Once again, we find ourselves entering the home stretch of another year of life and ministry together. If you’ve been anywhere near St. Andrew, you know that 2023 has been a year of blessings and losses, challenges and opportunities, along with countless expressions of faith, love, and service to the human family, all to the glory of God.
But it’s also true that in the life of the church, December has more to do with new beginnings than endings. Advent signals the beginning of a new “church year.” Jazz Vespers on Wednesday evenings spiritually moves us through the weeks to our celebration of Christmas. We elect new members to St. Andrew’s Board of Directors and gather for our annual Children’s Pageant along with other special events and services. Behind the scenes, plans will be underway for the winter session of Common Ground and the coming of Lent which, believe it or not, begins on February 14. The year 2024 will also mark the 75th anniversary of our beloved congregation, The Lutheran Church of St. Andrew.
In the midst of all of it, our leaders will be thinking about the future, including an upcoming anniversary capital funding campaign to raise a harvest of support for the mission of Christ within and beyond our walls. And through it all, the many ministries that bring spiritual nurture and care for each other and the world around us will continue to go forward and grow.
My hope and prayer, as always, is that you and many others will be pictured in our life together during December and as 2024 unfolds before us. Being part of a church family will strengthen our mutual witness to a broken and troubled world. It will encourage our love, and will bless us all in unexpected ways through whatever the coming year may bring.
Together with Pastor González, the members of our staff, and our entire leadership team, I wish you the joy and hope of these holy days. I also thank you for being the kind of church that makes me love being a pastor, even after all these years.
God bless you all as we come around the home stretch of 2023 and by grace enter another season of new beginnings in praise of Jesus for the hope of the world.
Love, your servant in Christ +