Thoughts from Pastor Don | Candles of Hope

Dear Southminster Members,

Hope. During these days of Advent, we continue to follow the spiritual writings of Thurman and Light Candles for our world. This Sunday, we light Candles of Hope where Despair Keeps Watch. Thurman viewed his calling as being a spiritual support to people living in a world filled with chaos and despair. He knew that the success of the Christian movement depended upon its spiritual foundation. Hope is something we build inside of us. It gives us perspective and allows us to act boldly and purposefully. 

If we could ask Thurman how to face the challenges of our time, I’m convinced he would point us to Hope. I remember growing up in Montana and my Dad promised my brothers and I that we could take the train to see my cousins “next month”. I would count each day and patiently wait for our departure. My hope transformed the way I saw the world and lived my life. The way I made sure to do my daily chores. The way I treated my brothers. I remember thinking that there was nothing I wouldn’t do to make that trip to see my cousins.  I just knew that my cousins were hopeful too. 

Thurman reminds us that we need to be patient and realize that Hope can transform the way we see and interact with the world right now. He would say, a world filled with justice for all tomorrow, will come only through our deep sense of Hope today. In worship and in daily devotionals this week, we will be exploring the “light” that came into the world and recommitting ourselves to the spiritual foundation of Hope. I encourage you and your family to download a copy of the devotional and read through it on a daily basis (available on our website). 

As a part of this Advent season of Lighting Candles, you will be asked to do two things as a way to connect ourselves to each other:
1.    Light these Candles: Pick up a personal candle for the Christmas Eve Worship Service (December 24 – 5:00 p.m.). We purchased candles with wax guards and we hope that you will pick up your candle at the church (one candle per person in the family) and use it during our Christmas Eve service. You can pick up your candle(s) at the Advent Fair on December 13 or make arrangements by calling Lisa or Don.
2.    Take a Christmas “Candlelight” Picture: Take a picture of you and your family with a candle or candles and send it to Amanda ( We will be creating a Southminster “Light These Candles” slideshow which will be shown at the Christmas Eve service.

When I finally arrived to see my cousins, after a month of waiting and longing and HOPING, I remember feeling the sense of satisfaction and deep accomplishment. I did it. We did it. We were finally together. And I realized that the wait was not only worth the reward, the wait was the reward. I learned that hope made the reality of seeing my cousins so much better than I even imagined. May it be true for us as well.

Pastor Don