The response was terrific on our first Sunday back. MANY thanks to all those who helped make this possible, including our Greeters and especially, our Sunday School volunteers! We virtually doubled the need for both in a very short time, and people responded beautifully. By the way, we still need more people for Sunday School- particularly at the 10:45 hour. If you can help, please see Jordan.
There has been a tremendous response (again!) to our Giving Forest, and there are about a dozen tags waiting to be claimed. Next Sunday, we bring the gifts back (unwrapped and with their tags, please) for the Big Sort.
At the same time, our children's ministries will be presenting the annual Christmas Pageant as a major part of the 10:45 service.
Tonight, our Worship & Arts ministry presents the second night of our annual Figgy Pudding Party. It was a rich feast for the soul last night and it promises to be the same tonight.
Communion was served this morning, as we usually do on the first Sunday of the month. What was particularly powerful about this Sunday was the presence of our Communion Class. For the past month they have been studying what Communion is and what it means to partake of it. This morning, many in the class received communion for the first time, and they also helped serve! What a powerful way to build faith and include children in the life of the whole church!
Yesterday, Erik shared some insights and impressions from his trip to Zimbabwe at the Men's Fellowship Breakfast. It was a reminder of the powerful connection we have in that country as we get to participate in Christ's mission there. As we try to help, we find ourselves being blessed (funny how that works!)
We got to participate in Christ's mission this morning through our Deacon Fund, too. We heard stories of how we have been able to help a single mom with her rent so she wouldn't be evicted, as well as how past aid has assisted homeless school-aged children get the basic hygiene supplies that they needed.
In worship, we were treated to a great feast of music and we listened afresh to Christ's invitation to a new beginning, "I am the Bread of Life."
People are hearing, responding and growing. Faith is being formed, lives are being changed and the world is being blessed.
Those are some of my thoughts this afternoon. There's so more I could mention, but for now: It was a good week to be New Hope.
Blessings on the week ahead!