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"For Whatever was written in former days  was written for instruction, so that by steadfastness and the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. 
May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another in accordance with Christ Jesus"
Romans 15:4-6 

Grant us, reconciling God, the imagination with which to see the world coming into begin through the wonder of Jesus of Nazareth.  May we embrace it and dwell there in joy, in obedience, in discipline, to begin again.
Amen
(Devotions for Advent Celebrating Abundance -
Second Thurs. of Advent, Walter Brueggemann )
 

 

Save the date
Dec. 15th, 2022, episode of Being MATTHEW 25  taking a look back at 2022 with special guest, the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett. Watch live at 1 PM (ET) on the PC(USA) Facebook page or on our YouTube Channel. #PCUSA #Matthew25
 


The CHRISTMAS JOY OFFERING has been a cherished Presbyterian tradition since the 1930s.  The Offering distributes gifts equally to the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions and to Presbyterian-related schools and colleges equipping communities of color.
 For more information and resources such as
children's lessons, images, bulletin inserts and minute for mission please visit
 
https://specialofferings.pcusa.org/offering/christmas-joy/#resources


With gratitude for continued and generous participation,
we lift the congregations of Eastern Virginia,
who have given to the
Christmas Joy Offering! 
Especially
Bayside Presbyterian Church &   
Providence Presbyterian Church
  for at least 20 years of offering support!
 
PEVA's Hunger Team is hosting a PEANUT BUTTER & JELLY CHALLENGE (goal 150 jars) benefiting First United PC and those in need in our communities) . The Hunger Committee wants to keep hunger in the forefront of PEVA members minds.  What better way to do that than by supporting the churches that are hosting the quarterly Presbytery meetings in 2023 with needed food items for their hunger & outreach ministry.  So, the first church hosting in January of 2023 is First United Presbyterian Church.  First United Presbyterian Church has a Bread Ministry that has been operating for several years.  What would pair with bread?  How about PB&J.  Peanut Butter & Jelly are reported as among one of the needed items for school-age children.  They are in demand at Food Banks and Food Pantries across the Hampton Roads area.  
 
Please consider having a PB&J Drive (plastic jars) in your church, PW group or Sunday school  (keep half collected for those in need in your community) bring the rest to the PEVA office by Jan 25th or those that are planning to attend the Jan. 28th  PEVA meeting please remember your PB&J (plastic jars). 


 


Mark Your Calendars - PEVA's MLK Service Sun. Jan 15th, 2023, at 4 PM
  the Rev. Warren Lesane (Synod of the Mid-Atlantic Executive & Stated Clerk) and the Rev. Teri McDowell Ott (Editor & Publisher of Presbyterian Outlook) will be the guest speakers at Green Acres PC.
Choir members from the PEVA churches are invited/requested to come together to
form the choir for the Martin L. King, Jr. Commemorative Service. Please contact
Raymond Rodrigues
rrodrigues@pcusa-peva.org to have the music sent to you
electronically to peruse and/or for rehearsal at your church.

2023 MLK Choir Signup Here
 



RACIAL DIAOLOGUE & EQUITY 


"Trouble the Water" docuseries now available to download a film series serves as prompt for challenging conversations about race and racism released by the PCUSA Presbyterian Mission Agency in collaboration with the PCUSA Office of the General Assembly and other partners.

Remembering Vera Swann Mission co-worker used arts in evangelism and led school desegregation efforts by David Staniunas of the Presbyterian Historical Society 

Fraught & Flummoxed - Courage and Creativity for the Elevation of the Gospel Jan. 30 – Feb. 2, 2023 at Montreat Conference Center.  Building on the content of past conferences such as CoInspire, DisGrace, and MLK’s Unfinished Agenda, participants will engage in three days of peer learning group work in partnership with Crossroads to examine the current challenges of leadership in this time and place, be part of transformative antiracist accountability, critical self-reflection, power analysis, and animating transforming values. https://montreat.org/events/fraught-flummoxed#link-schedule
 

 

 
SPEAK OUT ON GUN VIOLENCE Over 600 other mass shootings in America just this year alone, in 17 states since May.  Perhaps a reflection and a prayer by Rev. Dr. Lucy Forster-Smith will give your lament a voice and your heart courage.
  Click Here to Read a reflection & prayer .

