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Beloved Community of Christ the King Lutheran Church,

As I write this letter to you, fall has arrived in Houston. The air is crisper; warmer clothing has been unpacked; and cold hands are warmed with a cup of hot tea. While I am hopeful that fall weather will remain with us, it is yet to be seen.

“For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope, for who hopes for what one already sees?” (Romans 8:24)

During these first two months, many of you have shared your individual, congregational, and community-related hopes and dreams with me through stories of past experiences and hoped-for future realities. The excitement and energy around forward movement is both palpable and rising.

Both our CTK Festival and our Fall Stewardship Focus have embraced the theme, “Hope Rising.” We are in a season of hope, a season of visioning and dreaming, as we build our capacity for becoming a spiritual home for both those who already are present with us and those who may be seeking a place to call their spiritual home. As our hopes rise, we respond because of the grace that has been
lavishly given to us through the ultimate embodiment of hope, Jesus.

As our hopes and dreams rise like prayers before God, we enter our New Church Year with the season of Advent. Advent, from the Latin word “adventus” meaning “arrival,” includes the four Sundays before Christmas day, which means that this year the 4th Sunday of Advent is on Christmas Eve. Each Sunday we will light a new candle in our Advent wreath, awaiting the arrival of both the Christ-child and also Christ in glory at the end of time.

Opportunity abounds throughout the months of November and December for us to spend time together and for us to invite others in our lives to spend time with us in our spiritual home. Please get out your calendars as you read through this issue, and prioritize the moments of tradition and ritual that will nourish you, your families, and your friends throughout this season of Advent.

“A voice cries out: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.’” (Isaiah 40:3)

Hope is rising!
Await: Prepare the Way!

Grace and peace and above all hope,
Pastor Jennifer