Advent is upon us. This is a time of preparation and a season of waiting for our Messiah to come. We await the Christ child in the familiar Christmas story. Why do we wait so expectantly? Every year we know what happens in the story, but do we ever allow the story and our lives to converge. This is a season of hope, expectancy, waiting, and advent in our Church.
Having finished a series of cottage meetings where we imagined how we as a church could better live out of our gifts, having finished a stewardship season where we each considered our own individual gifts, having entered into a season where we await God’s most precious gift to humanity- the stories of Advent are becoming a reality for us. We await new ministries to emerge; we await new people to meet; we await new opportunities to fellowship, worship, and serve in Christ’s name.
Let me take a moment to explain where I believe we are as a congregation. The cottage meetings were a wonderful instrument for Audrey and I to get to know you as a congregation: your past, present, and future longings. I believe it was also a helpful opportunity for you all to feel comfortable with your new pastors. Through these cottage meetings we learned that you greatly honor your history. We also learned that this congregation’s history can be both an asset and a detriment. Sometimes, this congregation admires our history of huge membership and tons of kids to the point that the memories debilitate us from being faithful now. Instead, we need to honor our past while accepting that time and circumstances change. We change to meet our time and we will not be the same church we ever were again.
The meetings also taught us that there are exciting things happening right now. There is a new energy and a new life which I believe is a gift from the Spirit. In general, this church’s music ministry, youth club, service opportunities, and fellowship opportunities are all feeding you with life.
This is a good place to be as we prepare to move forward. At every cottage meeting we dreamed. The commissions have been given your dreams, hopes, and questions. Now, they are praying, discussing, and discerning the next steps. What might our congregation be ready for? This is the Advent season, a season of waiting, hoping, and deep prayer. It is an exciting time. Let us all pray that the coming of Christ this season serves to inspire us all with God’s direction. Peace and Joy from Christ this Christmas,