Happy new year! Well for those of you that think I’m a little bit early, I’m actually a little bit late. Yep, for the second month in a row I’m getting my monthly message out late and indeed the start of December brought the beginning of Advent which is the beginning of the church year. At this writing we are actually halfway through what is the shortest Advent season possible with the fourth Sunday falling on Christmas Eve. I have to admit that Advent has become my favorite season of the church year. Although, when I was a kid that wasn’t the case. In those days (that sounds like an old guy talking) the color for Advent in the church was purple and the emphasis was on repentance. It almost became like a mini-Lent and even with the excitement of the coming of Christmas I dreaded the appearance of the advent wreath and those purple paraments in the church. Now though the liturgical color for Advent is blue, the color of hope. With the emphasis on preparation for both the birth of Christ and the second coming I am renewed by the focus on hope, peace, joy, and love that each week of the season brings. I pray that regardless of the demands the season brings that you can at least pause, even if it is for a moment, to reflect on what the coming of the Christ child means for you and that you too are renewed.
Our Wednesday Advent Services are a great opportunity to stop and reflect on the season. However, unfortunately we only have one of those left on 12/13 at 7 pm (again the calendar not being our friend). The Holden Evening Prayer is so beautiful! On Sunday 12/17 our service will feature our intergenerational, no rehearsal, Christmas Program. Children of all ages are encouraged to participate. So bring the kids and the grand kids and put a costume on yourself. We will also offer a very beautiful Longest Night Christmas Service on Thursday 12/21 at 6:30 pm. This is a special Christmas service for those coping with grief and loss during the holiday season. However, I attend every year. The holiday memories always bring some sense of melancholy and remind me of the many family members who have passed. There is a great sense of peace about their absence from holiday celebrations after attending the Longest Night Service and the warm cider, cookies, and fellowship after the service helps to settle my heart as well. If you haven’t attended, do give it a try. With Christmas Eve falling on the fourth Sunday of Advent we will be offering a 10:00 am Christmas (not Advent) service as well as our traditional Candlelight Christmas Service and 5:30 pm. These are both guaranteed to be beautiful services as well. Then on Sunday December 31st our 10 am service will be a special Service of Community Prayer. We will offer up the prayers and intentions of our community that we have received. We have created a special email account where community members can email their prayer requests. We passed out cards with information about our Community Prayer Service and some glow sticks for the children (they loved it!) at the New Berlin Christmas Tree Lighting last week. We have some extra cards left that you can pass along to neighbors and friends on the table at the back of church. We are using social media and our website to get the word out, but you can help us too. That email is email@example.com. You can see there is a lot going on at Resurrection this month.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank you all for a very successful Harvest Sunday. We raised over $13,000 for our ministry partners. Council will be determining during its December meeting how to best disburse those funds. I am overwhelmed by the generosity of this congregation. Please watch your snail mailbox for a letter recapping other aspects of this year’s Stewardship Campaign.
Blessing of the Advent and Christmas Season, Tom
Like us on Facebook.
If you haven't already, please take a moment to like RLC on Facebook and follow us for updates and photos. CLICK HERE.
Copyright 2023. Resurrection Lutheran Church, New Berlin, WI
RESURRECTION LUTHERAN CHURCH
Steve Rutter, Pastor
Julie Johnson, Worship Music Coordinator
Steph Albert, Worship Music
Larry Gnatzig, Office Administration
12400 West Coldspring Road
New Berlin, Wisconsin 53151