Advent and Christmas Newsletter 2019

I would like the chance to introduce myself to you. My name is Kara McCluskie and I am the “new” minister at both Kilsyth and Keady- North Derby United Churches. My husband Brian and I live in Owen Sound and we have two wonderful daughters, one who has now moved to the Sunshine Coast, in B.C. and the other who is working her way through a business degree at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo ON. Cordelia, a stray cat who claimed us about

5 years ago keeps us company at home now that we are empty nesters.

This letter that I write is an invitation to you. It is my hope that you might consider entering into the stories of Christmas with either one of the faithful communities that I am currently serving alongside. I would like you to know that you are welcome anytime.

It is hard to believe that December is just around the corner and we have already experienced cold temperatures and some of the white stuff. I do have to admit though that I love it when the very cold days come and the frost builds up on the window panes. The patterns look like something that might have been created on an Etch-a-Sketch. Do you remember that popular toy? It was good to have around to help to pass the time. I remember trying to actually create something that was recognizable while other times it was just as fun to turn the knobs randomly and make lines that went every which way.

Often, lines from the frost on the windows don’t seem to have a pattern. Sometimes they are just clumped together in an abstract design, but sometimes there are those random lines that seem to reach off in a different direction than all the rest. Often life is like this. We get caught up in the frenzy and chaos and just when there seems to be no way out, an opportunity presents itself for us to sneak outside of the craziness for a short while. Sometimes I think that the Spirit knows when there is a need to slow down.

The winter season is often dull, grey and dark and gives us opportunities to stay put, to look out the window and ponder. God made it so for us, so that we might rejoice when the light comes. Advent is a time of longing for that light. It begins in darkness and then as we gradually approach Christmas we remember and share in the story of how the dark night was lit up by the natal star that shone brightly in the East urging people to follow it, urging people to discover what it was leading them to. While in the darkness, we are sometimes surprised at what we find.

We are given this invitation again and again, to come, to see and know the Christ Child….to go outside of the craziness and seek out this special light.  

Just as those of long ago lived in distressing times and longed for a saviour to come, we too have a yearning for a Messiah to come, to offer us peace and hope, one that will comfort us and help to heal the broken parts of our lives.

I invite you into this Advent journey. I pray that you find time to pay attention to the glowing light and what Advent’s light will reveal to you. As you approach this season on behalf of both faith communities, I wish you a Christ filled holiday and many blessings into the New Year. In peace, Kara McCluskie