Metro East Metro East December Newsletter Metro East Family, The Advent season is here! In light of this, we want to let you know how we will be celebrating as a church. This season will be a time focused on the anticipation and hope that we have in Christ, first in remembering His birth and then looking forward to His return. What is Advent and Why Do We Celebrate it? Advent is a preparatory season in the historical church calendar that focuses on the “coming” or “visitation” of Jesus, culminating in the celebration of Christmas (adventus is Latin for “coming”). The Bible doesn’t command that we celebrate Advent, but we believe that is it a helpful practice for the spiritual formation of our church. Why? 1. Advent helps us align our December calendars with the Story of God. Often we spend more time thinking about the demands of Christmas than the glory of Christ. Advent helps us use December as a time to reflect on Jesus’ gracious and radical intervention in the world (as opposed to the consumerism of our current culture). Through gathered worship (Sundays) and family devotions/readings, advent helps us worship Jesus – the God who humbly became a baby in order to establish His Kingdom and give Himself up for all of us so that we might have a restored life with God. 2. Advent stirs our longings for the second coming of Christ. Even as we celebrate the incarnation of Jesus, advent reminds us that though Christ’s Kingdom is already present in the world (and in us!), it is also not yet fully realized. Thus, advent stirs our hearts to pray for Christ’s return, groan for the current brokenness of the world (and ourselves), and give ourselves more fully to participating in God’s redemptive purposes in the world. 3. Advent gives us a strategic opportunity to share the hope of Christ’s coming with our friends/family who aren’t yet connected to Jesus or the church. Both as the church gathered (on Sundays) and the church scattered (throughout the week), Christmas/advent affords us a great opportunity to share the Gospel. Many of our friends/family who aren’t connected to Jesus will consider coming to church and talking about Jesus during the holidays. We want to capitalize on this God-given opportunity for the glory of Jesus and the good of our loved ones. _________________________________________________ METRO EAST ADVENT CELEBRATIONS: 1. Weekly Gatherings- Every weekend from December 3rd through December 17th during our normal service times (Sundays at 9 and 11am) 2. Christmas Eve Services at 4pm and 5:30pm (childcare for 3 and under) 3. Daily Readings for Advent- We are providing an Advent devotional that has brief daily reading until Christmas Day. Our hope is that God would use these meditations to help you keep Him at the center of your Christmas season. Don’t hesitate to let us know, if you have any questions. Blessings, Curtis All Church Prayer We would love for you to join us the first Sunday of every month for our all church prayer night. This is an informal event where we pray for personal, church and global things going on in the world around us. Kids are welcome to participate! Advent Resources 1) Check out this FREE Advent Devotional here 2) Check out our recommendations for resources to help you celebrate Advent with your children here. Jess will be giving away one of the recommended Advent resources to a family every Sunday leading up to Christmas. Parents, be sure to check your email on Sunday afternoon for the Journey Kids Parent Newsletter for a chance to win! As the year comes to an end, we want to pause and seek the Lord with our gifts and our finances. As Pastor Jeremy preached in our Engage Culture sermon, God doesn't need our gifts or our money, but he wants to use them and multiply them. So as we continue to seek to enjoy grace, embody love, and engage our culture, please join us in making a generous year-end gift so we can move our mission forward. Kids Corner! We added a fun area for you and your family to take a Christmas picture. Check it out by the family entrance on Sunday morning. Journey Students Christmas Party! Journey Students are having their Christmas party Saturday December 16th from 6-10pm! Be there or be square. P.s. Don't be square. Holiday Tear Down. Mark your calendars for the holiday tear down! This will take place on January 6th at 10am. Lunch will be provided if you register here. This month I am giving away 2 copies of John Piper's Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ. Give one away as a last minute Christmas gift or keep them both. For this give away I want you to call the church's office phone and let me know what the word Advent means. Copyright © 2017 The Journey, All rights reserved.