Great Room.
Jam makes a great gift!



Goodness Grows

The non-profit ministry of Common Ground Church Community, Goodness Grows is always busy on our property. GG works with students and adults with disabilities, providing vocational habilitation training in a fun and hands-on way. The GG crew also maintains the grounds and cleans the church building. There are many ways to support GG, including:
* Online Shopping ~ Just use Amazon Smile - choose Goodness Grows as your charity of choice.
* Volunteering ~ Give of your time and get back lots of love & smiles!
* Donating Items ~ We are always in need of items like basic jam making supplies such as regular 8oz. canning jars, lids, sugar, and white vinegar.
* Purchasing Our Products ~ Proceeds from jam & crafts go right back to our programs.
* Charitable Giving ~ As a small non-profit, Goodness Grows depends upon generous supporters who give monetary support. A contribution to Goodness Grows is tax-deductible, to the extent allowed by law. Your donations help us to continue our mission of working with people of all abilities.

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Rock Kidz Uganda, Inc.

Their mission is to Advocate, Advise, Advance the ministries
of Divine Soccer in Masaka, Uganda for the benefit of the
children of the community

Sponsorships can be made to Rock Kidz Uganda, Inc.,
1814 E. 3rd St., Salem, OH 44460 or via Pay Pal at
Learn more on Facebook at: Rock Kidz Uganda.
Check out their new website:

Rock Kidz Uganda Fundraiser

Handmade bracelets and a necklace are available at the front desk. All proceeds will go to the construction of Divine Junior School. These would make great Christmas gifts while raising money for a good cause!

Coat & Clothing & More Giveaway ~ 2021!

Tell your friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers that we collect items year-round...clothes for all ages and sizes, along with coats, hats, bags, purses, shoes, housewares, books, school supplies, stuffed animals, puzzles, toys... anything clean and useful! We have a donation barrel and storage space ready to go.


For I was hungry and you gave me food;
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink;
I was a stranger and you took me in;
I was naked and you clothed me;
I was sick and you visited me.
I was in prison and you came to me.

.....When you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters,
you were doing it to me.

Matthew 25: 35-36, 40


What can YOU do?



If you know of any interesting news or events,
please let us know, so that we can pass it on to others!


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Tapestry of Light: A Holiday Celebration

Friday, 7:30-9pm, Online from Heinz Hall
Event by Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Enjoy the magic and excitement of the holiday season with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Principal Pops Conductor/Soloist Byron Stripling! Perfect for all ages, the Heinz Hall tradition goes digital with Front Row: Tapestry of Light, A Holiday Celebration. Offering comfort and joy during these uncertain times, this program celebrates music, faith, peace, and light. Gather your family at home to watch old favorites and discover new surprises; a sensory-friendly version also available. Watch HERE and More Info

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Santa reads The Polar Express

Friday, 8pm, Online with Facebook Live
Event by Barnes & Noble (Boardman, OH)
Put on your pj's, grab a mug of cocoa, and join in as Santa reads The Polar Express from the North Pole!
Watch Live: Christmas Tradition

Drive Thru Christmas Lights & Live Nativity

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The Bishop's Wife Radio Show

Saturday, December 19, 7:30-9:30pm
Online event by Little Beaver Historical Society
On Saturday December 19, we will present to you online the classic holiday story The Bishop's Wife .We will be doing the show in the classic radio show format, as our grandparents and parents did in the 40's. You will be able to listen to the show not on your radio but on your computer or phone as our actors present the show to you live! Watch HERE
The Bishops Wife is a classic holiday movie starring Carey Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven.



December 18 - Bake Cookies Day
December 19 - Megan McMaster
December 19 - Shirl Criss
December 20 - Madigan Bendersmith
December 21 - Winter Solstice ~ the shortest day of the year
December 22 - Pablo & Alis Rocha
December - Safe Toys and Gifts Month

If we don't have your special days, please let us know!



December 17-23, 2020 . . .
Weekdays, 9am-2pm - GG at Work
Tonight, 6:30pm - Praise Band
Friday, 9am - Ladies Bible Study
Sunday, 9:30am - Sunday Morning Class
Sunday, 11am - In-Person & Online Worship
Tuesday, 10am - Weimer LifeGroup
Wednesday, 10am - Prayer Group via Zoom

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Seeking to reflect the unconditional love of God,
our mission is to help people connect -
to God, to one another,
and to God's purpose for the world.


Come grow with us!

Common Ground Church Community
Connecting Life Church
2310 West South Range Road
North Lima, Ohio 44452


For more information, call 330-549-9408 or contact us by email at

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