A Message from Pastor Paul Forrey

Blessings and grace to you, in the name of God’s Anointed One whom God sent at Christmas! The Advent and Christmas seasons are always a fast-past, exciting time in the church. Advent marks a vital thematic period in the church year. The excitement and anticipation that swells in our hearts as we prepare for Christmas reminds us of the Christian yearning for the consummation of God’s promises sometime in the future. During Advent we recall the history of God’s people and reflect on how the promises of God in the Old Testament were fulfilled in Jesus. Doing so gives us a powerful context for the present. Today we can reflect on the past works of God and begin to understand what God’s deeds mean to us now and for our own future. What promises of God do we long to be fulfilled?

This Advent we will enjoy holiday messages and services that help us to explore ways that biblical writers understood the coming of Emmanuel (“God with us”) in their contexts in order to consider some life-changing ways that Christ’s coming makes our lives new every day. I hope that you will find the messages meaningful for your holiday journey. As I’ve said often, our faith is not merely a window into past events. Our faith examines the past as revealed in scripture in order to shape a window for us to view ourselves and our world today in new ways that can change lives. It’s not just that God came to us in Christ long ago that transforms us; it’s also that God comes to us every day to fill our hearts and minds with a vision of a new heaven and new earth (Isaiah 65:17, Revelation 21:1).

Patricia and I certainly thank God for all of you each day. We thank you for welcoming us into the congregation and community, and for welcoming us into your lives. We pray that our celebrations of Christ’s coming will remind all of us that Christ comes anew each time we gather for worship, share our lives with one another in compassionate companionship, encourage one another and, if needed, forgive one another, and of course through all the ways that we give our time, presence, and resources to aid people in our wider community.