December 10, 2020
Dear Saints of Trinity,
I can’t believe that we just taped the service for the third Sunday of Advent. It just doesn’t seem possible. Time seems to be flying by. At the same time, we’re reminded that it is that time of year as we see the decorations running down Washington St., the lights hanging above the fountain at Pioneer Park, and the Christmas Carols coming out of at least a few of our local radio stations. It is the Christmas season. Yes, it will be a different kind of Christmas, just as it was a different kind of Thanksgiving, but it doesn’t mean we don’t have things to celebrate or things for which we are thankful. In this time of Covid, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the despair, the impatience, the frustrations, even the fears. We have to remember what it says in Isaiah, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; and to those walking in deep darkness, a light has come.” Given that, here’s what I’m asking us.
Be people of light. Every morning, pray for the day ahead, that God might show you a place of need and something for which you can be thankful. Every evening before bed, spend some time remembering those things for which you can be thankful. Thank God for them. As needs arise around you, prayerfully consider how you might be able to assist, even if it’s in what you think is a very small way. And, as you walk through your day, smile; smile at anyone with whom you come in contact, and as you smile, remember you’re wearing a mask, so along with the smile say, “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas.” Keep your head up, and do more than look. See those things around you; those God-given blessings. Listen to the sounds of the people and the places. Be aware of what is around you at that moment, and notice the good things. Here’s what I mean.
As you know, I deal with a lot of things as a pastor, even in this time of separation. But every night I go out into the darkness of our front yard. I sit in a lawn chair even if it’s raining, and I spend time feeling the drops of rain and listening to the river. I imagine it as the water flows over rocks, or down a slope. My goal is to hear it in all of its rhythms and wonders. Every morning I sit in our little sunroom and watch the deer as they cross the meadows of the golf course. I see the enormous cedar trees that have grown out of the large old stumps and think about God’s ongoing opportunities for resurrection. As I drive out, I notice that we all wave to each other with a smile or a nod. Most afternoons I head over, even for a little while, to Carrie Blake Park, walk around the outside of the park, and then end up sitting on a bench looking over one of the duck ponds. I watch as children fish in the fishpond, or as dogs scamper around the dog park. And then, as I drive home, particularly if it’s clear, I’ll often go “the back way” rather than take the freeway. I’ll often stop somewhere along the road and admire the mountains. I share those things not out of some need to be impressive. I share those things as a pastor who appreciates what God has provided us especially in this time of struggle. I find immense peace in those things, and ongoing wonderment in what God continues to offer each of us.
Those are places where I see the light of God; a light that sometimes very literally shines in the darkness. Our hearts can be filled and refilled as we look and see and hear and experience what God provides. So friends, take some time to look and see and hear and experience, particularly in this time. See that light in each other as well. God yearns to have you notice. God knows you need all of it, particularly right now. So allow God to be God, and fill you with light and love. I’m praying for you, and appreciate your prayers for each other.
Some Concerns that we have:
- For those who continue to go through physical struggles, those who are dealing with cancer, or other health situations. Prayers for those who are emotionally feeling lost and alone.
- For all those who are ill from the COVID-19 virus; for those families who have lost loved ones to the virus; and for all the first responders/essential workers.
- For peace in our country.
- For Katherine Parker, missionary to Nepal
Even though you can’t be with those having birthdays this week, emails or phone calls are appreciated.
Parking Lot service is taking a break for winter
You can view our service online. Just go to our webpage sequimtumc.org for a link to the service.
We thank you for your continued support of our ministries here at Trinity and ask that you mail your contributions in to the church. Make sure to use our Post Office Box 3697 instead of our street address.
Year-end contribution reminder
If you want to make a contribution that will be counted for this year’s taxes, it must reach the church by December 30. The last count and deposit will be made on December 31.
Do you have time to reach out this Christmas?
It continues to be important to connect with others, particularly those who are unable to get out and about. Residents in the Sequim long term Senior facilities particularly appreciate phone calls and cards. Contact your neighborhood leaders for suggestions of people to reach out to.
Longest Night worship service available online on December 21
You are invited to the Longest Night, also known as Blue Christmas, worship service. This service is celebrated on December 21st, the longest night of the year. It acknowledges that, for many people, Christmas is a time of loneliness, sorrow, alienation, sadness. This service offers a way for people to claim those feelings and still feel surrounded by the compassionate love of God. This year the service will be recorded and posted on the Trinity United Methodist Church Website at https://www.sequimtumc.org/.
Additional volunteers still needed to help with the Sequim food box distribution
— for December 23rd from about 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Andra Smith (Sequim Food Bank Director) indicated that, even though CERT will not be involved those two months, volunteers still can be trained. If you are interested, contact Jan Kreidler at 681-5027, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another opportunity to serve: CERT
— has contacted Trinity UMC to ask if any of us would be interested in volunteering to “staff” one of CERT’s two field / portable kitchens in the event of a natural disaster. This kitchen would be deployed in eastern Clallam County, where food would be provided and served. Training would be required. If you are interested, contact Jan Kreidler at 360-681-5027 or email@example.com.
Upper Room Daily Devotionals
— for January/February are available for you to pick up at the church Monday-Friday 9 am to 2 pm outside the main door by the office.
Trinity United Methodist Church office hours are 9 am – 2 pm Monday through Friday. However, due to limited access to the building during this phase of opening, we are keeping the doors locked. There is a doorbell to the right of the main door (by the office) that you need to ring to alert Marian and she will let you in. It is best to call ahead so we are aware that you are coming. Thanks so much for your patience!