Advent & Christmas
Dear Saratoga Federated Family,
At the end of a year like none of us have ever experienced before, I want to invite you to pause and to ponder Christmas as you never have before. Even in the dark of 2020, the world has seen a great light. Unto us a child is born, and unto us a Son is given. He is our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.
During this season of Advent, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of the King, we will consider the stories of five characters; outsiders, outcasts and misfits whose lives were forever changed by the light of the world.
Pondering Christmas is a four-week series about slowing down to meditate on the gift of Christmas. It is an opportunity to consider the great light that has pierced the deep darkness of our world. As you ponder Christmas, consider these questions. Where has your life grown dark? Where do you long to experience the great light of Christmas?
With the health of our community at the forefront of our minds, the Senior Staff have prayerfully decided to close the church campus in compliance with revised health guidelines from the county. All of our gatherings will be online only until further notice. While we cannot be together in person this season, let us remain united through communal experiences in pursuit of the light of Christmas. Some of these experiences include:
We invite you to join us in a season of expectation as we ponder together.
“In him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the dark-ness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:4-5
In His firm grip,
Please see below for information about our Advent Offering recipients: Sola Gratia Ministries and Advent Ministries.
To make a gift towards are Advent Offering you can click the following button which will take you to an online payment form, or you can mail in your gifts to the church office: Saratoga Federated Church, 20390 Park Place, Saratoga, CA 95070 Attn: Finance.
Global - Sola Gratia Ministries
We hope to raise $20,000 to build a rice dryer for Sola Gratia Ministries in the Philippines. This rice dryer will provide tangible support for pastors, as well as enhance their existing ministries of church planting and new pastor discipleship (such as rice fields, motorcycles and church rebuilding).
Sola Gratia is working towards self-sufficiency so that each of the new pastors they train and deploy can teach the word of God without depending on outside donations. The rice dryer is a big step forward in becoming financially self sufficient as it will allow them to store dried rice to be milled or sold at the most advantageous price. It will be the only mechanical dryer in town, so many farmers will use it, thus providing additional income for the ministry as well as providing employment for local Christians.
Sola Gratia has planted over 28 churches since 2002, despite a notably anti-Christian sentiment in their society and some outright persecution of Christians. Their Grace Mobile School of Theology and Ministry is now bringing their train-the-trainer seminary curriculum to remote areas of the country. Over 200 men and women have participated in these mobile seminary courses, equipping themselves to reach their own local communities with the good news.
As Jesus says in Luke 10:2, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.” Praise be to God that He is not only sending the workers out, but He is also allowing us to participate in the harvest work by equipping and encouraging His faithful workers in these Philippino fields.
Please help us raise $20,000 for the rice dryer. Your gift provides employment for Christian workers and helps bring Sola Gratia one step closer to financial self-sufficiency, building on the investment we made in 2007 by helping them buy rice fields.
Local - Advent Ministries
We are pleased to request your support for this wonderful ministry in the amount of $20,000. Here is a letter from the Executive Director:
In the midst of this unprecedented public health crisis, Advent continues to bring hope, healing and Christ’s love to kids whose lives have been ravaged by drug addiction, trauma and mental health disorders.
Recently Advent was listed in Newsweek Magazine as one of the best treatment programs in California based on the quality of care, quality of service and client accommodations; one of only a handful of programs represented that works specifically with teens!
In addition, we have had the opportunity to bring our high-quality services to an even larger group of kids throughout the Bay Area, having been approached by San Mateo, Alameda and Marin counties to work exclusively with their youth needing drug and alcohol treatment!
All of this, through God’s will, has resulted in both our girls’ and boys’ homes recently reaching full capacity, allowing Advent to maximize the positive impact we have on kids suffering in and around our communities.
Our existence and success has been and continues to be, possible only with the support of friends like Saratoga Federated Church. Thank you for helping us reach more than 100 kids in desperate need of our services and, most importantly, God’s love!
Advent Group Ministries