THE DOVE January 2014

The Work of Christmas

by The Rev. Dr. Jason L. Parkin, Rector

When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace to brothers and sisters,
To make music in the heart.
--Howard Thurman

As this issue of The Dove arrives in mailboxes and email inboxes, we are about halfway through the season of Christmas, the 12 days dedicated to celebrating the joy of the Incarnation, of God-With-Us. For the majority of us, Christmas is perhaps the most beloved time of the entire year, affording us the chance to gather with family or friends, to enjoy a change in rhythm and routine, to revel in new hope brought about by the annual remembrance of the birth of the Babe of Bethlehem.

But what happens when the star is gone from the sky and the wise men have returned to their distant lands; when the shepherds have gone back to their flocks and the angels have disappeared into the heavens; when there are garbage bins to put out and bills to pay, checkbooks to balance and diapers to change, clients to visit and cavities to have filled: in short, when life returns to normal? How are we going to be different, changed in light of the Light that has come into the world?

Like the magi, we have, if only metaphorically, been to Bethlehem during this Christmas time, and are given the season of Epiphany to ponder how we might become new. To paraphrase the 5th century theologian Peter Chrysologus: We have seen lying in a manger the One we followed as a star. The One formerly hidden among the stars is now in human form. We have seen heaven on earth and earth in heaven, humanity in God and God in humanity. What are we going to do with that experience? What is going to be transformed in us, now that we have been to Bethlehem? A relationship restored, perhaps, or a conflict resolved? A new act of compassion or a new perspective on earthly possessions and goods? A renewed dedication to prayer or time spent with the lonely and forgotten?

When the song of the angels is still,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:

To become more and more what we already are: the people of God.

Wednesday Adult Class

 A Mystery Hidden Right in Front of Us

by Fr. Chris Hardman

This past fall we spent a considerable amount of time looking at the Doctrine of the Trinity. This doctrine is changing the way we see everything. It moves God from a static noun up there somewhere to an active verb in the midst of everything. Read more here...

All Things Bright and Beautiful

to You and Yours for 2014

by Mary Johnson, Director of Children's Ministries

Perfect Timing! When the calendar rolls around to the two weeks of Christmas Vacation, it couldn't come at a better time. With my dual position here as ATB&B Director and Director of Children's Ministries, I don't have to wait until January to see the children again. I have the joy of seeing many of them participate in the Christmas Eve Children's Pageant. Read more here...

Thanks for Giving a Woot! Woot!

Thanks to your generous support of the Heifer International Project, CHC was able to purchase a Gift Ark. A Gift Ark changes the world two by two. This live, unique donation will help care for entire communities, providing income by supplying an abundance of goods to sell, and livestock to work the land. Most importantly, it will improve the lives of families for generations all around the world.

Holy Baptism

Sunday January 12

The next celebration of the sacrament of Holy Baptism will take place on Sunday, January 12, 2014. January 12 is the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord, and, thus, is one of the preeminent days on which to welcome people into the household of God. If you are interested in baptism at the 9:00 Eucharist on the 12th for yourself or a child, please contact the Rector at your earliest convenience.

Family Movie Night

Friday, January 24
5:15p.m.-7:00p.m. in the Great Hall

Bring the kids in their PJs and have some pizza, salad, and of course popcorn and watch a family-friendly movie in the Great Hall. Have a favorite movie? Let Mary Johnson or Jill Klusendorf know.

Annual Parish Meeting

Sunday, January 26
10:00 a.m. in the Great Hall

The Annual Meeting will begin at 10:00 a.m. in the Great Hall following a slightly abbreviated 9:00 Eucharist. I encourage you to make every effort to participate in order that our deliberations and reflections might include as much of the wider congregation as possible.
Read more here...
Please note that there will be no 11:15 Eucharist on January 26

Adult Forum in January

January 5: An Epiphany Experience

January 12: A Baptismal Reception

January 19: Godly Play-A New Way Of Telling Stories
                    Pastor Heath Howe & Elizabeth McKenna

January 26: Annual Parish Meeting.

The Season of Light

by Pastor Heath Howe, Family Ministry

Epiphany is the season of light. The Christ child has been born and now begins to live among us. God's light, the light of Christ, has entered the world. Beautiful. Funny how this season also falls at the same time that we are turning over the calendar, saying good-bye to the old and hello to the new, and setting resolutions, with our best intentions of keeping them. Could it be that all of this happens at once so that we remember that it is the light of Christ that leads us into all that lies ahead for us this New Year?
Read more here...

Sing A New Song Unto The Lord!

by Derek E. Nickels, DMA , Music Director

A Service of Lessons and Carols for Advent was first introduced to Holy Comforter in 1980 but changed to Christmas Lessons and Carols on the first Sunday after Christmas in 1981 and 1982.  It was re-instated in 1991, as an Advent tradition by then Director of Music, J. Gary Stuart.
Read more here...

Back-to-School

by Jill Klusendorf, Director of Community Life

My favorite time of the year is back-to-school. The newness of it all. Who would my teachers be? Which of my friends would be in my classes? But the best part of it all, for me, is the new school supplies. Now why, you ask, am I talking about school supplies in the dead of Winter? Read more here...