From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Friends

 

Greetings in the name of Jesus!  As many of you know, the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference of the United Methodist Church was held in early November for the purpose of electing two bishops.  During that meeting, the delegates elected Rev. Hector Burgos and decided not to elect a second bishop. This result means that Pastor Alyce will continue to serve our conference as the Director of Connectional Ministries, and I will continue to serve as your pastor.  We are very pleased by this!

 

Pastor Alyce and I had a very interesting experience at Jurisdictional Conference as we waited for the process to conclude.  Throughout those couple of days, we felt a variety of emotions.  There were moments of uncertainty.  At one point, we expected Pastor Alyce to be elected and began to mentally plan for that possibility.  When the delegates finally decided to end the process, there was shock that it had ended.

 

Times of waiting always are challenging.  There are moments filled with expectation and anticipation.  There are doubts and fears.  Periods of waiting invite us to trust in God in ways we might not otherwise be forced to.

 

On November 27th, the season of Advent begins.  It is a time of waiting for the celebration of Christmas.  It recalls waiting for the birth of Jesus.  It reminds us of the prophets telling a people that God would send the Messiah to deliver His people.  Advent calls us to remember that the one who came to Bethlehem will come again as the king of glory.

 

As we prepare for our celebration of Christmas, our Advent sermon series will explore some of the prophecies of Isaiah.  Many will point to Jesus and how he fulfilled them during his earthly life and ministry.  Others will help us in our waiting for Christ’s second coming. 

 

On the first Sunday in Advent (November 27th), we will hear about a time when nations learn God’s ways and study war no more.  Thoughts of Jesus’ earthly ministry will come to mind on December 4th as we hear of one who comes from the lineage of Jesse and who has the Spirit of the Lord upon him.  The third Sunday of Advent tells us of a time when the earth will rejoice at the coming of the Lord and the Holy Way will be the highway for the people.  The glorious message that God is with us through the promised birth of Emmanuel will be proclaimed on the 4th Sunday of Advent.

 

All of this prepares us for the celebration of our Savior’s birth!  We will have three Christmas Eve services.  Our 4:30 PM Family service will include our worship team, glowsticks for everyone and a gift bag for the children present.  Our traditional worship with choir and bells will be held at 7:30 with our 9:30 service to follow.  Both will feature “Silent Night” sung by candlelight.

 

This is a year when Christmas Day is a Sunday.  We will have one service only that morning at 11 AM.  It will be filled with traditional Christmas music played on organ and piano.  We hope that you will join us!

 

I pray that you will have a blessed Advent season and a joyous Christmas!

 

Blessings,

Pastor Keith