From the Pastor’s Pen

Dear Members and Friends:

The Thanksgiving baskets have been assembled and distributed – about 35 this year!  Thank you St. Paul’s, for your generosity and sharing with others.  What a blessing you provide.  The property team has held their fall work day.  That means we now begin Advent and prepare for Christmas.  The Giving Tree has been in the narthex for a few weeks so that we can collect gifts for families in the neighborhood.  Again this Advent season we will gather at Noon on Wednesdays for a brief prayer service and a simple lunch of soup and bread.  The theme this year is “Preparing in Christ’s Presence.”  Each week our focus is on an aspect of preparing for Christ: Week 1 Do Less; Week 2 Experience Wonder; and Week 3 Hold on to Hope.  Come join your brothers and sisters in prayer this year.

IMPOTANT REMINDERThe Annual Meeting Part 1 will be held on Sunday, 8 December at approximately 11:15 am, immediately following one (1) worship service at 10:00 am.  At this meeting we will elect new council members and approve the Ministry Plan (budget) for 2020.  No other business will be conducted at this meeting.  Copies of the 2020 Proposed Ministry Plan will be available on the weekends of 24 November & 1 December for any active member who desires one.  The Annual Meeting Part 2 will be held on Sunday, 23 February at which time the congregation will receive the Annual Report including the detailed Treasurer’s Report for fiscal year 2019.

Join us for Advent Afternoon on Sunday, 8 December right after the Annual Meeting.  We’ll share a potluck lunch, decorate the church, and do a Christmas craft if you choose.  Wear your best, funniest, or craziest Christmas sweater or outfit for the day!  Sign up on the poster in narthex.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Advent and Christmas are indeed wonderful times of the year.  Most of us look forward to Christmas, to decorating our homes, baking cookies, preparing special meals, and being with family and friends.  Most of us are eager for the holiday season, but not all of us.  For those who have had a significant loss – the death of a loved one, significant life change such as loss of job or even retirement, an unexpected illness or injury – can make the most wonderful time of the year considerably less so.  At our regular evening worship on Saturday, 21 December we will honor, with a meditative liturgy of the Word and a quieter celebration of Holy Communion, those who have had a significant loss and for whom all the hoopla and happiness is too much this year.  The 21st of December is the “Longest Night,” the winter solstice and many churches offer a “Blue Christmas” service that is quieter.  I encourage you to invite family or friends who may be comforted by a softer celebration of the Fourth Weekend in Advent.

As you prepare for the birth of Christ in your heart again this year, come and worship and give thanks and praise to God for the gift of Jesus.  May God bless you.

Your partner in the Gospel,

Pastor Elaine

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