I got on a plane on Wednesday. I settled into my seat. I (barely) listened to the safety announcements. Then, we took off. I hadn’t planned this trip – but I had to take it.
Many of you know by now that my dear 3-year old niece, Caroline had an accident at school and had to be rushed to Children’s Hospital in Atlanta, where she is fighting for her life. I am so grateful for the outpouring of prayer for her and grateful that I could pray for her in person for a few days. If you want to join me in praying for Caroline, you can see updates by visiting her Caring Bridge site: https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/carolinethome.
On my flight to Atlanta, as the lights dimmed in the cabin, I pulled the magazine from the seat pocket in front of me. And there it was… a reminder of God’s faithfulness. On the cover of the SKY Magazine –big and bright in bold letters— “MADE TO SHINE. ”Whether celebrating or grieving or waiting…. We were made to SHINE.
This Christmas, we celebrate the good news that the Light of the World, Jesus, has come to SHINE. And he made us to SHINE. On Sunday, I will be wearing gold… and will announce the totals of our SHINE Campaign commitments. If you still need to make your commitment and would like your commitment to count toward the total, I will announce, click here to make your commitment.
Sunday, we will continue our series, “The Upside Down of Christmas,” with Mark preaching, “Christmas Traditions.” This week we turn our attention to Joseph. A righteous man, he was on his way to the big day… following the traditions that would lead to marriage with his betrothed, Mary. But it went upside down when Mary told Joseph she was pregnant. Also, on Sunday, we will light the advent candles, hear our children’s choirs, and sing some of our favorite carols.
This weekend, we have two concerts to help you experience the Christmas story in fresh ways. Saturday night, December 14, join us for A Christmas Night of Worship. Our Modern Worship Team concert will be at the Locust Street Campus at 7 pm. Sunday afternoon, join us for Lessons and Carols. Our Chancel Choir Concert directed by Tom Goeman will be at the Locust Street Campus at 4 pm. These are wonderful events to invite friends to experience our GRACE community.
Also, some of you have asked for End of Year Giving information. Your giving is essential for the mission and ministry of GRACE Church. I continue to be inspired by your generous giving shown in this year’s giving and the SHINE giving. Thank you in advance for the difference you are making. For more information – including info about stock giving and end of the year office hours, check out my P.S. at the end of this note.
Finally, Christmas Eve is going to be glorious. This weekend, we will have some cards to help you invite your friends to join you. Some of the highlights include nativity animals, an orchestra, our incredible musicians (Chancel Choir and worship band), and of course, candles. Click here for all the details.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! It is a great gift to be…
Your pastor and your friend,
Dr. Marnie Crumpler, Senior Pastor