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Write a “Wishing You Love” note! 

By October 30, 2020November 6th, 2020No Comments

We miss your voice, First Pres! One of the things we’ve missed most in 2020 is seeing your faces and hearing friendly voices, whether in casual conversation after church or through the sincere words you pass to one another to give encouragement as brothers and sisters in Christ.

With that in mind, we’d like to collect your voices for a special Advent communication, First Pres Wishing You Love Notes, to convey your messages of love, hope, joy and peace to one another.

Would you consider writing and submitting a short reflection on what it means to follow Jesus this Advent season? Or perhaps on where you have seen God in your life, and what it has meant to know that our hope and joy are rooted in believing in Jesus Christ? Perhaps it is an anecdote about a Christmas memory or tradition of your family that will bless the congregation.

Tying in with our Wishing You Love yard signs this year, we are simply looking for heartfelt reflections that will encourage all of us this Advent season.

Please submit by email 1-3 paragraphs by next Thursday, Nov. 5, to Communications Elder, Pamela Gifford and Communications Assistant, Cathy Colten. (If you prefer, a short video that you record can be submitted.) We look forward to hearing from you! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram at FirstPresGE

p.s. If need a place to start, consider writing a brief reflection or reaction to one of these verses: Romans 5:5, Psalm 5:11-12, 36:5-7 or 86:15, Deuteronomy 7:9, Jeremiah 31:3, Ephesians 3:18-19, Titus 3:4-5, 2 Corinthians 9:15, 1 John 4:9 or 4:16, or Isaiah 54:10.

p.s.s. If you are interested in writing a traditional Advent devotional (this is not required, but welcome) it usually follows a certain pattern: a line of scripture that speaks to you, a brief personal reflection, and a prayer you write to share with others. Here is an example from Dorothy Burgess written for First Pres in 1998. Enjoy!

“God, who said ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light to shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” II Corinthians 4:6

When I was in college, our family had a time of great emotional pain and separation. My sister had become quite rebellious, moved away from home and married a young man from another denomination. In a minister’s family, at that time, this caused a great distress and embarrassment. Our family, which had formerly been very close, was plunged into a period of anger, disappointment and darkness. There seemed to be no way to reach past the hurt and broken relationships. I remember pleading with God to act quickly and not leave us in this pain.

The instrument that God chose for our healing was a precious little baby who captured all our hearts and enabled us to let go of the hurt and remember our need for one another.

The joy and relief we felt after our reunion was like throwing open shuttered windows and watching the light stream in. God scattered our pride and wounded spirits and showed us the creative power of his love. The light in our hearts was as much about the knowledge of God’s glory, as our relief at being a united family again. The period of pain and darkness was not forgotten, but our attention now focused on God’s care for us.

PRAYER: God, we thank you for bringing light into our periods of darkness and helping us to heal broken relationships by experiencing the awesome power of your love. Help us to throw open the windows of our hearts and let your light stream in.

-Dorothy Burgess