Despite 2020 being a difficult year, we did it, we made it to Christmas!
It wasn't easy getting here. We all have our own stories of how this public health emergency has affected our lives in one way or another. In many ways, it has forced us to all pause for a moment and really take a look in our lives and what's really important to us.
But, thankfully, we were able to gather for Christmas worship together, but just a little bit differently this year.
While we were leading worship inside the Sanctuary with cameras rolling for the online feed, we had folks gather in the courtyard to join us in word, song, prayer and lighting candles.
And whether you watched live at home or in the church campus courtyard, or at another time, we shared in the good news of Jesus Christ, the savior of the world, the babe of Bethlehem.
As a faith community, this time apart has made us miss the things we took for granted, chief among them, being able to gather in worship together. As we continue to "Worship in Exile" during this dark winter of the COVID-19 pandemic, we take comfort in the hope that the light of the Christ child is not contained within the four walls of a building.
The peace of Christ is not limited to those who gather around the word and sacrament inside some building. God's love abounds in, around and through us, no matter where we are, how isolated we may be from others.
Despite all of the challenges we have faced as an aging congregation, we have learned a few things this year:
- we have learned how to have worship online and make it available to all
- we have learned how to have outdoor and smaller study gatherings when public health rules and weather permit
- we have learned again that church is not a building, it's the people
- we have found ways to keep serving the needs of those in our community
- we have learned we need to begin a new outreach to youth, young adults and families
- we need more willing and able volunteers to help with our ministries, not only to serve on committees, but to do the work God is calling us to do
- we need to prayerfully consider our giving and our legacy, and how we can help build for the future of our congregation and our community
We know our challenges as a congregation, community, and the world are not over. Much needs to be done on the public health standpoint, but also, our communities are in need of the grace of God now more than ever. They need a message of hope, joy, love and peace. They need the good news of Jesus Christ, and we have been blessed and tasked to share light of Christ with all those around us.
May you find ways, using the talents God has given you, to share the good news of Jesus.
Christmas sermons to share online:
Dec 24 Christmas Eve - Pastor Jon
Dec 25 Christmas Day - Eddie McCoven
Dec 27 First Sunday of Christmas - Bishop Taylor