I hope this first newsletter of 2018 finds you well and holding on to the joyful spirit of Christmas which exudes from the story of our savior’s birth. Yet, right after Christmas we are flooded with these themes of fresh starts, resolutions, and life style alterations.
Pastor Tim's blog
Advent is approaching quickly, and so with this last Pastor’s Pen before Christmas preparations are completely upon us, Pastor Audrey and I wanted to highlight the journey we will experience together in the weeks preceding Christmas. We have been impacted by a little book called “The Journey: Walking the Road to Bethlehem” written by Adam Hamilton ....
Some people have called it the “all hands on deck weekend.” And we are certainly hoping we get some divine help too on September 16-17 when we host our annual Fall Festival on Saturday and a Homecoming Sunday. These are all church events, both with strong invitational themes.
You have probably started to hear some rumblings around the church about the new BAT Team. And no, this is not a church team of vigilantes working alongside Batman to fight crime in Hagerstown. Our BAT Team stands for the Building Analysis Task Team. This team has been selected to do a comprehensive analysis of our building. We do this for a few reasons:
The Art of Christian Listening by Thomas Hart
During college, Pastor Audrey was a Student Peer Minister assigned to her dorm as a trusted spiritual companion for other students needing to process their faith life. To prepare for this role, she read The Art of Christian Listening and found its instruction so helpful that she passed it along to me. Maybe this was a subtle hint for me to become a better listener. But isn’t it the case that we could all be better listeners?
Our next Congregational Business Meeting will be on May 7. As has become our custom at the May Business Meeting, Pastor Audrey and I will announcement the ministry theme for our fourth year of ministry at HCOB which begins on June 1. For this past year, we’ve been focusing our efforts on Hospitality. So before we say our goodbyes to hospitality, I want to highlight some of what we’ve learned.
God’s Welcome: Hospitality for a Gospel-Hungry World by Amy Oden
For the season of Lent, a significant cross-section of our congregation has considered Amy Oden’s book which pushes Christians to the depths of hospitality. This has been a useful tool in HCOB’s year of hospitality and will be available for anyone to take home and read after Palm Sunday.
This year, the season of Lent begins on March 1 with Ash Wednesday. Lent is a time for us to journey closely behind Jesus as he prepares to head to the cross and the resurrection. It is a time for us to focus on our spiritual selves, our true selves in Christ Jesus.
I very much enjoy being a pastor. It is an honor and a privilege to serve with you. However, the worst part of pastoring is knowing when to cancel church due to inclement weather. I say that only semi-sarcastically. I truly do not like discerning in the early hours of the morning with Pastor Audrey, Leadership Team Chair, and Property & Finance Chair whether or not the roads are bad enough to cancel.
November- a month of turkey and cranberries, a month of families gathering and unity events at church, a most wonderful time of the year. That is except for the 2nd Tuesday of the month. I write that sarcastically, but I have been fascinated by the amount of members mentioning to me how much they are not looking forward to election day and commenting that they wish it were just over.