COMPositions 6

Holiday Thoughts

As we enter the holiday season, Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Years, it may look different than years past. But God is still holy and sovereign, and we are to do everything for his glory; even when it is hard. Let’s fast and pray for opportunities to see God at work in those we come in contact throughout this holiday season. Whether you are getting together with family or friends, or you are simply interacting with the person at the grocery store, glorify God in all you do and ask God to show you ways to love and serve one another. He will make suggestions and provide opportunities when you ask.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I received the following devotional thought from Tina Cumberland this morning: “Thanksgiving takes the sting out of adversity. There is an element of mystery in this transaction: We give God thanks, regardless of our feelings; and He gives us joy, regardless of our circumstances. To people who don’t know Him intimately, it can seem irrational and even impossible to thank Him in the midst of heartrending hardships. But those who know & trust Him in this way are invariably blessed, even though difficulties may remain.” Thank you Tina for those challenging words and your powerful testimony!

Though the turnout was less than I had hoped, the Night of Conversation & Prayer last Sunday evening to review and discuss the Church Assessment Report was a valuable experience for those in attendance. We discussed the following categories: Observations & Impressions / Questions or Concerns / Ideas & Recommendations / Next Steps. I am finalizing the formation of the Transition Team which will be tasked with the responsibility to create a workable action plan for the minimal factors identified through the assessment which are: EFFECTIVE STRUCTURES, NEED ORIENTED EVANGELISM, & PASSIONATE SPIRITULAITY. Please pray for the best possible mix of people to serve on this team. I will be introducing this team, along with the Prayer Team and Search Team, at a Commissioning Service scheduled for January 3, 2021.

Advent is a Latin word meaning “coming”.  It evolved in the early church over a number of centuries but really solidified in the 6th century when church leaders dedicated a special time to properly focus men, women, and children on the importance of Christ’s birth & life. It was to be a time of reflection, contemplation, anticipation, & celebration. Advent starts on the Sunday closest to November 30 and runs until Christmas Eve, giving us 4 Sundays to consider what the coming of Jesus means and accomplished. For many, Advent is a foreign concept lost in the hustle and bustle of Christmas. Most churches do not even recognize this sacred Christian tradition while those who do fail to explain it in a meaningful way. To fully experience the deep meaning of Christmas,…it helps to understand and embrace Advent. This year, I want to reintroduce and celebrate Advent as a church family. It may look, sound, and feel different; but I am confident that it will help us slow down, simplify, & clear away the clutter,….allowing us to see Christ more clearly this Christmas. Not simply His arrival as a babe in Bethlehem; but as the living Christ and Coming King! Join with us this Sunday morning as we begin the season of Advent and celebrate the coming of Jesus. Please read and reflect on Jeremiah 33:14-17 in preparation.

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the warm reception and gracious support Kathy and I have received from NorthPark over the past 3 months. It is a privilege to be here and a pleasure to serve with the Staff, Governance Board, and many volunteers. I will be in Nashville Wednesday through Saturday to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and look forward to being back with you on Sunday.

Happy Thanksgiving, Greg

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