The next few weeks here at the church are going to be pretty busy, culminating in the arrival of our new pastor The Rev. Alexis Fuller-Wright at the end of January, so let me start by offering a small travel guide.
November 20, 2016: This Sunday, the last before Advent begins. Good news is that Joanne Hardgrove will be back at the organ in worship. I’ll resume my “Who Is This Jesus” series with a sermon on who Jesus is in Luke’s Gospel. Bible Study under Bob Moore’s capable hand will meet at 9:00 a.m.
November 21, 2016: Start thawing Thanksgiving Turkey. (I will be away with family Thanksgiving week.) Do not put unthawed turkey in turkey fryer without prior notice to Fire Department.
November 27, 2016: First Sunday in Advent, and The Rev. Bob Moore will be preaching, with Rebecca Francisco assisting. A CC member Lighting the first Advent candle will begin worship.
December 4, 2016: Second Sunday in Advent and lighting the second Advent candle. Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. My sermon might have been titled “What does Stewardship Have to Do with Advent?” but is not. It is “One Came Back.” I think it’s the same thing, but come and find out.
After worship, instead of “2nd Hour,” a special adult education event will be held to continue the Interim Process Team’s project of identifying the “Church in the Mind” of the congregation. These picture-drawing sessions have been great fun and are creating valuable visual data about who we believe we are and want to be. Each session can accommodate 8 participants. Please call Brandi Grove at the church office to reserve a place.
December 10, 2016:Annual Festival Christmas Dinner at Christ Congregation beginning at 5:30 p.m. with all the trimmings and Advent Reserve Micro-Brew Christo-Malt libations from Steve Rowling, in addition to wine and other beverages of your provision.
December 11, 2016:Third Sunday in Advent and lighting the third Advent candle. Our Princeton Seminary Intern Rebecca Francisco will be preaching.
Again, a special adult education event like last week to create more “Church in the Mind” pictures. As before, limited to 8 participants who have not done it before. Please call Brandi Grove at the church office to reserve a place.
By the way, what is going to happen to all these bizarre drawings? Well, they contain some pretty exciting information about Christ Congregation, and the Interim Process Team (at the suggestion of some of you participants, by the way!) plans to hold a gallery of these works in the church for the whole congregation early in January (no doubt accompanied by food!) just to have some fun and think through what they are telling us.
December 18, 2016: Fourth Sunday in Advent and lighting the fourth and final Advent candle. I will preach the final sermon in the “Who is this Jesus” series, as a special emphasis on the conclusion of Advent.
December 24, 2016: Christmas Eve traditional service of lessons and carols beginning at 7:00 p.m. with Dr. Nichols leading. This is a service of reflection, completion of the Advent season, and deep contemplation for all of the entry of the Incarnate God into our everyday midst.
December 25, 2016:Sunday, Christmas Day! There will be no congregational worship this day. This has been the practice of Christ Congregation on those Septennial years when Christmas falls on a Sunday. All of us at Christ Congregation hope you will worship in your own ways to celebrate the Reign of God and the Lordship of Jesus Christ by reaching out to a neighbor—your choice, there are lots of them!
Looking ahead to the New Year . . .
January is typically a time of “relief” from the “holiday” season (which ought to tell you something importantly theological about the meaning of “holy-day”!) but the Christ Congregation calendar will be eventful and full. Dates are yet to be arranged, but early in January we will hold the “Church in the Mind” congregational open house and discussion early in the month.
A particularly important—though famously unpopular—task in January is the election of new congregational officers. Please realize two things even at this fairly early date: (1) the official nominating committee by constitution and previous congregational election consists of: Carol McCollough, Moderator; Circe Urbanski, Elected Congregational Member; and J. Randall Nichols, Serving Interim Minister of the Congregation. (2) These are the people you need to contact with suggestions for church officer candidates, as well as volunteerist predilections you should not be ashamed of!
While there are always changes to be anticipated, the current plan is that Sunday, January 29 will be my final time to preach as your Interim Minister, and the following Sunday, February 5, 2017 we will all welcome The Rev. Alexis Fuller Wright to her first Sunday in the pulpit of Christ Congregation. All later plans regarding Alexis’ official installation will be announced as they are available.
Whew! And a last thought/request as your Interim Minister. Please use, contribute to, and take ownership of this Newsletter as your source of communication! I’ll talk more about this later, but for now, please do understand that I want your guidance and suggestions. Please keep in mind that other than Bob Moore’s previous faithful updates from his platform at the Peace Coalition, I have never laid eyes on a Christ Congregation Newsletter of Yore!
Happy Thanksgiving To All!
Please notice there will be no Newsletter through the Thanksgiving weekend. Enjoy your holiday.
To submit announcements and suggestions to be included in the CC Newsletter, email firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday each week.
The Rev. Dr. J. Randall Nichols, Interim Minister
Joanne Hardgrove, Organist-Choir Director
Brandi Grove, Church Secretary
Rebecca Fransisco, Seminary Intern
The Rev. Jeffrey Mays, Pastor Emeritus
Office Hours: Tuesday – Friday 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.