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Advent: a season of hurry up and wait
by Pastor Aaron Layne
We have our favorite ornament. Share with us some of yours!
Some may only know Advent from a calendar with little windows that open up revealing a gift or treat for each day of the month leading up to Christmas. But this season is so much more. 

The word Advent means “coming” or “arrival,” and the season is marked by expectation, waiting, anticipation, and longing. Advent is not just a prequel to Christmas—it is a season that links the past, present, and future. Advent offers us the opportunity to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah, to celebrate His birth, and to be alert for His second coming. Advent looks back upon Christ’s coming in celebration, while at the same time looking forward in eager anticipation to the coming of Christ’s kingdom when He returns for His people. Hope fulfilled in Jesus. And hope still to be completed in Jesus’s second coming. During Advent we wait for both—active, assured waiting. 

As part of the church calendar in many denominations, there are some differences in the way people celebrate Advent. While the core is the same, some of the traditions and practices vary.

One of the common traditions of Advent is the lighting of the candles on an Advent wreath. A circular evergreen wreath represents God’s unending love for us. And the lighting of five candles throughout the season—one for each of the four Sundays before Christmas and one on Christmas Eve—represents the light of Jesus coming to a world lost in darkness. As the prophet Isaiah wrote, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned” (Isaiah 9:2). 

As we celebrate with our own Advent wreath this season, each flame brings us closer to the arrival of the true Light of the world, born in Bethlehem.

In a season often marked by frenzied busyness, a bunch of hurry up and wait , may we see the season of Advent as an opportunity to set aside time to prepare our hearts and help us place our focus on a far greater story than our own—the story of God’s redeeming love for our world. It’s not a season of pretending or covering over—it is a season of digging deep into the reality of what it means that God sent His Son into the world. It is a season of expectation and preparation, an opportunity to align ourselves with God’s presence more than presents .

So wherever you are on your own spiritual journey, I invite you into this season. It’s a time that allows for shouts of praise and hymns of joy, as well as questions and doubt and struggle as we take time to prepare our hearts for Christ’s coming.

I look forward to journeying Advent with you,
Pastor Aaron Layne
This Sunday, This Week
This Sunday's Focus
Over the next four weeks, we will unwrap the gifts of Christmas as we journey through the Advent season. It is our chance to listen to the stories, to remember the true meaning of Christmas, to wait in expectation for the arrival of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. The point is not to get rid of the trappings and traditions and celebrations all around us but to take a purposeful journey through them to more deeply experience the gifts of Christmas: hope, love, peace, and joy.

This week you're invited to come and hear words of LOVE as we enter the season of Advent in expectation for Christmas. 
The Advent Tea
Join us on Sunday, December 9 at 2:00 p.m. for our Advent Tea. Come for a short service of music, readings and to prepare our hearts for the coming of the Christ Child. Following the service will be a time of fellowship, tea and cookies.

Contact Chris Kiel with any questions.
Prayer Requests
We have a network of people at Advent who are committed to praying to God on behalf of others in need by lifting up specific requests, concerns, and emergency situations. 
If you have such a request, please feel free to Email a prayer request to: prayers@adventelc.org
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Coming Soon
Many Thanks!
THANKS to all who rang bells for the Salvation Army Red Kettle this year. I hope you had fun and felt the Spirit of the Lord in what we did to share this ministry.
Blessings to you all. 
Pastor Saunders
2018 Holiday Bed Delivery Blitz
The Bed Brigade has a goal… Deliver 100 beds – Raise $10,000 – Join with 100 volunteers from 10 churches.

Consider joining us for this bold goal to impact Columbus…. Saturday Saturday Dec 8. Contact Bob Swinehart ( 614-395-3395) if you are interested.

Financial contributions can be given via check sent to St. Johns Lutheran church at 3220 Columbus Str, Grove City (indicate it is for Bed Brigade) 

Thank you for your consideration…if each church helped with raising $1000 and sending 10 volunteers that would meet our objective.

For the Kingdom !!! For the families !!!
Jeff Stenerson, Bed Brigade Leader
Blue Christmas Service
Join us on Saturday, December 15 at 7:00 p.m., for a special service of Hope and Healing.
First Communion Class in December
**Please Click Below to Sign Up.
Last Chance!
First Communion Class

December 9 & 16 4:00pm 3660 Kenny Road, Columbus, Ohio 43220 Fellowship Hall Contact us at (614) 451-3639 or pastor@adventelc.org

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Mitten Tree

The Social Concerns Team has set up a tree in the Narthex to be decorated with mittens, hats, and scarves for the children in need! The items will be distributed at several Columbus City Schools prior to the students' Christmas break. The last day for donations is Sunday, December 16. Please see Jennifer Parker or Jean Pontious with any questions.


