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This Advent season was full of Outreach celebrations! Our Atkinson meal was served right on schedule, spreading Christ’s love through home-cooked food to those in need.

The Outreach team collected donations of ten delicious Christmas meals for our Bridge of Hope/ Good Samaritan dinner drive. This is one of my personal favorite events, because it brings families together over fresh roast beef and sides. I hold many precious family memories in my heart from past Holidays and meals shared with my loved ones – it is the best present we can give. A call of thanks to Tiffany Zuch for leading the charge and organizing the event this Advent – Thank you, Tiffany!

Our Angel Tree drive was a huge success, with every tag claimed for a gift from the congregation. In the excitement of the season, it is easy to forget that some families may not be as fortunate as we are; even one small gift goes a long way towards bringing Advent cheer to families in need of that light.

Lastly, I am proud to report yet another full car trunk of food stuffs to donate to the Coventry Food Pantry. I have a great respect for long standing traditions, and our pantry collection is no exception. I cannot recall a single month that did not return some donations – the passion for our local outreach has clearly passed the test of time. Way to go, St. Andrew's!

As we look towards a new year, I hope everyone in our parish will carry the warmth and generosity of this Advent with them into the months ahead. As much as we joyously celebrate the birth of our Lord, many of us equally feel sadness and stress during Advent, as we remember the loved ones we have lost. I have heard from several neighbors in our congregation that we have faced some challenging months these past few years. It is easy to succumb to feelings of despair and even self-pity. I urge our congregation to keep sharing our Lord’s warmth and light with our friends, family, and neighbors! In the words of John 16:22, “So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.”

God Bless you all, and may you enjoy health and prosperity in the New Year – Thank you for a fantastic and joyous Advent!

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