This first Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of a journey.

Around the world, Catholics joyfully welcome a new Church year and start to ready ourselves for the coming of Christ’s birth.

And here in Washington, D.C., Franciscan Mission Service comissions our new class of lay missioners. We mark the end of Annemarie Barrett and Jeff Sved’s three-month training and the beginning of their two years of service in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

This Sunday reminds us also of our universal, ongoing journey to grow in Christ. In today’s reading from 1 Thessalonians, we are called to “increase and abound in love for one another and for all.” It is with this desire to increase and abound in love that Annemarie and Jeff go out into the mission field, just as FMS missioners have since 1990.

When we go on mission, we are not bringing God to our service sites because God is already there. When we go out on mission, we are acknowledging and rejoicing in the presence of God that we find in each of our brothers and sisters whom we meet and serve in Bolivia, South Africa, Kenya and Washington, D.C.

During this season of hope and preparation, we want to invite you to join in our journey of finding God in others. Come, let us adore Him!

Come, journey toward Christ with our missioners, staff, friends and people we serve on mission as we share their stories of enountering God on our blog each day of Advent and Christmas. We hope you will not only read, but share your encounters with us on Facebook.

Please join in our journey further by making a tax-deductible donation and telling three friends about us this season.

We look forward to growing with you in the love and service of Christ this season!