Covenant Sunday
Our Covenant Sunday will be January 17, 2021. Our focus will be  “Fix your eyes on Jesus.” During service we will have a time for us to recommit ourselves to the Lord. If you plan on participating in the worship service online that Sunday you can pick up a stone from the table in the hallway outside the church office week beginning January 11.
Congratulations to Zach & Stephanie (Tharp) Stockton on the birth of their baby girl, Caroline Grace Stockton, on January 1, 2021. Proud grandparents are Rodney & Ashley Tharp, and great grandparents are Oliver & Beverly Bush.
Thank You’s
We are humbled and honored by the outpouring of love shown in the loss of our son, David, and during the hospitalization of Kathy. The cards, calls, food, and prayers lifted our souls during this trying time in our life. We appreciate each act of love and praise God for placing each of you at the Park Avenue Church of Christ along our path.  Ernest & Kathy Sturch
Thank you for the sweet notes, and for your love and concern shown to me after the passing of my brother-in-law. Most of all I have valued your prayers for my sister and myself at a very difficult time, and also for my safe travels. Words cannot express how much I love my church family.
Joan Penn-White           
Youth Ministry
Sunday January 10: Park Avenue Youth will meet at the Gym from 5:30-7:30PM. 
Sunday January 17: One Day Winterfest in the Gym from 2PM-8PM. Come for great lessons, food, games, and more. Parents we will need help with this event. Please talk to Tyler about helping. Thank you! 
2021 Budget
The 2021 budget has been set. There is a slight increase from last year, so we encourage you to continue your generous giving. Paper copies can be requested from the church office. The budget is also available to view in the Members' Area of the website.
Financial Statements
2020 year end statements will be mailed out this upcoming week. The statements represent individual gifts of $250 or more. 
Bridal Shower
Join us for a bridal shower in the atrium in honor  of Alissa Windle and Tyler Cope on Sunday, January 31 from 1:30-3:00PM. They are registered at Target, Amazon, and Bed Bath & Beyond.
Celebration of Marriage
On Sunday, February 14 during worship we will honor those couples who celebrate a wedding anniversary ending in years with a “1” or “6”. If you would like to participate please submit a wedding picture and a more recent picture to the church office  by February 1.

Marriage Getaway Weekend - February 26-28
Save the date for our marriage retreat at Lake Murray State Lodge, Ardmore, OK. The costs is $200 per couple. Registration begins January 17. 
Keith House, Jimmy Rosser, John Eubank, Betty Clark, James Hawk, Dewey Martin, Bob Corley, Sandra Aynes, June Washburn, Nancy Richard, Sarah Carroll

Ongoing Needs
Jim & Jane Scroggins, Terry Waggoner, Kay Skelton, Lisa  Cobble, Bobby & Peggy Slaughter, Nancy Richard, Sandra Thomas,  Larry Long, Corky Armstrong,  Judy Shelton, Mary Pope, Gene Stogner, Kimberly Pendergrass, Kaile Williams (Norris), Peggy Parkey
Barbara Corbett, Ray & Marsha Jones, Chris Keene, JD Huffman
Hammer & Dela Afakule (Togo), Mario “Pepe” Torre (Monterrey, Mexico)
Friends of Park Avenue
Rebekah Taylor (great niece of the Russells), Becky Sanchez (wife of Gil Sanchez,  Director of orphanage in Mexico), Michael Miller (son of Daisy Miller)

This weekend is usually an exciting time for me. You see, I’m a Patriots fan and for the better part of the last two decades my New England Patriots would be set to enter the NFL playoffs - most likely one of the favorites to advance to the Super Bowl. 

But not this year. For the first time since the 2000 season my team ended the schedule with a losing record. No playoffs. No hope for another title.  But they are still my team. (And by the way, I am not rooting for Tom Brady. He is not a Patriot. He’s nothing but a traitor. In fact, I hope Tampa Bay loses in the first round. But I have no hard feelings about this).

The Pats were my team long before this incredible run and they will be my team even if the next two decades bring nothing but mediocrity. I’m not like those front-runners. People who switch from team to team depending on performance. Those people really annoy me. One year they’re sporting Chief’s gear. The year before that they were Warrior fans. The year before that they were all about the Broncos.  And on and on it goes. Every year a new team.  That’s not my style. Pick a team and stick with them. It’s called loyalty.

I may be way off target with this loyalty to sports thinking, but I do think I’m onto something. Even if you are one of those dreadful front runners, shouldn’t there be some things that we remain loyal to? Aren’t there some things that we should pledge our devotion to and, no matter what, maintain that devotion? Aren’t there some causes, institutions, and people that we should stick with even if they have an occasional slump, or even a bad decade or two?

Years ago, in one of my first real jobs I was offered a retirement plan. The company would match a portion of my contribution and I was promised that in time the money would grow. If I remained loyal, I would have something saved for retirement.

That sounded good. But I remember getting my first quarterly report. It was a small amount, but I had lost money. This was not what I was promised. My money was supposed to grow, not shrink. Panicking, I called the number of the agent. I can still recollect his calm and reassuring voice telling me that these things happen. Sometimes you will make money, sometimes you will lose money. But no need to jump ship. Your loyalty will pay off. In short, he said, “Give it time.”

What loyalties in your life are being challenged? Are you ready to give up on someone or something? Are you about ready to change team jerseys?

I’m not saying that we need to be loyal to everything and everyone for ever and ever. But loyalty to the right things, right causes, and right people often have a way of delivering huge dividends. Stay loyal to those things.