Dear friends,

This is the season of Advent, the time when we prepare for the coming of Jesus the Christ in our lives and in the world.  Join us for inspiring worship this Advent and Christmas season.

We are also continuing our focus on nurturing the faith practices in our lives and in our community that grow us as Companions of Jesus. These special Sunday focuses will take place during worship in our beautiful sanctuary!

As part of the Growing as Companions of Jesus emphasis, I am beginning a class using the book The Bible for Dummies, Thursday evenings at 7pm starting January 10.  It’s actually a decent, readable introduction to the Bible! Sign up with me or the church office. Books cost $15. You are welcome to pick up your own copy or order through the church. If finances are an issue, sign up for the course anyway—we’ll make sure you get a book.

Also in January, we begin hosting Flavors with 5-0, a cooking class for West Middle School students after school, coordinated by officers with the Rockford Police Department, including our neighborhood community officer Patrice Turner, and 4-H.

Another sign of the coming of Christ in our midst: with leadership from our own Pr. Denver Bitner, we are beginning to work with neighborhood partners—churches, institutions, and businesses—to form a Northwest Rockford Christian Community Development Association, to do in our neighborhood something like what Zion Development has done for Midtown: living and sharing Jesus with our neighbors in very practical ways. If you are interested in this development, talk to Denver or me.

Waiting for Jesus this Advent,

Pastor Eric