This Week’s Message – “The Way of the Exile”

by Pastor Steve Durand

We don’t often think about it, but the theme of “exile” is one of the biggest themes in all of the Bible. And the reason why it is so helpful to consider the various Old Testament stories of Israel when they were in exile, taken from their homes and immersed into a new culture that was hostile to God and to their faith, is because it helps us to think about the question: How do I live out my Christian faith today, while residing in a fragmented culture that is frequently indifferent or even hostile to my faith, and that does not sustain and support the deepest needs of my heart?

Join us for this week’s message, as we explore practical principles for living a believing life in a largely unbelieving world.

Scripture Focus: Lamentations 1:1-5; Jeremiah 29:4-7, 31:10-17

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Kokua Christmas Concert & Sing-Along

All ages are invited to a free Christmas concert and sing-along featuring one of our very favorite local bands: Kokua! Join us this Sat., Dec. 10, at 6:30pm in the Bridges Family Center for a fun and festive evening. Kokua has helped us embrace the Christmas season many times over the years, and we’re excited to welcome them back to our campus! We will also enjoy some holiday sweet treats. Questions? Email alba@bridges.church.

Upcoming Holiday Service Schedule

Saturday, December 24, 5:00pm
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
(Childcare for ages 0-3)

Sunday, December 25
Online only replay of Christmas Eve Service
(No in-person gathering)

Sunday, January 1, 10:45am
Family worship service; no children’s Sunday School
(Childcare for ages 0-3)

New Sunday School Start Time

For our high school, middle school, elementary, preschool, and nursery families, we want to make you aware of the new Sunday School and youth service start time beginning Jan. 8. Due to our Life Groups starting at 9:30am, our children’s and youth gatherings will also begin at 9:30am. Teachers will be in their classrooms about 10 minutes early so you can drop off your children and then head to your group. Questions? Contact Alba, Kathy, or Liliya.

Night to Shine 2023 — Hosted by Bridges!

Night to Shine is BACK IN PERSON! After two years of celebrating while at a safe distance, we are thrilled to announce that Bridges will be hosting this year’s event in person on Fri., Feb. 10, 2023. In partnership with the Tim Tebow Foundation, Night to Shine is an international prom event for young adults with special needs. Join us for an evening of fun where Honored Guests can keep faith, hope, and love shining bright as ever. For more info and to register as an Honored Guest or volunteer, visit nighttoshinesiliconvalley.com.

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MUCH Hope Christmas Outreach

Partner with MUCH Hope by helping provide a Christmas celebration for the residents at a Sunnyvale homeless shelter. There are so many ways to participate between Dec. 15 and 18! Sign up to donate food, supplies, or gifts for children; or help make scarves, assemble gift bags, prep dinner, or serve at the shelter. Take a look at the sign-up sheet HERE, and be sure to click through all of the tabs with various needs. Volunteer today to spread the love of Christ and help make this Christmas special for some in our community who are enduring challenges this holiday season. For more info, contact Sujana Panthulu: sujana.panthulu@gmail.com or 971-533-5744.

Salvation Army Service Opportunities

This holiday season, Bridges is supporting the Salvation Army in three ways as a church-wide service opportunity. First is ringing the red kettle bell, now through Christmas Eve. Volunteers are the difference between an empty kettle and one that raises about $30/hour — enough to provide a family with some needed groceries, or shelter an individual for a night. Second is blessing a local family with Christmas gifts through our Adopt-a-Family project. Third is taking a tag from the Christmas tree in the Worship Center lobby and purchasing the desired gift card named on the tag. For details on any of these service opportunities, go to bridges.church/serviceopportunities or visit the table in the Worship Center lobby on Sunday mornings.

Baja Mission Trip

We will be taking a short-term mission trip to Baja Mexico, Dec. 27-31, during which we will be working with Baja Christian Ministries to build a home for a needy family and to serve local churches there. The trip will cost $700/person, and is open to ages 13 and up. No prior construction experience is necessary. If interested in participating or for more information, contact Pastor Steve: steve@bridges.church.

Men’s Suit Donations

Men, are you cleaning out your closet and have a suit or two to get rid of? Donate your suits to San Francisco Adult & Teen Challenge! This is a live-in program for men and teens with addiction problems, to help change their lives through Christ. As the men approach graduation from this strict and structured program with a very high success rate, they are required to find work. One of your suits could help in those efforts as they interview and begin a new career! To coordinate the donation of your suit, please contact Don D’Arcy: dwdarcy.dd@gmail.com.

Support the Restoration Ministry Music Program

We loved hearing at this year’s Annual Meeting how absolutely amazing Restoration Music Ministry is at reaching children in the Brazilian favelas for Christ. We as a church would like to continue helping the ministry grow by either donating instruments or providing financial support. For details about this opportunity, click HERE.

Mentors Needed for Refugees in Our Area

In May, we partnered with local Jewish Family Services (JFS) to host our Picnic for Refugee Families, and JFS has given us a few more opportunities to help serve refugees in our area! These include transportation, basic one-on-one computer training, teaching English in a small group, and more. Check out bridges.church/serviceopportunities for more information.

Save the Date for These Service Opportunities!

March 2023  RealOptions Walk for Life
March 3 & 4, 2023  Feed My Starving Children Silicon Valley Mobile Pack