Rev. Melissa Self Patrick
posted on December 13, 2011 12:04
Dear friends of Urban Ministry,
Thank you for your contribution during the month of December! Thanks to all the volunteers, donors, and partners who have made it possible for us to serve Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners to many people, provide Christmas gifts for hundreds of children, give food boxes to hungry families, and continue to fund our ministries of compassion and wholeness.
As we move through the Christian season of Advent, I am reminded of the power, comfort, and joy of waiting in this community for the good that God has, is, and will share through the birth, life, death and resurrection of God’s son, Jesus Christ.
Advent means “coming” or “arrival.” Thus, Advent is a season of longing and preparing for the arrival of Jesus Christ – God’s in-breaking into our world to lift up the lowly and scatter the proud. Reading Henri Nouwen’s thoughtful reflections on this season, I have focused on Elizabeth and Mary’s waiting together for the fullness of God to be revealed through the sons they would bear. After waiting in seclusion for the first five months of her pregnancy, Elizabeth shares her joy with a visit from Mary, who sings her praises and commitment to God. Together, Elizabeth and Mary not only endure waiting for the birth of their sons and for their people’s deliverance from oppression, but they also celebrate the joys of God’s daily gifts together.
In a similar way, you and I join a host of other Urban Ministry supporters to celebrate our shared ministry together as we await the joy-filled celebration of Christmas. I’m not so great at waiting, and I know many others share this challenge, so it is good to know that what I’m awaiting is worth the wait! This Advent and Christmas season, I am very thankful for friends like you who are determined to be God’s presence in real and powerful ways in the world. I am thankful that you have chosen to do this by supporting Urban Ministry.
Because of your generous support, we are able to provide Christmas for approximately 500 children and 200 senior citizens. This is in addition to our ongoing work feeding the hungry, educating children, helping families to maintain heat and electricity, offering healthy organic produce, creating work opportunities for young people, and more. Thank you for sharing and for actively being with us as we await the coming of the Prince of Peace.
During this season, we will remember and celebrate Elizabeth and Mary’s community, and we will worship, sing and celebrate the coming of Love into the world in Jesus, the Word made flesh. It will be glorious. It will be inspiring. It will build our faith. I have already been a part of these celebrations, and I have been thanking God for partners like you, who enable us to do so much for so many people who are in difficult and sometimes desperate situations. May God bless you abundantly during this most holy season!
Peace and blessings,