From Our Pastor

Winter is Coming

Posted 6 December, 2018 by Pastor Keith Ritchie

As I write this, I know we all are giving great attention to the possibility of a winter storm this weekend. We on the church staff hope that if any storm comes, it waits until Sunday afternoon!

I say this because so many people have put so much work into the children's program scheduled for Sunday's 11am service. The children, their parents, and church staff have worked so diligently in preparing for this program titled, Christmas Around the World. Musical selections and puppet performances are to be part of this time of worship. With the hard work and excitement going into this program, we again hope to enjoy this service on Sunday morning. I am grateful for the faithful work of the children, parents, and staff that have made this possible, and know this will be an inspiring time of worship for all. (If weather prevents us from worshipping at the church this Sunday, Christmas Around the World will be presented on December 16.  Check the church website, Facebook page, or WDBJ 7 for updates on Sunday services.

Due to the uncertainty of the weekend schedule, the packing of food bags for local elementary school students will take place on Saturday morning at 9am in the Food Bank of the Uptown Ministry Center. The packing of bags was to take place after the 11am service on Sunday. As 290 bags are to be packed for students from Albert Harris, Patrick Henry, and Campbell Court schools, I hope you will volunteer to help with this mission. These food bags are to be delivered to the schools so as to provide food for students and families during the Christmas break. Thank you for your support of this ministry which blesses the lives of many in this area.

"Parents' Day Out" is scheduled for this Saturday from 10am - 4pm for children ages 4 - 11. Thanks to Annette Huckfeldt and the many volunteers who provide this ministry which allows parents to take care of holiday preparations and provides great fun for the children.

Those of us who have participated in the Advent Services at noon each Wednesday have found these services to be a great blessing in this holy season. I hope you will take part in the two midweek services yet before us, as we receive the Word, music, and the Lord's Supper. I pray you also remember the service of Lessons and Carols on December 23, the two Christmas Eve services, and the "Blue Christmas" service, December 20, 6pm, in the chapel.

This link which takes you to "A Christmas Letter" written by Bishop Kenneth Carter, President of the UMC Council of Bishops. Bishop Carter draws from Isaiah 11 as he sets forth a compelling vision of peace for the United Methodist Church, a church distant from such peace at this time. Please read this letter; I find it to be a letter telling the truth in love as it also speaks in hope. And remember again the call to be in prayer each day for the UMC as we approach General Conference.