St. Mark members of all ages had a faith-filled and fun time in the great outdoors at our Congregational Retreat in November 2017 in Luther Springs.
“A voice cries out: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.’” ~Isaiah 40:3
Around our house we are in the midst of preparing for a joyful arrival – the birth of our second son! While the baby isn’t due until the middle of March, as a nesting mother, I find myself in the throes of preparation for this precious new little one. We have no idea exactly when he will arrive but we do have an idea of the things we need to have done before he makes an entrance. My husband and three year old often find me at home with a list in hand, adding chores to our “to-do” list of preparation.
Advent is a season of preparation in the church year. The word “Advent” means “coming,” and holds in tension both the second coming of Christ and the advent of his birth. While our society oftentimes jumps right to singing “We Wish you a Merry Christmas” on the first day after Thanksgiving, the church calendar has us prepare in a meaningful, lengthier, way for the arrival of Jesus. This season of waiting has us dive into scripture readings that speak to the unexpected arrival of God. We don’t know exactly when Christ will come again, but as Christians we can prepare by studying the Word, giving ourselves in service to our neighbors, working for justice, and being steadfast in prayer.
As we enter into this time of preparation in the Christian year, you’re invited to join us for worship and in the service and fellowship of our congregation. Make sure to note the different Advent worship opportunities and our services of celebration on Christmas Eve.
Preparing for Christmas can be both a joyous time of anticipation and a challenging time of struggle. I pray that whatever your preparations are like this year that you feel the loving, abiding presence of God and the peace of Christ that surpasses all understanding.
Waiting in hope,
St. Mark is a Reconciling in Christ Congregation.
The Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Program is for congregations, synods, colleges, seminaries, and other Lutheran organizations. Lutheran communities that publicly welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are accepted onto the Reconciling in Christ Roster which now exceeds 600 settings.
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For more than 100 years, the Mission Investment Fund and its predecessors have been financing church-related building projects and land purchases. The money invested will fund building loans to churches and help spread God's word. The Mission Investment Fund is a resource for church building and much more.
Mission Investment Fund website. Click here.