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From Our Hill

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FOH December 19, 2014

Dear Friends,

     This week, I want to touch on a few important but varied topics.  As always, thank you for checking-in with Calvary each week through From Our Hill…

     First, a word of thanks to everyone who had a part in bringing to life this year’s Festival of Christmas!  My experience of this advent season was immeasurably enriched by the Festival.  The images of peace coming to the world in the birth of the Prince of Peace were timely and timeless.  I am in a position to have a behind-the-scenes look, so I know a bit about how much time, energy, effort, practice, and love went into Festival.  As you surely know, Calvary is blessed with deeply gifted music ministry staff and volunteers.  I could fill several pages naming everyone who made Festival wonderful.  But for the sake of space, let me thank our director of music ministries, Melissa Emerson, along with John Melick and Andrea Walkup for their work of creativity and coordination.  Of course, Tom Metcalfe and his gifts on organ and piano are indispensable.  And those are just our staff people!  Imagine if I also tried to name Deborah Graham, Pam Rhett, Mike Smith, Brandon Baxter, all the Calvary Brass, the Praise Band, and on and on and on….  You get the idea.  Thanks to all of our Festival folks and thanks be to God for the gifts they so readily share.

     Next, we are definitely in the financial home stretch for 2014.  The year-to-date numbers for November are in and I want to share a couple with you.  First the red numbers:  at the end of November, Calvary had a total operating deficit of $100,621.  However, estimates of giving for 2014 were behind by a total of $108,000.  As you can see, if 2014 Estimates of Giving catch up, Calvary will be right on target.  I know they are “estimates” of giving; those numbers can and do change.  But, if you can help us meet those estimates, please do.  If you can give an extra-mile gift, what a blessing that would be!  By God’s grace and your generous hearts, Calvary can finish 2014 in the strongest of financial health.

     And, finally a few words about what’s at the heart of what we do:  worship.  Special opportunities for worship this season are right here…

     This Sunday, Dec. 21, Calvary offers “Blue Christmas – A Service of Solace,” at 2:00 PM in Anderson Chapel.  This will be a simple, quiet time of reflection, scripture, hymns, and prayer.  This is a powerful season which means it brings joy but also stirs genuine feelings of loss and longing.  Perhaps, “Blue Christmas – A Service of Solace” will be a blessing to you.

     And then there’s Christmas Eve!  One of the emphases of life at Calvary this year has been a renewed impulse to open up to our community, our neighborhood.  In that spirit, Calvary will offer three opportunities for worship and celebration of the Christ Child on Christmas Eve, next Wednesday.  Each service will be about an hour and will include holy communion and singing “Silent Night” to candlelight.  Nursery care will be provided for each service, too:
 
2:00 PM in Anderson Chapel - We will worship in a style very similar to Calvary Connection on Sunday mornings – relaxed but deeply meaningful.  If you have plans in the evening, want to avoid being out at after dark, want to get the little ones in bed early, or any other reason…join us at 2:00 PM!
 
Christmas Eve Worship in the Sanctuary
+5:00 PM – Traditional Worship with full Sanctuary Choir and Youth Reunion Choir
+7:00 PM – Traditional Worship with soloists and musical ensembles
 
May God’s peace surround you in this holy season,
Pastor Bryan Brooks