Christmas with the Staff
On December 19 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., the staff and volunteers at Advent will take on your kids! We want to give parents a chance to go shopping, out to eat, sleep or just have some "ME TIME"!
If you child is potty trained and you would like a couple of hours to yourself, please sign up in the Narthex.
Christmas Card
Post Office at Advent!
Spread the joy of Christmas and save money! If you are sending a Christmas Card to someone at AdventELC, just deposit your card in the box in the Narthex and the youth will place them on a table in the Narthex in alphabetical order for you to pick up!
Things of Note
The Ordination of Sarah Locke
On January 24, 2019 Sarah Locke will be ordained into the ministry of Word and Sacrament at Jacksonville Campus Ministry. You are invited to attend the ordination celebration with the Church and all the saints! Ordination is a service of the whole church, not merely of the local congregation or of the assembly that gathers, so wherever you may be, know that you are with us!

Sarah’s Ordination Service:
January 24, 2019 at 6pm 
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church
3976 Hendricks Ave
Jacksonville, FL 32207
The color of the day is red. 
All rostered leaders are invited to vest. 
$20,000 Matching Gift
Great news! We have received an anonymous matching gift up to $20,000 for a new high ropes course at Lutheran Memorial Camp! 

Earlier this year a large tree fell on the high ropes course at LMC . We are hoping to build a new high ropes course which will be far bigger and better than the previous one.  

LMC needs your help to make this project a reality! The high ropes course will include five elements consisting of a climbing wall, 300-foot zip line, swaying plank bridge, cargo net and hanging island hops. The structure is designed to allow for future expansion to include more elements. As a bonus, LOMO will also build a team wall and high ropes practice course out of the materials from the previous climbing wall, which will allow staff to teach campers how to safely climb the wall.

The goal is to raise $40,000. The new and improved high ropes course will be a memory maker for all campers, retreaters and environmental education students who experience it! We hope to build the course this winter. 

Gifts of all sizes are needed to accomplish this goal. All gifts up to $20,000 will be matched dollar for dollar thanks to an anonymous donor! If LOMO receive gifts that exceed $40,000, they will be used for other high priority facility projects at LMC including chip and sealing the road and purchasing a new tractor. 

You can either mail a check ( 863 Eastwind Drive, Westerville, OH 43081 ) or give a gift online at ( Donate Online Today ) All people who give a gift to this project will be invited to a dedication of the new high ropes course. Thanks for your support of this exciting project!
Advent Advocacy
by Pastor Aaron Layne
On Wednesday, November 28, I was invited to take part and take pictures for the Hunger Network in Ohio's Advocacy in Advent day at the Ohio Statehouse.

Advocacy is simply talking to public officials about our priorities and solutions to problems in our community. The Hunger Network helps individuals, congregations, and others connect to their State Officials in Columbus or back in their respective districts to have these conversations. 

On this particular day, led by ELCA Deacon Nick Bates, we talked with several members of both the House and Senate, from both sides of the aisle, both Republican and Democrat to voice opposition to H.B. 390 which seeks to redefine what is considered a day when it comes to evictions in our state. Basically, the bill proposes to include holidays and weekends in the days counted in the days after an eviction notice is given. ( You can read the bill for yourself by clicking here . It will ask you to download it. Don't worry, it's only a pdf file ).

The day started off with Deacon Bates testifying in front of the Financial Institutions, Housing, and Urban Development sub committee. It is of note that the The Ohio Poverty Law Center also sent written testimony opposing this bill.

If you are interested in learning more about advocacy and why it matters to Christians, feel free to contact Pastor Layne and/or Deacon Bates at Nick@hungernetohio.com or call 614-398-0051.
Free Prayer with PAL Wednesdays
Each Wednesday from about noon - 2:00pm Pastor Aaron goes just down the road from AdventELC to Panera Bread on Tremont Road with an appetite for lunch and for sharing God's presence through prayer.

Anyone is welcome to share a prayer with Pastor through sitting down and praying on the spot or through written prayer requests on his tablet of paper or things directly messaged to him via social media.

If you get a chance, feel free to stop by!
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Birthday Blessings