Crosscurrents weekly edition
December 27, 2020
This Sunday, we join with churches around the Northwest Washington Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to worship the first Sunday of Christmas together through a special Service of Lessons and Carols. This service features special music from Synod congregations, greetings from Synod staff, and a special Christmas sermon from Bishop Shelley Bryan Wee. Watch online.
Christmas and New Year's Worship
Did you miss our very special Christmas Eve and Christmas Day worship services? If so, watch them on our YouTube channel today:
Christmas Eve Worship at Cross of Christ
For a child has been born for us,
a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named

Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.
Christmas Eve Worship at Cross of Christ
Gracious and gifting Father, we praise you today for sending us your Son,
demonstrating that your love knows no bounds,
and your grace has no limit.
As we worship today, come near to us,
into our homes, and into our hearts,
that we may experience the joy of this very holy day.
This we pray, in the name of him
whose birth we celebrate once more,
Jesus Christ,
the Lord.
New Year's Worship: It's About Time!
On Sunday, January 3, we will ring in the New Year with the first worship service of 2021. For many of us, it feels like it is “about time” to turn the calendar page from a very challenging -- and at times chaotic -- 2020.

As we enter this new year, we’ll remind ourselves that our confidence should rest not on any human or man-made institutions, but on the Lord of all our times, and the King of all Days. 

In a normal year, we would ring in the new year with the congregation serving as a large bell choir. This year, like with so many other activities, we will need to adapt.

You are invited to send in a short video of yourself ringing a bell: an antique dinner bell, cowbell, Wallace Christmas bell, one of the handbells you have lying around your basement, or any other object that goes "ding" when you shake it. If you submit a video, please ring your bell for approximately one minute, and send completed video to Colin Walker - I'll need videos by Wednesday at 5pm to be considered for inclusion in the worship video. THANK YOU!
Christmas and Year-End Giving
In these thanks-giving and gift-giving seasons, as you give gratitude to God and make plans to give gifts to your loved ones, we want to say thanks for all the gifts you have given to Cross of Christ this year, including your financial support. Your offerings really, really matter, enabling us together to do the ministries that make a difference in the lives of our members, neighbors, and around the world.

We would also humbly ask you to consider making an additional Christmas or end-of-year gift to your church. Last year, you rallied to close a financial gap in a marvelous and inspiring way. This year, with very careful financial management, your generosity, and the much-needed Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program loan/grant of about $130,000, we’ve managed to stay fiscally solid in spite of the havoc we’ve experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, being both prayerfully optimistic and carefully realistic, it is not an overstatement to say that the financial vitality of Cross of Christ in the coming year is uncertain. We do not know how long the pandemic will continue. We do not know how long it will be before we can return to in-person worship. We do not know if and when our valued outside user/renter groups will return. We do not know the financial impact of the pandemic on our members.

But we DO know that you have always proven to be faithful, joyful, and as generous as you are able to be in supporting your church and our shared mission and ministries. A special, additional gift before the end of this year, or early in 2021, would go a long way in enabling leadership to plan wisely with confidence that cuts do not need to be made to programs, staffing, outreach, building and grounds upkeep or any other vital work and support at Cross of Christ.

All 2020 contributions must be postmarked or delivered to the church's secure mailbox by December 31.

Thank you so much for prayerfully considering what you can do financially and in all other ways as we continue to partner together to worship, grow, share, serve, and welcome all.
Pastor Dave (Finally) Taking Some Vacation
Like with so much else in all our lives, Pastor Dave’s summer plans which included leading the Cross of Christ Tanzania Mission 2020 team to Africa and some connected vacation time had to be shelved. Pastor Dave has ably lead Cross of Christ thus far in our pandemic response – which required his full attention and also made taking any time off unreasonable to this point.

Now, however, Council is confident that plans and procedures are in place that will allow Pastor Dave to take some vacation time following Christmas. Pastor Dave is now out of the office until January 19. Upon his return in late January, he will be off-site for continuing education, returning to the office the week of January 25.

Plans have been made for recorded worship services during this time, and Associate Pastor for Caring Ministries Judy Brennan will be available to respond to pastoral emergencies in COVID-19 responsible ways. For non-pastoral office-related issues, contact Office Administrator Judy Giseburt. For all other issues, contact Congregational President Colin Walker.

Thank you, Pastor Dave, and blessings for a time of rest and restoration. 
The Pastor's Study On Vacation
Like Pastor Dave, The Pastor's Study is officially on vacation. Episodes of Pastor Dave's reflections on the weekly lectionary readings, word nerdery, and other errata will return in February.
Holiday Office Hours
While the Cross of Christ office has been physically closed during the pandemic, we have kept “virtual” office hours, with Office Administrator Judy Giseburt available to answer phone calls and emails Monday through Thursday, 9:30 am to 2 pm.

The “virtual” office will be open this week Monday through Wednesday, then closed beginning December 24 through December 31. The office will reopen (again, virtually) on Monday, January 4. Merry Christmas and Blessings for the New Year!

Remember: any campus visits must be arranged in advance. During Pastor Dave's vacation, please email Judy Giseburt and Colin Walker to coordinate campus visits.