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Christmas Letter 2013

Advent / Christmas, 2013

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

May the grace and peace of God’s Word, made flesh in Jesus of Nazareth, be with you!

ChristmasIII_Day01_ABC

I am always amazed at how the season of Christmas, more than any other liturgical season in the Church year, has produced such memorable hymnody and carols, from the ancient and medieval texts to modern and contemporary texts.  Each carol speaks of the mystery we celebrate.  God loves the world so much and desires to redeem us that he sent his own Son, Jesus, born of our sister, Mary and parented as well by our brother, Joseph.

Each year, at this time, I try to focus my prayer and reflection on one carol or hymn.  I’d like to share these words of the carol I’m centering on this Advent and Christmas.  The words were written by Shirley Erena Murray, the tune was written by Colin Gibson and Carlton R Young, entitled Star-Child, Earth-Child.

Star-Child, earth child, go-between of God,

Love- Child, Christ Child, heaven’s lightning rod,

This year, this year, let the day arrive,

When Christmas comes for everyone, everyone alive!

Street child, beat child, no place left to go,

Hurt child, used child, no one wants to know,

This year, this year, let the day arrive,

When Christmas comes for everyone, everyone alive!

Grown child, old child, mem’ry full of years,

Sad child, lost child, story told in tears,

This year, this year, let the day arrive,

When Christmas comes for everyone, everyone alive!

Spared child, spoiled child, having, wanting more,

Wise child, faith child, knowing joy in store,

This year, this year, let the day arrive,

When Christmas comes for everyone, everyone alive!

Hope for peace Child, God’s stupendous sign,

Down to earth Child, star of stars that shine,

This year, this year, let the day arrive,

When Christmas comes for everyone, everyone alive!

The text of this carol focuses our attention on children in every kind of condition and circumstance.  Into each of these conditions, our faith and hope is that this year, the day will arrive when Christmas comes for everyone, everyone alive!  I encourage you to choose a hymn to focus on during these last days of Advent as we prepare for Christmas.  Begin and end your day by singing or praying it.  I have found that it helps me to center in on some key images and ideas in preparing for Christmas.

Our Christmas Season Service schedule is:

Christmas Eve      

5 p.m.            Children’s Pageant with Holy Eucharist

10 p.m.          Service of Carols

10:30 p.m.    Christmas Choral Eucharist

Christmas Day     

9 a.m.             Christmas Eucharist

You will find envelopes for Memorial Flowers or Music on the table in the Church entryway.  If you would like to give an offering in memory or thanksgiving, please fill out the envelope and place in the Offering Basin or mail it back to the Parish Office no later than 22 December.

Be assured of my continuing prayer and gratitude for the privilege of ministering among you.  May Christ, whose coming we await, find a place of welcome in you this Christmas!  I have uploaded a Children’s Choir singing Star-Child, Earth-Child below.  I hope you enjoy it!

Faithfully,

Doug

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