Ever year, I can’t wait to put up my Christmas tree. Starting November 1, my children me say, “Let’s put up the tree today!” at least twice a day until Thanksgiving comes. The day after Thanksgiving, we always go pick out just the right tree, bring it home, string the lights on it and start placing ornaments. Almost every year, though, we run out of steam before we put the star on the top. Our star is oddly shaped and requires scissors, knives and sometimes zip-ties to secure it to the top branch. This year, our tree is fantastic – we put all the lights we own on it, we have more ornaments than ever before, the tree skirt is lovely. But we still don’t have the star on the top. As beautiful as our tree looks, it still feels incomplete. 

We’re in the final stretch of the Christmas season—the last weekend of shopping, cookie making, house decorating and light seeing. As you are making your plans for this weekend, I invite you to put worship with our community on your calendar. Our journey together this December has been meaningful as we’ve looked at the story of Jesus’ birth from the point of view of those whom the world marginalized but God gave a central role. This Sunday, we celebrate the final movement of God in the birth of Jesus, God taking on flesh and blood and coming to earth not just to teach us or show us who God is but to literally embody our life. Twice on Sunday, at 10 a.m. at Philip Simmons High School and at 5 p.m. at the Keith School Museum on Clements Ferry Road, we will sing our favorite carols, hear the amazing words of scripture, and light candles that are tangible signs to us of God’s never ending light and presence in the world. Worship together as we head into Christmas day is like the star on top of our tree—it is the final step, the act that makes our celebration complete, the action that focuses our minds and hearts on the power of God in a tiny human form.

Christmas Eve Before You Leave
Sunday, December 22 at 10 a.m.
Philip Simmons High School

Community Christmas Celebration
Sunday, December 22 at 5 p.m.
The Keith School Museum

We also will celebrate our Philip Simmons High School lunch debt payoff this Sunday during our 10 a.m. worship. Principal Anthony Dixon will be our special guest as we present a check to the school for $2,500 raised on Giving Tuesday, December 3. We will pray for all the students who eat in the place where we worship every week and thank God for them as they enter a new year debt free. You don’t want to miss this celebration! 

Our small groups continue to meet this week as we count down the days until Christmas. You’re invited to our church-wide Christmas Party on Saturday from 5-7 p.m. at Tradesman Brewing Company on King Street. There will be a food truck (with a kids menu, too!), special music, and drinks of all types. Drop in as you are completing your to-do lists. 

I love this community so deeply. This Advent season, I’ve been praying especially for each of you by name. You are incredible gifts to me personally and to this community. I very much want to see you on Sunday as we celebrate the coming of Christ together at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Know that I thank God for the way I see Jesus in each of you! You complete our community. 

Peace friends, 

Pastor Wendy


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