Pastor's Update - December 2018 

(Shown is Pastor Doug ((our Interim Pastor)) and his wife, Elaine. Pastor is serving Bethlehem Lutheran Church and First Presbyterian Church of Florence- he has been there 29 years. He is serving as Secretary of the Northern Great Lakes Synod and serves on the Synod Council and Synod Council Executive Committee. This is the sixth time he has served congregations as their Interim Pastor.
He is the Chief Deputy Coroner of Florence County and serves as Chair of the Florence County Emergency Planning Committee. He recently retired from 23 years as an EMT on the Florence Rescue Squad.
Pastor Doug and Elaine have been married 12 years. Pastor Doug enjoys reading novels, traveling, working in his yard, and being with his famiy.
Pastor Doug is committed to making sure every Thursday and Sunday we will have someone leading our service while we continue our search towards a permanent pastor. He will also take care of funerals and weddings and assist the church council.)

Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

The Advent season is at hand and the days of preparing to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ are here.  Our lives at this time of year are filled to overflowing with plans and preparations.  There is a seemingly endless list of things yet to do, places to go, and people to see.  And while all of that doing and going has its place it may not all be reflective of what Christmas is really all about.

For us Christians, Christmas is all about God.  It is all about God coming into our human existence in the form of a tiny little innocent baby. You see, Christmas proclaims loud and clear that God is not a far-off God.  God is not a distant CEO of creation, shuffling papers from the top floor of a steel -and-glass skyscraper.  NO!!  God is Immanuel -- God with us!  God lives and dwells around us, among us and even in us.  And Christmas announces to the whole world this Immanuel God.

Luke, in his Gospel records the account of the birth of Jesus.  And there we learn that Mary took all of the important things said and told about her new son and “treasured them and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19)

I invite, even request, that during this Advent season you make sure that the words and the truth we know about Jesus the Christ -- Immanuel, God with us -- are treasured in your heart as you prepare again for his birth.  And please find or even make the time in the midst of all your busyness to be in worship during the Thursdays and Sundays of Advent to join with Mary, and your sisters and brothers in Christ, in pondering the meaning for us of the birth of God in human flesh -- God with us.  “For to you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior who is the Messiah, the Lord.”  (Luke 2:11)

Then come Christmas, let us all join together with the whole church on earth, the angels, and the whole host of heaven and sing:  “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those with whom God favors.”  (Luke 2:14)

May the peace of Jesus Christ, the love of our gracious heavenly Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit fill your life and your heart during this most holy season and then throughout the new year to come.

-Pastor Doug

Pastor Doug Johnson
Office Phone: 715-528-4851
Home Phone: 715-528-4458
Cell Phone:    715-938-0962
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 535, Florence, WI 54121

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