Words from the Pastor – December 2015
“All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: ‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him, Emmanuel,’ which means, “God is with us.”
Matthew 1: 22-23
We come to Advent, preparing to celebrate the birth of Christ. At Christ Church we are “preparing the way” for you to catch the spirit of “God with us.” Please join us for our special advent services including our choir cantata on Dec 13th, Children’s Christmas Pageant on Dec 20th, and Christmas Eve Candlelight service at 7:00 pm on Dec 24th. These are important traditions but, more than anything, we want them to help you know the transformative power of a relationship with God.
Our relationships with God and with others are so important. This giving and receiving of God’s love is what we’re all about. The future of Christ Church will depend on how we, with God’s help, develop more vital relationships through which our faith is transmitted.
Earlier this year we held a series of “Neighborhood Meetings.” George Meng compiled the comments and suggestions made into three areas: 1) Attract children and youth and keep them active. 2) Have more programs within the church. 3) Build community recognition. All three fit under our vision of reaching out and connecting us better within.
As we come to the end of this year, we have made progress toward these goals. We have, under Christian Ed Director, Donna Mosebach, embarked on an ambitious effort to engage our kids and youth in a variety of activities including service at the “Urban Tree Connection,” “Bread of Life Café,” a renewed Vacation Bible School, and working to connect some newcomers to our Sunday school. We began an Adult Education series that, among other things, took us to visit the Valley Forge Islamic Center in October.
We know that the future ministry of the church depends on relationships we build in the community. We are encouraging partnerships with those around us including the “Helping Hands” after school program at Stewart Middle School that involves several Christ Church volunteers. And, we have worked to connect with our church’s neighbors via invitation flyers, Christmas caroling, and personal contacts.
Our small group meetings were valuable. There is much we can do to build on what came out of them in 2016. Pray that we will keep looking to the God who came to us in Christ at Christmas to give us hope, guidance and opportunities moving ahead. And, perhaps there will be a new series of groups to give further voice to the ministry to come.
May you all have a blessed Advent and Christmas season and a great year to come!