From the Pastor: December 2013

Advent and Christmas, prepare us, inspire us and unite us in order to be more faithful disciples; better equipped for the future, and better prepared to serve our world.

I suppose I could use this space this month to lament about the over commercialism of Christmas (saw my first Christmas shopping commercial before Halloween this year). Or I could use the space to chide those who think Advent is not very necessary and gets in the way of “my” Christmas (remember it’s not your Christmas, it’s Christ’s).

No, I don’t think I’ll do that this year (unless I already did!). Instead I think it is necessary for us to see that these two unique seasons, Advent and Christmas, prepare us, inspire us and unite us in order to be more faithful disciples; better equipped for the future, and better prepared to serve our world.

Advent is a season to prepare and also to reflect upon the majestic work of God in our lives and how God’s love for us leads into God’s greatest act of love, providing a Savior to all of humanity. During the four weeks we intentionally take the time to meditate on this gift of God, and yes, prepare to celebrate the arrival of this gift.

Christmas allows us to share with the world the good news of great joy of the birth of Christ just as it was first announced to the shepherds. As I have mentioned in previous newsletters, now is the best time for us to invite and to include our neighbors and friends into the fellowship at Holy Spirit, so that Christ’s love may be shared and together we head out upon the road of service and witness.

Barb and I are excited about spending our first Advent and Christmas at Holy Spirit. Let us pray for the Spirit’s guidance as we actively prepare and celebrate like those shepherds, by sharing this good news with everyone we meet, and inviting them to be with us to be part of the heavenly hosts singing praises about the arrival of the Savior!

CLIFTON D. ESHBACH

Pastor

 

From the Pastor: November 2013

If you thought October went quickly then, “fasten your seat belts,” as begins a famous quote from the movies. But unlike the rest of that quote, here it will not be a bumpy ride. It will be a faithful ride as we close this liturgical year and prepare to begin a new one in December.

November already?!

I can hear the sighs now. Does it seem to you that as we get closer to the end of the calendar year the days move faster, like a snowball picking up mass and speed going down the hill?  If you thought October went quickly then, “fasten your seat belts,” as begins a famous quote from the movies. But unlike the rest of that quote, here it will not be a bumpy ride. It will be a faithful ride as we close this liturgical year and prepare to begin a new one in December.

In November we give thanks for and remember all the saints (remember the time change at the beginning of the month), the next week we are very fortunate to welcome our synodical Bishop to worship. And the next week is the Thanksgiving Dinner. And the next week will be our semi-annual meeting. And don’t forget equally enjoyable things such as a game night, choir rehearsals, and Sunday School.  And then guess what, it will be December!

All of these events are opportunities to express our thanks to God for the blessings we have been given and to continue our mission to share Jesus’ love in word and deed. Therefore in the midst of what may seem to be a month full of responsibilities, remember to offer a prayer of thanks to God who gives us these blessings, especially the blessing of a Savior, Jesus Christ. And I suppose I should add, be here to receive the good gifts of God through all of these various faithful activities.

AND, remember that every week is a good week to invite a neighbor or friend to Holy Spirit to sense the power of God’s Holy Spirit at work in our worship, service, education and fellowship. This Spirit keeps us together, motivated and creative so that we can continue to strive to fulfill our mission.

CLIFTON D. ESHBACH

Pastor

 

From the Pastor: October 2013

This month of October is important for our community as we offer our pledges of support for 2014, participate in a first ever health fair, study together in our Christian education offerings and prepare for the great festivals that remain this year. This would be an excellent time for you to invite someone to partake of the home cooking that is Holy Spirit. Invite someone now to see how we offer our service to God.

THANK YOU !

Your prayers, words of concern, comfort, and yes, even the silly jokes and bad puns have all helped considerably as I continue to recover. Thank you!

As I wrote last month, I had no idea what it would be like. Now I can tell you that while everything went very well with the surgery,  it was not the most pleasant experience I’ve ever had.

The first week in the hospital, dealing with the surgical issues and fighting an infection is something I do not wish on anyone, and pray I’ll never have  to deal with again.

But once I came home, things began to improve. There is something to be said about “home cooking!”

Now I’m looking forward to the home cooking of being back with you on Sunday morning, and beyond. While I still have a couple of issues to deal with, they will resolve themselves in the coming months.

This month of October is important for our community as we offer our pledges of support for 2014, participate in a first ever health fair, study together in our Christian education offerings and prepare for the great festivals that remain this year. This would be an excellent time for you to invite someone to partake of the home cooking that is Holy Spirit. Invite someone now to see how we offer our service to God…

….sharing Jesus love in word and deed.

CLIFTON D. ESHBACH
Pastor

From the Pastor: September 2013

During September we will hear a great deal about how to use our talents and resources. And we need to pray and think carefully how we will support God’s church in the coming year. We will be encouraged to “make the leap” and offer our time and gifts of the spirit in one or more of our ministries.

As timing would have it, I am writing this note to you five days before my schedule prostate surgery. While I’ve learned a lot about what to expect, I have no idea of what it will actually be like. I know that’s not a very earth shattering proclamation. In fact it’s a very obvious one.

But I wonder if that is what it is like as we consider offering our gifts to support the ministry of the congregation and the greater church. We have learned about many ways we can use the skills God has given us. But until we are engaged in an activity, we don’t know what it will actually be like.

During September we will hear a great deal about how to use our talents and resources. And we need to pray and think carefully how we will support God’s church in the coming year. This is the month we will receive a packet of information on how and why to make our pledge of support for 2014. We will be encouraged to “make the leap” and offer our time and gifts of the spirit in one or more of our ministries.

This is something I’m going to think about while I am recuperating at home so that when I return to active service in October, I will be more focused, and perhaps more determined, to use my gifts of the spirit, to the glory of God and to the common benefit of the entire community.