Monthly Archives

December 2017

The ADVENTure of Grace and Gratitude Is Measured By Our Faith In Action

By Intersections

“The Word became flesh and blood,

and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,
like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish” (John 1:14).

Hello. The month of December marks the season of Advent, the four Sundays prior to Christmas. Advent is designed to bring the community of faith on a adventure of faith… It starts with the promises foretold and then builds each week toward the mystery and celebration of God becoming human when Jesus moved into our neighborhood! This year could be the beginning of a new family tradition for you. As you read these words, let’s consider how Advent can be a truly remarkable and life-changing ADVENTure of faith. It all starts with…

Grace and gratitude. Yes, Grace and Gratitude are two essential attributes of a thriving community of faith. In fact, more than attendance, giving, and budget, the measure of a thriving community of faith is the measure of:

1) How God’s Grace impacts the community of faith, and

2) How the congregation’s Gratitude impacts the community at large.

Measure these impacts, and you can determine if a community of faith is thriving, or barely surviving, or even dying.

Each day offers ample evidence of God’s abundant blessings. You represent one of those blessings, too! I hope you enjoy the holiday season ahead. We recognize that many of us, along with our families, neighbors, and communities, face challenges and stresses, especially during the holidays. I hope you utilize your networks of connections that ensure your safety, wellness, and vitality. Pray for, and check-in on, neighbors. Give generously to community projects. Invite others to share hospitality at your table, or invite them to worship, or an event. Consider ways to remind others they are not alone this holiday season.

Two Christmas Eve Services— This Christmas, we have two inspiring Christmas Eve services, both held in our Worship Center. Plan to attend with your family and friends. At 10:30 a.m., you are invited to participate in our Morning Christmas Eve Service for the entire family. At 5:00 p.m., join us for our beautiful Candlelight Christmas Eve Worship Service. Experience your favorite Christmas music, Scripture readings, and a message about Jesus’ incarnation. Find out how our live’s can be more energized and purposeful through fresh expressions of the familiar Christmas Story.

As we celebrate 303 years of mission, we continue to learn and grow and make new connections with neighbors of every age. Thank you for the ways you help God’s Grace have impact in your life, and how you express Gratitude with impact on the community! Thank you for your continued support of Cold Spring Church through your participation in worship, prayer and financial gifts, volunteering in mission, and serving in leadership, What you do matters as together we see God do even more amazing things beyond our wildest imaginations! Impact, not effort, matters most.

Caring Compassion— From time to time, we face adversities of health, finance, relationships, crises, and pain. Across the street, across the nation, and around the world, poverty, injustice, violence, abuse, bad behaviors, and persistent oppression affects millions of people. I am grateful for the gifts that our community of faith represents that expresses God’s love and abundance. I celebrate the ways we are working to address our communities’ challenges with more and more of what I call Farming Events— transformational events that are designed to create connections between the community of faith and the community at large. Our hospitality, generosity, worship, witness, and collaborative community work have planted seeds and increased our capacity to show God’s love. Thank you!

Merry Christmas From Our Team—Along with our staff (Jayne, Judy, Scott, Chris, and Bob), our leadership team (session), and our caring team (deacons), I thank you for the privilege of serving greater Cape May with you. We are committed to surprising and delighting you with the spiritual and community resources you need to be a blessing With impact where God sends you every day. I offer prayers of gratitude for you, your families, and the communities we serve all year long.

May you experience God’s Grace, and express Gratitude this Advent and Christmas season!

On the ADVENTure with you,

Pastor Kevin