Cherry Pickin’s – December 2023
Each December I share a similar message with the congregation I’m serving, a message that acknowledges how much each person is trying to manage during this month – and this season. We feel the tug of Hope and Expectation in both spiritually and practically challenging ways. And, Memory and Grief arise with force, needing time and attention,
If we’re lucky, we find moments of quiet joy and peace along the way as well. But, the challenging highs and lows are more frequent, and more common, for many.
Take care of yourselves, my dear ones. This can be the most important gift you give – and receive – this year. Here are a few ways you can do that:
- Be gentle with yourself and others. Even as the Season thrives on tension.
- Do nothing, at some point, every day. Even as the Season expects you to do everything.
- Make a ‘joy’ list of moments from December’s past that you hold on to. Even as the Season calls for lists of gifts to buy and give.
- Cry. Even as the Season assumes constant mirth.
- Give a gift that isn’t expected, and which you don’t expect to be reciprocated. Even as the Season follows a transactional character
- Express your love, directly and emotionally. Even as the Season pressures you to give representative gifts of love.
- Be in the Present, when you can. Even as the Season pressures you to focus on future deadlines.
- Talk and write about things that matter most. Even as the Season suggests attention on fleeting things.
And, of course, I hope you’ll let our congregational gatherings in December support you this Season. It will be so good to be together throughout December for worship. In particular, keep the special Intergenerational Solstice Service in mind on Sunday, December 17th – it will be a participatory time for inviting Rest, Joy, and Peace into our lives with the Solstice.
On Christmas Eve morning, we’ll gather for an informal service in Smith Hall at 10 AM – if you can, bring a plate of cookies to share.
On Christmas Eve evening, our services will surround you with candlelight and the simple meaning of the holiday. The 6:00 PM service is designed for people of all ages and will include a no-rehearsal Nativity pageant – last year’s participants had a blast! If you or a kiddo in your life would like to sign-up for a role ahead of time, you can do that with this signup genius. At 8:00 PM the choir will lead us in singing familiar Carols interspersed with traditional Readings and Lessons.
And, looking ahead to the very end of the year, we’ll have a traditional Sunday service on the morning of December 31st at 10 AM. But, be sure to come back with your friends and family to for “Westminster’s Eve” from 4 PM -Midnight – all are welcome for this ‘First Night’ type event. See more information in Smith Hall, including ways that you can help make the event wonderful.
Through it all, keep in touch with me and our Westminster community. December can be a challenge, but we’ll find the path less difficult – and sometimes amazingly joyful – when we travel it together.
In Faith and Service,
Rev. Eric, Interim Minister