Dear South East District Friends,
Advent greetings to each of you!
First, I want to take this opportunity to thank you. This fall has been incredibly busy in our churches. I have visited your worship services, pumpkin patches, fall festivals, and anniversary celebrations. You have attended charge conferences in great numbers. Your level of enthusiasm and determination for the return of in-person worship, “regular” activities, and for new and innovative ministries is to be commended. We know that the pandemic itself as well as its effects are not behind us yet. However, you are finding faithful ways to continue being the church in the midst of these challenging times. Thank you for your faithfulness, good cheer, and hope.
In this season of Advent I am reflecting on what it means for God to “make all things new.” The anticipation of the birth of our Savior is the anticipation of a new way of being, of relating, and of being loved by our God. The birth of Jesus was a rebirth for humanity. Life in Christ is a constant rebirth, being made new by our Creator.
How is God making all things new in your life today? What do you pray might be made new as we prepare for the coming of Christ? Is there a part of your life or the life of your church that you wish to offer to God for a rebirth, a remaking, a reshaping? We can ask for just this as we await the birth of our Savior.
In visiting our churches this fall I sensed a profound desire to hear and feel and breathe the Holy Spirit. This is often hard to do as we busily lead our ministries, outreach, and worship. I am convinced, though, that our communities (inside and outside of the church) are inspired when they experience their leaders seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our business, our worship, our ministries, and as we gather in community. It is a reminder that we are not alone, not in total control, and that we serve a God who came to live among us. Emmanuel…God is with us! God, indeed, remains with us.
During this season, seek the gift of the Holy Spirit as you prepare for a child’s birth, and a rebirth of our own. God will continue to make all things new, I am convinced of this.
May the peace of Christ be with you today and always,
Cynthia D. Weems