Welcome to Fall and to lead up to Advent! We are on the verge of something new. A new church year and a new era in our church. I am so excited that we have several new members coming in. We have some building projects and a thriving Bible Study.
We simplified our Mission Statement to “We are a community where people stretch and grow in Christ.” It is something we can all easily memorize, and it contains a strong statement of purpose. We are a community. We welcome people to join us. We stretch our hearts and intellects in the Holy Spirit. And we grow in Christ.
This is stewardship season when we will ask you to make your pledge for 2023. You will be hearing from several elders about the work of our church in coming weeks. As we lean into the end of 2022, we are running tight on cash for several reasons. Your session has taken several actions to economize. We will also ask you to catch up with your 2022 pledges and consider reaching a little further in your giving so that we can end the year in the black. We have an amazing, important, and vital ministry. Pray for our church and for your support.
We will start choir again in November leading up to Advent. We are already making plans for the Christmas program, including Christmas Eve and a rare Christmas Day service in cooperation with Maplewood Presbyterian. I can’t wait to tell you more about it in the coming weeks!
This is what I am planning for worship in November.
Sunday, November 6th. I will preach “Why Build a New Church?” about the return of the exiles from Babylon and the command of God to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. We are rebuilding our church and we are focusing on the most important mission we have for our community and neighbors.
Sunday, November 13th. Larry Y will lead worship using the sermon, “New Heavens and a New Earth.” The Thessalonians were worried that Jesus had not come yet. They were awaiting the promise in Isaiah. What they didn’t know was that Christ is with us now and always.
Sunday, November 20th. For Christ the King Sunday, I will preach “Jesus Remember Me.” This is the cry of the thief next to Jesus at the crucifixion, and Jesus promises a meeting in paradise. Jesus’ presence in our lives is the greatest gift of all time. God is present even in the toughest times. This is the true Kingdom of Heaven.
Sunday, November 27th. Advent is here! I will preach about Isaiah’s words “In the Days to Come.” This is the threshold of a new year and a new era in our church. Come join me in celebrating a new beginning!
It is a joy to be with you in this time. You are a gift to me and all those around you.
Grace and Peace, Pastor Rob