Sunday’s Solo

On Sunday, Katherine Riddle will sing a solo version of a beautiful text by English poet Christina Rossetti. First published in 1872, it’s been set to a number of tunes but is well worth reading on its own:

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty
Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a Wise Man
I would do my part, –
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.

Peace,
Mark

An Awesome Christmas

Christmas! Yes! The angels were so excited they tore open the heavens and shouted to the night-shift temp-worker shepherds. The shepherds were so excited, they left their sheep to head to a stranger’s barn. The magi were so excited, they planned a month’s long inter-continental journey.

The message spread throughout the region and through time and it has come to us today. So spread it! Give gifts, reach out to folks, wave to strangers, high five your cranky uncle, give your depressed dad a hug.

God is here! Have an awesome Christmas.

Love,
Pastor Rachel

Serving Refugees

Many of the “refugees” still coming to the Washington region are commonly referred to as “SIV’s” – people with Special Immigrant Visas. These are visas for people and their families who served as translators for the U.S. military in Afghanistan and Iraq. Their journeys to get here have been long and difficult, and yet getting to the U.S. doesn’t mean the journey is over. Adapting to life in the U.S. has its own incredible sets of challenges, especially for the women who have come to the U.S., many without any formal education at all. For some, being in a country where they don’t speak the language, or have marketable skills, feels like a trap.

Lutheran Social Services has started a program called Threads to Success, and GPC is a big part of it. Beginning in January, thirty-five Afghan women are signed up to take sewing classes in order to gain a skill and connect to community (sewing is typically a man’s job in Afghanistan). GPC has already provided all 35 sewing machines needed, and will be providing help with critical transportation needs.

Thank you for your generosity, and stay on the lookout for an invitation early next year to help put this program into practice! Let us pray that this program truely becomes a sign of hospitality to others who continue to struggle.

Peace,
Chris

28 Minutes

28 minutes. When was the last time you took 28 minutes to sit and ponder the holy mysteries of our faith? At this time of year it is almost an absurd question. Sunday’s service is going to force the issue as the GPC choir and a baroque orchestra present Gloria in D Major by Antonio Vivaldi. In our hour of worship, you will have 28 minutes of music to lift your sights towards the heavens, offer prayers to the Almighty, and have your faith inspired by this sacred music. Our special music tradition in Advent is an annual gift to the church. It is your chance to be still in the presence of God and be enfolded in the glory of collective praise and worship. We pray it will bless your journey towards Christmas and cultivate within you a holy sense of wonder and awe.

See you in church!

CCM