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Meeting ID: 911 587 8719

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Advent Season

Beloved Vista Grande Community,

It’s hard to believe we are at the end of 2020 and the birth of another year. In the church calendar, the first Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of the liturgical new year, which is followed quickly by the annual changing of calendars and resolutions. In the grand story of the church year, Advent is a season of preparation for the birth of Jesus. It draws us back to the body – to our bodies and the incarnation of the Spirit of the Christ.

If you’re anything like me, being in your body in the age of COVID has been really difficult. I truly treasure the ways we have stayed connected over the last 8 months through Zoom worship, Ice Cream Social Distancing, postcards, and porch drops of all kinds, but it sure doesn’t change my desire for a good hug, a handshake, or a comforting presence. Both things can be true and, as happens so often, our job is to find the gift in the tension. We do this by coming back to our breath, coming back to our bodies, coming back to each other in the ways available to us, and coming back to Advent.

The traditional themes of Advent are Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. Every year, we ground ourselves in these four attributes of faith. They are what we sing of every week and what we ask to guide us as we navigate life together. When planning for the new year, none of us could have predicted how different things would be just twelve months later and, if we are being honest, there has been much to grieve in the chaos and disruption of this time. The word unprecedented has been used to describe so much of what we have walked through collectively. Even so, we have been creative, flexible and, above all, faithful. I could not be prouder of the ways we as the Vista Grande family have adapted and risen up to care for each other and incarnate a more just and caring world for all.

At this turning of the calendar, we have the chance to be intentional with how we let Hope, Peace, Joy, Love, and Incarnation guide us into whatever comes next. The Spirit is calling us into a future which shifts our understanding of how we are together without changing who we are together. It is my firm belief that the way to meet that future and answer that call is through discernment, discussion, and deep listening. Beginning in Advent and continuing through the seasons of Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost, I will be hosting consistent and sustained community conversations with the express purpose of discerning the story of our roots, who we are, what is important to us, and where we go from here. One thing is certain: wherever we go, it will be together.

When we voted as a congregation to change the word “member” to the words “covenantal partner”, we affirmed the importance of each and every individual in this networked life we are living. You are important. Your voice is important. Your knowledge of this community, your story, your hopes, dreams, and fears – all of it is necessary as we embark on this discernment journey together. Consider this your formal invitation to be part of the work ahead. We need you because, without you, we wouldn’t be us.

As a spiritual practice this Advent, take some time to sit with each of the four themes: Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. How do they feel in your body? Where do they show up? How do you recognize them? Bring the embodied, incarnate wisdom you are uncovering with you when we gather together early in 2021. Until then, may you be wrapped in the tender care of the Beloved.

Calendar of Events

  • Sunday Dec. 6 – 2nd Sunday of Advent – Peace
  • Sunday Dec. 13 – 3rd Sunday of Advent – Joy
  • Sunday Dec. 20 – 4th Sunday of Advent – Love
  • Thursday Dec. 24 – Christmas Eve at 5:30 p.m.
  • Sunday Dec. 27 – Worship at 10 a.m.