Advent (Latin, "coming") is a time when we celebrate the coming of Christ 2,000 years ago while looking forward to his coming again just as a child looks forward to Christmas day. And if we really knew how amazing the world (and our lives) will be upon the return of the King, we would be filled with joy looking forward to our true home.
This Sunday begins the season of Advent, a special time in the church calendar. Advent means “to come to” in Latin, and it’s an apt name for the season that both celebrates every good thing Jesus has already done and anticipates the good things yet to come. It’s sometimes described as a season of waiting, waiting for Jesus to show up, to make himself known in our lives; but I think Advent is better described as a season of “looking for.” We’re looking for Jesus to bring us what we long for because we know he’s going to. He always does. That’s why we celebrate.
Now and again, we post something to our Facebook page and it gains traction. With likes, comments, and shares pouring in, it’s nice to highlight these positive, community based interactions.
On a beautiful morning, Calvary Church in Valparaiso broke ground on construction to their main campus. This is part of their expansion plans dubbed the “Even More Project.” With the growth of a church comes an increased need for gathering spaces, offices, and even increasing the size of the worship center.
What a joy to be the leader of such an amazing team. I know you have been blessed by two of our talented teaching pastors, Pastor Josh Reasoner and Pastor Jon Nitta! We are one team (1 Corinthians 3) serving one Lord and one church (Ephesians 4) with one mission. Together we are changing lives forever with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Most Rev. Donald Hying, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Gary, delivers a message of life, hope, acceptance and love to a crowd of about 1,200 area school students and faculty during a 31st annual Prayer Service in Celebration of Life at Franciscan Health Dyer Oct. 4, conducted during national Respect Life Month. The theme of this year’s event, Be Not Afraid, was accentuated by remarks made by guest speaker Matt Schwartz, theological consultant for the Parish Success Group, a national Catholic ministry training and coaching agency, who stressed the good in each individual and the need to elevate the spirit and worth of others.
Thank you for honoring my wife and me this past Sunday for our 20th anniversary with Calvary. God has used our church to do great things in Valparaiso, the region, and the world. And I believe God has even more great things for us! Right now our elders are spending a lot of time praying about our future. Our greatest challenge by far is how to keep up with the pace of growth we are experiencing as a church and ensure we can continue to grow.
I'm celebrating twenty years as your pastor this week. Of my twenty-nine years in ministry, I have spent twenty of them with you! What I really want to say is "Thank You!" Thank you to those who have prayed for me, my wife, and our three boys. Thank you to every person who has encouraged us in big and small ways. Thank you to those of you who were here twenty years ago and have stayed the course through "many dangers, toils, and snares," to borrow from the lines of the ancient hymn we all love.
Calvary Church began its first worship services in August 1947 at Memorial Opera House in Valparaiso. A lot has changed since 1947 in our church, in Valparaiso, and in the world. And yet, all the important things have remained the same at Calvary Church. We preach from the same book, we proclaim the same gospel, and we praise the same God.