Arbor Grove Congregational Church
December 2020

YEAR'S END - FINALLY

With the month of December comes the Winter Solstice, the shortest daylight hours of any day of the year and the beginning of winter. In the church we observe Advent and the story of Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem, the nativity scene where the Christ child is born, and the celebration of the birth, Christmas day. December is typically a joyous time of celebration, enjoying time with family and friends. For me, it is also a time looking forward to the coming New Year and the new experiences and opportunities that I will share with family, friends, and God.
This year, I am truly looking forward to a New Year with hopes of better times to come. If you were to write a book that described all that has happened in 2020 here and around the world, people would think it’s fiction. Yet we all lived it and it was very real, or maybe surreal for most of us.
For many, it was a year filled with disappointment, cancelled events, and bad experiences, and it certainly was that. But there were some bright times in it as well. Within our Arbor Grove family, there were several new babies born, definitely bright times in the lives of the parents and their families. The blessing of volunteers that worked on the grounds weeding, planting, and watering the plants though we were not able to gather in our building they kept the grounds beautiful. We were also blessed with the volunteers that worked on the inside of the building. When you walk into the narthex you see newly painted walls, new brighter light fixtures, new display of our past ministers, and an Information center. These are a few of the many changes that have taken place during this pandemic while our building was closed. Our technology Committee continued working to upgrade our sound system to provide better sound within the sanctuary and hopefully in the future other areas of the church. We have been keeping in touch with each other via Zoom Sunday afternoons with a virtual coffee hour, and many Zoom meetings. There have been a few meetings in person in the church with masks and safe distancing.
Our Arbor Grove Search Committee saved the best to the end of the year. They continued their efforts to find a minister for our congregation, and in October they presented their selected candidate to the congregation, Rev. Linda Farmer-Lewis. Thank you, a job well done. I am looking to forward hearing God’s word from Linda and the new ideas she will bring to Arbor Grove. What a great way to begin a new year, a new pastor and new experiences and opportunities to serve God and our community.
As this year draws to a close, I wish all of you a Merry Christmas, a New Year filled with blessings, and the decline of Covid-19. We have all learned we can adapt to changes in our lives and have learned the value of time spent with others in person. When it is safe to be with each other, give a person that hug you missed in 2020, embrace each other recalling all the time we couldn’t in 2020. Share a smile, a cup of coffee, or some juice from the vine and enjoy your time with each other.

Praying for blessings of joy and great times ahead for Arbor Grove and our church family.

Respectfully,
Pastor Jerry
Arbor Grove Congregational Church
2621 McCain Road
Jackson, MI 49203
(517) 784-4824
[email protected]
[email protected]