Merry Christmas!

You feel the buzz, don’t you? A level of excitement like we haven’t experienced in a while. A sense of momentum and growth that is just contagious.

Take last weekend’s GLOW. We were blown away when more than 520 worshippers showed up for this innovative “Christmas by Glowstick.” We have a name for it: “Glow-mentum!” Who knows how many of them might return, but after an incredible experience like that, I’ll bet the odds are good! In fact, we are moving our Saturday worship service into the Sanctuary because, frankly, we just won’t fit in the Memorial Chapel anymore. Isn’t it exciting to see how God continues to grow his church?

And you are playing a big part in that. Christmas Eve is right around the corner! This is perhaps the biggest day of our church year. We will offer five services with a new twist. The first four (3:00, 4:30, 6:00 and 7:30 pm) will be identical, family-friendly services. With a little help from Charlie Brown, we will celebrate the power and simplicity of the “real meaning of Christmas.” Each service will be a wonderful combination of traditional carols, choir, and candles, as well as modern versions of Christmas favorites, a few surprises…and a ton of energy. (By the way, if you can attend either 3:00 or 4:30 pm, that would be a huge help; the latter two services will be PACKED OUT!)

If you prefer a worship experience that is more on the traditional side of things, you’ll want to join us at 9:00 pm; that service that will feature bells and communion.

Whichever style service you prefer, this will be perfect opportunity to stretch your hospitality muscles. Who are the people you love that might be blessed by Christmas Eve at Chapel Hill? Won’t you invite them to one of those services, please? And as a great host, would you consider serving at one other service? We particularly need help in the parking lot. And who wouldn’t want to boss people around with huge lightsabers?

There is no season like Christmas where it is easier and more natural to invite someone to church. We will do our best to provide them with a wonderful, life-changing experience. I hope you will do your best to invite your unchurched loved ones.

Let me close with a wonderful Christmas present from the Session. Last week, your elders voted to invite Rev. Ellis White to become our new Associate Pastor. You, the congregation, must confirm this call and we will do so at a congregational meeting on Sunday, January 6, at 10:00 am in the Sanctuary. This represents a promotion for Ellis, an acknowledgment of a job well done, and our desire to continue our relationship with him for many years to come. I know you’ll want to come and be part of this momentous occasion in his and his family’s life.

God is doing some great things here, isn’t he? I’m so glad you get a chance to be part of it.

Once again, the Merriest of Christmases! I’ll see you in church this weekend…and on Christmas Eve.

Pastor Mark

P.S. Another piece of exciting news: we are just shy of hitting our $3-million-giving mark on our Beyond These Walls initiative. As we draw near the end of this calendar year, please take a moment to review your year-end giving to our operating budget and to Beyond These Walls. We can’t do it without you…and we are so grateful for your faithfulness.