We’re so glad you found our website. Whether you’re visiting us from another part of the world, or from right here in the Huntersville, North Carolina area — welcome!

We’re so glad you found our website. Whether you’re visiting us from another part of the world, or from right here in the Huntersville, North Carolina area — welcome!

We’re so glad you found our website. Whether you’re visiting us from another part of the world, or from right here in the Huntersville, North Carolina area — welcome!

Pastor Paul's Blog

I Hope this is Not TOO Late

Some of you may have already done your Christmas shopping. You may be already committed. But, if you aren’t, I hope you’ll watch the video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ccuC87NBpw&t=2s). We showed it a couple of weeks ago at church and I invite you to watch it, even if you have already seen it. It is what we are going to be talking about during the Advent season. It is a movement that is sorely due.

Advent Conspiracy was started a few years ago. This is from the website, adventconspiracy.org/about:

"Over a decade ago, a few pastors were lamenting how they’d come to the end of an Advent season exhausted and sensing they’d missed it – the awe-inducing, soul-satisfying mystery of the incarnation.

For many of us, we were drowning in a sea of financial debt and endless lists of gifts to buy. We struggled to find the connection between our Christmas to-do lists and the story of Jesus’ birth.

An overwhelming stress had overtaken worship and celebration.

The time of year when focusing on Christ should be the easiest was often the hardest. Somehow, this had become the new normal.

So, in 2006, three pastors, Chris Seay, Greg Holder, and Rick McKinley, decided to try something different. They called it the Advent Conspiracy movement, and came up with four tenets—Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More, Love All—to guide themselves, their families, and congregations through the Christmas season."

I want to join the movement, and I am inviting you to do so as well. It’s simple really, focus on the four tenets – Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More, and Love All – rather than obsessing over the giving of gifts to our family and friends. I am committing to leading my family and our congregation in de-emphasizing the gift giving pattern, and focusing instead on the birth of Jesus.

It will mean that we will have to have conversations with our family members and our friends. It will take courage to say to them, “I won’t be exchanging gifts this year, in the usual way. I suggest we come up with a different way to express our love for each other.” If money needs to be exchanged, offer it to a church or charity instead. Rather than spend hours at the mall looking for “stuff” to give, why don’t we spend that time together with our family and friends? Let’s offer gifts of our time and talents to God and to each other, rather than bloating our credit card statements. Let’s support the work of God in the world, rather than accumulating junk that will be discarded in days or months ahead.

I might suggest that our Thrive! project would be an excellent avenue to direct the giving that we might normally offer in gift giving to friends. Make a gift in honor of someone to Thrive!, and we will let them know they were honored in such a way.

As we enter this special time of year, as the songs are sung and the decorations are displayed, maybe this year we can focus on what Jesus means to the whole of the universe, and not stress out over unrealistic expectations that are surely never going to be met through gift giving.

Will you join me?