Jeff and I look forward each year to holiday letters updating us on what’s happening with friends as far away as Kamakura and as close as across town. This year I’m imaging what a Christmas letter about our MidMaine Church family might convey. Of course, with 66 churches, a camp, an economic ministry, a housing organization, and a prep school in the family, the letter could run a little long!
Our letter would remember community bonds built in the aftermath of this year’s windstorm. It would list dozens of MidMaine Churches finding new relationships with their surrounding communities (kids programs, musical events, historical celebrations, clothing give aways, prayer bridges, and FOOD!) It would take us into living rooms where new “class meeting” style groups invite each other into deep discipleship journeys. It would celebrate new pastoral appointments, new staff and volunteers, and pray for those still in process. It would hold in prayer the Magginis family and Salem, Kingfield, and Strong in this first Christmas after Pastor Connie’s death. Our letter would celebrate the birthing of new ministries and the release of old ones in many of our churches. It would wonder at the emergence of new ministry models like East and Center Monmouth’s Shared Lay Ministries Teams and our first visiting sacramental minister. Our letter would remember with gratitude the leaders who have shared their expertise through Resource days. And we would say thank you to the leaders of our new District Leadership Team and Teams for Congregational Development (Rev. Gwyneth Arrison) and Finance (Mr. David McMahon) and hardworking ongoing Teams such as the District Committee on Ministry (Rev. Thom Blackstone), Committee on Lay Servant Ministries (Mrs. Sally Joy), District Events (Rev. Stephen Bascom), Location and Building (Pastor Ned Crockett) and Committee on Superintending (Rev. Jinwoo Chun).
What specific stories would you include in our letter? Post your comments or email them to Karen and we’ll do a New Year’s letter! We’d love to have one for each church or ministry.
Meanwhile, browse this family photo album, too multitudeness to print. And curl up with a cup of tea to take a look at news of our extended family as we remember those who have died this year. A couple of my “beloveds” make this list, Gwen White and Bishop Felton May, a daughter and son of God who truly carried Christ’s light into dark corners of our world.
Any good Christmas letter carries a reminder of why we are who we are and why we do what we do. This weekend, thousands will gather in our spaces to remember the light of God that came into the world over 2,000 years ago and shines brighter each moment that we allow that life and light to live through us. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. John 1: 5. BE our Christmas message this year!
In God’s Grace, Karen
Karen L Munson
A pastor and artist, I'm wondering while I'm wandering through God's marvelous creation.