December Pastor's message

Dear members and friends:

It was Christmas Eve night 1982 at St. Peter’s U.C.C., in Clinton, Ohio. The weather was unseasonably warm. People were outdoors in their shirt sleeves visiting, while the sanctuary was filling up with the smiling faces of worshippers.

As the newly called student pastor, I could feel the love pouring out in that sacred space. After we lit candles and sang Silent Night, that love, along with the hope peace and joy of the Advent/Christmas season, was carried out into the world by all who had worshipped there.

Now, nearly 38 years later, I’m feeling the same spirit of anticipation and excitement, as we plan and prepare for Christmas Eve at St. John’s. In our strivings to create a worship environment that is safe and secure for all, our Church and Ministry Committee and Church Council have decided to stay outdoors this year, whether it’s shirt-sleeve weather or not. Drive-in services have been scheduled for 3:00 P.M. and 7:30 P.M., and we look forward to seeing the parking lot fill up with your smiling faces.

We had planned to be in the sanctuary for the late service. Then an email was received from the Heartland Conference, STRONGLY recommending that there be no indoor worship through the end of the calendar year. The COVID virus has spread in some of our congregations and deaths can be directly attributed to it.

Thank you for your patience through these changing circumstances. Please know that you have brothers and sisters in Christ who care about you, and are acting in prayerful consideration for the greater good of all.

Even though social distancing is keeping us apart, there is “nothing that can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord (Romans 8:39).”

And after we light our electric candles and sing Silent Night, the hope, peace, and love of the Advent/Christmas season will be carried out into the world with this song in our hearts.

Joy to the World, the Savior reigns!
Let all their songs employ
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy!

In Christ’s love,

Rev. Mark

Rev. Mark Katrick