Because this newsletter is “two-volume” edition, I want to highlight several matters.
I am sending a letter home via email and snail mail to those without email expanding on each of the topics listed below.
This past Tuesday, the session made the difficult decision to move to all-virtual worship beginning Sunday, 11/29. The spread of the virus and frequency of transmission has been steadily rising over recent weeks. Holiday gatherings providing opportunities for close contact with people will likely make things worse. Sadly, this includes worship on Christmas Eve, which will be virtual as well. I know this is extremely disappointing. To participate in virtual worship, please click this link. If you don’t have a Facebook account, you can still participate. You’ll be asked if you want to set one up when you click the link, but simply click no, and you’ll get to the church page.
Advent Mission Projects
Every advent season, our congregation engages in several mission and out-reach projects. Obviously, the pandemic is affecting how we do that. The Joy Service, a long-standing tradition at our church, will not be held this year. We will still collect the Joy Offering. In recent years, we have also tried to reach out to our community during the Charles Town-Ranson Christmas parade. That has also been cancelled. This year, the mission and outreach committee is encouraging participation in a reverse advent calendar. A reverse advent calendar is a countdown to Christmas, and each day, we place an item from our pantry (or grocery store) in a box. That box can be dropped off to Jefferson County Community Ministries (they receive food donations most weekdays 9am-12n). This project will bless our community and can also serve to teach our children and grandchildren about giving to and helping others. The reverse advent calendar is in another section of the newsletter.
The pandemic has greatly truncated the way every church does ministry. It’s been very disappointing – last winter, the session was began a meaningful conversations about creative approaches to our ministries. And then the pandemic came. The natural question is, “What do we do, now?” As I have wrestled with this question, I keep coming back to the same answer – Jesus. Instead of focusing on growing the church right now, our focus can (and should always) be on deepening our relationship with Christ. I want to encourage all of us to read the same scripture every day and to spend more time in prayer. I will provide a list each month of scriptures. This coming month, we will use the scriptures listed in the Kids Korner. These provide opportunity to read and pray with our kids and provide a focus on the real meaning of the season. So, get out that Bible, look up those verses, and go deeper with Christ through study and prayer. I think it’s exciting to consider that we all will be reading the same scriptures for a season!
Wednesday’s Thanksgiving Eve Service:
Sunday, November 29, 2020: