Join us for Advent & Christmas Worship

 

The Songs of Advent

 

Week of December 2           Frosty the Snowman and The Song of John the Baptist

 Week of December 9          Let It Snow! and The Song of Mary

 Week of December 16        Jingle Bells and The Song of Zechariah  ~~~         

                                                                Sunday School Christmas Program: The Savior’s Birth

 Week of December 23         Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and The Song of The Angels

 

Monday, December 24Christmas Eve • 3:30 p.m. & 5:30 p.m.

Candlelight Worship with Holy Communion   

Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town and The Song of Simeon

Tuesday, December 25 • Christmas Day • 10 a.m.

Candlelight Worship with Holy Communion   

Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town and The Song of Simeon

 

Please join us!

 

 

A Message From Pastor Bob:     Sing a song of Christmas…it’s good for you!

But I can’t sing! I hear this all the time, especially from teenagers and adults. I believe everyone can sing a little, and a 2015 study backs me up on this. The bolded print is mine:

 

Using three age groups — kindergarteners, sixth graders and college-aged adults — researchers asked each person to listen to a pitch and then sing it back. Researchers noticed a significant increase in accuracy from kindergarteners to sixth graders, likely because most kids that age have regular musical training at school.

 

Surprisingly, the adults performed at a level closer to the kindergarteners than the sixth graders; researchers now think that’s because singing has a “use it or lose it” quality to it. It’s like a muscle. And all that off-pitch singing only helps strengthen it.

 

“It’s a skill that can be taught and developed, and much of it has to do with using the voice regularly,” said Steven Demorest, the study’s lead researcher. “Our study suggests that adults who may have performed better as children lost the ability when they stopped singing.” 1

 

At this time of year – Advent, Christmas, New Year’s – it seems that everyone is happy, singing a happy holiday tune, if you will. But we know that’s not true. The holiday season can bring feelings of emptiness, sadness, and despair, often due to past hurts and losses. So really, many have stopped singing the song of life. They’re barely humming along. Their music, their song, has ceased. And the pleasing lyrics of Jingle Bells, Silent Night, and We Wish You A Merry Christmas often deepen their pain. They can barely recall the “muscle memory” that allowed them to sing a happy tune as they once did.

 

This may seem like a depressing topic for a Christmas newsletter from your pastor, but the longer I’m in ministry, the more I feel the need to address how sad and disappointing  the year-end holidays can be. And I also have a suggestion if you feel down at this time of year: Just start singing. More specifically, come to worship and sing with others. Okay, okay, that can sound like simplistic advice, advice which ignores the heart of someone’s sadness or depression. I know that singing won’t heal all that hurts, but it can help. Please note:

 

For a decade, science has been hard at work trying to explain why singing has such a calming yet energizing effect on people. Numerous studies demonstrate that singing releases endorphins and oxytocin – which in turn relieve anxiety and stress and which are linked to feelings of trust and bonding. Singing helps people with depression and reduces feelings of loneliness, leaving people feeling relaxed, happy and connected. What’s more, the benefits of singing regularly are cumulative. 2

So you see, singing can help, even if you think you can’t sing. Perhaps it can lift you up even for just a short while, and clear your view, brighten your outlook for a bit of time. And that’s when I pray the Holy Spirit will be at work. If there’s one thing I wish for you this Christmas, it’s that you find hope, even just a spark, one note of hope. I believe hope can make all the difference. Let’s recall how the Babe in the Cradle became the Savior on the Cross, and then the Risen Lord of All. Here’s 1 Peter 1:3-6:

 

3 Give praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In his great mercy he has given us a new birth and a living hope. This hope is living because Jesus Christ rose from the dead. 4 He has given us new birth so that we might share in what belongs to him. This is a gift that can never be destroyed. It can never spoil or even fade away. It is kept in heaven for you. 5 Through faith you are kept safe by God’s power. Your salvation is going to be completed. It is ready to be shown to you in the last days. 6 Because you know all this, you have great joy. You have joy even though you may have had to suffer for a little while.

 

Please join the members of your church family for worship during December. And sing, because doing so can aid the healing process. Sing, sing out, use-it-or-lose-it, and find hope, the Living Hope that comes to us only in Jesus Christ, our newborn king.

 

Merry Christmas to you and yours,

Pastor Bob

 

1 Science Has Great News for People Who Can’t Sing by Kate Beaudoin; February 18, 2015 at www.interlude.hk

2 The Neuroscience of Singing by Cassandra Sheppard; December 11, 2016 at www.upliftconnect.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

           

 

 

 

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Join Us for Worship with Holy Communion

Wednesday Evenings at 6 p.m.       (Communion the 1st Wednesday of each month)
Thursday Morning at 11 a.m.
Sunday Morning at 9 a.m.