“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with jewels.” Isaiah 61:10
Greetings, Fremont Family:
This Sunday, December 13, our new Family Ministry Associate, Ashley Brassea, will be preaching. I am so excited to welcome her to the Fremont “pulpit,” and I know she will share an amazing word on Joy. I first met Ashley in 2019. She was working with our Greater Northwest Area’s Innovation and Vitality Team, and it was obvious that Ashley had a passion and a calling to pastoral ministry. I remember thinking at the time, “if I ever have a chance to work with Ashley in ministry, I will jump at it.” Now, nearly two years later, here we are! Ashley’s creativity and energy have already made an immediate impact on our ministry to families.
The theme for this third Sunday in Advent is JOY, and strangely enough, in a year that has been very challenging, I find myself, like the prophet Isaiah, greatly rejoicing. I am rejoicing especially over the resiliency of our faith community. You have risen to the occasion of reimagining our life together in so many beautiful ways. Our Sunday morning worship, while virtual, is real and deeply meaningful. Our ministry to children and youth, while socially distant, is tangible and consistent. Our posture to the neighborhood, with our building closed, is open and receptive.
Last Saturday, in particular, the joy of our community was palpable. Volunteers were buzzing around the tree lot as neighborhood families lined up to take home a Christmas tree. Fremont youth and children were gathered on the front patio wrapping our “tulip” tree with lights and hanging ornaments. Members of our Family Ministry team were setting up the wooden cut-out Manger scene, and Pastor Ashley was visiting with families and handing out bags of star ornaments and treats. The fellowship, the laughter and the beauty of the occasion were wonderful. It felt like we were “decked out” in righteousness and joy for all to see.
I continue to look forward to spending Christmas Eve with you. We will gather at 7pm. It will be a worship service full of singing Christmas carols (on ZOOM), listening to the Christmas story, and sharing the light of Christ. Next week, we will be sending an email asking you to have a candle with you for the Christmas Eve service with an invitation to submit in advance a family “holiday” photo to include in our worship. That way our joy will be complete.
Advent blessings, Pastor Erin