Grace and peace to you in the name of God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ,
I write to you with great hope and confidence that in spite of any challenges these days may bring, the church is positioned to glorify God. On a personal note, I am grateful to report that last month has brought some good news for my personal life and relationships. As Pastor appreciation month comes to a close, I am reminded that God’s grace is often transmitted through the connections and relationships between God’s people. Many of you in the past month have showered me with kind words, prayers, and tokens of appreciation and I have been reminded once more of the joy it is to serve you. It is especially healing this year with the self-awareness that there have been difficulties in the pastor church relationship. I have hurt many people with some careless action and inaction. The love and grace you have given in these unpredictable circumstances has been a powerful affirmation of my call and God’s willingness to see to his kingdom work through the muck of life. My rehabilitative process will take half the time I was expecting and the demands are quite manageable. Thanks again for your confidence in me and undeserved love.
As the seasons shift and the leaves fall, I am becoming excited to journey with you through a coming new
church year beginning with Advent. It feels like we have the capacity again to wait longingly for God to be made
flesh and be with us. Maybe you feel that longing for good as well. We know Christ has been born and yet we want to experience it anew. What practices for waiting is Christ calling you to in these next few weeks? How can you seek God’s voice more honest and openly? Discernment is a big word but I believe it is a helpful word for thinking about the way forward, out of the various sinkholes of this age. Where is God calling you? Where is he calling us together? It likely isn't far from where we are. It is likely close by, but much deeper. To be rooted in God in spite of our circumstances. To be in connection with the events around us, but not bogged by a palpable aura of hopelessness and the cynicism of the season. Reading the bible with the newspaper in the other hand is a starting place. Making space to discern individually and communally gets us deeper. Our advent and Christmas theme is ‘Close to Home.’ Will you allow God to be close as the hectic hustle picks up? Christ comes to make a home amongst us. I can't speak for you, but as I write this, I have a deep longing for connection, intimacy, and wordless hope for God to come close. We also have a hope and longing that we might drawer closer together after such a season of distance and find homeyness amongst each other and those we do not yet know. God has been and will continue to be close, but we are reminded that the work is not yet done. Thanks Be to God!