Advent 2018

Advent is the arrival of a notable person, thing or event. It is a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ which we celebrate at Christmas. It can also refer to the second coming of Jesus. We will be preparing our hearts to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ throughout the four weeks of Advent.

There is another notable thing or event that we are preparing for in January 2019. Our time with Ministry Architects! ( At last month’s church business meeting the Leadership Team shared that we have engaged this organization, with the help of a grant from Center For Congregations, to consult with us beginning next month.

The Leadership Team and your pastors believe this consultation will help us identify our ministry assets and anything that could prevent or inhibit such ministries. Two representatives from Ministry Architects will be with us January 6th-8th, and will meet with various groups from our congregation. Their assessment of our congregation will be holistic, that is, encompassing our spiritual and physical assets. They will get a sense of the “big picture” of who Pleasant Dale is! Everyone will have opportunity to be a part of this time with our consultants.

The Directional Plan we affirmed last February said, “God is blessing Pleasant Dale in many ways. We continue to experience growth because of this blessing. We desire to be obedient to God’s leading and faithfully steward what He is doing in our midst.” This assessment is a way for us to be “faithful stewards” of what God is doing here. I believe it will confirm much we already know and reveal things we weren’t aware of.

I’m anticipating the coming of insight, inspiration and even more unity as we together seek to serve our Lord Jesus Christ into the future, as we expectantly await the second advent of our Lord Jesus.

I said earlier that we will be preparing our hearts for the coming of Jesus into the world yet again! We celebrate Christmas every year. And the preparation then becomes a renewal of our hope which is entirely in Jesus. It is good to be reminded of the story of the birth of Jesus and all that goes with that. Matthew and Luke give us the most details of this birth while the gospel of John sets this birth in divine terms. “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind” (John 1:4).

I invite you to think about what God is doing in your life, not just the life of this congregation. What are your hurts and disappointments? What do you wish you could change but cannot? What are your hopes and fears? As you prepare your hearts this year, think about these things. Allow God to shine His light, Jesus Christ, into your heart. Allow Jesus to fill the empty and lonely places of your life.

And allow Jesus to be the source of your great joy!

God Bless You

Pastor Jay