The Unexpected and the New Year

“Love the challenge of getting through the unexpected together!”

–Helen Cymbala, Bell Choir member

“Both services were a blessing and succeeded in lifting my spirits and those of many others.”

–Suzie Devine, Vocal Choir member

Photo of Rev. Lee with her Son, Andrew and daughter, Emma.

It was a memorable Christmas Eve at North Parish, wasn’t it?

For those of you who weren’t here, the power went out through a swath of town- including North Parish- after a car hit a light pole near the Old Center about an hour before the 5 pm Christmas Eve service. The musicians kept rehearsing while others ran to get candles, battery-powered votives, battery-powered camping lights and check the National Grid map. Some rigged up a few lights so the choir and bell choir could see. As John Middleton-Cox said to me, “The musicians will go down with the ship!”

Without power for the microphones I’m sure it was harder to hear some of the spoken words and of course we couldn’t Zoom the service. I am sorry for any who were confused or disappointed about that. I will say that the candlelight lent a sense of mystery (including about who was in the room) and the young children present in a sanctuary full to capacity were quite quiet in the dark. The power came back on about 15 minutes before the 7pm service and thanks to our Tech Team of Steve Vail and Finn Lira-Surrette we were able to Zoom and record that one. As Ruth Ellen Donnelley wrote afterwards, “The services were beautiful, but I have to say that there was something extra special about our 5:00 service that went off without a hitch in spite of having no power. Something I will never forget.”

This is the third time we’ve dealt with loss of power during a service: first on Sept. 9th for Joannie Warnshuis’ memorial service after a big storm, then on Dec. 3rd due to water shorting out an outside fuse, and now on Christmas Eve. We are talking about getting some large storage batteries for the Meeting House (rather than a generator) and building a roof over the outdoor fuse box. If you’d like to help with our electrical power issues, contact Kirk Olsen or Gary Martin. If you’d like to help with our soul power issues, just come to church. ; )

We are about to turn the corner into a new year. I always think of the “New Year’s Day” reading in our hymnal by the Rev. Kathleen McTigue (#544) which says: “…we stand at a threshold, the new year something truly new, still unformed, leaving a stunning power in our hands: What shall we do with this great gift of Time this year? Let us begin by remembering that whatever justice, whatever peace and wholeness might bloom in our world this year, we are the hearts and minds, the hands and feet, the embodiment of all the best visions of our people. The new year can be new ground for the seeds of our dreams. Let us take the step forward together, onto new ground, planting our dreams well, faithfully, and in joy.”

However your Christmas turned out to be, I am wishing you well as we turn the page to January 2024. I am curious to see which of your/our visions shall unfold.
Happy New Year!
Rev. Lee