Dear Rockport Family and Friends,
Blessings and love to you all as we greet December (and all the snow that came with it!) I pray that you and your loves ones are safe and warm, and that even in the midst of the snow, we can see God's goodnesses and beauty.
This year, our Advent series focuses on the parts of the Christmas story where angels show up and tell the characters, "Do not be afraid!" I chose this theme for 2020, because with all the things swirling around us in the world and in our own church and lives, it seems like a good reminder to us, affirming the commitment of God in our midst. "Do not be afraid" and embrace the hope, peace, joy, and love of this season as we celebrate Emmanuel, God with us, and Christ's promised return. At Advent and Christmas, we are reminded that God's love breaks through barriers that separate us and meets us where we are - even now, even in the midst of a pandemic. This week, I saw God's love breaking through in folks who braved the cold to stock our Take What You Need Cabinet, in people who reached out to share in conversation and love with one another, in folks who gave sacrificially to support the ministry of the church. Thank you for all the ways that you are giving and serving during this season. God continues to be at work among us, breaking through all that holds us back and inviting us to move from fear to faithfulness.
Rockport continues to be in Level 3 (red) online only status at this time. We continue to lift our hearts in prayer as we invite you to worship with us at 10:00am on Sundays via Facebook, YouTube, or on our website. Please continue giving to Rockport, as your gifts make our ministry possible! Please also continue to reach out by phone, email, and letter, and share the love of Christ with one another. All of us could use some holiday cheer, extra love, and connection during this season.
Over the past several weeks, we've begun talking about the need for strategic planning, goal setting, and vision casting at Rockport. While these tasks are tasks of the Church Council, we have begun to put together a team of folks to help us focus on this work and complete some of the necessary research in order to reimagine our ministry together.
Last week, Seasonal Worship at Home Kits were available for pick up on several days, and though kits are limited, we still have plenty left! If you have not yet picked up a kit and would like to, please call the Church Office this week Tuesday-Thursday to make arrangements to do so! If you cannot come to pick up your kit and would like one, let us know that too, and we will make arrangements to get you one. Inside the kits are items to make an Advent Wreath, Devotions for Advent, Christmas, & Epiphany at Home, Readings for the Lighting of the Advent Candles (that we are also using in worship), a special activity for Christmas, and an activity for Epiphany that goes along with your devotional! If you would rather not pick up a kit, but would still like to utilize the devotional that the clergy from St. Thomas Episcopal Church and Rockport put together, you can download the devotional here.
Thank you to those of you who have volunteered as readers and musicians for our joint Christmas Eve Lessons and Carols with St. Thomas Episcopal Church. If you'd still like to volunteer, (we especially need folks who are willing to sing or play a hymn for the musical side of things) please let me know and I'll get back to you with the available opportunities! The deadline to submit those videos will be December 10, so that we have time to edit them all together for the final service. Our Christmas Eve service will be available beginning at 10am on Christmas Eve and will be a part of how we celebrate the coming of the Christ Child!
As a reminder: Fridays and Saturdays are my days off so that I can care for myself and my family. All non-emergency matters that are communicated to me during those days will be handled and responded to the following week.
As always, you continue to be in my prayers. If you are in need of prayer or conversation, don't hesitate to reach out to me via phone or email. Please leave a voicemail if I'm not immediately available and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.
Wishing you peace,
Rev. Lorrin Radzik