As we get to the end of Advent, see Christmas close at hand, and then the season of Epiphany, there are many readings that talk about light. It is so important in this dark time of year to know that we have light. Our Scriptures tell us that “a light has shined in the darkness, and the darkness can not overcome it.” Science tells us that darkness is not a thing, but rather the absence of a thing – light! This means that the smallest light can overcome the darkness. Indeed, we hear story after story of how a small action made a huge difference in someone’s life, and these stories empower us to look at what small thing we might do.
Often, the small thing we do is to be present. This is hard for those of us who have been trained to think that we must “do” something in order to make a difference. But many times, just being willing to stay and make tea when others have gotten tired makes a difference. Or, being willing to do the little things is what gives another the strength to go on. A young woman with three small children asked her friend to watch them for a few minutes while she ran to the store for some groceries. The friend said sure, came over, saw the large pile of clean laundry, and started folding. When the woman came home, she cried at this simple gift.
We are not the light, but we are bearers of the light. We are called go into the darkness holding the light, not for ourselves, but for the world that lives in darkness.
It is in that spirit that I invite you to invite others to the Christmas Eve service this year. Many people do not have a place to go for Christmas Eve, and they do not feel comfortable just showing up. However, if someone has invited them, it changes everything. There is an easy way to ask, which is that you ask them: Do you have a place to celebrate Christmas Eve? If they say yes, then you can answer: Great! If they say no, then you can ask if they would like to come with you to church at 4:00. If they say: no thanks! Then you can just say OK, and change the subject. However, if they start asking more, then you have opened a door for them to walk through, you have brought light to them in this dark time. It is a simple offer, without strings attached, and sometimes, it makes all the difference.
Our finances are OK, please get your pledges, Thanksgiving and Christmas gifts in. Remember if you want to put in a last minute gift on Dec 31 for tax purposes, you can go online to www.seikokai.org.
The contract with the preschool has been ratified. We are getting more than some other places and less than others for this rental.
All members are encouraged to go to the diocesan training event in Feb at Grace.
We have signed a contract to put in new energy-efficient windows on the top floor, and we are looking into the diocesan program for solar panels.
We discussed the Music Festival, the concern having enough people to help do this and about the best date. We set the date as Aug 23, and will continue the discussion at the Annual Meeting.
The EAM Convocation will be in Korea this year, Sept 29-Oct 4, and the Japanese Convocation will meet after that in Japan from Oct 5-9. Anyone interested in going should contact Stina or Gordon immediately. We will be adding money to the budget to help with this expense.
Our Christmas Eve service will be held at 4:00 with a finger-food potluck afterwards. The Sunday after Christmas we will join the Soko Bukai at the Presbyterians at 10:30 a.m. Please bring goodies!
Our Annual Meeting will be Jan 18 after church. Please consider whether you are willing to serve on the BC, be a delegate to Deanery (4x a year), or be a delegate to Diocesan Convention (once a year). We will need some new people to step forward to represent us.
MANY, MANY THANKS
To the Altar Guild for their faithful duty; to the official members of the Bishop’s Committee for being willing to serve; and to Gordon for being Senior Warden, Myrna for being Junior Warden, and Mary for being the Clerk.
12/24 Christmas Eve 4:00 pm, finger-food potluck follows
12/28 Carol Sunday with Soko Bukai at CUPC 10:30 potluck coffee hour follows
1/18 Annual Meeting after church
2/7 Saturday education day at Grace, 10-5