Advent is here, the season of anticipation has arrived and the sanctuary has been decorated to fit the occasion. This weekend we mark our four-week journey toward Candlelight Christmas Eve and the night that the light of hope pierces the darkness. This particular Advent season seems more exceptional than others as it marks our first Christmas together in our new space and I cannot wait to experience that with each of you! Especially after decorating the space earlier this week!
Our scriptural frame for Advent this year has everything to do with "the voice crying out in the wilderness, saying, 'prepare the way of the Lord,'" John the Baptist. It will be an anticipatory series of hope that paves the way for, "God with us," Emmanuel.
Each week during December, we'll be singing familiar carols, lighting advent candles and looking forward to the heavenly peace associated with the season. And something of note is that this year also marks the 200th anniversary of that beloved Christmas hymn, "Silent Night." We'll be sure to find a way to incorporate that into the next four weeks as well.
I hope you'll invite friends and join us all along the way as we celebrate the most wonderful time of year together!
A few weeks ago, I announced that I will be leading a trip to the Holy Land next year, and I want to make sure you have the registration link for the 2019 trip. As it stands, we will depart from Kansas City on Oct. 19 and return in time for Halloween on October 28. Our Holy Land Pilgrimage will follow a chronological account of Jesus’ life — we will literally walk in the footsteps of Jesus. It is a life-changing experience. If you're interested in joining me, please register or check out more about the trip here!
This Sunday, in addition to worship, I wanted you to consider connecting with the following two opportunities as a way of getting plugged into the life of our church:
Finally, over the past two weekends Resurrection Downtown members and people who consider Resurrection Downtown to be their church home have been making their 2019 financial commitments. Your generosity makes our community come alive in this city, and through your commitments we are able to live into our vision of changing lives, renewing churches and transforming the world.
After two weeks of commitments we have received 322 Downtown pledges which represents an increase over where we have been in years past at this time (up by 65!). We still have a long way to go before we can fulfill our planned missions, ministry and outreach for the coming year, but I am pleased by our response thus far.
As Christians, we recognize that everything we have comes from God, and offering, the sharing of our gifts, is a means of living into our faith and glorifying God in all we do. If you haven’t been able to make your 2019 pledge, please bring it with you this weekend in worship or if you would prefer to, you can make your pledge online.
I am grateful for each of you and I continue to look forward to what God has in store for us during this season of anticipation. I hope you'll join us on this Advent journey this weekend as we cry out, "O Come, O Come Emmanuel!"
With Grace, Peace and God's Holy Adventure,
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