Trunk or Treat

Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, Greenville, will be holding its annual FREE Trunk & Treat event on Monday, October 31st from 6:00pm—8:00pm.  Our INDOOR “Table-n-Treat” variation of this fun Halloween activity allows for the fun to carry on no matter what our crazy Michigan weather may bring us on October 31st!  We substitute trunks with tables, lined up end to end, each individually themed, which allows for a smooth traffic pattern as families venture from table to table around the room enjoying fun, friendship, and safe trick-or-treating!  We look forward to seeing you!  If you have any questions about this event, please feel free to call our church office, 616-754-4886, Tuesday-Friday, 9a-2p. 

Why There Are 12 Days of Christmas

The celebration of Jesus’ nativity just ended, and here we find ourselves smack in the middle of the 12 days of Christmas. Or are those 12 days passed already? Aren’t they December 13th-25th?

Some time back I was standing in the elevator at the hospital, reading a poster on the wall: “Celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas with great deals!” There were savings promised at the gift shop each of the first dozen days of December. According to the poster, December 1st-12th were the supposed 12 Days. Are they?

In fact, both of these interpretations of the 12 Days of Christmas miss the mark. The truth underscores the deep delight of this holiday.

The ghost of Christmas passed

The “12 Days of Christmas” refer to the 12 days from December 25th through January 6th. Christmas Day is the beginning of a festival that carries on for nearly two weeks, up until the feast of Epiphany. “Christmas” isn’t just a day, in other words; it’s a season.

Now, few in our society would dispute that there is such a thing as the “Christmas season,” but they might define it quite differently. This season would extend from, say, Thanksgiving until perhaps December 26th, when the radio stations drop their Christmas tunes like a hot coal in the stocking and go back to their regularly scheduled programming.

But as the world gives up the ghost of Christmas passed, the Church is just getting started with her yuletide celebrations. She has waited and watched throughout Advent—which tends to just be lumped in with what author Gregory Jones calls “HalloThanksMas.” She has refrained from singing her Gloria in Excelsis (“Glory to God in the highest!”) until she can sing it with the angels on Christmas Eve. Now, she’s ready to party.

Which gets at the deeper reason why there are 12 Days of Christmas. It’s a fact of the calendar, yes, but it’s more than that.

Too much for one day

The real reason that Christmas is 12 days is that the feast is too glorious for just one day. As Elsa Chaney writes in her book, the suitably titled Twelve Days of Christmas, “So bright is the radiance of the Light which has come at Christmas, so awesome is the mystery we celebrate, that a single day’s observance barely initiates us into the meaning of the feast.”

There’s a lot of joy to pack into this stocking.

And so I think it is high time that Christians reclaim the 12 Days. Too long have we allowed our celebrations to be co-opted by the culture’s “Christmas season.” Keeping the 12 Days is a path toward greater joy, greater festivity and, perhaps, even greater sanity.

In one of my very first newsletters last year I suggested 10 ways to celebrate the 12 days. But those are just the tip of the iceberg—or the top of the tree, you might say. So how else can we keep this 12-day feast?

Kids Against Hunger 2019

Kids Against Hunger food packaging, equivalent to 16,000 meals. Great turnout of volunteers from Greenville Area congregations, Saturday, Nov. 2!

Packaging these nutritious bags of food for up to two hours (10a-12p) requires 5 tables (10 persons per table) for every 10,000 meals. As in the past, we can package up to 20,000 meals with 10 tables, requiring approximately 100 volunteers. This equates to a cost for food supplies of about $500 per table (2000 meals packaged per table). Donations to our Benevolence Fund are most welcome to help pay for a table of volunteers. We’re thankful to Thrivent Financial for their commitment to this year’s event! Pastor Jeff

Walk for Warmth

Mount Calvary is pleased to host the 2019 EightCAP Walk for Warmth on Saturday, April 13, 2019. Registration begins at 10:30 am, the Walk around Baldwin Lake begins at 11:00am(transportation assistance available), and a Soup/Chili cook-offgoes until 12:45 pm.Proceeds from EightCAP’s events are used to help low-income households with energy bills, shelter or other basic needs.If you can’t attend and would like to sponsor/donate, Henry Kreft & Harold Swindell will be walking. Please contact either one to be their sponsor. More information is available at:


Mount Calvary Lutheran Church is accepting applications through April 26 for the position of AV Coordinator. A job description can be found (below) To apply, please fill out and submit an online application (below) or resume, with at least two references, to: Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, 908 West Oak St, Greenville, MI 48838.

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MARCH 6 and 10 Lent begins with Ash Wednesday this week, March 6. Receiving the imposition of ashes as a mark of the cross on our foreheads reminds us: “We live from ashes to ashes with the assurance of our Lord’s resurrection.”Before next Sunday, read Romans 10:5-13.In his Letter to the Romans, Paul uses three different Greek words and one idiomatic phrase quoted from Proverbs, which all convey or are related to the idea of shame (v.11). What are some things that might make you feel ashamed or disgraced? Someone might feel ashamed of the Gospel, but Paul insists he, himself, is not ashamed of the Gospel and neither should we be.How do you honor the Good News of the Gospel in your life?

Opportunities For Success – Christmas Giving


Hey! We’d love your help with our upcoming Thrivent Action Team.

Opportunities For Success (Christmas Giving Tree)
Christian Growth Ministry Team (Pastor Jeff Wilhelm)
Now through Epiphany Sunday, 1/6/19
Opportunities for Success will receive monetary and material donations to assist local school students and their families in need. Items to be provided are socks, hats, gloves, sweatshirts, sweatpants, after school snacks, and personal care items. Please register as a volunteer participant! Thank you for giving!