One more week until the shortest day of the year! Over the next two weeks, we New Englanders will spend the greatest number of hours in the dark, the most time with the stars. This morning when I arose I appreciated the deep, dark blue-black color of the sky and the brightness of a shining planet or star. Star light, moon light, sunlight, candlelight, tree lights… it makes sense that the holidays at this time of year embrace the contrast of light and dark.
We’ll celebrate the Winter Solstice this Sunday morning and next Friday night. Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday this year, so we’ll have our pageant service in the morning at 10 am rather than the afternoon, with candlelight services at 5 &7. This year those services will include a bit less scripture and more modern readings, as well as music from the Brass, Bell and Vocal Choirs. The Vocal Choir will be rehearsing for the service this Wed. and/or Thurs. nights, Dec. 20th and 21st, from 7:30 to 9 in the sanctuary; visiting family members or college students are welcome to join in! I’d like to thank all of our musicians who spend time rehearsing in order to bring hope, peace and joy, solace and beauty to our hearts at this busy and sometimes difficult time of year.
I want to remind folks that if you find yourself in an economic pinch this season, North Parish has a Minister’s Discretionary Fund that can help make your holidays a bit more cheerful; just send me an email or give me a call. Really! That is what the fund is there for. I also know that some families take time at the winter holidays to discuss year-end charitable giving; in a war-torn and warming world, there is so much need. May our generosity travel far. For those who are traveling themselves this weekend and/or next weekend, may you find your way safely through the crowds and find love and compassion wherever you go, as well as some time to simply “be” and notice the dark and the twinkling lights.
Yours in the web of stars,