December 18, 2014

My sisters and brothers in Christ:

Christmas can be logistically and emotionally complicated — for caregivers and those dealing with sadness and loss, and, in one way or another, for almost everyone. At their monthly meeting this week, St. John’s caregivers shared tips for coping with holiday responsibilities and pressures. Perhaps you will find them useful, too.

I’ll add just one more. Join us at St. John’s Happy Hour from 5:30-7 p.m. tomorrow (Friday, Dec. 19) at the Lowe’s Center Starbucks, where we can be ourselves, share stories, and find fellowship and rest. Coffee, beer, wine, and appetizers are available for purchase. Adults over 21 are welcome.

St. John’s children will have pride of place this Sunday, Dec. 21 at 10 a.m. at our annual Christmas pageant. Thanks to the graciousness of Tom and Elizabeth Tierney, we will welcome a special guest this year: Larry Long Ears, believed by experts to be related to the very donkey Mary road from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Larry will be on campus beginning Sunday at 9:15 a.m. to pose for pictures with children and, if they should wish, adults over 21. Our thanks to Chuck Ver Burg for graciously offering to photograph each encounter with Larry.

We’ll worship as usual (which is to say without Larry Long Ears) on Saturday, Dec. 20 at 5 p.m. (our convenient community Holy Eucharist service) and at 8 a.m. on Sunday.

During the 9 a.m. Christian formation hour on Sunday, Mother Martha will wrap up her Advent series with a teaching about the Jesse Tree, a colorful way to ponder the genealogy of Christ that dates from the Middle Ages. Please join us.

Yours in Christ’s love and the Joy of Bethlehem,

Fr. John

P.S.: The youth still have some candy to sell after Sunday’s services, in case you need a last-minute gift for a holiday host…You can still sign up (by replying to this message) to help green the church after the second service Sunday; pizza and beverages included…We have 97 “All In” pledges in hand as of this writing. Thank you, and please keep them coming so the Bishop’s Committee can finish its budget-writing with joy and confidence…and please go tell it on the mountain about our Christmas services — Christmas Eve at 4 p.m. (featuring a house-rocking, child-friendly rendition of the Christmas story) and 10:30 p.m. and Christmas Day at 10 a.m. He’s coming!

P.P.S.: Please note that there will be no noon service on Dec. 24 and 31 and no Saturday service on Dec. 27 and Jan. 3.