The holiday season is upon us. Thanksgiving gatherings on Thursday. Advent begins on Sunday. Christmas just around the corner. For many this is “the most wonderful time of the year”! But the holiday season also begins the twilight of the calendar year. So I want to take a moment to touch on a a few communication points and then highlight some of the upcoming Grace Covenant holiday traditions.
First, as the years end is drawing near, I want to again thank the Grace Covenant family for your generosity to our ministries and mission in 2022. Your gifts to our Missions and Mercy funds have been extraordinary throughout the year, allowing both our Missions Committee and our Deacons to be able to bless and support both our ministry partners and our neighbors in need. While we are thankful that those essential ministries have been well fortified throughout the year, at this point it does project that our general fund will likely end 2022 with a deficit. Even if this projection should prove to become the reality, it does not diminish our thankfulness for your generosities, nor doubting God’s providence. Our Elders simply wanted me to make you aware to invite you to join us in prayer and as information to be considered as you make any year end giving decisions.
Second, the Session (i.e. Council of Elders) has asked me to make you aware of a change that has taken place in our leadership. Ruling Elder Mark Begly, who has been on an extended sabbatical from the Session, has informed us that he and Connie feel they are being led in a new direction, which includes sensing a call to begin worshipping with a different church. We continue to love the Beglys, and we continue to pray for them in this period of transition. Mark and Connie have expressed their continued love for their many friends at Grace Covenant, and we expect that many of those friendships will continue. If you have any questions, feel free to speak with any Elder active on Session.
And finally, we have a number of exciting opportunities and events coming up during this holiday season:
- On Sunday we begin recognizing the Season of Advent with the lighting of the Advent Wreath. Also during this Advent season, our choirs – Adult and Children’s – will sing in our services.
- Decorating for the season will take place on Monday November 28 at 6:30pm. You are invited to help set up the Christmas trees, poinsettias, etc. The more hands the more fun! Not only do the decorations serve as a visible sign of the season, participating in the decorating is a great way to connect with others and make some new friends. Children are welcome to help. If you have questions, please contact Diane Britton.
- On Saturday evening, December 10, Jack & Susan Tuttle are opening their home for Grand Illumination. For those who are newer to Grace Covenant, the Tuttles have been hosting a Grace Covenant Grand Illumination event for a number of years. Put on hiatus for a few years, due to COVID, we are excited that we can again gather this year. Everyone – singles, families, friends, etc. – are invited to enjoy the Tuttles’ hospitality, and partake of wonderful assortment of pot-luck finger-food dishes, and then walk together to a prime spot in Colonial Williamsburg to view the fireworks. So mark your calendars and join us for Grand Illumination.
- Our annual Candlelight Christmas Eve service will be held on December 24. And this year Christmas Day is on a Sunday. For those who may wonder, Yes, we will hold service as usual on Christmas morning!
For details and more events, please check out Grace Notes.
Let the Season Begin!
Grace & Peace,
W. Dennis Griffith, Lead Pastor