December 13, 2018, by Emily Penfield            From the Pastor

Prepare is NOT my favorite word of Advent and Christmas.  I like Light, Joy and Hope better.  Yet Prepare comes up every year, in the scriptures (Prepare the way of the Lord), in our homes (Prepare the holiday meal) and on the streets (Prepare for large crowds and traffic in the malls).   I groan at this because I’m one who likes to just jump in, rather than getting my ducks are in a row.  Just let it happen already!

But experience tells me that I’m better off when I slow down, get organized, and most importantly get my attitude, mind and heart ready for what’s coming.  It helps me give and receive with a more open and loving spirit.

Saturday, Dec 1st we are going to prepare the Sanctuary and church for the season by putting up the Christmon tree, Advent wreath and other decorations.  Everyone is invited to come, and it usually turns into a party of sorts.

As this is the last month of 2018, we are preparing for next year.  New leaders are moving in place, dreams and ideas are being proposed, and we are working on the 2019 budget.  If you are leader next year and would like money for your area, please notify me or Finance Chair, Terry Hall ASAP.  Turning in a pledge form with your time and financial commitment by Dec 9th is also more helpful that you know.  This assists us be good stewards of all our resources.

Finally, more than wrapping gifts or cooking the Christmas ham, I like (and am more skilled at) helping you be spiritually prepared.  If you have email, look for Advent messages I’ll send out a few times a week.  They won’t be sermons, but something to stop and let your heart soak up.(If you’d like to get a hard copy of this, please let me know.)  Pastor Melissa has found an Advent study that is something else to ready our spirits – read more inside this newsletter.  And finally, attend worship during Advent and Christmas.  I know, there are a million other things calling to us right now.   Even I get invites to holiday brunches on Sunday morning!   If you’re out of town, find a church to attend.  Google or your pastors can help you locate one.

Embrace the preparation!  I believe that when we do, it allows us to also embrace the Light, Joy and Hope Jesus brings.