Advent 2020 Newsletter
As I write this newsletter article, I am starting everything anew. I am in a new office, which is full of boxes as yet to be unpacked. I am meeting the office staff, Danielle and Beverly, and learning the new phone system and how to lock up. I have met with Argaille, and am working with her to plan our first worship service and celebration of communion together, and preparing for Christmas. It is all new!

That is what I do – as an Interim Pastor, I enter new congregations with new folks and new situations, every few years. It can be overwhelming at times, but what I bring to all that newness is excitement to meet all of you, and the knowledge that God has brought us together. I know how to guide us through the new beginnings together, and how to move through the Interim process together. That is not new to me, though it may be a bit new to you. We will enter that newness together!

We have all learned about newness this year!! We will always remember this year of 2020 – maybe not always fondly, as we encountered difficulty and pain and disease and loss and grief and anxiety together. But we also persevered and found new possibility and hope together. This pandemic has called out of us a deeper generosity and a stronger sense of cooperation and the need to share all of our gifts with the community. Those with technical and technological abilities came to the fore and shared their knowledge and expertise and helped all to worship. Those with enough were moved to share fed others or helped to house the homeless. The Pavilion and the Youth Garage became centers for worship and learning, as people of all ages gathered to be together and offer one another hope and comfort.

Advent is a time of newness and growth. It is a time of waiting and expectation – and we can make it a time of deepening understanding. Waiting is hard. But what if we wait and expect God in the waiting? We can approach something with the knowledge that God is already there in that newness – that God has been with us all along, but that God has something more in store for us. As we approach this Advent and Christmastime, things may be different. The sharing through our Mitten Tree will remain at the church building, but you can still share in other ways if you are not coming to the building. The party for the New Bridge residents will be shifted to a gift card collection to encourage and support our friends at the holidays, even as we seek to keep them safe. The Dover Soup Kitchen will need our time and food even more as the need escalates this month. Even in new ways, we can still help others.

Let us look at these new ways of doing things as ways that God can make God’s own self known to us in the newness. We can welcome the newness instead of fighting the newness. We can wait expectantly for the gifts God has in store.