So many of our normal activities and traditions have been interrupted or canceled due to the global pandemic.  It’s easy to only think about the things that we’ve missed, and in doing so, our lament can feel deep and unending.  As we approach the season of Advent, it seems difficult to imagine how celebrating a time of longing and waiting could be helpful … after all, we’ve been longing and waiting all year!  Will this season be something else that is lost and lamented?  Or will our collective hope see us through?  I believe it is that hopethe one we share in Jesus Christthat will, indeed, be our guide and stay … our mighty fortress … our strength and shield … our Emmanuel, come to ransom us from the captivity of loneliness and exile.  Our traditions and activities may change, but we press on to tell the story of God, and to share that with the world.

What, then, might we look forward to this season?  Where will we celebrate Hope, Peace, Joy and Love as a church family?

On November 29, during the morning worship time, we will celebrate and worship by Hanging the Green. While our children’s and student choirs will not lead us this year, there will be beautiful music, story and scriptureheartwarming messages to fill us with hope and joy.

As the calendar turns to December, and as each new Sunday brings us closer to the birth of Christ, we will gather for Evening Advent Vespers outside of the Rotunda.  These weekly services, held on December 6, 13, and 20, will be designed to engage worshipers of all ages, and will give us opportunities to worship together … to hear the unfolding story of God’s love for us … and then to be sent into the world to bring peace.  It may not be the season we expected, but Advent beckons us to see more, to look past the confines of this world towards the Kingdom of God.  We are longing.  We are waiting.  Come, Lord Jesus.   

May the peace of Christ be with you.