Family – What does that mean to you? Wife, husband, daughter, son …parents, grandparents, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews? And don’t forget the in-laws, and the out-laws.

Family can include all of these and more. Family can have many forms and meanings. Family is sharing, caring, loving - during the holidays and all year round. Being there in good times and bad, joining in celebrations, and dealing with hardship and sorrow together.

Family is love, and loving Jesus. Having faith in God and trusting that He knows all, that He has a bigger and better plan for each and every one of us. Jesus is there for us when we need Him and even when we think we don’t need Him. He knows better.

Family is also Church of the Advent. Nancy and Greg are part of my family. Advent parishioners are part of my family. Some I have grown very close to and they seem like brothers and sisters. Some are like cousins or nieces and nephews. And don’t forget crazy uncle Doug. My family is there for me, celebrating at Sunday services or offering a kind word, hug, or more when I need it most.

My family, our family. If you are reading this, you are my family too, or maybe a friend and I invite to join our family, our church. Our church and our faith provide the catalyst to grow closer to God. The fellowship we have at Advent can radiate through our own families and also the community as a whole. By attending Advent with our families we teach our children and future generations the meaning of Christ’s love.

As we celebrate Christ’s birth this year let us renew our faith in the Lord and rejoice in the true meaning of Christmas and hold our family, friends and community near to our hearts.

Have a Blessed Christmas and a Joyous New Year.

- Suzette Butler