Dear St Matthews Family,

Happy Advent!

In the midst of your holiday preparations, I hope you are finding time to rest. At our first Midweek Advent service we read from the book of Genesis, the entire first Creation account. We were reminded that “on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.” Even God rested folks… God looked at the work that was accomplished and then took a rest, even hallowed that day of rest. May it be for us as well. Might we strive for time of rest, renewal and prayer and work from rest.

You are most welcome to join us for our Advent and Christmas worship services. I hope you will consider joining us either, Wednesday, December 15 or 22 for our Midweek Advent worship. It’s a lovely 30-minute contemplative service that begins at 7pm. It’s a service of quiet and prayer. Christmas Eve services will be at 7pm and 10pm with a reception in-between. Come join us for Holy Communion and Candlelight!

We will also be having a Family Christmas program on Sunday, December 19 at 6pm, The Bells of Christmas. It will be held around a campfire and under the stars just behind the church. We will tell the story of Christmas, sing songs, ring bells, eat cookies and have hot chocolate. Come for the program and stay after for some time of fellowship!

This Sunday, December 12, is part 1 of our Annual meeting. You will be receiving an agenda in a separate email. Plan to participate in the meeting either in person or via Zoom, the link will be included in the separate email. We will vote on our ministry plan for 2022, as well as new council and Mission Fund committee members.

We celebrated Nancy Zimmerman’s tenure at St Matthew’s last Sunday. Now I want to introduce to our new Administrative Assistant to the Pastor, Patti Hinson. Patti has been working along side Nancy for the past two weeks to collect as much institutional knowledge as possible. I’m looking forward to what Patti will add to the position and to the staff as a whole. Patti joined St Matthew’s as a member in 2019. Patti comes to the church staff with a wealth of administrative, writing and organizational skills. Patti has already exhibited a strong grasp of the role, a professional outlook and attitude as well as down to earth warmth. Make sure to introduce yourself to her when you call or stop in the office!

We will be introducing the transition committee at the Annual meeting on Sunday. This is an exciting move for the congregation, a great first step towards the work of calling a new pastor! The committee will get started with their work after the beginning of the new year. Once their work begins they will be sharing more particulars about their work and progress. The work of the transition team is to help the congregation understand itself with its history, current reality, hopeful future, strengths, challenges and wounds. This understanding and study helps to put together the needed congregational profile for prospective pastors to review and consider but maybe more importantly it is an opportunity for us to consider what growing edges we might work on and what wounds we might start to intentionally heal. The goal though it all is wholeness and clarity to further our mission as a church.

So much continues to happen in this place. It might feel very different than “pre-Covid” and it is different, but the spirit of worship and service, fellowship and learning continue to stream through the core and foundation of this place. I look forward to seeing what we learn together through through the transition process.

Take Care of yourselves and those beloved that surround you!

Advent Blessings to you all!

Interim Pastor Kirsten Laderach