Monday, November 26, 2012

Advent Hope

We close a Church year with Thanksgiving and the celebration of Christ our King.  I thank God for this presbytery and its many gifted leaders.  May God bless your ministries richly as we begin anew this Advent Season.  Your presbytery staff holds you in our prayers. 

I commend to you two resources to enrich your Advent devotional reading.  One is a daily Advent devotional based on the lectionary prepared by the Israel/Palestinian Mission Network (IPMN) of the PCUSA.  The second is a weekly Advent Devotion prepared by the Presbyterian Earth Care and is in their newsletter.  You have to scrolled down to get to it.

These two resources provide different lens through which to look, ponder, wait and hope for the coming of our savior.  Let them stretch you and broaden your vision to the meaning of Christ’s incarnation this year.

A Blessed Advent/Christmas,


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Celebrating Anniversaries

On your behalf, I brought greetings on September October 14 and 21 to four Lake Michigan Presbytery congregations celebrating anniversaries: Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Grand Rapids (60th Anniversary), First Presbyterian Church in Buchanan (165th Anniversary) and First Presbyterian Churches in Plainwell and Concord (175th Anniversary). Such celebrations are important. For Eastminster, the younger of these four, they still have the opportunity of exploring and recording their foundation stories with eye witnesses. These others with more longevity, discovered old treasures in their closets and storage rooms, and learned stories long forgotten of their founding members and the Spiritual DNA that has run through their history. They rebuild a bell tower (Buchanan), renovated the sanctuary (Concord), and learned that their forbearers made some adaptive decisions (Plainwell). Recognizing that the Plainwell community was growing several miles south of their building, the raised it, rolled it down the road on logs. They later built their present building, and during one significant renovation, turned their sanctuary around to face the opposite direction. Our forbearers did face challenges, recognized opportunities, and made bold strategic decisions to better serve their Lord. This is part of who we are. Praise be to God. May we boldly follow where the Lord calls us today.

Grace and Peace, 
John Best, General Presbyter