“Advent season offers a surge of creative energy,”
says Pastor Judy, one of our retired pastors who is offering a video each week of Advent, for a discussion around Mark’s gospel (Dec 1,8,15,22).
Advent season, which are the weeks after Thanksgiving that lead us up to Christmas, is indeed a time when creative energy is expended as we actively wait. I see many people surging with creativity as they prepare light displays on the outside of their homes. Decorate the inside of their homes with trees and stockings and much, much, more! Creative energy goes into the exchange of thoughtful Christmas letters and photos, cut out cookies and even more creative energy put into gift purchases and wrapping. Go ahead and be creative! But don’t forget the message the season of Advent points to. Don’t forget the promises of God’s Son taking on flesh to live among us. Advent is filled with the energy of Christians exercising their hearts, sharpening their minds and preparing for Christ’s coming.
At Christ the King some creative energy ways we connect with the Advent surge:
Advent is a surge of creative energy and I hope you will be part of the energy that helps bring God’s love to life in the many ways we prepare for Jesus’ birth 😊
My Dearest CtK Readers...
Usually when I write this blog, I write about ways God's love has come to life at CtK in recent weeks, however this week is a little bit different. This week I'm going to flip it around a bit and ask you to help bring God's love to life yet again.
Recently I found myself in conversation with a few parents of young children in our congregation. We were talking about the joys and struggles of having our small children at home, and...the lament we feel. Just like all of you, not only are we missing connecting with our church community in person, but our littles are as well. We grieve the fact that for the past 9 months, our little humans who have so much to learn about the world, and long for community and familiar faces and connections just as much as adults do, haven't been able to connect with their church community. From a Faith Formation perspective, we know that faith is formed through personal, trusted relationships, and right now small children (think 5 and under) don't really have an opportunity to form those relationships with their church family.
I know one of the fears that we parents have is that whenever we do return to worshipping in person, coming to church might be a scary thing because there will be SO many people, most of which will seem like new faces. In our family, Miriam was just freshly 1 year old the last time we worshipped together in person with all of you. In that time she has changed SO much, and she is much more aware of the people around her. Coming to church might be scary for her at first.
SO....this is where we parents of young children could use your help!
Children learn absorb a TON of information through books. Because of that, we'd like to create a picture book called, "We Are Your Church." The feature of this book: ALL OF YOU! It will be a simple picture book that features informal photos of all of you, along with your first names.
Here's how you can help:
That's it! That's all we need you to do. From there, I'll work on putting the photos and your names into a simple photo book that will be available for families to purchase for a small fee.
One of the things that I LOVE about you, Christ the King, is that you are all about supporting and walking with the kiddos of our congregation. I give thanks for how you will make God's love come to life through the "We Are Your Church" book project!
Peace be the journey,
Thanksgiving is just around the corner! Although we may not be making the huge preparations, traveling, and gathering with many relatives and friends this holiday, we are perpetually reminded that thanksgiving is a time to remember our blessings and give our thanks to God. Rev David Lose, one of the ELCA’s leading pastors, has written many times that saying, “Thank you,” is one of the secrets of true happiness. In fact, one of our spiritual disciplines at mealtime is to say a prayer of thankfulness for the food that is before us. If a person eats three meals a day, then that is three times a day we get to express our thanksgiving to God.
This year our Thanksgiving Eve worship service and dessert time will look different. Since we are not gathering in person at church, how will we share our thankfulness and praise of God’s blessings? This year, 10 Churches are coming together to remember and to give thanks to God for all the blessings we have received from God and from one another. Working together in the midst of the pandemic is a lesson we are learning about unity. Lord knows there are enough things that are trying to divide us. It is awe-some to think that when you combine the ELCA congregations in the Fox Valley, we are one of the largest churches!
Unity and working together for community at Thanksgiving, reminds us we are not alone, and we have much to give thanks to God for. Join us for the service that brings us together – 10 churches, 14 clergy, 5 musicians or musical groups and a host of congregational people and guests who will participate in giving thanks to God’s for the blessing we receive daily and throughout the year. I hope you will take time to worship and to thank God for the many blessings, including the people, that surround us. Not because God needs our expressions of thanks, but because in recognizing that we are blessed and giving thanks for those blessings, we are blessed yet again.
Happy Thanksgiving, Be Well & Be Safe – God Bless,
I love October! The flourish of changing colors, the harvesting of corn and the celebration of Halloween. However, I seemed to have missed Halloween! The pandemic can really seem to erase the events that help mark time and the seasons. As a kid (and as an adult), I love Halloween for the candy, seeing how people decorated their yards and experiencing the joy people share by handing out treats!
Instead of passing out candy for Trunk or Treat at CtK – we decided to share candy treats with hospital workers. Thank you to the people of CtK who donated candy! We were able to share 24 pumpkin buckets of treats for each hospital breakroom at ThedaCare – Appleton and St E’s Hospital. Each bucket was accompanied with a notecard of appreciation. Our volunteer who arranged to drop off the treats met nurses who expressed their gratitude, with tears in their eyes, for being remembered during the toughest days of the pandemic, “You just don’t know the stress we’re under and how hard we have been working.” Another person submitted a Facebook message, “When I came into work on Friday evening, there was a bucket of candy in the break room from CtK church. It put a smile on all our faces. Thank you (followed by emojis of praying hands and a smiley face).
The truth is, we don’t know the intense work and hours hospital employees are putting in, unless we live with one or have been cared for by one during the pandemic. However, the simple gift of remembering and sharing a small sweet token of appreciation can bring tears and emotions of thankfulness. That simply is how God’s love is coming to life through you, the church, the people of CtK!
Christ’s Blessings & Peace,