It’s a season of growth and change at Nativity, which is exactly where we believe God wants us to be.
We see the growth of our new church building day by day, as foundations are poured and walls are raised. Walking around the future lobby truly gives you the sense of what the space will feel like when complete. We’ve been blessed by some great weather recently allowing construction to move forward (mostly) on schedule. The one thing that remains consistent is the amount of meetings, on matters large and small, regarding every conceivable detail of the project. It’s actually quite a blessing that I’m able to work on this project with such creative, smart people, it truly makes all the effort enjoyable.
November always brings a very special Sunday here at Nativity, Stewardship Sunday. This year it falls on November 20. It’s the one Sunday of the year when we invite regular attendees to consider their giving to our parish. I think we do a really good job in making this presentation, as reflected in the growth in our giving. We also have some fun with the day too.
Since Starbucks just released their seasonal (green!?) cups, that must mean Christmas is coming. And it is, of course, with only three more Sundays until Advent. Of course, Christmas Eve is the day most people will be coming back to church, but attendance does increase appreciably throughout the season. So, now is a great time to begin recruiting, training, and preparing new ministers to serve. Next weekend we’re hosting a ministry push getting people to sign up and serve this holiday season.
You’ve probably heard about our Christmas at the Cow Palace, the story of how we decided to make Christmas Eve not all about the yearly push and shove fest as regulars fight with visitors for seats and parking spots. Instead, we decided to make it all about reaching the unchurched by taking our celebration off campus to the Maryland State Fairgrounds (conveniently located two miles away). There, a sea of parking surrounds a giant shed of a building, the “Cow Palace,” where we can accommodate everyone who comes to us (10,000 last year), including, most importantly, the unchurched.
But this move takes strategic planning with military precision, which starts this week and includes hundreds of people.
The irony is not lost on us, by the way, that the Church of the Nativity celebrates the Nativity in a big barn, literally.
Finally, I’d like to share the news of another transition for us as a parish. Our Director of Student Ministries, Chris Wesley, has decided to step down to pursue new opportunities in ministry. This decision is entirely Chris’ own and, after twelve years of service here, we all owe him a debt of gratitude. Of course, we are now in recruitment mode to fill this position, so if you’re interested let us know.