This time last week, I had the great privilege of gathering in our conference room for a meeting. These such gatherings are routine in the work of ministry as it takes the coming together of people and vision to make ministry come to life. This was the last of several meetings in that very room I had had that day, but this gathering was different — for it was the inaugural one of our capital campaign steering committee!

The people you see in the image to your left (plus a couple more who couldn’t be present with us) represent the faithful and courageous men and women who have covenanted together with God and our beloved community to lead for such a time as this. Some on this team have served in leadership with our last capital campaign in 2006; others have served with former churches’ campaigns. Some, however, have never led in this manner before! But regardless of age or experience, every single one of us articulated that night a deep and abiding love for God, for God’s church, for the hopeful anticipation and excitement for what lies ahead.

I had had a meaningful conversation with a friend that morning, who reminded me that the God we love and serve is an audacious God, one who shows up in audacious ways and spaces like in the newborn cries amidst a rural, Middle Eastern manger bed. So what, then, is to prevent us from responding to God in equally bold and audacious ways? I shared these words with our committee, and our wise chair Leslie Lowdermilk shared this sentiment, saying, “You know, I’m nervous, but I’m not scared.” It’s as if the words that surrounded the coming of the Christ child, words to Mary and Joseph and the shepherds to “fear not” were echoing across time and space to encourage us even today. “For behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy!”

Friends, joy awaits us! And the preparation and waiting we do in Advent is helping us learn how to do so for this season in our church’s life. So might we remember in the midst of it all the words of the angels that pierced even the darkest night: “do not be afraid!”

Together in the work of Love,
Pastor Emily

Ps – Some of you are already asking if you can give a gift to the capital campaign in this calendar year. The answer is yes! Simply notate this on your donation or call Sally Barbour in our church office (336-722-2558) if you have any questions. Officially, our campaign will launch on February 4, 2018, and it will carry us through the Lenten season until we celebrate the triumph of life and liberation over death and destruction at Easter. How, then, will your preparations begin even now for such a time as this?

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