A key word in Advent season is waiting. Children wait for presents to open. We wait for Christmas gatherings of loved ones. Few of us enjoy waiting. It brings frustration and anxiety. Waiting feels like we are going nowhere in our yearning to be where we want to be. But Advent waiting is different. We wait with anticipation that God will soon come, hoping that the light of Christ will again shine in the darkness around us.
The prophet Isaiah says that those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. So, we wait with great hope, anticipating that God’s love and light will be present in our ministry and in our service, even in times of darkness and uncertainty. We wait in confidence, knowing that are with one another and are not alone.
As we wait for Christmas, I thank you for your support of the NACCC. I am grateful for your encouragement that offers hope to the other churches and members of our Association. I look forward in anticipation of what God is about to do. Merry Christmas.
Jodee Lord, Vice-Moderator, Chair, Board of Directors
While decorating for Christmas, I began thinking about the poinsettia and its history. I was surprised by the variation of explanations; from the different areas of its growth, the many ways the poinsettia has been used, the origin of its name, and the Mexican legend of a young girl.
What resonated with me is the symbolism of the poinsettia. Its red leaves symbolize the blood of Christ, and the flowers represent the star of Bethlehem. Poinsettia plants are believed to bring success, joy, and cheer.
Through your generosity to the NACCC and the Shared Ministries Fund we can bring the poinsettia’s symbolism to churches and ministers.
We are grateful for each of you. Wishing you and your church a Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year.
Year End Giving
Bob Smith, Congregational Foundation Board of Governors
As we approach the end of the calendar year, if is common to remember those organizations that are meaningful in our lives. I hope that the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches is among those organizations that you will remember. There are many services that are available and it makes sense to make a gift to ensure their continuation. Our small, but energetic and dedicated staff support the efforts of a much larger leadership team made up of volunteers from the churches of the National Association. Whether it is the support of missions here or across the world, response to disasters, pastoral search, study aides or the Advent Devotional booklet, the National Association works to serve its member churches. Your gift can make a difference!
Listening Tour Update
November began in Minnesota and included several days in the Northeast at the end of the month. In Connecticut and New York, congregations with rich histories continue to make a difference in their communities. Study and fellowship are important components of the Congregational Way. Thrift shops thrive as revenue streams that are a ministry. Church fairs are longstanding traditions that embody hospitality, craft, and cuisine. Congregational churches open their doors to welcome people into their midst while also exploring ways to collaborate with their neighbors to meet human need.