It's hard to believe that Christmas Eve is Sunday! Wow! Feels like it snuck right up on me this year. What about you? This coming Sunday night will be our 5th anniversary of worshiping together at "The Point of Grace!" Six Christmases ago we held our first Christmas Eve service at 2 Marion Avenue. So much has happened since!
I cannot tell you how much I look forward to our Christmas Eve Candle Lighting Service. It's always been a wonderful, festive fellowship with a mutual focus to honor our Lord's birthday. I love seeing everyone. I love seeing everyone share their Christmas gift / talent with the body of Christ.
This year's Candle Light worship service will have some things we've never done before! For one we are planning an extensive greeting and fellowship time right within our worship event. You know how we like to take a couple minutes to greet each other during our Sunday morning services? We'll do the same this Sunday night, except it will be for a longer time and will include hot chocolate!
Also a first this Christmas Eve - Roger Marvicsin will bring his considerable artistic talents to bear as he paints an original portrait for us. He plans to begin when the service begins. He plans to finish when the service finishes. Amazing! I've been to one of Roger's art shows and I can promise you that your family is in for a real treat.
More firsts this Christmas Eve - Jacoby Rapp will be singing a special with Brandi Walker. This young preschooler has only started coming to Church Requel over the last few weeks. We discovered a beautiful singing voice in Jacoby that we could not fully appreciate in his first "sheep" outing last Sunday. You're in for another treat! Also, if I can brag just a little, my grandson Cohen has taken up the saxophone this school year and he will play an offertory for us! Yet another treat!
On top of all that, Makayla and Brian will each share their vocal singing gifts with us as they have each picked out a Christmas song that is special to them. Brandi, Trish and Missie will lead us all - as a congregation - in the singing of several Christmas songs. I have prepared a Christmas message to share. AND we'll pray together, share communion together and still light the candles together! Wow! Wow! Wow!
We could really use your help! Would you please invite people to come to this special Christmas Eve Candle Lighting Worship Event? If you have family plans for the evening, start those plans together at Church Requel at 5pm! Tell your neighbors, co-workers and friends. You'd be surprised how many people WANT TO KNOW about this and WANT TO COME if only you will invite them.
Facebook Friends - we've made this especially easy for you. We've created a Facebook event for our Christmas Eve service. Will you find it and click the link that says you're "going"? Then - and this is so important too - would you share the event on your timeline so all your friends can see it? That would help us get the word out. Thanks!
Jennifer Repp's Celebration of Life. Tomorrow morning will also be a special time, but a sad time, as we provide for the Repp family as they remember Jen. The visitation will be at church Saturday from 9am to 11am. A Celebration of Life service will begin at 11am. We are providing a meal to the family and friends afterward. Here's how you can help:
(a) Some of us are going over to the church tonight at 5pm to set everything up for tomorrow. You're welcome to join us.
(b) You can bring food for the funeral luncheon. Mary Kay will be in the kitchen starting at 9am Saturday morning. The church has purchased the main dish, a beautiful ham. We also have received plenty of desserts. Bring your side dishes, casseroles, veggies and salads tomorrow morning.
(c) Help serve. Stay and help clean up. At this point we probably need more help cleaning up than we do setting up, since so many have already volunteered to set up. If you can stay and help us clean up afterward that would be awesome.
(d) Be gracious hosts. We expect many, many people who are not familiar with our church. Be attentive. For example we can park away from the church! Save the best parking for our guests. Walk a little. Notice when people don't know where things are - how to get to the restrooms, how to get downstairs to the meal. Notice if there is a seating shortage for the Celebration service. We can give up our seats and stand or wait downstairs. This is our chance to be Jesus' hands and feet to people loved by Him and by Jenny.
This weekend we have the opportunity to be the church, the people of God. We have the opportunity to worship, to serve, to sing, to weep, to laugh, to help, to be helped, to love, and to be loved. Thank you all for taking this journey with me. I am so grateful to know you and to love God with you and to love other people with you as well. Merry Christmas! Pastor Mark