Welcome to Christmas

Welcome to Christmas

Last weekend marked the official start to the Advent season! It’s so exciting to see all of the decorations around the church and to hear the sounds of Christmas songs in our services. This is a special Advent for Aimee and me as it is our first in Gig Harbor. Although we have been here less than a year, this area, and Chapel Hill in particular, already feel like home. So, we are looking forward to jumping into all things Christmas here!

While I have already become pretty familiar with our church, I still remember clearly the first time Aimee and I attended a service at Chapel Hill. We didn’t know anyone in the congregation and no one knew us, either! Needless to say, walking into a church that you have never attended before is a bit intimidating (especially when you’re interviewing for a job there!). I can tell you what was most memorable for us after attending that service: It wasn’t the music. It wasn’t the building. It wasn’t the coffee or the cookies. It was a woman who turned around after the service, asked us if we were new, and then offered to pray for us. She didn’t know that I was interviewing for a job, and none of us knew at the time that she was the mother of two of our friends from Whitworth (small world!). But she cared enough for us, as newcomers, to reach out in hospitality—to make us feel welcome, to give us the sense that we belong here.

This weekend, Pastor Mark will preach the third message in our Inviting God series. In this series, we are exploring how God invites people into relationship and how the individuals in Christ’s birth story invited God into their lives. One of the ways that we have been applying these messages is by our pastors sharing conversations, coffee, and a gift with our guests after each service. This has been a fantastic opportunity for us to warmly welcome those who have joined us recently and to share with them that they truly belong here.

While our pastors are leading us by example through our after-service visitor coffees, we can follow their lead by inviting others and extending hospitality to our guests. Consider inviting your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers to one of our upcoming holiday events:

In the spirit of hospitality, please also consider volunteering for one of our Christmas Eve services. You can find the signup form here. We would greatly appreciate your help!

As we consider God’s invitational nature, we have the joy of welcoming him into our lives and extending his hospitality to our neighbors and guests this Christmas season. I pray that all who walk into our building this Advent would encounter our hospitable, inviting God through us. Blessings to you as you begin your holiday season!

Gunnar Tesdahl
Director of Worship

P.S. You won’t want to miss this weekend’s services, as Pastor Ellis and Rachel White will be sharing and lighting our second Advent candle via video. See you then!