Today is the day our congregation has been quietly waiting for when our Presbytery will vote to concur with our congregation to change my call as pastor from Temporary Interim to Designated and Installed. Our church has learned a great deal about transition and transformation in the last several years and we are asking our partners in our presbytery to affirm our vision we have together as a church. What we are asking is considered an exception to the established rules of pastoral transitions as generally an associate pastor is not considered eligible to become the next installed head of staff pastor in the same church they are currently serving. Our circumstances and willingness to walk through this new process has allowed us to make this request in good faith. Our presbytery will gather for its quarterly meeting tonight at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Costa Mesa beginning at 6:30 PM. The vote for our request is scheduled for around 8:25 PM. Prayers welcomed. Anyone is welcome to attend and observe, all of our voting members will be in attendance.
This Sunday is “Stir Up Sunday” denoting the last week prior to Advent and when we are reminded by the Book of Common Prayer to ask God to “stir up our spirits” in anticipation of the coming of Christ. This is also the traditional Sunday to prepare the Christmas pudding when each member of the family takes a turn making a Christmas wish while stirring the pudding. In worship we will stir up our spirits as we focus on Jesus’ teaching about how we give and receive aid in Matthew 25. Following worship instead of Christmas pudding we invited to a “Gratitude Breakfast” hosted and served by our youth ministry department in the fellowship hall as a thank you to the church for their unwavering support of our children and youth. All are welcomed.
In continued gratitude our congregation will gather for our traditional Thanksgiving Eve Worship Service on Wednesday, November 26 at 7:00 PM so that we might pray and sing and talk about all we are thankful for as we set the stage for the holiday weekend. An offering of canned and dried goods will be taken to support the work of Mercy House.
As we look forward to the Advent and Christmas season we all know friends, family and neighbors who struggle this time of year and for which this next season is not filled with joy and glad tidings. Or perhaps the commercialism has taken a bite out of your soul. For anyone in need of some time of reflection and healing, of solace and comfort we invite you to attend our Blue Christmas service on Monday, December 15 at 7:00 PM in our fellowship hall. There you will find soothing music, quiet prayers and time for reflection and restoration. This is a place where we endeavor to be empathetic not just sympathetic. Check out this link for a great explanation of the difference: http://youtu.be/1Evwgu369Jw.
Also of note: a Memorial Service for Jamie Holler, son of Tom and Marty Holler will be on Saturday, November 22 at 11:00 AM in our sanctuary with a reception to follow in our fellowship hall.
We are moving into a very busy season that is replete with traditions and symbols of great meaning and inspiration. We offer many ways for you and your family to immerse yourself in the sacred this season including our annual “Hanging of the Greens” party on November 30 following worship as we enlist the help of volunteers to transform our sanctuary for the Advent season plus a Parents Day Out event from 11:30 to 2:30 for moms and dads to carve out some time for themselves.
On our connect table you will find information and items helpful for the Advent season that your families can adapt and adopt into their holiday traditions as we focus on the coming of Christ. You will also find information about alternative giving ideas and the like.
In His Service,
Rev. Lissa Smith