The first Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of the Christian year, and it always starts with Hope. Just as our secular society often views the beginning of the new calendar year as the chance for a new beginning, people of faith start Advent, our new year, with the expectation of change. The difference is that on January 1 we try to conjure confidence in change on personal resolutions that prove quickly to be fragile. We discover quickly how hard it is to change our patterns. The hope we herald at the beginning of Advent is made of sturdier stuff. It is belief in the power of God to bring renewal.
Since January of this year it has been my pleasure to serve as one of four “visiting” Regional Ministers serving the Christian Church in Ohio. Over these months I have had the opportunity to get to know many new ministers, lay leaders, and congregations. I have delighted in the opportunity to share in the ordination and installation of new pastors, to assist congregations in planning their future, and to provide pastoral support to ministers in times of loss and challenge. I am grateful for the welcome I have received.
And, everywhere I have been I have seen hope. Hope in the capacity of our churches. Hope in our ability to communicate our faith in fresh ways. Hope in the future of our Region, and an expectation that we will find a way forward together to establish trust and stability in our organizational structures and activities.
Your gift to the Christmas offering builds on that hope. Your gift, made through your local congregation in December, helps us connect Ohio Disciples in camps, conferences, and assemblies. Your gift nurtures the development of a new generation of pastors, assists congregations in leadership development, and fosters faith development. Your gift provides care and counsel to those who are troubled and caught in conflict. You gift participates in the renewal that God promises.
Thank you for your support of the Christian Church in Ohio, and your gift to the Christmas Offering. Blessings on you and your congregation as we begin this new Christian year.
Visiting Regional Minister
For more information and Christmas Offering resources, go to https://disciplesmissionfund.org/special-offerings/christmas/