Pastors’ Ponderings

“The busy-ness of the holiday season can overrun the sense of the sacred. The irony is that we push aside the Holy in order to create all the trappings of a season meant to celebrate the Holy! We will begin our Advent journey toward Christmas by emphasizing the gift of God in the ‘right now’… the gift of sacred time we give to God, to family and friends and to those in need of help.”
Marcia McFee

It’s true, isn’t it?! We can get so busy, we put aside the Holy. This year, as we prepare for Christmas, I invite you to:
-pick up an Advent Devotional book after worship or in the church office. Let Scripture and prayer be a part of your day.
-Join Pastor Chelsea and others for a class after worship and reflect on the meaning of the season: the arrival of the holy in our lives.
-be in worship, pause and refresh, 9am on Sundays
-attend the Christmas Concert, Sunday December 7, 7pm. Let music, laughter, and cookies soothe your spirit and nourish you.
-take in the Children’s Christmas Pageant, Sunday December 17, 5:30pm, and hear the Christmas message in fresh (and adorable) ways.
-Take a moment for yourself, Monday December 22, anytime between 7-9pm, in the Fireside Room. There will be candles, prayer stations, and peaceful quiet. Stop by, pray, and welcome the holy into your life.
-Ease up on the craziness of shopping, and use our Alternative Christmas Gift Catalogue. Chose to give a gift that expresses your love, and blesses the world.

And everyday, take time to be grateful. There’s an ancient Christian practice, developed by St. Ignatius, that I try to do everyday. Sometimes I only get through part of it, and yet it always deepens my awareness of God:

1) Gratitude: recall anything from the day for which you are grateful.
2) Review: Recall the events of the day, from start to finish, noticing where you felt God’s Presence, and where you accepted or turned away from any invitations to grow in love.
3) Sorrow: Recall any actions for which you are sorry.
4) Forgiveness: Ask for God’s forgiveness. Decide whether you want to reconcile with anyone you have hurt.
5) Grace: Ask God for the grace you need for the next day, and the ability to see God’s presence more clearly.

Merry Christmas! May your holiday be filled with the joy and peace.

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