Dear Hillside Family,
The countdown is on… We only have 2 of our 52 fantastic Sundays left in 2016.
This Sunday (week 51) is another one of those “can’t miss, you just gotta be there” kind of Sundays. Why so? Because it’s shaping up to be one of our largest baptisms ever. Imagine! You simply don’t want to miss the opportunity to celebrate with the 22 people from all ages (kids, teens, and adults) who will be joyfully professing their faith in Jesus and getting baptized. What joy and inspiration awaits us as we celebrate this exciting next step in their faith journey this Christmas. Praise God for his goodness and grace in their lives!
So, again, be sure to join us for this momentous morning of faith stories, baptisms, and more Christmas worship in our beautifully decorated auditorium. And, by the way, regarding the decorations… A huge and much-deserved shout out to Nancy Snow, Heather MacPherson, Margie Legood, Bruce Preston and many others on the First Impressions Decorating Team who took on a new challenge this year in decorating for this our first year in the new auditorium. They definitely rose to the challenge and things look absolutely wonderful. Way to go, decorating team!
Friends, in addition to the thrilling news about the many baptisms, I also want to say something further to bless and encourage you in the area of generosity (our “60K Challenge). As you may recall, at the end of the service last Sunday, I took a few minutes to share a strategic “Christmas Update” with you. If you missed it, here’s the link so you can check it out.
During this heartfelt chat I encouraged you about the strategic opportunity to invite, serve, and give as we make the most of this Christmas season for God’s glory. And about the importance of our annual Christmas Offering… I shared how this offering fits into the larger context of our year-end “60K Challenge”. Reaching this important year-end generosity goal would be the icing on the cake of what’s been a truly fabulous Grand Opening year.
Well… Here’s some wonderful news to share! In addition to the initial and very generous 10K gift which I mentioned that had been given (thus making it now a 50K challenge), the Lord stirred the heart of another Hillsider during the service and this couple acted upon the Spirit’s prompting and let me know after the service that we that were being led to give our second 10K gift. How amazing and encouraging is that? Pretty neat, eh! So, friends, as I write, I’m thrilled to let you know that we’re now 1/3 of the way toward our 60K goal. Truly exciting! May God continue to stir all our hearts as we prayerfully consider how we can contribute to this shared goal as a high devotion church before Dec. 31st. Whatever gift (large or small) is to express our extravangant worship to Jesus this Christmas. I know that Karen and I continue to be “All In” and we’ll be joyfully giving one of our most generous Christmas gifts this year. Know that we love and remain deeply committed to our Hillside ministry.
Stay warm, enjoy the weekend, and plan to join us on Sunday. Best days ahead!
PS Have you thought about someone you could personally invite to 1 of our 4 Candlelight services? It’s still not too late and you’ll be glad you did! Remember: many people who don’t go to church are more open to an invitation to church at Christmas than any time during the year. Imagine the impact if we all prayerfully invited 2 or 3 friends, colleagues, relatives or classmates? Like the shepherds on the first Christmas, “Friends of Jesus tell their friends about Jesus”.