Who needs to hear Good News? The people of Jesus’ Day did and we do now! For the next two months we will focus on the good news proclaimed in the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (December), and the Good News as lived by us in the “Fresh Wind” of the Holy Spirit (January). Missionary and Former Visitation Pastor, the Rev. Dr. Ron Hipwell, will bridge the two emphases as he preaches on Jan. 2-3.

The Worship Series, “Good News!” will kick off with a Hanging of the Greens on Sunday November 29, 2020. The emphasis is hope. Even in these difficult times there is hope from the Lord and from our response in hopeful and courageous living. As the evergreen Advent Wreath speaks of eternity, vitality and light, we are granted these gifts for the good of the World. This service and the Saturday November 28 EPiC worship will be online only.

On December 6 Director of Operations, Michelle Toms, will give an update on the Make It Count 2021 Stewardship emphasis. If you have not submitted an Estimate of Giving Card, a confidential, good faith estimate of what you are led to give to God through Eastminster, please consider doing so. Your Estimates of giving are consecrated for God’s use and enable our leaders to budget for ministry and mission. Thank you for all who have sub-mitted Estimates of Giving to date! So far, Michelle is seeing an increase in giving of time, talent and treasure based on what Eastminster has received to date, yet we have a way to go for full member participation. Your response to date is heartening as our church, community and world have great needs and opportunities at this time. With everyone’s participation Eastminster will be poised for making an impact at home and beyond. Praise God! You Make It Count!

In terms of Mission in this season, Eastminster helped distribute 1500 turkeys to the community for Thanksgiving, while continuing to serve 1,000 or more people boxes of food twice a week to help sustain them during this difficult time. There is great gratitude on the part of distribution volunteers and those who received food for thanksgiving. Thanks for your support.

One of the emphases of the Christmas Story is the angel’s proclamation, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people.” As we go into Christmas, Eastminster realizes that it is a risk to go out and shop for others. In order to minimize this, the Mission Committee and Session established a “Great Joy Christmas Fund” that will focus on four very valuable local missions which provide for children and families at this time of year. Members and Friends are invited to send contributions to the church office or to go to Eastminster’s website to donate. Funds will be distributed to the “Gift from the Heart Christmas Shop” where families may purchase presents at pennies to the dollar of cost (25%), the Salvation Army Angel Tree (25%), ”Christ is the Answer” (CITA) to provide to the homeless (25%), and local and church/preschool family need (25%).

On a personal note, Julie and I both received negative COVID tests recently. She has remained negative. I await prayerfully another negative test before being cleared for service. Thanks for your prayers and many well wishes through this time! This time has given me a chance to pray about ultimate things and to listen and hear God’s voice. May we all listen, hear, and be willing to respond as God calls us to service this Advent and in the New Year!