Happy New (Church) Year! What a special day we had the Sunday after Thanksgiving and as we began our new year this Advent. We had a rousing service and kicked off the new year with some changes behind the scenes in worship. Music and voice were a lot clearer today, almost too strong for the piano because we modified our setup with microphones at the podium and piano. If you live-stream or watch the recording you might need to decrease the volume when the piano is playing, there may be some more minor changes in the coming weeks too. May November turn to December and may you all be safe and protected from COVID and the issues surrounding that.

In worship we started with the Sunday of Hope as our Advent journey began. We looked at how we can prepare ourselves today for tomorrow and for the rest of life – by looking for and relishing the signs of God in our midst. The Prophet Isaiah served a reminder that God has been with those who trust in God for assistance since the very beginning. God has delivered God’s people from their oppressors, even when they forgot God. The Psalmist reminds us that God is our shepherd who will guide us if we let God guide us. God’s presence is there if we search for it. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians reminds us that we are not lacking in any spiritual gift in our community – especially when we turn to God and Christ for guidance. Our sermon was mostly focused on the gospel of Mark and Jesus’ declaration that we need to keep alert and be prepared for God’s return at any time. We become prepared by our nurturing our perception of God present in the here and now so we can see God in the future.

Where is God’s leading you to create a new relationship as you begin your Advent journey? I invite your comments,

Readings: Isaiah 64:1-9; Psalm 80:1-7, 16-18; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37

Video of worship: https://youtu.be/rSm4GGeE5JA

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