Hello Brothers & Sisters,
It was such a joy to worship with you this past Sunday. We celebrated the great things God has been doing at Grantham Church through song, testimonies, and receiving 34 new members into our church family! If you didn’t hear the four testimonies and Pastor Kelly’s closing prayer of thanksgiving, I’d like to encourage you to check out our Thanksgiving Service on our website or via our podcast. We have much to be thankful for this year, and so it is good for us to praise God together and be reminded of the sanctifying work the Spirit does through the local church.
This coming Sunday marks a week before the Advent season. Like the season of Lent, which leads to Easter, Advent also calls us to ready our hearts for what is to come on Christmas Day. While this time of year has its challenges for all of us, I especially love it for how our hearts are softened and we’re able to encounter the Spirit in a fresh, powerful way. Do you know what I mean? It’s almost like you can feel the Holy Spirit in the brisk winter air—in our homes, in our conversations, and in the songs of the season. I think the whole world is more sensitive to God’s Spirit during Advent/Christmas.
Therefore, I’ll be inviting us to prepare for Advent by looking at Christ’s call for his disciples to resist the cultural forces around us that seek to shape us into the mold of the world. In my opinion, this is one of the greatest challenges we face today as Americans: saying “no” to things that aren’t good for us (or are of lesser importance) so that we can say “yes” to the Kingdom. Learning to say no to the world so we can follow Jesus is a vital part of being a disciple. It requires grit, resolve, and discipline. That’s what I want to share with you this Sunday in a message called, Saying No for God’s Sake.
Also, we will conclude the service with communion. I hope you’ll join us as we prepare to enter the Advent season.
As was announced on Sunday, you should all have a Congregational Council booklet by now. You will notice that we have not included ministry reports in the booklet. Our Church Board recently decided to designate our end-of-year council to planning for 2019, and include 2018 reports at our next council meeting, probably early next year. A later meeting will allow us to better reflect on a completed year, as well as make any adjustments needed moving forward.
Stay tuned for more to come regarding this two-council process in our meeting on Sunday, December 2 at 6:00 pm in the sanctuary.
Finally, I wanted to inform you that Julia Johnson is stepping down from her role as Operations Assistant. We have been so blessed to have Julia working with us in the office for the past 2 years, but she feels God is calling her to do some local ministry (e.g. working with the homeless, serving in the FOF closet, leading Bible studies in prison, etc.) which requires her attention in the mornings during office hours. Julia and her family will continue to worship and serve alongside us at Grantham, and she and Dwayne are particularly excited about serving as deacons in the new year. Please express your appreciation for Julia’s service and dedication to our congregation. We will be posting a job opening for the position of Facility Assistant this week on our website and various other places online. Thank you for your prayers as we fill this important role.
May you all have a Happy Thanksgiving with family and friends. I look forward to worshipping with you this Sunday.
Grace & Peace,
P.S. There will be a brief reception after the service this Sunday to celebrate Erma Hoover’s 20+ years of faithful service in hospitality at Grantham Church. Erma is retiring from her leadership role in the church kitchen. Please join us for fellowship and refreshments in the church lobby as we express our sincere gratitude for our sister in Christ.
* This post was first sent as an email to all church members. If you would like to receive the weekly email from the pastor, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org