December Newsletter

By Metro East on December 1st, 2019

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It's official. Thanks to my wife’s persistence, prayers, and piles of decorations (that have stolen my parking spot in my garage) I love the Christmas season. I have repented of my Grinchiness. And although Advent does not officially start until December 1, I have been anticipating its coming since late October. I talk about it regularly. My daughters and I have been having Christmas music dance parties nightly. And it seems that every time I read Scripture in this season, my heart is warmed at the idea of the incarnation of Jesus. Take for example the following verses.

32 “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. 35 Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— 36 lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Stay awake.” – Matthew 24:32-37

Advent is the reminder that Jesus came. Advent also serves as a reminder that Jesus is coming again, a sort of wake up call to the Church. I need Advent; I have a heart that is inclined to become spiritually drowsy to the reality that Jesus came to us to save us and that He is coming again to save us. I need the reminder that Advent brings  that my soul longs to be with Jesus. That I won’t be whole, no matter what blessings come my way, until I see Him face to face. I’ll never be entirely satisfied until I’m in His presence. 

So Advent reminds me of those truths, it reminds me to wait and to long until I’m with Jesus where He is. It also reminds me that He came to be with me, stepped into my world, and brought light to my darkness. And that He, the Master, gave me work to do. Advent, then, is not a passive waiting period, but one that anticipates a returning King and that I, along with the whole world, will either be caught sleeping or hopefully waiting. 

So how can we do that?

  1. Acknowledge your soul’s longing for a better world, to be home with Jesus, and for the return of the Master. It’s hard to fall asleep when you’re uncomfortable. Spend time praying for the brokeness around you and for Jesus to step in.

  2. Hope steadfastly. Advent reminds us who Jesus is. The Master of the House, The Returning King, The Light of the World who stepped into our darkness. Through His light, our eyes can see the end of all things, and it ends well for us.

  3. Hebrews 11:6 Tells us that God rewards those who seek Him. The reward is more of Him. Find more time and more ways to seek Him this Advent. One great way is to daily engage the Advent devotional guide you can find here or on the app.

Praying that this season of waiting and longing stirs your affections for Jesus,
Pastor Charlie


Sunday, December 15, 6:30 p.m.
The Journey Hanley Road

We invite you to come together with us as one church to install Curtis Gilbert as Senior Pastor at The Journey!

All are welcome to attend this short worship service to celebrate what the Lord is doing in our church.

The Details

  • There will be a reception in the church lobby immediately following the service.
  • Children are welcome to attend; however, childcare will not be provided.
  • Seating in the sanctuary will be first-come, first served. Doors open at 6 p.m. and overflow seating may be made available if necessary.
  • Parking at Hanley Road is limited; please consider carpooling or using public transportation.

Please let us know if you plan to attend by registering below!

Step into this Advent season with us through a 24-day devotional resource we’ve created for individuals and families! It’s a companion guide to our Advent sermon series, “He Stepped In,” including daily readings, stories, devotions, worship songs and more. We invite you to go deeper with us as we consider the hope and healing available to us because of Jesus’ birth and presence. You can also access the devotional on The Journey St. Louis app!

Open Table is an opportunity to embody love and demonstrate hospitality within our church family and community. It allows both hosts and guests to connect over a holiday meal, encourages a continued mindset of open tables and open hearts, and is a way to faithfully live out being the family of God in obedience to our Savior, who commands us to embody love to those within the body of Christ and those outside the church.

We want you to know that no matter who you are or what season of life you are in, you have something to bring to the table and will be a blessing to those around you! 

Learn more or register to host or join a table on Christmas Eve, or Christmas Day by December 15th!



As we enter into cold/flu season, please keep in mind our Journey Kids sick policy. Please, do not drop off children who have exhibited any of the following symptoms in the past 24 hours:

  • fever • excessive/colored nasal drainage • persistent coughing • diarrhea • vomiting
  • rash • any infection of the eye/nose/throat

The Family Room is available if needed. Thanks for helping us maintain a healthy environment for everyone! 


December 29th is Family Sunday! Journey Kids rooms will be open for infants through 3-year-olds. All 4-year-olds through 5th graders are invited to attend worship with their family.


Childcare will be available during both Christmas Eve services (4 and 5:30 p.m.) for infants through 3-year-olds. Be sure to check in your child(ren) early as space may be limited.

Check out some Advent resources HERE. 

Email NaHana Stogner if you have any questions! 

Join us alongside Hope Chapel on Christmas Eve at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
(childcare for 3 and under)
Did you know we host a platelet and whole blood drive at our church? Join us with the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center from 9 a.m.-1:15 p.m. on Tuesday December 17th for the next drive! 
Do you send out a Christmas card to your loved ones around the holidays every year? Add us to your list! We would love to get those and pray for your families. 
December Song of the Month: "He Stepped In" | The Journey Collective
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