1st Sunday of Christmas: Thanks for Christmas Generosity; Our Celebrations Continue; Festive Potluck Coffee Hour
December 28 , 2019
Thanks to one and all for your generous Christmas giving for the Mitten Tree the Town's Heating Assistance Program, the Memorials & Thanksgivings, and the end-of-the-year appeal included in my Christmas letter!
The Mitten Tree was amazingly covered twice with scarves, gloves, mittens, socks and caps as part of our efforts to keep our neighbors warm. Most everything on and around the tree went to New Haven's Chapel-on-the-Green before Christmas Eve, and then, during the first days of Christmas, it was covered again! The tree will remain up, welcoming your gifts, through the Epiphany, January 6, and then all its "decorations" will be delivered to Chapel-on-the-Green for those who live on the margins of plenty in New Haven.
Thank you also for your Angels-under-the-Balcony gifts for the Town's Heating Assistance program. These gifts are still being counted and will also be welcomed through the Epiphany.
Thanks to all who stayed after last Sunday's 10a.m. service to help the Altar Guild and Marsha Brown transform our worship space from its simple Advent vesture into readiness for our Christmas celebrations.
Thanks also to all who gave the memorial and thanksgiving gifts that made the flowers and special music of our celebrations possible.
Our celebrations began at dusk on Christmas Eve with the Sunday School's Nativity Pageant. Thanks to all the children and youth participants, and the parents and grandparents who got them to rehearsals and the service itself, Special thanks go to Pageant Director Donna LaFata, Youth String Ensemble Director Suky Bryan and Music Director Mark Sullivan, and to Anthony LaFata who mastered getting the Bethlehem backdrop into place, and then packed up again. The service came together in a delightful fashion.
The church nave filled again for the candlelight service. The sounds of choir, harp and strings, as well as the organ, again stirred the heart. Thanks to our Choir and the musicians! On the morning of Christmas Day, Beth Stevens solo, and all the voices of that congregation, made for another fulsome celebration.
As I keep reminding, it takes everyone of the twelve days from Christmas to the Epiphany to "unwrap" the celebrations of Christmas. A colleague of mine posted that he considered any gift of card sent during these twelve days to be "on time."
We mark the first Sunday after Christmas Day with special orders of service that recall the prophetic foretelling of the Messiah's coming -- his Advent, if you will -- and move through an annunciation, to John's powerful exposition of the Incarnation -- the word becoming flesh and dwelling among us full of grace and truth. At the 10a.m. service, we'll separate the readings with opportunities to sing more carols.
If you have holiday cookies or other treats that you're willing to share, please bring them with you for a festive potluck coffee hour. I look forward to sharing our continuing celebrations with you!
In faith and hope,
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