Most people have heard the story of Christmas: The virgin birth. A baby born in a manger. Shepherds who came to visit.

But the story actually began much earlier. It started in a garden that was a place of perfect peace and relationship. That peace and our relationships were shattered when sin entered the world. For generations, humanity told tales of a coming Messiah who would restore what was lost. Throughout all the pages of the Bible, Jesus’ fingerprints are seen, and His name is whispered. Many missed it then, just as they do today.

Come experience those Whispers of Hope this Christmas season, as we search for the One who was and is to come.

Take a journey through the Bible this Advent season and explore more of the meaning behind our “Whispers of Hope” sermon series. You can pick up an Advent Devotional at the Info Table or download the study from our app or web site. The devotional can be done individually or with your family. Each day, you will study a short passage of scripture that follows our Christmas sermon series. You can find the devotional online here: http://www.cometothesanctuary.org/wp-content/uploads/Whispers-of-Hope-Advent.pdf

If you are looking for a great way to help those in need and serve our community, mark your calendar for the Bolingbrook Christian Health Center’s Christmas event on Dec. 10. More than 350 children have signed up to shop at the gift mart at the event, which is organized by The Sanctuary and several other area churches. If you can donate, please drop off new gifts at the church anytime before the event. We are collecting gifts for children ages birth to 18. In addition to toys, games and crafts, other gifts ideas include make-up sets, sports equipment, sweat pants, jeans and hoodies. We also need volunteers the evening for the event to help with gift wrapping, set up and cleanup. Please sign up at the Info Table.

We will be taking a benevolence offering at the end of service Sunday. This is a special offering that goes directly to help those in our church body who have a financial need. Please look for the ushers as you leave the auditorium.

Our Eve of Christmas Eve service will be held Dec. 23 at 8 p.m. and will be identical to our Sunday morning service on Dec. 24 at 10 a.m. We are looking forward to celebrating Christ’s birth with you!

Do you love to sing? Do you have a heart to worship through music with others? Then join our Christmas Choir! We will rehearse at the church Dec. 17 and Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. Christmas services are 8 p.m. Dec. 23 and 10 a.m. Dec 24. If you are interested and can make ALL of the rehearsal times, please contact Worship Arts Director Ben Kafer: bkafer@cometothesanctuary.org.

If you are looking for an easy and meaningful way to serve in our community, sign up to partner with Morningstar Mission. We have the opportunity to help serve dinner to those without homes 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 22 and 29. There is room for seven volunteers on each date.

This fall, men will dive into a study, called, “Play the Man.” Somewhere along the way, our culture lost its definition of manhood, leaving generations of men and men-to-be confused about their roles, responsibilities, relationships, and the reason God made them men. The Fight Club meets 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. Dec. 2, 16.

If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and you would like to be baptized, plan to participate in one of our regular morning worship services at Dec. 17 at 9:30 or 11 a.m. A baptism class will be offered during first service Sunday in the Green Room. Please sign up at the Info Table.

The church staff and elders are in the process of updating our safety procedures. We are putting together a list of attenders who are trained as a nurse, doctor, EMT, fire fighter, or police and are willing to be known as someone we could ask for help in the case of a medical emergency during our Sunday services. If you are not trained medically, but are interested in being a part of a Safety Team, we want to include you too! Contact steph@cometothesanctuary.org if you fit either description.

Our junior high and high school ministries meet from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Mondays for student-led worship, large group teaching, small group discussion and tons of FUN! Feel free to arrive at 6:30 for hangout time.

Our college and young adult group meets in the Green Room Sunday afternoons at 12:30 p.m. (with the exception of the last Sunday of the month). Lunch is provided! New people are always welcome. Contact Rebecca at 815.980.0127 with questions.

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