Dear friends in Christ,
I hope you’re all managing to find some calm as we approach Christmas. Here’s what we’ve got going on:
Christmas & New Year’s Services
12/24@5pm: Candlelight Family Christmas Eve Service
12/24@11pm: Candlelight Communion Service
12/25@10am: Christmas Day Service: We’re planning a shorter, more casual service with opportunity to sing favorite carols, hear the Christmas story, a short meditation on Christmas, and get a chance to ask Pastor Katrina anything you’ve wanted to know about Christmas/the Christmas story.
1/1@10am: New Year’s Day Service: This will be a shorter service, but we will have a sermon, communion, and an opportunity to sing carols and hymns welcoming in the New Year.
Reverse Advent Calendar
Thank you for to all who have been participating in the Reverse Advent Calendar. Donations can be brought to the church starting Christmas Eve!
Christmas Baskets: Thank you to everyone who donated to the Christmas dinner baskets for families in Middlebury who need an extra helping hand this season! A picture of everything all set to be picked up by the town is attached.
Sock-it-to-Homelessness: We are collecting new and gently used socks, including mismatched socks, for Greater Waterbury Interfaith Ministries. Socks are the most needed item of clothing for people experiencing homelessness. Donations can be left in the white bin near the Multiplication Table at the front of the sanctuary.
Mitten Line: We are collecting new and gently used hats, gloves, and scarves for GWIM. Donations can be left on the clothesline in the Social Hall.
We had a great time caroling this past Monday. I think there were around 16 of us. Attached are some pictures of the evening courtesy of Ellen and Caroline. Thank you to everyone who helped with driving and singing! Thank you to Ellen and our other volunteers who provided some post caroling refreshments!
Troop 5 & 6 Can and Bottle Drive: 1/7
Our scout troops are having a can and bottle drive on Saturday 1/7 from 9am-1pm. The flyer is attached.
Office Closed 12/26-12/30
The church office will be closed next week. I will be taking some days of comp time, but you can still reach me via email, cell, or house phone.
Open & Affirming Winter Book Discussion
As part of our Open and Affirming process, we’re going to be reading : Unclobber: Rethinking Our Misuse of the Bible on Homosexuality by Colby Martin. Martin is a straight, evangelical pastor who changed his mind about LGBTQ people and the church. The book is part memoir of his journey of changing his mind and the impacts it had on his career and family, and the other part of the book is breaking down the common scripture passages people use to claim homosexuality is a sin or to exclude LGBTQ people from the church.
Dates for discussion are tentatively scheduled:
Wednesday, 1/11/23 @7pm: Chapters 1-4
Wednesday, 1/18/23 @7pm: Chapters 5-6
Wednesday, 2/1/23 @7pm: Chapters 7-8
Wednesday, 2/15/23@7pm: Chapters 9-10
As we approach Christmas, I thought I’d share my current favorite Christmas album that has carols on it: The Oh Hellos’ Family Christmas Album by The Oh Hellos. The band is sort of loosely categorized as folk. They’ve put the whole album up on youtube: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-1NEmVqae3M12N-DcDgzhA0PgcTTtdt_
Each track is listed as a movement, and the album is a medley of advent hymns or carols that take you on a journey through the Advent/Christmas season. Anyway, if you’re looking to add some more music into your holiday rotation, I offer this album up.
And as a closing Christmas themed thought for today, here’s a reflection on Christmas/the miracle of the incarnation offered by St. Augustine:
“God so loved us that for our sakes he,
through whom time was made, was made in time;
older by eternity than the world itself,
he became younger in age than many of his servants in the world;
God, who made man, was made man;
he was given existence by a mother
whom he brought into existence;
he was carried in hands which he formed;
he was nursed at breasts which he filled;
he cried like a baby in the manger in speechless infancy—
without which human eloquence is speechless.”