Welcome to St. Ansgar Lutheran Church …
We, the people of St. Ansgar, are a worshipping, learning, witnessing and serving community of baptized persons among whom the Word is proclaimed and the Sacraments are administered according to the Gospel.
We invite you to join us for any of the following worship services:
10:30 a.m. Service of Holy Communion (September through June)
10:30 a.m. Sunday School Sept. – May
10:00 a.m. Service of Holy Communion (July and August)
FROM PASTOR DAVID’S DESK
…I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11)
This Sunday, November 27th, marks the beginning of Advent, a four-week time of preparation for Christmas. Historically in the church, this was a time of preparation for the coming of the Christ child, a season similar to Lent. Few, if any of us, remember this tradition. Instead most of us remember the ever-growing secular season of preparation for the Christmas holiday. Beginning around Halloween, Christmas decorations began appearing, the “shop early” mentality took over, and the “Holiday Season” had begun. Christmas music hit the sound waves in early November and played on until it was no longer pleasing to the ears. The toy commercials told the unsuspecting children what they wanted for gifts and the once quiet time of preparation was lost. Instead of looking forward to the Christmas season, we became overwhelmed and couldn’t wait for it to be over for another year.
I admit that I used to be just as guilty as everyone else. I, too, lost the “reason for the season,” and spent countless hours shopping for the perfect gifts, spending more than I should have.
Decorating for the holiday became more extravagant each year and I often wondered what happened to good taste.
The one saving grace for me was Christmas Eve. We always had a big meal and the family was together. The nonsense seemed to be over and a relief settled over us. For the first time all season, it was about being with family, sharing a meal together, and at 10:45pm we would pile into several cars and head for the 11:00pm candlelight service at church. At least three generations of us would fill a pew, heave a big sigh of relief, and settle in to what Christmas was really all about. What an exciting feeling came over all of us as we heard the Christmas story, sang carols, shared another meal together called Eucharist, lit a little white candle, and found the Christmas peace that had eluded us the many weeks before this sacred night.
My most meaningful memories are of the times we spent together as a family, first as a child and later as a parent, on Christmas Eve. I only remember a few of the many presents I received on Christmas morning, but my memories of Christmas Eve are still strong today. It is hard to stay focused on the real meaning of Christmas, the birth of the Christ Child. It is hard not to get caught up in the secular holiday since it is everywhere around us. But the peace of Christmas can only be found in a quiet stable, or during a Christmas Eve service surrounded by family and friends.
My Christmas wish for you is that you may find the real peace of Christmas in the gift of the Christ child.