Christmas Letter from Rev. Heather Shortlidge

Dear Friends,

During this sacred season, it’s hard to not focus on all the things we cannot do—gather inside the sanctuary, feel the vibration of a festive organ prelude, sing together side by side, stand in line to take bread and wine, and hug and mingle after the service, watching kids race between the pews.

I’ve only had the privilege of spending one Christmas Eve in your midst, but I’m already missing those things, longing for the day when we can come together again, not bound by physical distancing rules.

And yet, like Mary and Joseph, who needed a landing place to birth a child, we work with what we have.

On Thursday evening at 5:30pm, we’ll gather on Zoom, where we can still see one another face to face, experience beautiful Christmas tunes, break bread together, light candles to shine light in the darkness, and linger afterwards with new and old friends. Our worship team has literally been working around the clock to curate meaning and beauty for Christmas Eve. We do hope that you will join us and invite others to as well.

Join us on Zoom at 5:30pm
Dial-in: 1-929-436-2866 Meeting ID: 817 4664 4053

Wherever you may be this week of Christ’s birth, stay safe, wear your mask, avoid large gatherings, and reach out if you need love or extra support.

And an Advent Credo from Allan Boesak, to nourish and challenge you this week:

It is not true that creation and the human family
are doomed to destruction and loss—
This is true: For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life;

It is not true that we must accept inhumanity and discrimination,
hunger and poverty, death and destruction—
This is true: I have come that they may have life, and that abundantly.

It is not true that violence and hatred should have the last word,
and that war and destruction rule forever—
This is true: Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, his name shall be called wonderful councilor, mighty God, the Everlasting, the Prince of peace.

It is not true that we are simply victims of the powers of evil
who seek to rule the world—
This is true: To me is given authority in heaven and on earth, and lo I am with you, even until the end of the world.

It is not true that we have to wait for those who are specially gifted,
who are the prophets of the Church before we can be peacemakers—
This is true: I will pour out my spirit on all flesh and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions and your old men shall have dreams.

It is not true that our hopes for liberation of humankind, of justice,
of human dignity of peace are not meant for this earth and for this history—
This is true: The hour comes, and it is now, that the true worshipers shall worship God in spirit and in truth.

So let us enter Advent in hope, even hope against hope. Let us see visions of love and peace and justice. Let us affirm with humility, with joy, with faith, with courage: Jesus Christ—the life of the world.

Walking on Thorns, by Allan Boesak, Eerdmans, 2004.

Peace and Courage,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s