Reverend Dr. Dawn M. Conti

 

From The Pastor:

Keeping The Season of Advent Holy

Ready or not, Christmas is coming! This is the season of the year when we prepare for the gift of the Christ child. Advent, which began last Sunday, is the first season of the Christian year and includes the four Sundays before Christmas. Advent (meaning “coming”) is the season to prepare to receive the miracle of

Christmas. But it is also the season when we are bombarded by the many other fun, but time consuming, additional activities including shopping, baking, wrapping, writing and sending cards, holiday gatherings, and travel. Unless we intentionally make the effort to keep Christ at the center of the season and to keep a holy Advent, these activities can leave us depleted and rob us of the spiritual joy of the journey to Christmas.
 

One way to keep Christ in Christmas is to think about what gift you might like to give to Jesus. Perhaps your gift might take the form of a promise to practice kindness or generosity or joy. Maybe you’d like to be more regular in your devotion time. Advent is both a time to prepare ourselves to receive Christ and a time to get our gifts ready for Jesus.

As a church, some of the youth got a jump on the season by participating in Operation Christmas Child and/or decorating the church with some of the more seasoned children of God.  This Friday night at 7 pm, the joint Cantata between Kanapaha Church and Faith Church will be offered in our sanctuary preceded by a special performance of the Santa Fe Brass. The concert will be offered at Faith Church in Melrose this Sunday at 2 pm. Thank you to those who are singing and coordinating this event. Thank you also to the session who made the necessary preparations in the sanctuary.

The Adult Bible Fellowship group has begun a special advent study, “Christmas Gifts that Won’t Break.” Please join us on Sunday mornings after worship in Memorial Hall. Thank you to those who are leading these studies and to those who faithfully participate in an effort to grow in their faith.
 

The church has purchased Advent devotional guides for you to use each during the season. You can find them in the narthex of the sanctuary. (While there, pick up a 2017 Advent brochure which lists all Advent activities at the church.) If you prefer online devotionals, you might enjoy “Follow the Star,” at www.365.org/  Read them alone or with your family.

Consider lighting an Advent wreath or opening an Advent calendar each day at home during daily devotions as a way of reclaiming the holiness of the season. Once you’ve been filled, find a way to pour out a blessing each day to those you know and even those you don’t.

Want to make God smile? Practice a random act of kindness anonymously for each day in Advent. These are some ideas that I hope will spark your own imaginations to develop a plan to keep a holy Advent focused on Christ.

Find your own Advent rhythm to prepare so that when Christmas arrives, not only will you be able to more fully appreciate and welcome the miracle of the birth of Jesus, you will have something to offer the King!
 

In the joy of the season,
Pastor Dawn