“Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way…..” Matthew 1:18
“It is the journey that teaches you a great deal about the destination” Drake (a pop musician)

Ministry has kept us moving in 2016; development of the ERT team, some regular mission work in soup kitchens, Erin Kimball, SwitchPoint, Dove Center, and in our Annual Conference through our support in our Wider Mission giving. Our music program continues to expand; the 11:00 a.m. worship in particular is stretching our worship space and we have celebrated The Last Supper, a successful rummage sale, Candy Cane Bazaar, new faces in our midst, and some great Sunday School and Bible studies. And. . .here it comes: the holiday season is upon us; ready or not! I can't believe it is December already. In no way is this an exhaustive list! The Spirit of God is moving and things are being done in the name of Christ all the time at SHUMC! Amen and amen!

advent-wreath-4-candles-5But Advent is here and it represents the season for remembering why we do all this ministry. And the eternal answer is one that will surprise us. The Incarnation of Jesus is God’s means for coming to be with us; to remind us of God’s love, mercy, hope and dreams for us. But that is not all, Jesus speaks to us in our lives. He says if you love me, then do what I do. Go be incarnate in the lives of others. Journey from the House of Joy (Shepherd of the Hills) and be present (incarnate!) in the lives of the lost, the hungry, the ones who are powerless. Celebrate when you are at SHUMC that God is with us, but allow that peace to drive you out into the wilderness where you are needed.

Time for a Journey! But one built around the Nativity story! Beginning November 27th, both worship services will travel the road to Bethlehem, doing so through the eyes of Mary and Joseph. We will use the scriptures to explore the weight of glory that fell upon their shoulders. We will envision their steps, be seeing where they lived, the culture of the time, the pressures society placed upon them as their journey led to a space in Bethlehem. The schedule looks like this:

November 27, Walking with Mary, the Mother of Jesus
December 4, Walking with Joseph, the faithful one
December 13, Walking with Elizabeth and Mary as God speaks
December 24, 5:00 and 7:00 p.m., Walking to the Manger: A Living Nativity

The path is before us, and I know this is a journey you won’t want to miss! Let’s walk together toward Bethlehem knowing the “end” of the journey is a new beginning!

See you in worship
Rev. Michael




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