In my first year of ministry Barbara Robinson’s The Best Christmas Pageant Ever was a bestseller. It was a hilarious look at all the human foibles of the best-intentioned parents and church staff to stage the Greatest Story Ever Told through the eyes of precious children who have not quite learned filters – especially the six rowdy Herdman children who hijacked the Christmas pageant in their new church. Every parent whose child has played the role of Mary, Joseph, a shepherd, or a wiseman in a Christmas pageant knows the conflicted feelings of deep joy and sheer terror. My debut was at age four as a shepherd dressed in my bathrobe. My line was quite simple. All I had to do was, on cue, say, “God is love.” However, when the director pointed at me, I froze and said nothing as my family blushed and squirmed on the front row. Who would have predicted that this silent shepherd would grow up and climb into a pulpit every Sunday for over 43 years?
So, I hope you will join us for our annual Christmas Joy Program on Sunday, December 8 at 6:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. I promise that we will cry tears of joy as the precious children we baptized and promised to love and teach the faith sing and present the nativity one more time. The following Sunday during worship at 11:00 a.m. the Chancel Choir will stage Under A Starry Sky by created by Joel Lindsey and Jeff Bumgardner. I want to thank Nancy and Frank for their faithful leadership and all the choir members and actors who have worked so hard learning this compelling music and dialogue.
As we light Advent candles and open Advent calendar doors or windows during the next three weeks, I pray that you will take time to pray and reflect in between your shopping, baking, and decorating. One of the reasons we have the season of Advent is to spend time reflecting on the meaning of Jesus’ birth. The fact that God took on flesh and became a human being for 33 years was considered a scandal to the Jews and folly to the Greeks. This was an idea so radical and unprecedented that many people did not have the mental or spiritual ability to comprehend it. But this demonstrates how much God loved us and wanted to save humanity. I can only imagine what the disciples and followers of Jesus must have felt as they heard him teach and watched him feed the hungry and heal the sick.
As you make your way through the next weeks, I pray that you will pace yourself and enjoy the deep meaning that the birth of Jesus has created in the hearts and minds of billions of people through the ages. What a privilege to know the grace of God and to be a part of the Christian Church. I am especially blessed with the privilege of being your pastor for all these years. I look forward to celebrating another Advent and Christmas with you. Thanks again for all you do! Hope to see you in church.
NAMETAGS ARE HERE!
A BIG thank you to the Welcoming Team for the nametags arranged in alphabetical groups on strips in the narthex for members and many regular visitors. Please return your nametag to the basket at the back of the Sanctuary. If your tag needs a change, speak to Bill Raudenbush, our Welcoming Team elder, or leave a note for Virginia in the church office.
Along with your wrapped ornament to exchange, please bring a donation for InterAct. Their program is dedicated to ending the cycle of domestic and sexual violence in Wake County; they save lives, rebuild lives, and secure safer futures for victims and survivors and their families. InterAct's urgently-needed list includes body lotion, body wash, baby body wash, bottled water, insulated water containers, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, paper towels, twin XL sheets, women's socks, women's underwear, gas cards, microwave meals, and granola bars.
Please bring your unwrapped gift for the Salvation Army back with the tag by Sunday, December 8th. Millie notes that the Salvation Army welcomes other new items to be added, if you so choose to go beyond what is on the tag.
If you prefer to donate funds versus choosing a card, please note 'Angel Tree' in your check's memo line or on the pew envelope. Warm winter items needed, too! We are collecting knit hats, scarves, warm gloves for the children of Wilburn, too. (No need to wrap.)
Thank you for sharing the joy of Christmas!
MUSIC SCHEDULE FOR DECEMBER
Dec. 7 – Chancel Choir rehearses at 10 AM in music room; Children’s Choir dress rehearsal at 1:30 PM in sanctuary
Dec. 8 – Chancel Choir sings “We All Need A Little Love” in worship; Joy Program for Children’s Choir at 6 PM
Dec. 11 – Chancel Choir rehearses in sanctuary for Christmas musical 7:15 PM
Dec. 14 – Dress Rehearsal Chancel Choir and full cast for Christmas musical in sanctuary 10 AM
Dec. 14 - Music Department Christmas party at Amber Young’s house at 6 PM – bring food to share.
Dec. 15 – Christmas musical for worship
Dec.18 – No rehearsals until the new year for Chancel Choir, Children’s Choir, and Bell Choir
Dec. 22 worship and Christmas Eve – Chancel Choir sings a selection from the Christmas musical for each service.
Dec. 29 - Special music in worship, no choir in worship
Soon our Sanctuary will be graced with many lovely poinsettias, thanks to a generous gift. Please send us your Christmas dedication for a loved one or special event, and your dedications will be included in the December 15th worship bulletin. If you are able to make a donation ($7-$10 suggested), your donation will benefit Trinity’s designated music fund. Forms are in Sunday's bulletins or you may email Virginia.