I’m looking forward to a joyful Sunday

Dear Congregation, 
I’m looking forward to a joyful Sunday and hope you’ll be present to share in that joy in our worship service of Installation and Celebration followed by brunch. I do want to thank everyone who has been involved planning and bringing to fruition this special time of thanksgiving to God. Celebration is even more special when its shared! 
I think it’s a propitious tie-in that this is also Ascension Sunday, following Ascension Day, which was Thursday, May 18th. You will remember that the bodily Ascension of Jesus’ into heaven occurred on this day forty days after Easter. My favorite part of the Acts 1:6-11 passage comes at the end of the text, after Jesus has promised that the Holy Spirit will give his followers power and they will be his witnesses. “When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven?” (Acts 1:9-11a) The implication of their words, their unspoken message, is, “Get busy doing the work that Christ has given you to do. Move away from the vertical and look to the horizontal.” As we know there’s a lot of horizontal in our world calling for our Christian response! 
I think this message can be one of encouragement to Christ Congregational UCC as we look to our future of new possibilities for mission and outreach. We have managed to be busy in the history of CCC doing much faithful work in the world.
While we honor that past and those saints of the church who made this new future possible, we aren’t standing around looking back at what’s gone. We are hitting this new ground running, with ideas and plans to be faithful witnesses in word and deed to Jesus Christ. Our comfort and our joy is Jesus’ promise that the Holy Spirit will empower us! Thanks be to God! 
In Christ’s love, 
Pastor Candy
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