We have spent the season of Advent focused on preparing for Christmas, and now it is here! Christmas is not just a day. The Christian celebration of Christmas runs through January 5th, the Eve of Epiphany. While many are ready to pack away their decorations the evening of Christmas day or first thing the next day, I try to leave mine up until Epiphany has come. It is a personal statement to encourage Christmas to be more lasting. The decorations at the church will remain until January 6th, when Epiphany takes place.
But more than a season, Christmas should represent an ongoing recognition of what God has done, is doing, and promising to do for all time. As we focused on preparations during Advent, I pray that those preparations have a longer shelf life than 12 days. I hope and pray that our preparations direct us to a lifelong and more faithful journey with Christ.
I want to take a moment and let you know how blessed I am to serve at FUMC with you all. I feel God's presence and power in what is happening here, and each of you has a vital role in God's work. You each bless me, as well as LeAnn! Thank you for the many expressions of love this Christmas! Thank you for joining us for our Open House! Most importantly, thank you for making a difference in the work of Christ in and through FUMC's ministry!
On the Sunday following Christmas, December 29th, we will share together in worship service in the Sanctuary at 10:45 AM. We hope that this will symbolize how we are called to unite as one during this Christmas Season and in the ongoing life in Christ ahead. We will have music and worship that blends our two worship venues into a shared celebration on the 29th. Before the combined worship service, we will have the opportunity to gather together in fellowship for breakfast in the Faith Center, starting around 9:30 AM. We will provide pastries, pigs in a blanket, fruit, juice, and coffee. You are welcome to bring some holiday treats or breakfast items to share. Let's use this opportunity to share and pull closer to one another as we celebrate Christmas at FUMC.
The New Year is just around the corner! All of our elected leaders are invited to join us for our Leadership Training Day on Saturday, January 4th, from 9:00 - 11:00 AM in the Faith Center. If you are new to this group of elected leaders, we will offer some orientation on how we are structured and your role in leadership at FUMC. We will also discuss our main initiatives for the coming year in service to Christ as we seek to be A Beacon of Hope for All. The Ministry leaders and the administrative committees will also meet to discuss their schedules for meetings and primary roles for the coming year. Trust me that you will want to attend!