Welcome Back - what a great picnic gathering Advent had last Sunday! For those of you that missed the 10:00 am service, it was wonderful with Blue Grass music and a HUGE gathering of kids starting their spiritual journeys. I’m told we also raised $2700 for youth programs by parking cars for the Mushroom Festival and that our Family Promise fundraiser met its goal. Wahoo!
As Development Warden, it is gratifying to see all this activity and positive energy. This weekend we will be kicking off the 2016 Annual Canvass, which asks the congregation a simple question: “How are we doing?” Is Advent meeting your needs? Has God blessed you with good fortune this year? Can you help others with their burdens?
In my opinion, Rev. Nancy Hauser as done a super job of leading this church forward. The Vestry has wrestled a number of difficult issues to the ground this year and made good decisions. We’ve cut costs, re-allocated staff and thoroughly evaluated our programs. Everything we are doing has been for the long-term benefit of the church - end of the day, we are all in this together!
In looking at next year’s budget requests, what I especially like is the shift in focus from cost-cutting to enlightened growth. Sure, we have to continue to watch costs closely, but we also have an obligation spread our view of Christianity and grow the Church. In this Social Media Age, we need people to “Like” and “Share” Advent! (They say God is in the algorithm.) Rev. Greg Wilson will have his hands full with children, youth and adult formation, while also challenging the congregation to more deeply explore its own faith and service the community. Remember: Worship is our #1 priority!
Next weekend (9/25), after the 8:45 am and 10:00 am services, the Vestry will hold open Town Hall meetings. I hope that your schedule will allow you attend. The following weekend (10/1 & 10/2), Patrick McWilliams will be here to live the Gospel with all of us. My understanding is that it is a compelling story – invite a friend!
It seems to me that we have awakened to a new day at Advent. The time has come to “Let our light shine!”
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace.” 1 Peter 4:10 ESV
Your Obedient Servant,
Collis O. Townsend