Thursdays, December 6, 13, & 20 at 7:00 pm
The holiday season can stir deep emotions within each of us. We await the arrival of Christmas with joy and excitement, but we can also be filled with grief and worry. Thankfully, our God meets us wherever we are. Using the beautiful Holden Evening Prayer service, our Advent worship this year gives voice to the complex situations and emotions with which we greet the coming Messiah and ponders the reactions of those who first received the news of Jesus’ birth (Zechariah, Joseph, Mary, and the shepherds). These services acknowledge responses of fear, confusion, doubt, and curiosity, while helping us remember that the coming of Jesus promises comfort and joy for all of us.
Thursdays, December 6, 13, & 20 at 12:00 pm
The holiday season is a complicated time. Though jolly and joyous in many ways, these weeks bring many extra responsibilities that can leave us feeling overwhelmed or anxious. If you’d like to take a moment to breathe and get your spiritual bearings, swing by Starbucks at 640 Shunpike Road (across from the Shop-Rite) between 12:00 and 2:00 on one or more of the Thursdays in December to chat with Pastor Christa and connect with others who might be there too.
Getting to know Pastor Christa Compton
The Rev. Dr. Christa M. Compton is a lifelong Lutheran who grew up in Lexington, South Carolina. Most of her family is still in S.C., including her parents (Charlie and Nancy), sisters, brother-in-law, and several aunts, uncles, and cousins. Her sister Claire is a high school math teacher, and sister Carrie is a nurse who is married to Judson, a Lutheran pastor. (Both sisters are happy to share stories about how Christa tormented them during childhood.) Christa is also the proud aunt of Addison (6) and Camryn (2), so she plays a pretty fierce game of Candy Land and reads Dr. Seuss with great enthusiasm. She is also a godmother to four terrific kids who live in California, Connecticut, and Virginia.
After graduating from the University of Virginia in 1993 with a B.A. in English and a Masters in Teaching, Christa spent the first decade of her professional life as a high school English teacher in Columbia, S.C. Christa moved to California in 2002 to pursue a PhD in the Stanford School of Education, which she completed in 2007. From 2002 to 2009 she worked with the Stanford Teacher Education Program and enjoyed serving as a supervisor and course instructor for people entering the teaching profession.
Over time, however, the call to ordained ministry grew stronger, and in the fall of 2009 Christa entered Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary to begin the preparation process to become a Lutheran pastor. Her seminary years were filled with many rich ministry experiences, including an internship year at Sierra Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sierra Vista, AZ and opportunities to serve in congregations in the Bay Area. Christa graduated from the seminary in May of 2013 with her Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree and joined Gloria Dei in August of that year.
In her rare moments of free time, you might find Christa doing a craft project, attempting to exercise without hurting herself, heading to a movie theater, reading a book, Skyping with her family, following ACC sports, or catching up on episodes of “Mad Men” and “Downton Abbey.” She is also a music lover and enjoys singing alto with other folks who like to make a joyful noise. In recent years Christa has been trying to become a better cook, but the results are…well, let’s just say inconsistent.