News for the Church, 12/22/23

A beautiful cheery sunny day to you, Church!

It turns out, winter finally decided to show up! We have cold temps, and just enough snow to make things look beautiful, and we have sunshine today! What more could you want for 3 days before Christmas? 

Here’s the news for the week: 

Sunday Morning, the 24th

In lieu of worship on the morning of Christmas Eve, you are welcome to come sing Christmas carols!

We will meet at the church at 10am to select and practice a handful of songs, and then we will take the show on the road. Those of us caroling are scheduled to sing our carols at Partridge Knoll at 11am. Afterwards we will have a few minutes to visit with residents there, including our own Vernice Church, before we then head over to Maplewood to sing for nursing home residents at 12 while they enjoy a Christmas lunch. 

After that we will swing by Ruth Kreuzer’s home and sing a few carols for her and her husband. 

You don’t have to have a beautiful voice to join the choir– just a willing heart to share Christmas joy with folks who aren’t able to travel to church. 

Christmas Eve Night

Then, the evening of Christmas Eve, you are invited to return to church at 7pm for a special Christmas worship service complete with trumpets, our Advent wreath lighting, and singing Silent Night sung by candlelight. It’s going to be a beautiful evening. 

Church Workday Scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 27th

As you know, the sanctuary is coming right along. Folks have been coming in all week to pull nails and tack strips from the floor, and to sweep. And next week, a group of our young, strong, able-bodied college kids are coming to help toss all of the floor debris into the roll-off that will be delivered early that morning. You are invited to come and participate if you like, starting at 10:30am. 

I don’t think it will take more than a couple of hours, and we will order pizza for all of our hard workers. 

Gifts for Friends

This last week I got to play the role of your Christmas elf! I brought two bags of gifts to our young friend Andre, who is trying to make a life for himself out of nothing. I delivered bath towels, toiletries, and his favorite chocolates. He was elated! 

And we have a box going for our other friend Daniel, who is also trying to make a way out of no way. So far, we have winter boots, gloves, bus tokens, and a few plates and bowls, and Beth Grace has offered to take him to Best Friends Thrift store to pick up other household goods he might need. 

Last night a bunch of his things were stolen, including his winter coat and all of his food. I *think he wears a men’s size medium, if anyone has a winter coat they’d be willing to share. And he will eat anything but seafood. 

If you’d like to help out with any of these things, let me know. I’m hoping he might be able to make it to church this Sunday evening, when hopefully we can give him his box. 

Jeff Mitchell has Begun Studies to Become a Commissioned Lay Pastor

I’m pleased as punch to announce that Jeff Mitchell feels the call to ministry, and has already taken up some of the classes he will need to eventually become a Commissioned Lay Pastor in the Presbyterian Church. He’s taking classes online through Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richland, Virginia, and is learning a lot. Every time we chat about school his face lights up and he shares about the many things he’s learning about the Bible and the history of Christianity. Let’s pray for Jeff, as he begins this journey. 

Covid is Once Again on the Rise

If you haven’t heard, Covid is going around again in our area. There was an outbreak at the hospital and I know more than a handful of locals who are currently down for the count. In addition to that, the flu virus is also going around, and this strain is a yucky one. 

As a reminder, you might want to consider getting a booster shot again, if you haven’t already. And it’s worth making sure to wash your hands frequently and consider wearing a mask in public if you’re concerned about getting sick. 

And as always, if you are sick, please offer your love to the world by staying home until you feel better. There are a lot of immuno-compromised people who can’t afford to get sick and the best way we can support them is to not share our illnesses with them. 

You can sign up for vaccines online either through Kinney Drug’s website, or Walgreens’ website. 

A Very, Merry Christmas to You

Dear Hearts, I am filled with joy today as I think about how happy I am to have all of you in my life. You bring joy and richness to my days, and fill my heart with gladness. Thank you for being such a loving, caring community of people. 

This last Sunday at church, I especially felt the joy in the room as we sang, laughed, prayed, shared, and learned together. We are a community who loves and supports one another, and I am blessed to be a part of who we are becoming. 

I feel that we are currently shining with the same grace and wonder as this Christmas amaryllis, which my aunt gifted to me a few weeks ago. May we continue to live in God’s great joy in this world! 

A Very Merry Christmas to you all!
Pastor Katrina