White Christmas is Here

I hope you enjoyed The Sights and Sounds of Christmas!  Last Sunday was an incredible day in the life of our church, and I’m thankful for what God did through our special Christmas event.  Over 1,000 people joined us for one of the two concerts, and many more came for just the festival.  The music was incredible, and I loved hearing the beautiful, full sound of the choir and orchestra coming through our new sound system.  The fellowship at the festival was wonderful, and I was so encouraged to watch our people simply enjoy spending time with one another.  I believe the entire event honored the Lord and served as a great witness to our community.

Thank you to the many of you who brought your friends, family, and neighbors to be a part of the night.  I’m honored that you believe in your church enough to want to share it with those who are around you.  I also want to especially thank Dr. Todd Stearns for his outstanding leadership with our worship ministry.  A production like that is only possible with great vision and direction from leadership.  Thank you to the choir, orchestra, tech team, and the many staff and volunteers who worked so hard behind the scenes to make it all happen.  You can only pull off an event of that magnitude if you have an A+ team.  I’m thankful to pastor a church with so many talented individuals, and so many willing servants.

This Sunday will be another big weekend as we approach our annual “White Christmas” Sunday.  As you likely know, our church will be blessing 110 families in need with baskets full of food this weekend.  I encourage you to not come to church empty handed.  Instead, bring your gift to worship and we’ll have a special time of offering during our services.  Additionally, we will not have our preschool or children’s worship services this weekend (nursery will still be open), so we encourage you to bring your children/grandchildren to church for this meaningful time of worship.  Immediately following the 11:11 service, you will have an opportunity to help assemble the baskets and get them loaded into cars for delivery.  All 110 baskets will be delivered after church by our amazing volunteers.

I pray that you will come to worship this weekend with a generous heart.  White Christmas reminds me of the words from the author of Hebrews: “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” (Hebrews 13:16).  God’s people are called to be a generous people.  This generosity is, of course, in response to God’s generosity to us.  Every Christmas, we celebrate the greatest gift that has ever been given.  God gave us his own son, and then the Son gave his own life so we could live.  In view of God’s great mercy and grace, we are now called to present our entire lives as living sacrifices to the Lord (cf. Romans 12:1).  Sharing food with a family in need is just one small way you can this.

I encourage you to maintain this spirit of generosity as we close out our year end giving.  About 25% of our general fund contributions historically come during this final month.  Your tithes and offerings to the general fund are essential, as they fund the life and ministry of our church.  Thank you for being a generous church, and last Sunday’s great outreach event reminded me of the blessing that you are.  We were only able to offer ministry like that to our entire community because of your continued stewardship.  May we each continue to shine our light for Jesus Christ in these coming weeks, as we celebrate that the Light has come.  I look forward to worshipping with you this Sunday.

Onward and upward,

Jonathan Spencer

The First Songs of Christmas – Mary’s Song – Luke 1

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