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Pastor Mark’s Christmas Reflection

Over the last 30 or so years “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” has been a reminder message that has come out of certain sectors of the larger church. It has been distributed to the general- public and embraced to some extent in modern culture.

If you choose to use it, I would ask the question “what does it mean?”  As disciples of Christ the language we use about matters of faith is important.  It can build a bridge to The Peace, or it can leave one scratching their head asking themselves the question, “what do they mean?”

Are we talking about the birth of a baby? Are we talking about the young man who was baptized by John? Are we talking about the man who fought for change in Palestine, bringing hope to the poor and challenging the rich?

It would seem, that since we already know the story, the answer is about sharing the peace that was taught by Jesus.

At St. John, God is working through us to do many things. The things we do generate joy which is a response to hope. And when someone says thanks, we respond “praise God” right? So, what follows is our response to the importance of Christmas. Yes, a baby was born but the man inspired us to offer our version of the “12 days of Christmas:”

  1. A Sunday Service that prepares us to be God’s Hands and Feet.

  2. A Blood Drive that recently collected 27 units!

  3. Pathways, a ministry that visits the lonely in nursing homes.

  4. A prayer shawl ministry providing comfort to the hurting.

  5. A partnership with Succoth that develops cross-cultural awareness through service.

  6. Create and Care Camp helping children understand how God moves in nature.

  7. Lutheran World Relief providing quilts and personal care and school kits to those in need.

  8. Renaissance Academy, a site that offers value-centered educational experiences.

  9. The Residence, a home for three individuals with special needs.

  10. God’s Garden, exploring the healing power of creation in service to others.

  11. Tutoring Mission, helping young children in reading and math.

  12. AA, providing a safe space for those battling addictions.

As our mission expands, we hope our membership will find the joy of Jesus in all that we do. And we pray that this vision will never be limited by funds, prayer or volunteer support. Let us always be thankful for the belief that through Christ we can make a difference in this world.

Merry Christmas,

Pastor Mark

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