West County December Newsletter

By West County on December 14th, 2017

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A MESSAGE FROM PASTOR SCOTT

Dear Church Family,

It’s hard to believe that another Thanksgiving has come and gone and Christmas preparations are officially underway.  Many of us will spend the coming weeks preparing for holiday work parties, Christmas activities and family gatherings.  Our to do lists will include shopping, wrapping gifts, cooking and mailing out Christmas cards just to name a few.  Those things have their own level of importance but how much more important is it that we prepare our hearts for the coming of our King?  As a gift to you, we’ve purchased a four-week Advent guide that is available for download and begins this Sunday, December 3rd.  Spending just a few minutes each day preparing our hearts can help us slow down, even in the midst of so much busyness, while we reflect on God’s goodness and love.  Also, I hope you’ll join us on Sunday, December 10th for Tis the Season at 5:30pm.  We’ll sing Christmas carols and then assemble care packages for those in need while drinking hot chocolate and eating Christmas cookies.  It’ll be a great way to kick off your Christmas season!

We’ve just concluded a three-week sermon series where Pastor Jeremy shared The Journey’s new vision and mission.  I hope it’s been exciting for you to hear where we believe God is leading us a church.  If you happened to miss part of the series, the sermons can all be found on our website.  The most consistent feedback we’ve received from you is about how the new vision and mission is not just for the church but is personally relatable.  I’ve spent the last few months praying that God would further awaken and transform me by the love of Jesus.  As the New Year approaches, would you begin to pray that as well?  As God awakens and transforms us, it will naturally flow into our city and ultimately to the ends of the earth.  We believe the awakening and transforming work will happen in us as we Enjoy Grace, Embody Love and Engage Culture.  If you have stories of how God is using the new vision and mission in your life, I would love to hear about them.  

I have never been more excited about the future of our church!  Thank you for your faithfulness.  I am humbled to be your pastor and am so excited to see what He has in store for us.

Joy to the World, the Lord is come!

Pastor Scott

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Going Deeper

I am excited to roll out this new section of our newsletter! Our aim with Going Deeper is to highlight resources, upcoming classes, and tackle specific topics that we hope will be helpful in our spiritual formation. Formation, simply defined, is the act or process of forming or the state of being formed. With spiritual formation, our focus is on the process of being formed, conformed, and transformed to the image of Christ. This ongoing formation in Christ is vitally connected to our ongoing growth in use of Scripture, disciple-making, evangelism, and community (just to name a few things). The mission of Spiritual Formation at The Journey West County is to help people respond to the Spirit's lead by taking the next step in becoming like Christ.

Before getting to this month’s resources, I would ask that you take a few minutes to fill out this survey. Your input will help inform conversations and decisions about future resources and classes we will offer as "next steps" at The Journey West County.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ADVENT
If we aren’t careful, we can get caught up in the busyness of the Christmas season and miss an opportunity to truly pause and reflect on the significance of Christ’s birth. There are a number of resources available for Advent, and Pastor Scott has already shared one resource with you in his above letter.  If you would like to look through some additional options, I would recommend the following to you:

Lifeway Kids Family Advent Guide (this resource will be printed and available at Journey Kids check-in stations) 
Advent Devotional (The Village Church)
Advent Community Guide
Good News of Great Joy
Come Let Us Adore Him:
A Daily Advent Devotional

Do you have a favorite advent resource or devotional? I would love to hear about it! I’m praying this Advent season that we can all take the next step in becoming more like Christ as we marvel at His birth.

Grace and peace,
Pastor Jon

Serving Opportunity

On December 10th at 5:30pm, bring the whole family and join us for our second annual Tis the Season event. We will meet to sing Christmas carols and assemble care packages for those in need, all while enjoying hot chocolate and cookies. It's the perfect combination for getting everyone in the Christmas spirit and serving our local community at the same time.  Please sign up so we'll have enough cookies and hot chocolate!

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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.

GIVE

Staff/Elder Highlight

SCOTT HICKOX

Describe your job at WC:
As the lead pastor at WC, I have the privilege of maintaining a broad view of The Journey by regularly spending time with the other lead pastors, collaborating to make sure our church is aligned with its mission and vision.  But I’m also intimately involved in the inner-workings of our local church body where I get to encourage, empower and equip our staff to carry out the work they’ve been called to do.  Shepherding our congregation gives me a pretty consistent picture of the trials so many within our church face daily, but I also get to see God at work, redeeming lives, reconciling relationships and seeing people grow in their faith.  It truly is an honor.

Tell us about your family:
I’ve been married to my loving wife, Amy, for almost 29 years.  We have three adult children: Allison (married to Mark), Connor and Cooper.  Amy and I are enjoying the empty nest phase of life although we are happy to now have all of our children living in Missouri.  Allison, Mark and Connor are in Columbia and Cooper is here in St. Louis.  We aren’t able to get our family together as much as we’d like, but when we do we like to have fun, playing games and laughing with one another. 

Favorite restaurant in West County:
While it’s not necessarily our very favorite, Amy & I often frequent The Wolf.  It’s within walking distance from our home, our son works there on the weekends, and we enjoy the food and their atmosphere. 

If we’re headed out to celebrate something special, you might find us at Cooper’s Hawk.  We always enjoy the food and you can’t beat dinner on their patio when the weather is nice.

Describe your ideal Saturday:
My ideal Saturday would be pretty relaxed and would include spending time outdoors, going on a walk with Amy and working in the yard.  I’d probably also watch sports and have dinner with friends in the evening.

How can we, your church family, be praying for you?
You can be praying that I would not lose sight of Jesus in the busyness of life and ministry, especially as we approach Christmas.  Also, Amy and I want to love our kids and the people around us well so we’re always in need of God’s grace and strength.  

Do you have any recent book recommendations?
I just re-read ‘Life Together’ by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  It’s a good reminder of our need for each other and our need for the body of Christ.  What unites us in Jesus in far more significant than the things that may cause division.

I also recently read ‘Deep Work’ by Cal Newport.  It was a helpful resource and has caused me to alter some work habits and rhythms to be more productive.

For fun I just started reading the autobiography of Leonardo Da Vinci.  Ask me in a few weeks if it makes the recommended list!

***EDITOR'S NOTE:  While Scott will hate that this was included, he'll be celebrating a birthday December 12th!  Make sure to pass along your well wishes!  We know it'll make him smile!***

Celebrate

Thanksgiving of this year, a few of our West County families hosted international students from Lindenwood University.  We’re so grateful these families opened up their homes to share a meal with students who, according to statistics, might never step foot in the home of an American during their time here in the United States.  We’re confident good food was shared but even better were the conversations that took place!  Definitely something to celebrate!!  

In the Community For the Community

Don't forget to visit our website and check out upcoming events happening in Manchester and Ballwin.  All of these events are things you can do with family, friends and even your community group!  Get out there, meet our neighbors, make new friends and have some fun while being a light!

What's Happening at The Journey West County

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