Welcome to New Leaf
We have all experienced that small moment of shock when we see the first of the Christmas decorations. For me it was at a drug store this past October - they were getting ready. The Christmas catalogs are arriving along with the kids' Christmas shopping lists. Black Friday leads to seemingly endless shopping trips to the mall for those gifts to buy and then the wrapping and decorating. And of course, there are the special holiday events and the parties to plan and attend. It is exhausting to even contemplate let alone complete. Christmas is coming!
This weekend marks the first of the Advent season - the four weekends prior to Christmas. The word "advent" simply means coming. And the Advent Season helps us prepare our hearts to celebrate the real meaning of Christmas - the "coming" of the Creator to break into and onto His creation. Jesus, the son of God, born in a stable in Bethlehem 2000+ years ago is the reason for the season and I challenge you to keep that the focus of your Christmas celebration. God in the flesh, come to explain and demonstrate to us the depths of His love and to make a way for us to have restored relationship with Him. Oh, yes- enjoy all the rest, but do what you need to do to keep a proper perspective... to keep your eye on the prize.
At New Leaf we say, "Don't just go to church... Be the church!" May that really be true in your life and the life of your family this Christmas season. We will be celebrating Advent during our regular worship time on Saturdays at 6:30pm. That's a family-friendly time (the kids are already dressed) that allows for the family to have Sunday as a real break. Surprisingly enough, Christmas can be a lonely time for many people. At New Leaf we strife to address felt needs like building relationships, making new friends and focusing on family. To encourage that, at New Leaf, in out normal schedule, we host a no-cost, light meal that we call a "Friendship Dinner" every Saturday at 5:45pm - before the 6:30pm family worship. Yes, we worship as families - and just prior to the interactive message the kids go to their own classes and children's church. At NLC we believe an important part of "church" is to not only address spiritual needs, but to meet physical and relational needs as well..
If you would like to be a part of something that's making a difference or if have been turned off by the "traditional church" and "organized religion"; but still sense a longing or need for something more in your life - come check out this young church. At New Leaf we want to be a church that is about meeting needs which includes the need for relationships - with each other and ultimately with God. In that process we are trying to truly discover and live out the motto, "Don't just go to church... Be the church!"
Please accept my invitation to join us this Saturday for a time of relaxed, interactive, family worship at 6:30pm that I hope will help keep the true perspective of Christmas. Bring the family and come "check us out" this Advent season. What better time than this fall to "turn over a New Leaf"?
Pastor JD Schletewitz