Rev. Tom Berlin's Video Note: December 13, 2018
My note is a little longer than usual this week, but I have numbered it so it will be easier to follow.
First, Christmas Eve offering, it’s not our birthday at Christmas, it’s Jesus’ birthday and at Floris we focus on that and we give away our entire Christmas Eve offering. The offering is going to four places this year:
- Number one, it’s going to Helping Children Worldwide to focus on our ministry with Mercy Hospital and the Child Rescue Centre. We touch and save thousands of lives through those ministries.
- Number two, Cornerstones, which is our community partner. They help people by having the safety of a homeless shelter here in our community, but they also help people with transitional housing, and then sustained housing once they are ready to handle that.
- Number three, we are going to help the Community and World Impact Fund, which is right here at Floris. There will be needs in 2019, natural disasters and other things, and you are going to want your church to be generous. Our generosity is going to be in place so that when we first get that news, we can do something about it. Individuals come to your pastors as well, and they have needs, and we are often able to help families and individuals in ways that are life changing because the generosity is already here. You’ve made that happen on Christmas Eve.
- Finally, a new one, Wesley Seminary is helping chaplains grow in their training through a Doctor of Ministry program. These chaplains need scholarship help, and we are going to help do that. If we help train our chaplains in leadership, pastoral care and other ways, we help them in the field with our soldiers. We help them to help soldiers who return home and are dealing with PTSD and we help them when they meet families at Dover. When someone falls in the line of duty and men and women return back, and the chaplains have to do funerals with these families, we are helping them. I think that it is really important to stand by our military, and I think that this is going to be a fantastic way that we can do this with the gospel.
The Darkness to Light service is tonight at 7:30 p.m. Come and be a part of that. It is a quieter service, and it’s a prayerful service, but it’s also a joyful and hopeful service. I really find it to be a meaningful experience.
If you could return your Estimate of Giving cards it would make me so happy. They really help your church, but they also help you think about your generosity. We are a little behind where we were at this time last year. Hundreds of you have already turned them in, but we still have a number of folks who haven’t turned them in yet. So, if that is you, would you take a minute and go online and fill it out and return it to the church? It would be a big help to me.
Christmas Eve is coming, and as you know, we do a Christmas Eve Eve service on December 23, Christmas Eve services on December 24 and even one service on Christmas Day. Look at those online, and then ask yourself this question, “Who can I invite to Christmas Eve?” I really want Floris to be a place where the light of Christ burns bright on Christmas Eve, and I want our community to experience that. This is a chance for you to do something special; it’s a chance for you to invite your friends and family to come be a part of that celebration. I look forward to seeing you on Christmas Eve, and I look forward to seeing you on Sunday. This is the third Sunday of Advent, and it’s going to be another great week. Thanks.