December 9th, 2011 eNote

Dear Tonganoxie UMC Family,

Last Sunday I preached a message that included an invitation for this Advent and Christmas from a movement called The Advent Conspiracy; an invitation to Worship Fully.  Spend Less.  Give More.  Love All.  Though I spent a good part of last week preparing this message and preached it twice on Sunday, this Wednesday morning I still found myself in a place full of stress and frustration.  It was the 7th of December and I really hadn’t bought anything for Christmas, Heather and I hadn’t really even finalized our Christmas budget or plans for our families, and I found my anxiety to be elevated and a general sense of crankiness to permeate my soul as the expectations and pressures of the season mounted.  As I reflect on that morning in hindsight now I can only chuckle and think, dang, it is a tough time of year, isn’t it?!  I hope and pray that you have had a blessed week and that you’re finding time in the midst of the craziness of this season to reflect and prepare for the coming of Christ in our lives and in the world.  I want to share just a few brief things with you in today’s email.

Financial Secretary Job Opening

In last week’s email I mentioned that Norma Hunter would be retiring at the end of January and that we would be hiring a person to manage the finances of the church.  Wednesday evening Staff Parish finalized a position description for a Financial Secretary (roughly 10 hours a week) and we are now accepting applications.  If you or someone that you know might be interested in applying for this position or wants to at least see the position description, please contact the church office.  Applications are available in the office and are due by 9am on Monday the 19th of December.

Year-End Staff Appreciation

Tomorrow morning Staff Parish is hosting a Christmas Brunch for all of our staff in conjunction with a quarterly staff meeting.  The aim of this brunch is to show our congregation’s appreciation for all that our staff does throughout the year.  While I often serve as the “face” of the church as the pastor, the ministry that we do would not be possible without the gifts and dedication of our staff.  I do hope that you’ll take the opportunity to express your gratitude to them as we wrap up a wonderful year of ministry.

Staff Parish has also invited some of our volunteer music leaders who play an integral part in the weekly worshiping life of our congregation.  I hope they know how appreciated they are for all that they do.

Join us for Charge Conference (and Potluck) This Sunday

This Sunday, December 11th, following our second service, we will be having our 2011 Charge Conference, our annual business meeting for the church.  We will be sharing a potluck meal together following worship and then will conduct the business of the conference (adopting the pastor’s compensation package, the church budget, and the church leadership for 2012 as well as adopting a statement of purpose to guide us in 2012 and beyond).  After votes have been taken on the necessary matters our District Superintendent, Mike Chamberlain, will lead a time of reflection and conversation on the ministry of the past year and plans for future.  I look forward to hearing what you all have to say during that conversation!  This meeting is open to all members and friends of the church.  I do hope you’ll plan to join us!

Again, I hope and pray that you have had a good week.  I look forward to seeing you in worship Sunday as we continue our Advent Journey and “Prepare the Way” by exploring Mary’s story found in Luke 1:46-55 and the invitation we have to be people “Proclaiming in Word.”

Grace and Peace,




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