Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Thank you so much for generously supporting and joining in the work of Church of the Advent in 2017! We are very thankful for the ways you enabled us to fulfill our mission: “Sharing in the life of God together by redefining and reorienting everything around the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Here are just a few highlights of the work God did among us and through us in 2017:
- Our sermon series on Prayer in the summer and The Hesed (faithful love) of God in Micah, Habakkuk, and Joel were particularly powerful and helped to prepare us for the difficult season we are facing with my (Rob’s) brain cancer. Making our home in the Father’s love has become a powerful theme for us, inviting us to live with true peace, hope, and joy even amidst adversity.
- We have been slowly, but surely, growing in our new space, with nearly 10% more people worshipping with us this year. We ended the year particularly strong with a streak of no Sundays below 80 people, which is unusual for us Coloradans! ☺
- We opened our parsonage to a refugee family from Syria and continued to rent out our basement to Head Start, which provides free child care for preschoolers to families in need, as well as hosting the El Rio de Dios Spanish speaking congregation. Great to have our space bless others!
- We provided Thanksgiving Baskets for 20 families through Eagleton Elementary. Each basket had a $500 gift card (along with a turkey and sides) due to the generosity of a family outside the congregation! We also hosted two great Block Parties that many neighbors attended (one in partnership with El Rio de Dios) and offered a “Rake and Bake” to our neighbors. We love Villa Park!
- Our desire to develop long-term relationships that express the love of God continues to take form among us in wonderful ways. Huck and Loyce Burns moved into the neighborhood and have worked with their small group to discern ways we can bless our neighbors. We are very excited about possibly partnering with Hope in Our City, which serves a housing project just 10 blocks from the church in Sun Valley. They have also led the charge, along with the Wright’s, Hamiltons, and Shaun Tay Canady, to develop a sister-to-sister relationship with a church in Fresnillo, Mexico (El Gran Pastor). They are taking a scouting trip in March of this year to explore this further.
- Although we moved out of Baker, we have continued to pour time and energy into the Baker neighborhood and surrounding community through monthly game nights at Hirschfeld Towers and the Women’s Homeless Initiative.
- 29 new people joined our church and 8 babies were born.
- 6 people were baptized and 4 people were confirmed in faith and commissioned to minister in their diverse vocations in the power of the Holy Spirit.
- 63 people participated in six small groups, three of which were brand new, and 39 people attended four summer studies.
Through our diverse efforts, lives were changed by the grace of God. Thank you for your commitment to the work of Jesus Christ through Advent. We are heading into a very exciting year for Advent as we walk through the challenges presented by my brain cancer, but amidst it, we are going to experience a powerful work of God as he deepens our trust in his goodness and grace through adversity. I am so thankful for this congregation and all the ways God reveals his love in and through us!