Pastoral Post 11.18.2016

This Sunday is the last Sunday of the liturgical/worship year. It is known as “Christ the King” or “Reign of Christ,” and reminds us that the one’s coming we began to anticipate last year in Advent is the Christ who lives and reigns forever. Human leaders will fail us. Christ will not. What better affirmation on the last Sunday of the year!

This Sunday we will also have the annual Missions Fair. Stop by the Christian Growth Center/Gym between 10:00 and 11:15 to find a number of missions projects/agencies on display. You may have opportunities to volunteer, and there are certainly opportunities to give. Some people make donations as Christmas gifts for loved ones—cards will be available for that. We have a tradition of being very, very generous at these fairs.

 And when you come Sunday, if you have not already done so, please come prepared to place your pledge for giving to the 2017 budget in the offering plate or on the altar. We had a good start last Sunday, and we urge you to respond asap so that church leadership can make financial plans for 2017. Remember, Giving to Grow means that we grow as we give and we support the church’s growth as well.

 Thanksgiving is next week. We’ll have a bit of Thanksgiving in the services Sunday as well. In fact, aren’t all services about thanksgiving?! And on Sunday night we’ll join with our community at a Thanksgiving Service at First Presbyterian at 7:00 p.m. There will be a community choir, and Dr. Robert Prince of First Baptist will be the speaker.

 If you’re traveling for Thanksgiving, be safe! I hope that you all have a time of being with family and/or friends and sharing a meal, some quality time, and good thoughts. Resist talking about politics! We will be with our daughter Kari and family on Thanksgiving Day. I am anxious to get there and see our 13-month-old grandson Mercer, who is sporting a spiffy green cast on his leg. He broke it last week. He climbs things like a monkey and took one fall too many. (I told his mom to quit feeding him so many bananas—she was a climber too!)

 And right after Thanksgiving we find ourselves on the First Sunday of Advent. Advent is an ancient observance of the church, a time of preparation for the coming of Christ. It is a time of waiting for what is not-yet-reality, of hoping for it, of praying for it. We are tempted to jump forward and proclaim the birth of Christ and sing the carols, but that does not reflect life. Real life makes us wait. Sometimes we must wait for God, for healing, for peace. Advent may sometimes feel incomplete, unfinished and it is! We look to Christ to make us complete and finished and mature. I’ve been mentally playing with the word “longing” as related to Advent, and chances are you’ll hear me using that word. For sure you will hear the words Peace, Hope, Joy and Love as we move through the season.

 December has a multitude of opportunities for worship, for music, for giving. What a wonderful season of the year. I look forward to making the journey with you through the longing of Advent toward the light of Christmas.

 See you Sunday!

Sandy

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