We are already into the heart of December and the darkening days of the Advent season; yet it has already been one rich with possibility and ministry. The invitation to “Come Home” to both love and to joy over the past two weeks has awakened us to be mindful of the needs of our neighbors and to help them experience “home” in fresh new ways.
Last week’s furniture-building effort in support of “Houses into Homes” proved to be a great example of generations working together to create a few of the elements needed to transform a space into a welcoming abode and inspired several of our member families to donate their own gently-used furnishings to the cause - and even an entire hotel’s furnishings. Way to go! Those gathering last night (Dec. 8th) for “worship and work” repackaged a veritable mountain of urgently needed diapers and tissue for the North Liberty Food Pantry, which is attempting to keep up with growing community need. Many thanks for your inspiring efforts and to the Thrivent members who helped purchase the supplies. What teamwork was evident again! (See the picture of the supplies packed into a truck for transport to North Liberty Community Pantry. Even the front seat was full!!)
This Sunday, we will be highlighting “Come Home to… Peace,” and noting the many forms which “peace” can take, especially in light of the Hebrew concept of “shalom” or harmony. It’s a far richer vision than I have often treated it and one that is both inviting and inspiring in ways both obvious and otherwise. One of our focused responses to the issue will be to highlight the needs and opportunities to help welcome those fleeing war-torn Afghanistan, who have experienced little of it in recent decades. For those of you who are able, we’ll be continuing our discussion of refugees in the Sunday forum at 9:30 and engaging in advocacy and encouragement activities for them next Wednesday. We would welcome your presence!
Meanwhile, our Visioning Council has been actively sharing their gratitude for those who submitted a “Faith Promise” for the 2022 ministry year. Your efforts to get your pledges submitted really helped them to craft an initial budget proposal. While we still have a way to go to meet our goal, the fact that over half of families elected to raise their support of our Ministry Fund next year (by 9% collectively) has truly provided encouragement to pursue our mission through ever more creative means in these challenging times. Many thanks!
What shape will “peace” take within your own life and home this week? Let’s see how we might envision that together this Sunday! See you in worship!