Dear friends,

December means Advent is here!

We often think Advent is about getting ready for Christmas, but it is actually more about preparing for Christ’s second coming than it is about preparing for Christmas!

I have always argued that Christmas is about Advent, not Advent about Christmas. That is, in Advent we look forward to Christ’s second coming and then at Christmas we celebrate his first coming because it is the promise – the guarantee – the beginning of God’s plans for Christ’s return and all that that will mean.

So my hope and prayer and plan for Advent this year, is that we become so clear and passionate and excited about what it will mean for us when Jesus returns, that as a result, we celebrate Christmas all the more deeply and significantly because we see clearly that Jesus’ first coming is stage 1 in God’s great plan to usher in the new creation!

Thank you dear brothers and sisters for all your support and prayer and encouragement through a difficult year. On the back of the sadness of Ian’s situation, farewelling Simon and then finding road blocks in the appointment of a new associate minister, it’s been hard. The Peregian congregation has probably found it hardest without a dedicated pastor and I’m so grateful to Gary and Chris and all the team who have worked so hard to carry on the work. Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard there to fill gaps and serve Jesus with dedication!

Let’s pray together that there will be a good response to a new round of advertising to fill the associate role and a new role we’ve put together for ministry to our youth and children.

Have a wonderful Christmas as we look joyfully to Jesus’ return!

Mark

The Rev’d Mark Calder, Minister