Dear First Pres,

    It's been a very fun week around here. Yes, we've been actively getting ready for Sunday and Christmas Eve services.  But in the midst of it we've enjoyed some fun.  On Tuesday, the staff gathered for our annual Christmas celebration.  We started at the Vaccaro house where I led us in some Christmas carols that were pitched way too high for most of us. Then we enlivened our youthful spirit and enjoyed some time at John's Incredible Pizza for "all you can eat food and fun."  The highlight of our celebration was an all staff laser tag game; I couldn't help but smile as I watched our staff, young and not so young, try to take each other out with their laser guns.  What fun!

     Then, on Tuesday night, we held our monthly Session meeting. In the midst of important decisions and conversations about our church, we also took time to laugh and celebrate.  We even took a picture to commemorate the hats we found in our Christmas poppers (see below).

     One thing that I think is so important about church-life is that we know how to have fun, and how to celebrate. Christmas is a season to remember that we have so much to celebrate.  The good news of great joy wasn't just for the shepherds; it is for us, too.  God with us - how wonderful, terrifying, profound, gracious, and joyful is that?!?  The Almighty God took on flesh and bone to make the way for our salvation - what joy!

     I know that this can be a difficult season for so many of us.  My encouragement to you is this: find a way to celebrate the goodness of God in the most incredible gift of God with us, Immanuel - the One who came to save, Jesus.