Pastor’s Weekly Message: 11.28.13

Grace Waves

Friends:

In the middle of the forest there is an Unexpected Glen; it can only be found by the ones who have lost their Way. —Tomas Transtromer

Pure Delight!  Continue to spread the Invitation for our incredible Christmas Concert on December 8 at 5:00 pm.  Both Elizabeth and Hyunjung are artists of the highest caliber.  You will be immersed in the finest music of the season and our tradition.  From the heights of joy to the spiritual depths—these are your first Advent Gifts.  Rejoice!

For the Hungry:  This year, Thanksgiving weekend also marks the beginning of Advent, the season of anticipation of Christ’s coming. During Advent we will again hear the story of a young girl whom God chose for an extraordinary purpose. Rereading that story in Luke’s Gospel, I am struck that Mary begins her song with praise for a God who “filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.” It is this God who will become incarnate in her son, who too will fill the hungry with good things.  As a follower of Jesus, I don’t understand the actions of the current Congress, which is considering cutting about 4 million people from SNAP. Reversing God’s priorities, Congress seems determined to fill the rich with good things and send the hungry away empty.  We can’t let that happen. The cuts of $36/family which began in November are already devastating families and food banks.  As you gather with family and friends around your Thanksgiving table, I urge you to pray a simple prayer with me and other Bread members: God, empower us and inspire our leaders to fill the hungry with good things. I also invite you to join an international stream of prayers that will happen on Dec. 10. Pope Francis will call on people around the world to pray on this day for an end to hunger.  (Rev. David Beckman, President of Bread for the World). Go to our Resources page for a link to Bread for the World.

Ornament Choices – Giving Tree for Advent

With Brock’s Internship at Peace and the Federal Prison in Dublin we have a unique request this year.  His Internship was neither anticipated nor budgeted for this year.

He, we and the Seminary stepped out on faith—trusting we would “discover” the way to fund it during the year.

$8,000 has been raised by Rev. Donna Duensing through channels beyond Peace.  Additional efforts and requests are still being pursued.  Peace is asked to raise $10 – 12,000.  We are under no “obligation” or consequences if it cannot be accomplished. The request is presented here as part of our Giving Tree and year end donation possibilities.  While ‘hands on’ gifts make tangible the love in our hearts, your financial support of Brock’s Internship will make ‘tangible’ the gift of God’s presence in the lives of those who—whether guilty or innocent—experience what it is to be “the least”.  Thanks for your prayers and making the gospel real through Brock’ s training and future ministry.

Additional Ornaments:  Shelter, Inc. families; (CCIH families—these gifts were needed before Thanksgiving); Partnership Projects in Nicaragua and South Africa; and Scholarships for Peace Counseling Center families who cannot afford our sliding scale fees.

Happy Thanksgiving and Blessed Advent, Pr. Steve