Dear Congregational Family,

1. Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, but at his birth, he was named “Michael King, Jr.” He was originally named after his father, Michael King, Sr. who was the pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA. In 1934 his father took a trip to Germany and studied the life and writings of Martin Luther, the great reformer who was famous for nailing up his Ninety-Five Theses calling for church reform on October 31, 1517. Rev. King was so inspired by Martin Luther, that he changed his own name to Martin Luther King, Sr. and his young son’s name to Martin Luther King, Jr.

2. The National March for Life in Washington, D.C. is this Friday, January 20. If you are interested in going, St. Thomas More Church in Bethel Park still has some seating available on their bus. The bus will be leaving Pittsburgh between 6 & 6:30 a.m. and will be leaving D.C. to return to Pittsburgh at 5 p.m. There will be one stop on the way in Breezewood. Contact Carolyn Sopher at 412-860-9980 for more details and to reserve your spot.

3. The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act was passed last week after being stalled for the past several years in Congress. This act requires that, when a baby is born alive following an attempted abortion, health care practitioners must exercise the same degree of professional skill and care that would be offered to any other child born alive at the same gestational age. It also requires that, following appropriate care, health care workers must transport the living child immediately to a hospital.

4. Refuge For Women: One of our Christmas Giving Trees at church was for the new refuge for women. In part, with your generous donations, the house will be ready for its opening in March or April. It will serve as an emergency shelter where women who have escaped human trafficking or sexual exploitation can find help and hope. Thank you, Jill & Roger Kurtz for organizing this. Pictured is a vehicle load of gifts on their way to the refuge house.

5. Annual meeting: Last Sunday was our annual meeting and election of church council members. Thank you to those who are going off council, for terms well served! May God bless you and give you rest! Welcome to those who are newly coming onto council. May God bless you and give you wisdom and strength! Installation will be this Sunday at both services.

The meeting also included a reading of a letter by our Council President Mark Riley. A copy of this letter was mailed today to all active church members, as we take this matter very seriously. May God continue to watch over our congregation.

6. Sermon: Title: “From Hopelessness to Joy!”

Text: Isaiah 9:1-4

May the Lord bless and keep us all this New Year as we continue,

“Growing Together in our Faith as the Family of God.”

Pastor Carlson