I think I began my words last week with a similar sentiment, but I think it’s okay to repeat myself- what a joy it is to get to be here with you all. It has been such a great beginning, filled with interesting conversations and a warm welcome. I am so glad to be here, and am really looking forward to all that the future holds together. Thank you! 

Christmas is coming! We have a wide variety of services available, all listed at www.saintclareschurch.org/christmas. Quiet Christmas (Dec. 23) will be a chance to slow down and make space for listening, especially to the grief and heaviness that can be a part of this year, right alongside the joy. If you’re not comfortable singing indoors with a big crowd, you can bundle up on Christmas Eve and come at 4pm for a short and fun service around the campfire, with carols and a creatively-told Christmas story. At 7pm, we’ll have our more traditional festive service. If you want even more singing, you can stay for a hymn sing following that service. And the celebration continues on Sunday, Dec 26, at 10:30!  

I imagine there is someone in your life who might need an invitation to join in. Maybe you know someone who has had a really hard year and might need some space for quiet and contemplation- invite them to Quiet Christmas! Maybe there’s someone you haven’t heard from in a while, or who you know might be lonely on Christmas Eve, who would appreciate an invitation to come with you and sit next to you during the service. We are going to try to stream our services on Facebook- there’s nothing easier than clicking “Share.” After a year of so much disconnection, when gatherings of all kinds have been fraught, I hope this variety of offerings can offer some relief to all of us seeking connection and community. There is something for every safety comfort level, and, I hope, something that will help us all meet each other where we are this year. 

Beyond Christmas, we are looking toward our worship in the New Year. Beginning January 9, we plan to return to two Sunday services (at 8:30 and 10:30 am). In consultation with the Worship Commission, we are considering some factors to make the 8:30 am service one that would hopefully be particularly hospitable to those who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 or who wish to reduce their risk as much as possible, while still gathering in person. 

If you’d be interested in attending the 8:30 service, either because you prefer that service or because of those safety considerations, we’d love your feedback on safety and worship preferences! Please complete the survey here, or speak to Rev. Anne, Kate Morris Curtin, or Linda Klimach to offer your feedback. 

In Hope,

Image by Craig Clark from Pixabay