Merry Christmas! If you were one of the 1,159 people that attended worship on Christmas Eve, the Holy Spirit was PRESENT in our celebration of the birth of Christ. Wasn’t that exciting to share in the light of Christ during Silent Night? A new old tradition was born, don’t you think?
Christmas Eve is one of my favorite days of the entire year. As pastors, my peers cheer each other on. My best friend, a pastor in Saint Paul, texted me that afternoon encouraging me—we compared notes about what we were excited to share from the Luke 2 story. Right before worship, Reverend Justin Grimm from the Saint Paul Area Synod, who has come to Faith a few times this year to help us unearth our mission and develop our spiritual gifts, sent me a text encouraging God’s blessings on me as I shared about God’s blessings on us.
I love that Faith Lutheran is part of something bigger. We are part of a synod with 112 churches and mission starts. Each of us is engaged in a common mission of sharing the Light of Christ with the Saint Paul area. How exciting is it that while we were worshiping the birth of Jesus to standing room and overflow crowds, a new start-up church called the Depot in Hugo had 115 worshiping in an elementary school gym at their first Christmas service? I’ve been praying for Pastor Brian and the Depot as they continue to reach a community that hasn’t had an ELCA Lutheran presence that has been sustainable. I feel the Spirit when I talk to him and meet him in his neighborhood as he knows the baristas at the local coffee shop.
The spirit of Christmas is moving in our church—at Faith and in our region. If you can’t get enough Christmas music, we do have two services at 9 or 10:30 with a TON of Christmas carols on December 30th. Join us, check out our new live streaming option, or listen on the radio and sing along at 9 on 95.9 FM.
I mentioned that Rev. Justin Grimm has spent a lot of time with us. On January 6th, we take our first steps towards approving a new mission, vision, and choosing a logo (you’ll have two to pick from, which we will vote on during our January 27th annual meeting). During my message, I’ll talk about the role of the Holy Spirit in leading us to this point. The Spirit is growing our church—how do we articulate that growth to someone new and how does it unite us in mission? Come listen and find out!
Enjoy the rest of your Christmas break and if you’re traveling back home or heading south for the rest of winter, may the Spirit go with you! Thank you for welcoming so many people to Faith at Christmas—I can’t wait to see our church build on this energy into 2019!