From the President’s corner...
I can’t actually believe it is the end of the year!!! It’s December and we are as busy as any of Santa’s elves. December brings so many wonderful events, and we of course want to take part in all of them. At the end of last month, our church was so beautifully decorated and lit in twinkling lights, it put us all in the mood to get going on bringing the season of Advent to light and prepare for the birth of Christ at the end of the month. It is a wonderful month of beauty, wonder and sharing with one another. We try to offer something for everyone so that all can share in those warm feelings.
The Women’s Guild put stars on the Star Tree as soon as the elves got it set up in the Welcome Center. They tried a new twist on the Star Tree when the put stars together on the tree representing each child in a family that could use a little help this year. I can tell you it was heartwarming site to see people lined up at the tree to choose a star or group of stars to buy gifts for children in need. You just can’t see a sight like that without getting a surge of pride in the people from St. Paul!!! The Mission Board sponsored our second Undie Sunday this year. For this event, new undies, socks, hats, mittens, sweaters etc. are gathered for the children at Kinder Cottage. That bin was overflowing with new “stuff” for those wonderful children. Then when the Star Tree had been stripped of its stars by those elf shoppers, the tree was suddenly adorned with tee shirts, onesies, socks, mittens, etc!!! How wonderful was that! Such caring and generous people call St. Paul their church home!
On December 8th, Tyler and the Christian Education Board presented “Cookies with Santa”. I have it on good authority that Santa asked our very own Facilities Manager, Patrick Kinney, to sit in for him as Santa this year. Santa just has so many things to do at the North Pole this time of year! Santa, and his Elf Tyler, were there to thrill the over 100 children who came to enjoy the morning. There were a LOT of cookies, an amazing Hot Chocolate Bar and lots of fun games and crafts. Pastor Michelle created a beautiful backdrop for Pictures with Santa. There were a few tears from very little dudes who were a bit unsure about that big guy in the red suit, but most of the kiddos were totally ready to tell the Jolly Red Elf what they hoped to receive for Christmas. Another day of swelling pride from yours truly!!
This past Saturday, our Fine Arts Committee working with our very own Music Ministry, presented a wonderful evening of Christmas Music. The Choir and the B Street Band presented a special program of a variety of music for the season. The concert ended with everyone in attendance lighting a candle, sitting in the darkness of the sanctuary singing Silent Night in both the original German and then in English. It was a beautiful reminder of the reason we all gather together to celebrate.
This year we will offer our first ever Blue Christmas Service. Pastor Michelle has brought this to us and we are honored to be able to offer this service. If you are unsure what it means, it is for any of us who have reasons to feel sad this time of the year. The loss of a loved one, or really anything that makes this season feel a bit overwhelming with sadness when everyone else seems so happy. Feel free to join us; even if you aren’t in that particular situation, come offer support to those who are. It may be the very thing that will make your Christmas feel complete when you realize how very fortunate you are.
And finally, we will offer 2 services on Christmas Eve. The B Street Band will provide music at the 4PM service and the Choir at the 7PM service. These services are the real reasons for all the joy. Choose the service that fits with your schedule, but choose one of them. It will make your heart swell with love.
I’ll be back in 2019, so we will continue these columns in the new year. I have been honored to be your President this year and represent the wonderful people who are St. Paul UCC. I look forward to a new year with all of you and hope to keep adding new members to our family. Have a very Merry Christmas!! I love you all.
Mimi Llamas, President, Church Council