In pm's words
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December 1, 2017, 12:00 AM

December 2017 Newsletter


Grace and peace y’all –

Is it really December already? Wow. It has been one crazy year. And that’s putting it mildly.

Each year we go through this cycle of ending and beginning – a cycle of renewal. Each year we hear those hard words from Jesus about ‘waiting, being prepared, and to be watchful.’ Each year those words hit in ways that we wouldn’t expect.

And when those hard sayings and teachings from our God are over – it doesn’t necessarily get better when Advent rolls around. For, we are still waiting. We are still watching. We are still being asked to be prepared.

Yet, there is a different tune to the question now as it is asked of us as we enter this holy time. The season of Advent is a two-fold time of waiting.

Advent means arrival. We wait for God’s arrival in celebration. During this time of the year – as we enter into a new church year, we do so remembering how God entered into the world to be with us. In a way that is unexpected, unassuming, and dare-I-say scandalous. God comes to us in the form of a baby born to parents out of wedlock into a tiny backwater part of the world. It is in that moment of incarnation (becoming flesh/person) where we know that God has come to ‘sit-with’ us. Much like a dear friend or family member comes to ‘sit-with’ us during difficult times – to bring comfort, to be present with, to remind us that we are not going through this alone.

But, just as we wait in celebration for what God has done, we continue to wait with expectant hope of what God has promised as well – we wait for God’s promised return. This is the waiting that we don’t ‘sit-with’ well. The sort of waiting where we look towards the comfort, wholeness, and peace that has been promised. It is hard to wait for that sort of hope and promise as we continue to hear news stories about shootings, violence, and tweets.

But, we don’t do this sort of waiting alone or in stillness. We wait together as the Body of Christ and we work together as that Body to serve those in need, to learn and grow with and from one another, and to have fun. We do all that so that we might continue to see glimpses of God’s presence in our lives.

We get to wait in service and love as we join in with wonderful ministry opportunities like the Angel Tree Ministry (helping to create a more complete and fuller Christmas for foster children in our community) and raising money through the ELCA’s Good Gifts campaign (where we can help individuals and families in need throughout the world). Those are just two of the many opportunities within our community to wait in service during this season of Advent.

As Advent begins (on December 3rd), we also get to ‘sit with’ a larger Body of Christ at Redeemer – we get to welcome five new members into our community: Mary Maercklein, Andy Sidden & Kevin Dove, and Robbie & MaryAlex Kopp. They are all pretty amazing folks to ‘sit with’ in this time of waiting in expectant hope. Each of them has amazing gifts that they bring to ministry not only here at Redeemer, but in the life of the community of Newberry as well.

Advent is a time where we ‘sit-with’ one another. Bring comfort to our lives, providing presence, and remembering that we do this all in community with one another. We also remember that God is there ‘sitting-with’ us as well.

‘Sit-with’ one another and remember that God ‘sits-with’ each of us.

Happy Advent y’all!


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