Few of us need reminding that holidays, in addition to their joys, are also for many of us anniversaries of great pain. I am sorry to have to report that such pain has again visited our midst. Our friend and co-worker Brandi Grove learned on Wednesday morning (yesterday) that her beloved sister had suddenly died. Brandi lost her mother equally suddenly four months ago on August 8. No details or arrangements are known just yet, but please hold Brandi, Rashad, and their girls in your hearts and prayers.
I truly hope we can keep a special mindfulness this Advent/Christmas/Epiphany season for all those of us who inescapably must also associate this season with death, disappointment, and loss somewhere in our and our loved ones’ histories. I believe that part of the mission of our “living Christianly” is precisely this kind of remembrance. The Way of Jesus calls us to this complex sort of perception (“The Kingdom of God is among you...” “Say what...?” “The Kingdom of God is within you...” “Say what again...?!”). The New Testament is its textbook and its beacon.
On the other side of this eternal coin, I am glad to report, with their permission, that Joanne Hardgrove, our organist/choirmaster, underwent successful double-bypass heart surgery on Wednesday, December 7, and she (and Ted!) are recovering at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick. Joanne and Ted have been surrounded by our prayers and good wishes, and now need our support and patience. She is currently still in Intensive Care and faces a convalescent period of something like eight weeks.
Elsewhere in the Newsletter there are important announcements about Christ Congregation events in days to come, so please read them.
The lack of a Newsletter lately has been due to my being away a week, Brandi’s whole-family illness not to mention the recent tragedy, and assorted administrative emergencies which might make a comic opera if someone were enterprising enough to create it (failed printer, clogged sewer, lost keys, room break-in, contagious children, etc.). Some folks complain, “If there’s no newsletter how do I know what’s happening?”
In response to which, let me close with an image I like from photography, the best advice ever given (attributed to Weegee, aka Arthur Fellig) to anyone worried about how to take a great picture: “f8 and be there”
In other words: “forget the fancy stuff, use what you know works, but show up!”
Join us, please, by showing up in the worship and the life of Christ Congregation.
Blessings to all,
Saturday, December 10, 5:30 P.M. - Annual Festival Christmas Dinner with all the trimmings and Advent Reserve Micro-Brew Christo-Malt libations from Steve Rowley, in addition to wine and other beverages of your provision.
Sunday, December 11, 2016, 10:00 A.M.- Third Sunday in Advent and lighting the third Advent candle. Our Princeton Seminary Intern Ms. Rebecca Francisco will be preaching
Sunday, December 11, 2016, 11:30 A.M. - Join us during 2nd Hour as the Interim Minister Process continues their engaging special adult education event.
Saturday, December, 24, 2016, 7:00 P.M. - Holiday Worship Service, All are welcome.
Sunday, December 25, 2016 - Merry Christmas! There is no worship service.
This Holiday Season while you are busy shopping for gifts, decorations and more – remember that when shopping with Smile.Amazon.com or Goodshop.com a portion of your total purchase is donated to Christ Congregation.
To submit announcements and suggestions to be included in the CC Newsletter, email firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday each week.
The Rev. Dr. J. Randall Nichols, Interim Minister
Joanne Hardgrove, Organist-Choir Director
Brandi Grove, Church Secretary
Rebecca Fransisco, Seminary Intern
The Rev. Jeffrey Mays, Pastor Emeritus
Office Hours: Tuesday – Friday 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.