Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

Yes, this is the December newsletter, not the January publication, but we are celebrating the advent of a new Christian year. The English language can be very confusing at times. We are celebrating the arrival of another year of Christianity, but at the same time, we are waiting for the arrival of Jesus' birth and/or Jesus’ return. Yet, the word advent, by definition is appropriate for both occasions. It means the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event.

Just before and just after the arrival of a new year, many of us make resolutions. I would like to encourage the LeValley and Berlin Center congregations to make a resolution to reach out beyond the walls of the Churches to family, friends, and neighbors who don't have a relationship with Jesus Christ or who, for whatever reason, are not affiliated with a church. What we would be doing through this resolution is to live out our vision statement. Do you know what it is? Each of us should be able to recite it, maybe not word for word, but at least describing the gist of it. Our vision is to transform the world by reaching out to lost people in Jesus’ name and developing them into mature followers of Jesus Christ. There are many action verbs in the one sentence. Are you ready to move??

The rule of thumb for growing Churches is to spend 50% of their resources and energy outside the church. Isn't that what Jesus tells us to do in the Great Commission? When he says, "Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I have told you. I think that the Advent season is an appropriate time to begin our outreach because more people show an interest or feel an obligation to attend church during Advent and Christmas than any other time of the year.

I would like to compose a Christmas letter that each of us can share with families, friends and neighbors. When you’re baking Christmas cookies, why not prepare a plate to take to a neighbor you don’t know with a copy of the letter. You could even mail a copy of the letter to some families. I’m sure many of you could even think of other creative ideas.

Berlin Center and LeValley are the churches of Berlin and Orange Townships.. That is a news tidbit that needs to be shared with the people of the townships. What comfort there should be for the residents in knowing that should they walk through the doors of Berlin Center or LeValley, they will be welcomed by neighbors and others who appreciate the beauty and friendliness of the Townships.

We should plan other outreach events in the area throughout the year. I am open to suggestions you might have. Any ministry that conforms to the churchs’ vision statement will be considered.

I know the Christmas season is a hectic time with shopping, decorating, school Christmas programs, and family gatherings, among others, but we should all still take time for Jesus each day. After all it is HIS birthday we are celebrating. Forgetting about Jesus amidst the busyness of the season is like having a birthday party and not inviting the guest of honor. I hope you and your families will join us for worship during this Advent season. Along with our regularly scheduled Sunday services, we will be worshipping on Christmas Eve at 7:00 p.m and 11:00p.m. I hope, as well, that you will invite a family that you know to attend worship with you. What better gift could we give Jesus than someone committing themselves completely to him.

Greg and I wish each of you Merry Christmas, blessed by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Christmas Blessings,

Pastor Nancy

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