Hello Brothers & Sisters,
We’re in the second week of Advent and we’re continuing to reflect on how God is Coming to us. This past Sunday we looked at Signs of Peace (2 of 4), focusing on the lectionary texts where Malachi prophecies about the coming of a messenger who will prepare the way for the Messiah, and where Luke reveals that messenger to be John the Baptist, forerunner to Jesus. If you missed the message, I encourage you to listen/watch at our website or via our podcast. Also, be inspired by Bill and Becky Probst’s story that we heard right before the sermon.
As we look around the world today, it’s clear that we’re lacking the peace of the Kingdom. And it’s easy to say the reason for that is because of this thing or that person, but Advent calls us to look within ourselves and repent of our own sins, because repentance is where peace begins. So, I encouraged us on Sunday to repent (metanoia), which literally means to change your mind. If we’re going to make space and “prepare the way” for God to come to us, we must ready our hearts to receive him by first opening up our hearts to God, which requires our willingness to change.
As you continue to live into Advent, consider where God wants you to change your mind. Where does God want you to open your heart for more of his life in you? Also, how is God calling you to see signs of hope and peace in you and around you? I invite you to write those things down or to say them out loud. You can even share that with your spouse, a parent, or a friend. Let’s live into these things together.
Finally, I hope you will join us for worship this Sunday. We will sing songs of the season, hear another story of God at work, and be sharing in communion together. Also, Pastor Kelly will be preaching on Signs of Joy (3 of 4). It’s bound to be another encouraging service that helps us enter into God’s presence and see how God’s light is shining in the darkness.
May God richly bless you this week as you walk in the Spirit and seek to be faithful to Jesus in all things.
Grace & Peace,
P.S. As I said at our recent Congregational Council meeting, we will be suspending Eat & Run this coming spring. After a great deal of thought and prayer, we believe that we need to do this for the following reasons: (1) Erma Hoover is stepping down after many years of service; (2) We believe God is calling us to rest from our work in this area and allow some space for his Spirit to work; (3) We need time to reimagine a community meal apart from Wednesday night programs that connects more with our neighbors—a part of our effort to be more missional. While we do have a volunteer(s) who is willing to take on leadership of a community meal, we still think it’s necessary to take a short break and relaunch a community meal at a later time, most likely Fall 2019.
Furthermore, we are working to fill other roles that relate to ongoing hospitality needs of our church (e.g. Sunday morning coffee/snacks, Sunday lunches, fellowship meals for funerals, etc.), which Erma helped to make possible. In the meantime, I’d like to invite those who are interested to be a part of an Eat & Run Exploratory Conversation on Thursday, February 7. Please mark your calendars for that meeting. More info to come at the first of next year. Thank you for your patience and your prayers as we discern how God is leading in 2019. I believe this process will be good for our church and for all those who will be impacted by this ministry in the future.
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