Advent is coming— and with it, comes shopping, gift buying, parties, concerts, programs, family visits, plays—and in the middle of all of that glorious excitement and chaos, Christians everywhere try to stop and wait—waiting for the birth of Christ. This Advent season, we will “Go Tell It” – on the mountain, in song, at parties, in church, at home—anywhere, and everywhere!
This year for Advent, the Worship Team and the Website Team have been preparing ways for you to bring Advent into your daily life.
On Sunday, Dec 1, two Advent Devotionals will be available at church – one for children (with glow in the dark stickers) and one for adults (those who really wish they could have glow in the dark stickers).
We also have many links in our Faith Formation Advent section to online devotionals, advent activities, funny and thought provoking videos, and links to the ELCA Good Gifts catalog and the new Presbyterian Giving Catalog – both GREAT places to have a little “Advent Conspiracy” this weekend of Thanksgiving.
Jesus is coming – how will you prepare the way?
Many times during the past year, I have asked for people to answer a simple question…”What are you thankful for today?” It is easy to complain about things, but how are you doing at being grateful?
When we take the time to reflect on what we are grateful for on a regular basis, it changes everything. Instead of focusing only on what is wrong or on that which we do not seem to have enough of, we start to see what is right. We see the abundance of things that sustain, surprise, uplift and fill our spirits. Not only that, when we have an attitude of gratitude, we also start to see ways through difficult situations. We can be more creative in the face of that which might otherwise threaten to deflate us, to stop us from trying, hoping, trusting, or loving with our whole selves.
So this Thanksgiving weekend, as the earth prepares for winter, as we prepare for the holidays, as Jesus prepares to meet us again and again where ever we are, I invite you to consider making a gratitude list at the beginning or end of each day. Pray that list. Share it with family and/or friends. Pay attention to how this affects what you feel, think, and see around you. In thanksgiving for the abundance of grace and love that God pours out upon us everyday, I rejoice and I give thanks for all of you.
Peace, Pastor Kristin Nielsen
In summer 2013, the Christian Nurture (children’s education) and Outreach committees combined together to meet the neighbors. Since Trudy meets many children from Townsend through God’s Garden and brings them to the garden, the two committees decided to bring a VBS to where the children in the neighborhood first felt welcomed —in the garden. In June 2013 and again in August, we met in the garden or on the north lawn from 1-3pm each day for a week. Children from the neighborhood and church sang songs, decorated t-shirts, hats, made cross pillows, heard bible stories, broke bread together at snack time, and made new friends.
Gift Ark Changes the World Two by Two
The Gift Ark includes two water buffalos, two cows, two sheep and two goats, along with bees, chicks, rabbits and more. Our Gift Ark donation will:
- Care for entire communities with milk, eggs, honey and wool
- Provide income by supplying an abundance of goods to sell
- Sustain farming by providing livestock to work the land
- Improve the lives of families for generations by multiplying and Passing on the Gift
The Gift Ark goes around the world, from Africa to Asia, Europe and the Americas. Wherever we find hunger, poverty and hopelessness, we answer with the animals, training and encouragement provided by this generous gift.
To find out more about Heifer and a Gift Ark, click on the button below:
MILWAUKEE – Annysa Johnson with the Journal Sentinel joins us to talk about Rev. Kristin Nelson.
EASTER: For as long as she can remember, the Rev. Kristin Nielsen has experienced God and the world through the lens of her Lutheran faith. She grew up a “PK” a pastor’s kid in a Lutheran home. She attended a Lutheran seminary, and has spent more than a decadecheck preaching the Gospel in Evangelical Lutheran churches.
These days, Nielsen pastors a combined Presbyterian-Lutheran congregation on Milwaukee’s west side as two churches — Good Shepherd Lutheran and Trinity Presbyterian — work toward a rare and once-unthinkable merger across denominational lines. Theirs is in many ways an Easter story — one of death and new life, of letting go and trusting that what is to come is greater than what was. Annysa Johnson.
See the clip online: