CHRISTMAS AT BETHEL
The festive decorations around the church bear witness that Christmas as arrived at Bethel. Besides our regular Sunday worship services, we have a lot going on to celebrate the season.
We will worship together: On Saturday, the 21st, we will experience a first at Bethel. We will hold a special service for people who need space to lament. (Christmas isn’t an easy time for everyone.) It is called “The Longest Night.” Our Christmas Eve services will be held at 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday the 24th . As in other years, we look forward to welcoming many visitors. There will be childcare for children up to four years of age. For children who stay in the sanctuary, we have activities to engage them in worship. The service will include candle-lighting. Apple cider will be served afterward. On Christmas day, we will have a single, 10:00 worship service. Childcare will be provided for children up to kindergarten age.
We will have large and small group celebrations: Our Christmas dinner is planned for Saturday, December 14, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. The evening will feature a warm holiday meal, activities for the kids, and Christmas carols. Besides spending time with fellow Bethel members, we look forward to welcoming an anticipated 400-500 guests—community leaders and other friends from the Bannerman Community. We pray this meal will especially encourage people who experience loneliness at Christmas time or who suffer from food insecurity.
Many smaller group celebrations will take place around Bethel as well. The Oasis women’s ministry, the Cadet Boy’s Club, the Gem’s Girl’s club, the youth group, and the seniors group—just to mention a few—will wrap up their year with a Christmas party. The staff will go out to lunch on December 17, and then distribute Christmas cards and gifts to our Church’s neighbours. (This annual luncheon is a high point for the staff, and it is a gift from you, Bethel. Thank you!)
We will help others to have a happy Christmas: We have numerous efforts focused on helping others. Many of you have taken a gift-tag from the Christmas tree in the foyer. We hope give gifts to 75 children this year. We also expect to provide Christmas hampers for 24 families. The youth are collecting items for Vault and Cellar Youth Centers to support youth at risk. We have also been collecting clothes for other organizations.
Forgive me if I have failed to mention something you are a part of this year. I’m sure there are many more thing planned. Jesus gives us a lot to celebrate!—Pastor Tom
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