A joyful final eleven:eleven celebration for the year . . .

The Christmas Story always brings to mind a quiet stable, joyful angels, and a young family, and all those curious additional folks (wise men, shepherds — a lobster or two at the church play) — none of whom should “technically” (nor typically) have been there . . . together. We tend to view Nativity scenes with such sentimentalism that we miss the irony and awkwardness (even the subversive reality) of the moment. As odd as the setting is, it’s somehow the way of joy for the world. And maybe it’s because angels informed them all ahead of time, “Go see this strange thing. It’s holy! It’s God with us!” Maybe that simple encouragement, that reminder, was all the mixed crowd needed to realize, to see, God was right there, in their midst. So, making room for this vision, for the signs for joy, in our lives may be the key to finding holiness and joy in the midst of the odd assortment and clash of people whose lives we encounter at this season.

This Sunday will be our last time to be together in eleven:eleven (this year!), and we’ve planned an especially joyful and inspiring Sunday of music, storytelling, and celebration.

I hope you’ll come early to visit with one another and enjoy some beautiful holiday music with Cellist Dace Sultanov and Harpist Hillary Hummel. We’ll also have hot cider and coffee as well as some pastries on hand.

We’ll sing some carols and hear one more comic message of hope from the American Eggnog Association and Jakie Cabe, while Brad Thompson and the band bring us some inspiring music for the season, featuring guest vocalist Kagan Parker (back from D.C.) and the wonderful Revolution Band. I’ll share an odd story of hope and joy from the future.

See you Sunday for some Christmas cheer for the end of the year!

Tom

P.S. Two reminders:

Eleven:eleven celebration will not take place on Christmas Eve, December 24, or New Year’s Eve, December 31. Instead, there will be just one worship service at 11:00 am in the Sanctuary both of these days. We’ll see you back in eleven:eleven on Sunday, January 7!

Also, I hope you will consider an extra gift of support for all the work and ministries of FUMCFW. The Year-End Giving of its members often makes up a significant portion of coverage for the church’s annual expenses and ministries. You can send in a check or go to this online link for a year-end gift. Thank you!

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