We are in the Season of Advent, a time of expectant waiting. As Laura encouraged us on Sunday, take time to wait expectantly on God and God's presence among us and in our world. In this busy time we should remember that the busyness of this time is that we are preparing for the celebration of Christmas. This sense of preparation is also what Advent is about. This expectant waiting is to be a time of preparing for what is to come: preparing ourselves for the appearance of God in Christ, as we celebrate and remember the first coming of God to the world in Jesus Christ.
At this time for our congregation waiting and preparing are difficult because we are facing some changes as we are still without a permanent Baptist pastor as Melissa is stepping down from serving as interim and as Laura is stepping down as our Episcopal Priest and will finish up with us in the Season of Christmas. We have questions about what this means and we may want to rush ahead and think out solutions or worry about our vision as an ecumenical congregation or what it will be like with only one pastor. I wish to encourage us though to wait on God. To take the time of Advent and Christmas to prepare ourselves for what God has for us as Laura leaves us. I encourage us to reflect on where God has brought us, and our character as a congregation with this vision of grass roots ecumenism. I encourage us to remember Laura's ministry in our midst for the past two years, the various ways she has touched our lives and provided pastoral care and lead this congregation.
God may have changes in store for us and Laura's leaving at this time may show what those changes should be but for the moment let us wait. Take time to say goodbye to Laura, to remember and to look forward to how God will come to us in this coming year. God is with us, Emmanuel, this we are promised and assured in the incarnation. So, like four years ago when six or seven of us met for worship in Chase Cafe and waited to see how God would fulfill the vision the Spirit put in our hearts we now find we are still waiting having seen how God has brought us this far and continues to be with us. May we wait and prepare in the hope of Emmanuel.
One possible way to take time to slow down and wait upon God in the season of Advent is on online daily Advent devotional Following the Star.
Would you like to be part of the process of creating a new safety plan for the congregations that meet on this campus? If so, join us on Dec. 11 at 7pm in the Immanuel Library for a meeting. During this meeting we will make suggestions for a new safety plan and this plan will then be approved by each of the congregations.
Church Council meets Thursday December 18th at 7:30 PM in the "Nidge. All are Welcome.
Mark your calendars now! We will be having a joint service with Immanuel and St. Elias on December 21, the fourth Sunday of Advent. A potluck dinner will begin at 4:00 PM, and the service begins at 6:00 PM If you would like to participate in the service or help in some way, please contact the pastoral staff.
Malaria Nets Challenge- Malaria is a terrible disease which has been eliminate din most of North America, but kills the children of Africa at the rate of two per minute. The Episcopal Diocese of Chicago can put a medically treated net over the bed of a child for just $12. Kate will be collecting the funds and passing them on to the diocese. Let her know to direct your cash, or check made out to church of Jesus Christ, Reconciler (write "malaria nets" on the memo line) Malaria Nets Challenge, or drop it in the offering pot with a note; you can also mail it to her c/o Reconciler at 1510 W. Elmdale Ave., Chicago IL 60660.
Opportunities for service! If you would like to help out at Reconciler, we need you! We are currently in need of greeters each Sunday (to arrive 15 minutes before the service begins). We also need volunteers as nursery workers, and perhaps someone to help with the bulletin each week. If you want to volunteer, contact the pastoral team. email@example.com
Reconciler now has a phone- You can reach the pastoral team at 312-316-9697