Pastoral Post 12.7.2016

I am writing this on December 7…..the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day…..a day that has “lived in infamy.” I saw on the news this morning that 4 of the 5 living crewmen from the Arizona are in Hawaii for the commemoration—one of them is 104! They have stories to tell, and such stories should never be forgotten. What is it they say—to forget history is to relive it? Pray for peace on this day…..pray that there will be no WWIII. Christ, the Prince of Peace, came to bring peace on earth.

This past Sunday afternoon it was thrilling to see the Music Makers kids singing, ringing, strumming and drumming. So many kids… many instruments… many adults involved with the kids in making this wonderful program happen! And in the evening the Community Chorusonce again inspired us with beautiful music. It’s always a wonderful thing to have so many people from throughout the community, representing many churches, joining together for this meaningful concert. May it be a lesson for our world that people can come together for a common purpose!

We are privileged to share our facilities with our community. Check the calendar and you’ll see there are concerts, meals, and banquets taking place in our facilities for schools, nonprofits, and even the sheriff’s department. It’s part of what we mean by “welcoming ALL” and “engaging the world.”  It’s all part of our mission.

We are moving along in Advent. This Sunday is the Third Sunday. Different persons have attributed different themes to the Sundays of Advent. We are focusing on Peace, Hope, Joy and Love this year. But the oldest traditions name only one of the four Sundays, and that’s the Third Sunday, traditionally known as Gaudete, meaning Joy or Rejoice. We’ll read the powerful text from Isaiah 35:1-10, calling upon the desert to “rejoice with joy and singing!” We’ll think about what Joy really is, and how it is different from happiness. Christ’s coming means Joy!

On Sunday afternoon at 3:00 there will be a dedication of the Habitat House at Walton Woods. We have been deeply involved in this project, which has been supported by 14 area United Methodist Churches. We’ve had a dedicated group of volunteers working every Thursday, and you have given very generously. The necessary funds have been raised from these churches and our district to pay the $55,000 commitment for a sponsorship. Thanks to all who have supported this worthwhile project.  And I’m pleased to tell you that the new home owner is a United Methodist!

I’ll be rushing from the Habitat dedication back to the church for the Festival of Carols at 4:00. This has become a highlight of the season, and Scott promises that some 150 musicians from our church will be performing. Not to be missed!

I’ve been watching with many of you the progress of the Chick Filet on Russ Ave. It’s opening tomorrow, I think. This morning I see that there are people already camping out in the parking lot. The first people in line when it opens get free meals or something, so they are lining up. I find myself wondering, Are we lining up to welcome the coming Christ? Are we as excited, as engaged, as anxious for Christ as those folks waiting to for a chicken sandwich?

See you Sunday where we are preparing for Christ with Joy!


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