Dear Bethany Family:
Just uphill from the Armdale Rotary on the St. Margaret's Bay Road this sign alerts motorists to 'be grateful.' Have you seen it? It’s one of those images that we pass by every day without noticing, the Rotary being one of those places where our impatience and distraction runs into overdrive. This is not one of those dreary Christmas letters that scolds you for running around buying gifts and attending gatherings of work, family and friends. Rather it is a call to be attentive to feelings of gratitude, deep feelings of thanksgiving for what God has given us as a free gift of grace, a time to embrace the gift of life and take time to savour that experience.
I came to Bethany a little less than a year ago and committed to being present for any and all community expressions. You saw me at plays, parties, studies, fundraisers, concerts, outreach ministries, and speaker luncheons. I also have made it a priority to visit every household in the church, of the 280 listed I have been to 150 kitchens and living rooms. If I have not called you yet do not fret, you are on my radar! I had planned to be further ahead in this work but for all the funerals we have had this year. Each one of these drew me closer to families and together Randy and I were welcomed to your homes and your stories. I share this because there is a natural tendency when we lose so many of our saints in death to throw up our hands in despair. While grief, heartache and sadness are human and necessary for the healing process we cannot lose sight of the moments along the way that are so clearly laced with joy.
The season of Advent is about preparation, not only to hear anew the story of Jesus’ birth and the pronouncement of salvation but also to massage our hearts with gratitude, to work the blessings that are all around us into our steady vision. The enclosed envelope provides assets we will utilize to help build community, a community that comes together to celebrate what God is doing, the Good News that is here among us, among others, and among those we have yet to know.
Please turn this page over to witness the various events, services and experiences we offer this Advent and Christmas. Peace.
Kevin Little, Lead Minister