Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
It has been a pleasure meeting the new folks who have come to be a part of the community of faith called Samuel. It is a joy to renew acquaintances. It is good to see the building and strengthening of relationships between folks. Building and strengthening relationship among the people who are a part of the Samuel community is extremely important. The relationship we share with each other as a community of faith flows from your relationship with God. It is all about trust, healing, hope, love, joy, peace. In fact, it is about the Advent Season. Advent season speaks of all those “relationship” words I just mentioned, as you wait and in your waiting, you listen, you pray, and, you share in all the expectations that are present in the One who comes, is coming and will come again.
The preface for Holy Communion uses these words: “You comforted your people with the promise of the Redeemer, through whom you will also make all things new in the day when he comes to judge the world in righteousness.” When we look forward in time my sense is that we do so with expectations of hope, joy, peace, love, seeking to overcome any sense of anxiety that would get in the way of doing ministry.
The time of waiting to call a pastor can be one of anxiety for all parties involved. Candidates get a sense of the expectations of congregations and both get a sense of direction. The last candidate withdrew their name from the call process. Now this community waits on the direction of the bishop in the call process. This “waiting” is not a period to sit back. Ministries continue to be done and perhaps new ones will unfold. The sick, the dying, the troubled, the homebound are cared for.
Perhaps in this period of waiting there will be conversation and meditation on “Who are we as people of God called Samuel?” “What does it mean to be with and among sisters and brothers in Christ, working, planning, singing, praying, playing?” “Where is God leading us – as the pray from Morning song and Evensong goes – knowing that God gives us faith “to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us” in Christ’s name.
This is Samuel’s Advent: the promise has been given and is coming and keeps coming for work while it is still day. Therefore “Stay awake!” “Ponder”, “Listen!”
The worship committee has looked at the worship calendar for Christmas and this is what will unfold the holiday weekend December 23-25:
Saturday, December 23 - 5:00 – Advent Four
Sunday, December 24 - 10:00 – Advent Four
Sunday, December 24 – 5:30 pm – Christmas Eve (especially for geared for children)
Sunday, December 24 – 11:00 pm – Christmas Eve Candlelight with Carols and
Spread the word through invitation and reminders. Perhaps when we step out the doors of the church after 12 midnight, on Christmas Day there will be a crackle of fresh snow under foot.
In Christ’s peace,
Pastor Chris Anderson