Church Newsletter For Christmas, 2000

Greetings and Merry Christmas from one who loves you!

Talk about getting behind with the newsletters! Well, it has been quite a while, but what better time to get the newsletters rolling again but Christmas? I pray this newsletter finds you and yours well and joyous this holiday season as we remember and celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. And whether you're with loved ones and friends this Christmas, or if you're having to celebrate this holiest of days away from those you love, I pray you take time to remember that Jesus Loves You, and isn't that what we're really celebrating?

And speaking of remembering that Jesus Loves You, the bears of the Teddy Bear Monastery continue to do a wonderful job of telling the whole world just that. In fact, Brother Lance and the bears at the monastery, Brother Theodore and his sister Tilly-Bear, have put together a Real Audio Christmas Broadcast to the World that I think you'll really enjoy. The Teddy Bear Monastery is the children's outreach program of our church, and I think their Christmas message is as good a Christmas message as our church could hope for. Keep up the great work, Brother Lance and everybody at the Monastery!

There's so much news to share about our church! I'm very pleased that our membership continues to grow steadily, with new members joining from all over the world. In the past few months we've gained our first members from Japan, Slovakia, Israel, and many other countries. It's very exciting to be a part of this, and to see our church continuing to evangelize, minister, and equip Spirit-filled Christians around the world. Don't know who your fellow members are? Well, just drop on in to our Church Bulletin Board and meet some of them. We have more activity on the bulletin board now than ever before, and the fellowship there is just wonderful. Members share prayers and prayer requests, testimonies, ministering experiences, online resources, all kinds of stuff, and there's always something new. And speaking of prayer requests, please remember to regularly visit our Prayer Request Page, one of the oldest interactive features of our church, and one of the most popular. You'll find sincere and heartfelt prayer requests there which never get posted on our bulletin board, and which offer great opportunities to pray on real needs. Whether you post a prayer response, or simply pray at home, prayer works, and never goes unheard.

One of the biggest changes at our church over the past year has been the establishment of Saint Luke Evangelical Christian Ministries as the ordaining ministry of our church. This has proved very popular with our members, and changing the materials available from our church to the new name has made them not only more presentable, but also more acceptable wherever they're used, and that's important for our ministers as they carry on their missions. Of course, I'm always trying to improve their design, so little changes and adjustments are always being made, but the thumbnail samples in our catalog are pretty accurate representations.

This past year also saw the offering of two new degrees from our educational outreach ministry, Saint Luke Evangelical School Of Biblical Studies, a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Web Site Design and a Master of Arts in Theology. These have been very well accepted by our members and students, and I'm very pleased to announce we have graduates in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, England, Ireland, Germany, Japan, the Philippines, Israel, Australia, New Zealand and more! In fact, I've had so many requests to offer additional degrees that I plan to announce two more in the near future, as well as establish an academic honors society for our graduates. And even for those not wishing to pursue a degree, the resources remain freely available to use and study by anyone who visits the site. Many of the lessons soon to be posted are also written by our own students and graduates and other church members, and I know anyone who uses them will be blessed by them. So stay tuned for these announcements from our school very soon.

I'd also like to quickly remind everyone that our church has a Start Up Page which you may like to use as your own start up page, or simply as a bookmark for quick reference. It's designed to load very quickly, and has links to many of the most popular features and pages of our site, and many members prefer to use it as a quick entry to our church without loading the church site's front page. But if you haven't visited the Church Site front page recently, be sure and drop in. Items added over the past months include an online bible reference guide, a way to check mail on your home computer when you're away from home, and a free downloadable bible program. But whether you use our Start Up page or go through the main site, be sure and visit often.

Remember, my friends, our church is nothing without YOU, and only by YOUR participation can our church remain the place of refuge and fellowship that it has become. So come to church, and come often, cause we love to see you there.

Finally, brothers and sisters, let me wish you again a truly wonderful Christmas. I have each of you in my prayers at all times, and it is my sincere prayer at this time that the peace, joy, and love of our Lord Jesus Christ fills your heart, your mind, your body, and your soul to overflowing today, tomorrow, and every day. I love you folks, and you each mean more to me than you'll ever know. Keep up the great work, everybody, and a great big Merry Christmas to you!

Yours in Christ,
Brother Dave