MINISTER’S ADVENT MESSAGE
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store?
What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?
~ How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
Over the past two years many of us have had to rethink Christmas. It has been a difficult and
lonely time for some and although restrictions are less this year than last, there will still be many
people who are unable or unwilling to travel to be with family this Christmas.
But despite these difficulties, there have also been many blessings. Without nearly as many
church and community activities to plan for, there has been more time to spend preparing and
thinking about what truly matters to us during the holiday season. With less people shopping in
person and more being done online, crowded stores have seemed less rushed and hectic. With
more time at home many people have even begun or revived traditions that have been lost over
the years because of busy schedules.
I have always loved the words quoted above from Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
What would happen if, this year, we took these questions seriously and asked them of ourselves?
What if this year we didn’t worry so much about the gifts we buy and start thinking more about
the less tangible gifts that we might offer? What if this year we committed to spending one hour
doing something nice for a stranger? What if we committed to spending an hour visiting with
someone who is alone, who is ill or who does not have family to spend Christmas with? What if
we volunteered to spend some time helping out at a local charity? What if we took some of the
money that we might save by not going overboard with our gift giving and used it to help
someone in need? I can’t help but wonder if, like the Grinch, we might find our own hearts
growing a couple of sizes as a result.
Although I know that a part of me will continue to mourn some of the wonderful Christmas
activities and traditions that will not be possible this year, there is another part of me that is
excited to discover where I might meet the Christ of Christmas this year. With less stress around
scheduling all those activities, perhaps I will be more intentional about looking for those
opportunities to recognize, to experience and to share that deeper meaning of Christmas that
doesn’t come from a store.
My wish for each of you this Advent Season is that throughout the days of preparation as we
await the coming of the Child of Bethlehem, the Christ of Christmas, you will find for yourselves
the wonder and joy of a Christmas that, perhaps, means a little bit more.
Hanging of the Greens
What would this season be without decorations? On Saturday November,
27th, we will be gathering in the sanctuary at 10 am to decorate for the coming
Advent and Christmas season. Please plan on joining us for a time of fun,
fellowship and decorating. Remember, many hands make light work!
Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign
Each year Beacon United Church helps out with the Salvation Army Kettle Campaign. This is
an important part of our outreach and our commitment to our community. This year, Beacon
will be overseeing the kettle at Walmart on December 1st and December 2nd from 11 am to 8 pm.
Please consider signing up to help out for an hour as part of your Christmas giving this year.
You can contact Nancy Hood at 902-742-3226 or email@example.com You can also sign up
on the list in the church entrance. All those taking part will be required to be double vaccinated.
Thank you to all who help out with this important ministry.
Beacon Christmas Potluck
Beacon United Church is finally beginning to reopen our kitchen. Unfortunately, we are not yet
ready to open for general public use, but we are pleased to be able to offer a Christmas Potluck
Meal for all our Church Family. Our Church and Community Committee will be providing
turkey, dressing, and mashed potatoes. You are invited to bring either a vegetable side dish or a
dessert. This will be held on Sunday, December 19th, following worship. Due to provincial
Covid health regulations all those taking part will be required to be double vaccinated. This year
we are asking you to RSVP if you are able to come so that we know how much turkey to
prepare. You can reply to Shelley Melanson at; firstname.lastname@example.org or by signing up
on the sheet in the Church entrance.
Longest Night Service
Many people find Christmas a difficult and lonely time of year. With the increased stresses of
Covid-19, this year may prove particularly difficult for some people. If you are feeling less than
merry this Christmas, you are invited to a “Longest Night” service on Tuesday, December 21st, at
7 pm. Due to Covid-19 restrictions there will be no fellowship gathering after the service. This
is an opportunity to set aside all the external trappings of Christmas and focus on its true
meaning … Emmanuel … God with us.
Christmas Movie Night
In preparation for our Christmas Eve Family Service, Beacon United Church will be hosting a
Movie Night on Wednesday, December 22nd. We will be watching Ron Howard’s 2000
adaptation of Dr Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Everyone is welcome, however due
to Public Health regulations, you must be double vaccinated to take part in this event. You are
also reminded that masks must be worn at all times while in the building. The movie will begin
in the church sanctuary at 6 pm in order to finish by 8 pm.
Christmas Eve Services
Last year, because of strict social distancing regulation, we were forced to limit the number of
people we could host in the sanctuary at one time. Because of this we offered 2 services, one at
4 pm and one at 7 pm. Fortunately, this year we will not be required to limit numbers. However,
last year we learned that many people preferred the earlier 4 pm service. We also learned that
others truly missed our practice of lighting candles at the end of our service. As a result, this
year we will again be offering two services but these services will be different. At 4 pm we will
offer a family-oriented service based on Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas. At 7 pm
we will offer a Service of Readings and Carols ending our service with our traditional candle