MY DEAR FRIENDS IN CHRIST,
Welcome to one and all.
You are welcome here, especially if you’ve got questions or doubts, if you’ve been away for a while, if you’re challenged, hurting, or in pain. Encounter Christ with us and know the generous, gentle love of God. I pray that you feel comfortable and at home here. We’re glad that you’re here because we’re stronger together, better able to know and celebrate God’s presence.
Christmas is about coming together and sharing the love we have, especially with those who’ve been away or left out. Our pastorate community of Saint Francis-Saint Mary and Holy Family swells with people this time of year, all searching for Christ. Rarely am I more proud or happy as pastor than when I get to say to all who come: WELCOME!!
During Advent, we’ve focused on choosing JOY. Joy is the deep, abiding, and pervasive sense of well-being that comes in recognizing how close God is and how much God loves us. We face many uncertainties in life, many challenges, disappointments and failures. It’s precisely in these storms that God comes even closer. Recognizing and realizing the grace, power, love and glory of Jesus Christ, in our lives we can weather these storms. More than that, with Christ, we can come to know the gentle, merciful power of God that gives new birth, forgives sin, reconciles enemies, and brings light out of darkness. It’s the Love of God poured out on us and I am delighted to share it with you here. We’re far from perfect nor do we have all the answers, but we seek to be the Body of Christ and to serve one another and all in need. We seek to be a family gathered around the table, a community centered on Christ where the presence of each and every person is a blessing.
Amid the challenges of this world and the many pressing concerns of our lives, it can be difficult to choose JOY. But Christmas shows us that God comes into the world, into the darkness and into the squalor of our sinfulness. The Love of God is wonderfully manifested in the gift of His Son, Jesus. We sing with the angels: “Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth!”
May our Lord Jesus Christ bless you, your family, and all those you love. May your new year be filled with God’s every grace.
In the Peace of the Newborn Lord,