Our Celebrations of the birth of Jesus, the Christ child continue! During these Twelve Days of Christmas, the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus occurs on a Sunday. This day, perhaps better known as New Year's Day, is always the eighth day of Christmas -- the day when a Jewish baby boy would be officially named. So our services of Christmas readings (and carols at 10 a.m.), will celebrate that this child was named, "God Saves," -- Yehoshua in Hebrew, and Jesus in Greek.
Please bring a treat to share for a potluck Coffee Hour. The last bit of a dip or spread would be great!
Not only do we get to enjoy different dimensions of the Christmas story, and sing more Christmas carols, we get to gather amidst the Christmas flowers, candles and greenery! Many thanks to all of you whose memorial and thanksgiving gifts helped provide all that made our house of worship look so splendid! Thanks also to Marsha Brown who spent most of the week getting everything in place! Thanks also to Erik and Harold Mastalerz for cleaning the carpets!
When folks arrived for our Nativity Pageant service on Christmas Eve, they were greeted by music provided by our Youth Ensemble of strings, clarinet and saxophone, all under the direction of Suky Bryan. Thanks to Suky and to all our young musicians -- including returning collegian Bronwyn Reeve!
Then came the Pageant itself! Thanks to the parents and grandparents who got their little sheep, shepherds, angels, kings, Holy Family members, and not-so-little narrators to the morning rehearsal and the service itself! Special thanks go to Donna Lafata, Becky Patino, Stephanie Hutchison, and Marybeth Clarke. Sunday School Director Laurie Varley had everything in readiness for the pageant players; and Music Director Mark Sullivan led them in sharing the Nativity Story in song with youthful enthusiasm. A special good-guy award goes to Anthony Lafata for humoring YFNR's notion about rehanging the "Bethlehem" backdrop; thanks Anthony, it really did look terrific!
Our Choir and special musicians led the music for the later Festal Candlelight service; and they did so splendidly! We are all profoundly grateful!! As with all of our Christmas services, many visitors found "room in the inn" with us. Thanks to all of you for welcoming them so graciously. We "... may have entertained angels without knowing it." (Hebrews 13:2)
In his Christmas message, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry connects the life-changing event of the birth of every child to the birth of Jesus -- a birth that continues to change lives. I hope you will take time to read and/or hear it; the closest thing to a "sermon" you'll get from me this weekend. You can find it HERE.
Happy New Year!
Your Friendly Neighborhood Rector
P.S. The New Christ Church Cookbook will be available again beginning Sunday in the Rectory entry hall. The book is filled with fellow parishioners' favorite recipes, and has David Moore's handsome watercolor image of our building on the cover. It's a great New Year's hostess gift!
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!