A Christmas Carol

We had our first significant snow of the season. Just in time for Christmas. It did cause us to have only an online presence for Sunday service, which was fine with me. I got to interact with some of you who have not returned to our in-person service.

Rev. Todd Glacy was our special guest musician, as Deana was taking a well-deserved Sunday off. It was fun to work with Todd. For one of the musical numbers, he did a traditional Christmas carol, Deck the Halls, with his beloved Sue Vittner and our new trustee.

This was the fourth Sunday of Advent, which is joy. It was only fitting to continue the series Christmas Reel to Real using the movie A Christmas Carol, which was about a man who lost his joy and found it on Christmas.

Here are 10 abbreviated lessons we can learn from this Christmas classic.

  1. Learning begins with listening: When we listen, we learn. When we learn, we have the potential to grow and change in ways that will not only help us, but also those around us.
  2. Humility enhances vision: Scrooge feels sorrow at his past memories. He feels remorse for having treated people badly. In short, he humbles himself. And when we see our shadow self, we are able to allow God to help us.
  3. Regret leads to renewal: Humility and regret are always means to a greater end. Regret is the boost that allows humility to grow.
  4. Bitterness will poison you: It’s been said that bitterness is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die. The victim of bitterness is us.
  5. There’s joy in starting over: Scrooge gets a bad rap. Too much attention is paid to his mean-spiritedness and not enough to the all-new Ebenezer. Scrooge’s turn-around reminds us there’s hope for us all, if we’re willing to begin anew.
  6. We must be present to win: On Christmas morn, Scrooge notices life around him instead of only himself. When Scrooge asks a young lad to deliver a turkey to Bob Cratchit, it reminds us; the former taker is now a giver, which begins with noticing the needs of others.
  7. Seeking forgiveness is a strength, not a weakness: Actions often say we’re sorry more than words.
  8. We need to live with the end in mind: To live with the end in mind is to be inspired to change now.
  9. Redemption is about changed hearts: What needs changing is people’s hearts — ours and others.
  10. It’s never too late to change.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you,” says Matthew 7:7

Join us for our traditional Christmas Candlelight service Friday night at 7. Then on Sunday we will complete the Christmas Reel to Real series with The Polar Express.

You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

On Sunday we took a little time to celebrate. We celebrated our new roof. A shout out to Pratt Builders. Christian Pratt was a gem to work with.

We then celebrated and installed our new Board of Trustees. We are so blessed, as always, with just the right people with the right skills to lead us into 2022. The new officers are Kim Cowperthwaite, president; Carolyn Sanford, vice president; Michelle Neas, treasurer; Erin Conway, secretary. Members-at-large are our new trustees, Betti Lu Lewis and Sue Vittner. Alternates are Jack Cole and Carol Holt.

Week three of the Reel to Real was another Christmas classic that was so much fun to deliver… Rudolph the Red -Nosed Reindeer. If you missed the service, watch the video above; you don’t want to miss hearing us sing the Gene Autry song, which was number 1 on the U.S. record charts the week of Christmas 1949.

The song was written by the brother-in-law of Robert Mays, who wrote the story of Rudolph for his four-year-old daughter Barbara. Mays wrote the legend when Barbara asked why her mommy wasn’t like other children’s mothers. Barbara’s mother had suffered for the last two years with cancer, and it had taken every cent the Mays could earn to pay for her medical cost.

It was important to Robert that he answer his daughter stressing how important everyone is no matter their differences; they were creatures of God and often enjoy the miraculous power to make others happy.

Mays didn’t know when he told Barbara that story that he would become famous and wealthy. It is a great story. Not only did he give a gift to Barbara, he also helped his co-workers at Montgomery Ward as the company sold more than 2.5 million copies that year.

As with the first two talks in the series, there are so many spiritual and metaphysical teachings. This is no different. I am just going to give you a taste…

The 8 reindeer each have characteristics that make the nocturnal flight possible:

• Dasher: represents out-of-the-box thinking
• Dancer: represents innate wisdom
• Prancer (Dancer’s twin) represents authentic integrity
• Vixen: represents a giving consciousness
• Comet: represents an internal locus of control
• Cupid: represents love
• Donner: represents inner strength
• Blitzen: represents an optimistic spirit

These reindeer represent qualities within us: out-of-the-box thinking, innate wisdom, love, and so on.

The Rudolph of us is that part of us that doesn’t fully comprehend that we are spiritual beings in human form, that we are divine beings having a human experience.

Santa is the Authentic Us, the Extraordinary Us, that encourages us to let our light shine, to use our unique gifts to bring peace and healing to the world.

There is much more for you to take away from this story, so if you weren’t available on Sunday and haven’t taken time to watch it, I hope this piques your curiosity.

One last bit to celebrate…Rev LeRoy is home!!!

Take precious care of yourself this week and hope to see you next week. The next Reel to Real will be A Christmas Carol. Oh, and did I tell you we will have a special guest with us?

You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey