Dear NT-NL Leaders:
Happy New Year! Indeed I know it is December 1st and not January 1st, but for us in the church it is indeed a new year. A new opportunity and season to lead and proclaim the good news of God to our neighbors in word and deed. The season of Advent is upon us and invites us into anticipation and reflection on what is to come. To do Advent with intentionality. As I reflected in my blog this past Tuesday during this season this is a time to lift your heads and look for Joy. To know that Christ is coming, God is faithful to God’s promises.
I invite you in this Advent season to take advantage of the many resources in this Leader News issue as well as our weekly news. These are provided to aid you in this work that we do together. Especially I lift up for you the congregational council trainings hosted by Briarwood Leadership Center that resume on Thursday Dec 2nd and 9th.Registration is here and past sessions are also available on our YouTube site. Those who attended our leadership convocation in October received an email earlier this week with links to videos of the sessions. They also received this document outlining equipment and learnings from this time prepared for you by our team who put together this very successful hybrid event. We learned a great deal in this experimental project and hope you can benefit from this work. Finally we have partnered with the Lutheran Foundation of the Southwest and the Southwestern Texas synod to create a video resource for congregations discerning their future. How as hope filled Joyful people we can look at the possibility of Holy Closure as a way to seed new ministry and honor the past.
December is a busy season for you as lay and rostered readers. So it is important that you again take time to lift your heads and be intentional about seeking Joy. Not as more law to be accomplished but a gospel message that sets you free from being overwhelmed by the expectations and the busyness of the season. The gospel message of salvation come down without your effort. That while your work is important and we want to support you in it we are claimed by a God who chose to make Advent among us. As you do your Advent know you are in my prayers and those of many.