December 25 2022

On December 25th, Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ., Jesus’ birthday. No one knows the exact date of Jesus’ birth, but in the year 336 AD an early Roman calendar mentioned December 25th as the birth date of Jesus and the tradition has continued for almost 2000 years.

December 25, 2022. What sets this date apart from most other Christmases? It is a Sunday. The last Christmas to fall on a Sunday was in 2016. In the 21st century, Christmas was also celebrated on Sunday in 2005 and 2011.

“So what?” you may ask. Well, think about it. The candlelight Christmas Eve service is scheduled for 7:00 PM on Saturday at Berlin Center and at 11:00PM at LeValley, with the regular Sunday worship services scheduled for 9:00 AM and 11:00AM the next day. Yes, we will still worship on Sunday morning. After all, we have two reasons to celebrate. It is Jesus’ birthday celebration, as well as the Lord’s Day. I’m wondering how many people will attend. I am aware that many families will be traveling, but many will choose to stay home, opening gifts, playing with toys and indulging in a Christmas brunch.

I am making this the topic of my letter this month for that very reason. I don’t remember Christmas Day worship before 2005 because I wasn’t home and in church. Until 2003, our family traveled to Southeast Michigan for the holidays and we missed the Christmas worship services. I should put “missed” in bold type. There was a hole in our Christmas that I disregarded. I was totally wrapped up in the shopping, fun, food, fellowship, and gifts. These things are part of the celebration, but need to be balanced with worship, the reason for the Holiday. As our society and our churches become more and more secular, we need to concentrate more and more on the reason for the season

Whose birthday is it anyway? You might want to visit https:// mymerrychristmas.com/christmas-where-less-is-more and read Maxine H, Goble’s article. There are many informational sites available on-line. I hope you’ll take a look.

Greg and I hope to be with you in worship on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day. Of course, if you can’t attend in person, I hope you will join us on Facebook Live. Whether or not you attend church services at Christmas, I hope you will remember that the reason for the season is the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Why not have a birthday cake for Jesus and blow out the candles? It will be a good faith lesson for your children and grandchildren and a positive reinforcement for you.

Our entire family wishes you and your families a very blessed Christmas!

 

Love in Christ,

Pastor Nancy

By the time our next newsletter is published, either by e-mail or in print, it will be New Year’s Day, a time when many of us make resolutions, most that are only kept for a few days or weeks.

I am not going to get in the middle of your personal resolutions, but I do pray that each of us resolve to spend more time each day with God, reading and studying the Bible, serving the church and others, and praying, among others.

Corporately, I am praying to God that the Holy Spirit guide and help our churches discern who we are, what we believe, and why.

The United Methodist Church, as most of us have known it most of our lives, is being turned upside down as many in leadership are leading us away from the Gospel to align us more with culture.

Sitting on the fence, saying that if we do nothing, LeValley and Berlin Center will remain the traditional, faithful churches they have always been, is not an option.

Yes, the churches can remain United Methodist, with the knowledge that the Book of Discipline will be re-written and Bishops, Clergy, and Laity will be more progressive in their thinking. Seminary students will be taught from a Universalist curriculum. There are rumors that the Bible may even be revised, not just by translation, but by content.

Or, you can decide to leave United Methodism for a more orthodox, Bible-based denomination. The Global Methodist Church retains the values of John Wesley and the best of the traditions of the UMC.

And, there is always the option of becoming an independent congregation or becoming part of another denomination.

This letter is not intended to be blunt, just concise. Many have said they are confused as to what is happening. I hope these few paragraphs have helped or, at least have brought to the surface, the questions you might have.

I am only the messenger, attempting to give you information. Even though I have made it clear where I am in my faith, whether or not you vote or, should you vote, the results of that vote, are not up to me or cannot be decided by me. Berlin Center and LeValley are your churches. I hope you will discern what God wants for your church homes. I will be praying.

Pastor Nancy

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