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January, 2016 - Issue #135
courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock
New Beginnings
by Joe Campeau

A new beginning can bring with it stress and a feeling of being out of control. It also involves, at least occasionally, missing the familiar and comforting things that used to be.
The Holy Spirit is all about new beginnings. Whenever the Spirit shows up it is always to shake the foundation of what was and sow a vision for what will be.

I don't see any evidence in the Bible that the Spirit's primary task is to maintain things the way they are. It is always to move God's people forward to complete the mission and ministry that God has in mind. And please note: God always achieves his mission and ministry. Always!
So the only question that remains when it comes to the Spirit's new beginnings in us is: Will we allow ourselves the privilege of partnering with the Spirit in God's new beginnings, or will we hang back, timid and afraid and let God move on without us?

At CLC, we are embarking on a new mission: refurbish our Fellowship Center to better meet the needs of our Community and to start a new "daughter" congregation. We can't wait to see what God has in store for us!
Joe Campeau is the pastor of Christ Lutheran Church. 259-0200

God's Plan is the Happiest New Year
by Michelle Andrews

Happy New Year! Many of us look to each January with great expectations that this year will be different. We hope to be happier, more organized or healthier. We want to spend less time at work and more time with our family. We intend to minimize the things in our schedules that cause stress, allowing more time for the activities that we enjoy. We make lists of resolutions, hoping to break bad habits and create better ones. Resolutions, calendars and habits are our attempts to plan for happiness in an unseen future.

Jeremiah 29:11 says "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" As we begin to understand that God has a plan for each of us, and that God's plan is for us to have a life that is filled with joy, grace and hope, we truly can have a Happy New Year!

Join us for Christmas Eve worship. We have a family-friendly worship at 5pm, led by our children's and youth choirs. At 7:30 and 9pm our Chancel Choir and praise band will lead a celebration of Christ's birth that closes with candle lighting and the singing of Silent Night. At 11 our Chancel Choir returns to lead a more intimate gathering reflecting on the miracle of Jesus's birth and candle-lit communion. All are welcome.
Michelle Andrews is the director of discipleship and care at Valencia United Methodist Church. 255-1301
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