Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

Grace and peace to you in the name of the living God. I pray this note finds you full of God’s richest blessings as we move into this holy season of Advent. I would like to take a moment to share with you plans for worship during this season of anticipation and preparation for the coming of the holy child.

This year, our four Sundays of Advent will offer us the opportunity to explore four different perspectives on this liturgical season: the prophet Isaiah with his vision of justice and peace, John the Baptist on change and repentance, Mary the mother of Jesus will tell us of an upside-down world order, and the angel who appeared to Joseph who will provide us with reasons to live and believe with courage.

As always, Advent is a time when many people will visit our congregation, some for the first time. It is incumbent upon each of us to embody God’s gracious welcome to each person we meet. As the author of Hebrews reminds us, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.”

As we prepare for a holy time of shepherds and angels, let us not neglect the angels in our midst as we gather to prepare our hearts and minds for the advent of the God of life. As such, never be afraid to extend a hand, learn a name, even make a new friend, for we never know how God will use our relationships to bless others. It is how the gospel is spread, how good news is made known, and how the living Christ is present in our midst, even here, even now.

See you on Sunday,