Greetings, Brothers and Sisters in Christ!

Thanksgiving isn’t here yet (while I am writing this), but my brain, my desk and the church are already full speed ahead planning and preparing for the Advent and Christmas season. In the spirit of speeding ahead, I want to dedicate this article to the year 2017.

In 2017 I am planning on focusing on three simple words: Invite. Welcome. Disciple.

Invite. I walk outside the doors of our church and I see houses. I drive around town and I see cors. I walk into stores and I see people. In 2017 I want to knock on the doors of the houses to invite people to our church activities. I want our ‘church to be seen so that the cars stop at the church for worship and activities, and I want to be intentional about inviting the people around us to walk through our doors.

Welcome. I want to help us to be an even more welcoming church than we already are. I want to anticipate that more new people from our community and area will be coming through our doors searching for a place to belong. I want to be ready with a warm handshake, a place to sit and a cup of coffee with our open hearts. I want people to feel the love that is in this place and to know that they are accepted and welcomed here too.

Disciple. I want to continue to be a place where people find Christ and deepen their relationship with Him. I want to be a part of conversations where people aren’t afraid to ask questions and where varying viewpoints are shared and celebrated. I want to be a place where all are growing as Christians and human beings.

I pray that you will consider how you can be a part of this vision for 2017. How can you be invitational? How can you be part of the welcome and hospitality to those who walk through our doors? How are you being discipled and how can you help someone else in his or her faith journey?

Ideally this will not wait until 2017, as Advent is a season when people are searching for the true meaning of Christmas and we are a place where that meaning is shared and experienced. So let us invite friends and family not just to dinner and Christmas parties, but let us invite them to share in the wonder of the Christmas message and to be the Body of Christ that welcomes the stranger and friend alike into our church and into our hearts.

Merry Christmas and let’s have a happy new year!

Blessings, Pastor Stacy