Scott's Weekly Greeting ...
“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.” ? Laura Ingalls Wilder
I think that nearly every minister knows that most people's favorite Sunday during the season of Advent is Christmas pageant Sunday. Yes, people love the music of the season. Perhaps people have been inspired by a word or two from the messages that we have offered. But pageant Sunday is extra special! I know that by the end of the service my cheeks are sore from the ear-to-ear smile on my face. I sometimes need to wipe a few tears of joy.
Last year, I sat in the sanctuary and watched as FORTY-FIVE children participated in our Christmas pageant. It was delightful!! The little angel that wandered over to her shepherd brother nearly made my heart explode! There is something magical about seeing and hearing the Christmas story through the children!
When the staff and I met to do our calendar planning in August, we hoped that we would be back worshipping together by now. As we know, that did not happen. So, our 'Plan B' was to attempt a virtual pageant. Kris Galasyn reached out to the families and explained what was happening. She assigned the parts and created a recording schedule. Freddie Connelly set up our recording "studio" (also known as the Flexible Use Room) complete with green screen. And we began.
The kids were amazing! I was so impressed with their spirit and energy. They all knew that we were doing something very special. They were also very patient. Some of them were here for most of the day depending about what shots they were in, or what shots their siblings were in. We recorded inside and we recorded outside. There are some special surprises along the way. And there are also the singers ... the Junior Choir and soloists ... assisted by Susan Marston and recorded and edited by Jacqui Savage. And then ALL of it stitched together by Freddie.
This year's Christmas will be very different than what we expected or hoped. Just like Thanksgiving, our gatherings will be much smaller. But the Christmas Story has not changed. Love came into the world. The Love that had been taught and preached out for generations came to earth in the flesh! The circumstances around us are very different, but the need for Love Incarnate, love in the flesh is as great as ever.
This Sunday is Christmas Sunday. We will light the Candle of Love and our Sunday school children will offer the Story of Christmas. I can already fill my heart filling with joy and anticipate needing to wipe away a tear or two.
May God bless you all!
Congregational ChurchUCC, SACO MAINE12 BEACH STREET | SACO, ME 04072