Grace Waves/Pastor’s Blog 12.21.18
“Joy to he World” is a popular, beloved and perhaps the most published Christmas Carol. Its author Isaac Watts did not write it with Jesus’ birth in mind – it’s not even mentioned. It was published in a collection of hymns inspired by the Book of Psalms and interpreted through Christian eyes as an affirmation of the whole creation filled with new life: Fields and floods, rocks-hills-plains repeating the ‘sounding joy’ refers to Ps. 98 where heaven and nature sing. Watts conveyed crucial insights in the Judeo-Christian tradition: That our Creator ‘rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove the glories of his righteousness and the wonders of God’s love'”. As Mother Mary learned…we have much joy, mystery and love to ponder here. If the sweetness and grace of the Christmas Story does not reach our hearts it is as mere ocean spray – a blast on the surface that never touches the deep nor calms the heart.
Christmas Eve Schedule
- Family Service at 5:00 pm — Guest singers/musicians/actors – pure joy!
- Candlelight and Communion at 10:00 pm — contemplative and soul-stirring.
Christmas Day Worship at 10 am — another celebration filled with joyful carols!
Our Secret Santa Gifts and Gift Cards were delivered on Tuesday. Thanks for sharing so much love with those in need!
Christmas Caroling: Gary and accordion will lead the way on Sunday, December 23. We leave Peace at 5:30 to serenade members and arrive at San Damiano by 6:45 to sing for the Camp Fire families.
Blue Christmas Services and Holiday Candle Ceremony: Martha has sent us Christmas Resources for those facing grief and loss in this season of darkness. See attachments below.
Our Christmas Tree has been voted Best Christmas Tree Ever! Runner-ups include the Christmas Trees from 2011, 2007 and 2013.
The Song “Silent Night” celebrates its 200th anniversary this Christmas!
Our Monastery Honey has nearly disappeared. Great gifts and so tasty!
Christmas opportunities for Service: San Damiano Retreat Center has opened their facility for Paradise Fire Victims. If you wish to Volunteer to assist the days most needed are: December 24 and 25. You can also wander up the hill at any other time these next few days and see where they need help.
“It is easy enough to be friendly to one’s friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.” Gandhi
Entre Culturas News/Partnership: On the firs half of October they get a lot of rain on Laurel Galan but then the rains stop all together and therefore it was not enough. There will be no harvest of corn but there will be plenty of food for the animals. The harvest of sorghum will be good. There is plenty of water on the wells. One well was dug to start the water project for the community…they are still waiting on the rest of the project. The women are going to have enough food to cover all of December.The cutting and selling of firewood is still slow.
Regular Giving! By end of year, please change your automatic giving from Vanco to your own bank using the Monthly Bill-pay program. Questions? Please contact Pam Lane
YEAR END CONTRIBUTIONS: Please have all year end contributions into the office by, December 31st.
The Fourth Sunday of Advent celebrates the Gift and Faith of Mary and her Magnificat. “God feeds the whole world through a Babe nursing at Mary’s breast.” Luther
Peace Office will be closed Dec 25 – Jan 2. We will see you in the New Year! 2019 office hours will begin a new schedule: Tues, Wed, Friday: 10a – 6p. Most Thursdays with Pastor Steve, and by appointment.
Blessed Advent and Joyful Christmas!