Presbyterian churches in Louisville, Kentucky take the plowshares approach

TRIGGER THE RIPPLE EFFECT OF GUN VIOLENCE PEVA's peacemaking Ministry Team has  purchased several copies of the film Trigger; (there are five DVD's and a study guide available for Congregations to use for study reflection and conversation) contact Gerry Ellis gerry.ellis@verizon.net or Jessica Fitzgerald jessica@pcusa-peva.org.  The Trigger documentary frames gun violence as a “disaster” and “public health” issue.  It examines how one shooting impacts individuals, families and communities and gives voice to the questions and insights that arise. Recently Denbigh Untied PC had a four-week evening series with meaningful discussion on this film and topic.  

Scripture Passages Addressing Gun Violence
 



CREATION CARE/ECO JUSTICE 
Climate change is a moral and spiritual issue that is causing unprecedented harm to God’s creation and people. Climate change is having and will continue to have profound effects from injury and illness to displacement and destruction on people across the globe.  The most vulnerable among us are being harmed first and worst.


 
PCUSA Stated Clerk joins interfaith leaders at climate action roundtable Sixteen leaders look at ways to involve clergy of all faiths.  


Presbyterians for Earth Care (PEC) reminds us in the PEC Advent Devotion that  one of the ways we can enjoy getting ready for the coming of Christ into the world is by putting up wildlife-friendly garlands and ornaments on the evergreen trees and bushes in our yards for the birds (and other critters) who are wintering over where we live. Some resources shared are ihttps://www.audubon.org/magazine/winter-2020/diy-outdoor-holiday-decorations-double-delectable

·         https://www.audubon.org/news/make-your-own-suet

·         https://www.sfvaudubon.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Audubon_Guide_Bird_Feeding_printPDF.pdf
 

Let’s Talk Climate and Food  Holiday season is around the corner! Did you know that eating and food systems have an impact on climate? You can enjoy your holiday meals while being mindful of climate change by learning from @ecoAmerica’s
Food and Climate playlist at https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfYbm8qPg1ebSTNzjvRozbCibgEPXEA5I


Eco-Friendly Holiday Gift Giving &  Eco Friendly Holiday Mindset
Minimize Packaging & Waste, Less is More,
 Gift Wrap That’s Appealing to People and the Planet, 
Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas, Shop Local, Gifts with Environmental themes, 
Focus on Experiences: cooking classes, theater shows, memberships, gift certificates to local restaurants, & Gifts to Support Environmental Causes such as Carbon Offsets.



Understanding Your Congregation 's Carbon Footprint  Measure your carbon footprint, find ways to reduce.  calculator checklist and learn more about the calculator! 

 

 

There are still some 2022 PEVA Hunger Relief Funds Available
One of the ways that churches and faith-based organizations can help and show others in need love is by providing food to those that are struggling. 
 If your church is assisting those in your communities and seeking funds
and have not applied this year, please apply now! 

Church Community Hunger Grant Application
Submit grants to jessica@pcusa-peva.org 
 
ADVOCACY OPPORTUNITIES - MAKING GOOD TROUBLE 
 

Environmental Justice Lobbying Workshop hosted by Virginia Interfaith Power & Light on Thurs. Dec. 8th at 7 PM what to expect during the 2023 VA General Assembly session and how to advocate for clean energy & environmental justice
policies in the 2023 session. 

Click Here to Learn More.

