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President's Update: December 2013

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Greetings from snowy Abbotsford!



Just stepped outside to capture this photo – light snow falling!!!  Certainly better than the minus 10 degrees it was this past weekend.  I understand that some of you are experiencing a lot of winter magic (plenty of snow) – praying you will all be safe travelling on the snowy and icy roads!  Speaking of travelling, Michael will be leaving for Europe after the Board of Directors Meeting on Sunday; Ern will be heading over to the island; Wesley will be taking time off but staying around Abbotsford; and Sylvia and I will be heading to California on Tuesday of next week and will not be returning until the New Year.  Other than Michael, all of us will be available by phone and email so if you need to connect with us please do so.  I know that most of you have my cell number or email but just in case – my cell is 604 308 6131, and my email is wculmore@bcadventist.ca or wculmore@gmail.com
 
BOARD OF DIRECTORS: (Sunday, December 15, 9:00 am at the Conference Office) This will be the second meeting of the new BOD since elected in August at the Constituency Meeting.  The main items for discussion at this meeting will be the October Statement, highlights of the 2014 Budget, REACH BC & Yukon follow-up, couple of personnel items, update on a couple of building projects, several reports, and a number of miscellaneous items.
 
REACH BC & YUKON: If you have not emailed your responses to me from your Board, or Leadership Team,  as to how the conference may assist your local church grow God’s Kingdom please do so before Thursday this week.  I will share all the suggestions I have received up to Friday with the Board on Sunday. We are receiving excellent input which will be our focus when we have our Strategic Planning Session at Camp Hope in January.
 
BC ALIVE: I trust you have been reading the BC Alive.  Charles has beautifully expressed through photos and script how God is blessing the BC Conference.  It is truly amazing all the activities that are happening at our schools and churches especially as they  impact local communities.  I was thrilled to see in the last edition how many churches are having special Christmas programs which they are making available to the local community.  We at the office are praying that many souls will experience Jesus this Christmas because of the ministry of your local church and your local school.  Members are telling us that they are encouraged by the stories of what is happening across BC . . .  please keep the photos and stories coming!
 
I just checked my Christmas file – not sure where I got this from, but thought you might appreciate a copy: “Have a Good Christmas”
 
"Have a good Christmas," the shopkeeper said. I responded in kind as I turned away with my first Christmas purchase safe in hand. But I could not help wondering, "How many people using that expression this season really know what makes a good Christmas?"

Just what is involved in a good Christmas? Store aisles crowded with eager shoppers making the registers ring with the shrill sounds of shopping success? Bank accounts and credit card limits stretched to the breaking point? Post offices overflowing with those anxious to send that last minute card or package to family or friends in faraway places? Bus and train stations, airports and highways congested with record crowds? Christmas parties resounding with ribald humour and reeking with the fumes of an alcoholic revelry? A table groaning with a load of culinary delights and Christmas goodies guaranteed to break any diet or exhaust any medicinal remedy? An annual visit to a Christmas pageant or a carol sing?

A good Christmas means much more than any of this. It must be a Christmas centered upon Jesus Christ the person whose birth is being celebrated. A Christmas focused upon the greatest of all gifts; the gift of His Son to a lost and dying world. A Christmas magnifying the meaning of the mission of the One who came as God incarnate to planet earth. A mission made crystal clear by the angel’s announcement to Joseph. "They shall call His Name Jesus, for he shall save His people from their sins." A mission with a message clearly defined by Christ Himself when He said, "The Son of man has come to seek and save those who are lost."

A good Christmas must be one that has room for Jesus. The pathos involved in the paradox of a simple innkeeper turning away the very eternal Son of God has ever intrigued those who read the Christmas story. But how sad that our sophisticated contemporary culture still seems to have no room for Jesus in their homes even during the time set aside for His birthday celebration.

A good Christmas must be one bringing real joy and peace to the earth. Not the pseudo-peace or jocular joy that so often characterizes earthly relationships and celebrations. But the spiritual joy expressed by the angels on the night of a Savior’s birth and the spiritual peace personally experienced by those who have been justified by faith in Jesus Christ.

A good Christmas finds its full fruition in the human heart. The Saviour that was born into the world some two thousand years ago stands outside the heart’s door during this season graciously seeking admittance. The Bible says, "But as many as receive Him, to them gave He the power to become the Sons of God, even to those who believe on His Name." Those who would have a good Christmas are those who would receive the Christ of Christmas into their hearts and homes the whole year through - and eternally.

But just what can one of us do to ensure we make this season what it really should and could be for ourselves and those around us? How can we remind ourselves and others the real reason for the season? Just what does the real Christmas story tell us about what makes a good Christmas? 

(1) A Good Christmas Promotes His Presence And Prominence.
(2) A Good Christmas Promotes Pure Praise and Worship.
(3) A Good Christmas Promotes The Purpose And Power Of The Gospel.
 
My prayer for each of you is that you and your family will be blessed with a “GOOD CHRISTMAS” and you will personally experience the JOYGIVER and the PEACEGIVER in your hearts.
 
Blessings upon blessings, Wayne