From the Pastor’s Desk: December 2022

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From the Pastor's Desk

“I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth; do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19

Greetings St. Philip’s UCC!

I am so excited to join you on this new adventure in ministry together! Through us, indeed, God is doing something new — something different, something we’ve never done before! As this new thing — this new partnership, this new covenant, this new expression of ministry — springs forth, we will learn and grow together. Because this is uncharted territory for us all, we have faith that God will, indeed, make a way through the wilderness. We have hope that rivers of new life will flow through the parched places we’ve called deserts. We will lean in to joy and grace, watching and listening for the guidance of the Spirit.

Full disclosure: I don’t know how this is all going to work. I’ve never served two churches halftime. I’ve never recorded a video of a sermon to be shown during a worship service for which I wasn’t physically present. It’s a lot of new. And yet, I believe this is where God is leading our churches, St. Philip’s UCC and St. John UCC. God is doing a new thing in our midst — with us and through us! At times, it may feel like a wilderness — but God is making a way for us, God will provide flowing streams of life-giving water where we need it most — in our driest desert days.

Advent is the very beginning of a new liturgical year — a new year in the life of the church. We’re watching and waiting with hope and expectation, as we anticipate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, God-with-us. A tiny babe born into an unlikely family who would grow up to change the world by sharing God’s love and grace with reckless abandon — that was certainly a new thing God did. And, from eons before the birth of Christ to eons thereafter, God continues to do all kinds of unexpected, unlikely, and unusual new things.

May this season of expectation fill us with hope, not only as we approach the manger, but as we pay attention to all the new things God might be up to around us, through us, and within us. May the joy of the celebration of the birth of Christ, Emmanuel, God-with-us, spill over into the rest of the year ahead as we imagine together what new thing God might be making a way for us through the wilderness toward.

With joy and expectation, and prayers for each of you,
Pastor Laura