Environmental Justice for All Act  H.R. 2021

Finding your Virginia lawmaker https://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/

Access to Quality, Affordable Child Care for all Families in Virginia by 2030! Virginia Promise Partnership’s (VPP)  is a partnership system or over 30 organizations , Virginia Organizing is one of them. VPP's  bold goal of ensuring access to quality, affordable childcare for all families in Virginia by 2030!   Are you a registered VA voter who cares about children? a parent or grandparent? an educator, a business owner employer  that includes working parents on a fixed income, a non-profit association or a community leader, a Church with a  daycare of childcare center for working serving working parents?  Please let VA lawmakers know that children and affordable early childcare is important to you, along with expanding Virginia's Child Care Subsidy especially as the 2023 Virginia General Assembly session is  quickly approaching. VPP will provide facts sheets that will be available soon.
VPP Lobby Day Jan, 24th 2023 register at https://secure.everyaction.com/lOuZfCp_rkSTHKetC5qALw2
Add your story or testimony to the Child Care Kudoboard at https://www.kudoboard.com/boards/3FKguOiA


Criminal Justice Reform in VA Limiting the use of solitary confinement
Virginia Interfaith Center of Public Policy (VICPP) are active members of the Virginia Coalition on Solitary Confinement. See VICPP fact sheet by clicking here.
 Stopping profiteering in Virginia’s jails and prisons.  A practice that forces many families into debt to communicate with their loved ones.
 See VICPP fact sheet by clicking here.  
VICPP developed a profiteering quiz you can take to learn more about the issue. Take the quiz and share with friends (or put in your congregation’s bulletin).
Click here to access the profiteering quiz. 


Farm Bill US government has until Sept. 30, 2023, to pass a new FARM BILL.  The Farm Bill is rewritten every five years, its critical opportunity to change federal farm and food policy. Instead of catering to a business focused solely on profit and a desire for cheap raw materials.  It’s time to raise our voices about the kind of food and agriculture we want for our towns, states and country.   A food system that is equitable and sustainable! One that guarantees the right to food for all and supports all workers and farmers that feed us!  The Farm Bill is quite immense it can strengthen food security and regional food systems,  equitable access to resources and land, land environment, and climate justice, nutrition incentives, expansion of SNAP (including double up or match),  access to affordable healthy food, protect food chain workers, producers and farmers, NAP to SNAP for Puerto Rico, reduce food waste and strengthen food sovereignty everywhere.
2023 Eater’s Guide to the Farm Bill 
Bread for the World Farm Bill Platform 


Charity is Not Food Justice Presbyterians Today columnist hungers for ways to feed others
 
 

Join the Office of Public Witness, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) , the Interfaith Immigration Coalition,
and Welcome with Dignity for a teach-in/webinar 
Dec. 14, 2022
8 PM
ET.
"A Faith Call to Solidarity Along the Asylum Journey." 
Register Here



PDA needs volunteers 
to learn more visit 

https://pda.pcusa.org/page/work-teams-locations/ 
 or https://pda.pcusa.org/page/volunteer/




The PC(USA)’s Office of Theology and Worship launches Gospel of Matthew resources ahead of the new liturgical year A Year with Matthew for a Matthew 25 Church: 2022–2023.  It connects the Gospel readings from Revised Common Lectionary Year A with the Matthew 25 invitation’s priorities of building congregational vitalitydismantling structural racism and eradicating systemic poverty. The resources also offer guidance for engaging the Gospel of Matthew in a variety of other ways,
such as public readings, hymn festivals and daily prayer.

 



PCUSA PW CHURCHWIDE JUSTICE & PEACE 2023 BOOK CLUB

PW Churchwide Justice and Peace Committee is once again hosting book discussion groups in 2023. You are invited to participate! They will discuss five books and one movie, plus host a special webinar with a book author! It is free to participate, but registration is required. Be sure to sign up today! Learn more: https://presbyterianwomeninthepcusainc.createsend1.com/...

 

 


Lord, may we be like the Wise Men who were guided to you by
the Star of Bethlehem.

Give us the understanding to seek you,
a light to guide us to you,
the courage and steadfastness to search until we find you,
the graciousness to worship you
and the generosity to lay our gifts before you.
Amen.
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