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Published on November 29, 2014

The deadline for the February 2015 issue of The Chimes is January 10 at 9:00 am. Submit articles to Kris Mainellis, director of communi- cations, at 2 From the Pastor Jesus As... by Rev. Alex Lang Session Highlights by Tom Pardo, Clerk of Session  Approved Linda and Michael Willour and Jill Hilder for church membership. They will be received into the congrega- tion on Sunday, November 23.  Approved the following ruling elders and deacons in the class of 2017 for ordination and/or installation on Sunday, Novem- ber 23 and Sunday, November 30: Ruth Burkholder, Tom Car- roll, Jennifer Fick, Amy Hempleman, Doug Hiskes, Mary Larson, Don Lyon, Kate McVay, Mark Orzechowski, Bob Platt, Laura Ryerson, and Jenny Stanhope.  Approved the removal of 333 names from the membership rolls as part of a major review of the church’s actual member- ship. Removal was recommend- ed only when individuals expressed interest in being removed or did not respond to a letter inquiring about their interest in remaining members.  Learned that the Session work group that prepared the ap- proved Session response oppos- ing the General Assembly Israel company divestment action will invite Rev. Dirk Ficca, director of the Interreligious Initiative for Middle East Peace for the Presbytery of Chicago, to speak to the congregation about ways in which First Presbyterian can become more engaged in peace- From the Nov. 10, 2014, meeting: making efforts regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Approved participation by First Presbyterian in the Youth Min- istries Covenant of the Chicago Presbytery. First Pres youth participate in many of these activities during the year.  Received for a first reading a revision to the Undesignated Gifts Policy. A vote on the re- vised policy will be taken at the December Session meeting.  Learned that the Children’s Ministries Committee has been discussing the potential for in- corporating inclusion/special needs ministries within the First Pres Sunday school program. Many of you know that the season of Advent is a time when we pre- pare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Usually the scriptures we discuss during Advent revolve around the various prophecies that Christians believe foretell Jesus’ birth. We read some scriptures from the book of Isaiah, talk about John the Baptist, discuss the angel informing Mary that she is preg- nant with the Messiah, and then, four weeks later, Jesus is born. I’m the first person to admit that there is something comforting about this pattern. However, my problem with this pattern is that there are only so many ways you can slice the same material. I feel like I’ve heard variations on the same sermons so many times throughout my life that I want to hear something unique and differ- ent that will prepare me for the birth of Jesus. Therefore, I have developed a special sermon series for the season of Ad- vent called Jesus As . This sermon series is designed to help us reflect on how Jesus repre- sents the culmination of many different people from the Bible. For instance, the first sermon in the series is called Jesus as Moses . Moses was known in the Old Tes- tament for leading the Israelites out of slavery and giving God’s Law to the people of Israel. Likewise, in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is portrayed as leading the lost and forgotten to God, while also being the giver of the new Christian Law during the Sermon on the Mount. The question we will explore each week is why it’s important to Chris- tians that Jesus em- body these different people from the Old Testament. We will discuss Jesus as Moses, Joseph, Jonah, and Da- vid. After we explore these differ- ent facets of Jesus’ person, the se- ries will culminate on Christmas Eve with “Jesus as Jesus.” We will set aside all of these various meta- phors for contemplating Jesus and get at the heart of what Jesus’ birth means to the world in which we live. I hope you are as excited as I am to explore who Jesus is as we prepare for Jesus’ birth on Decem- ber 25. May you have a wonderful Advent and a blessed and holy Christmas! In this Advent sermon series, “we will...get at the heart of what Jesus’ birth means to the world in which we live.”