Saturday, December 17, 2016

Advent Light

"Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples, 
but the Lord rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light, 
and kings to the brightness of your dawn."
Isaiah 60:1-3

This Christmas season, our Hott family was invited to read for the first Sunday of Advent.  Having last read for Advent many years ago, this now 51 year old, gray (?,) haired, hott-blogging, mama of four was once again nervous about reading in front of the congregation on November 27th.  The situation was not helped at all when called, I was left standing all alone, my kiddos and hotthubby, left me up there all by myself!

Not in the dark for long, I managed to read the Advent scripture from Isaiah (see above) for the service, and in all honestly, it wasn't so hard.  A story teller at heart, I feel honored to share from the best stories of all, the Bible.

So, in "light" of the darkness covering our world, from recent world events to community concerns here at home, sharing a picture from my phone from this week's GoFriend's Jesus Celebration, an afterschool program on Thursdays, brings both goosies to my arms and tears to my eyes.

So I wanted to share.

Looking closely at this picture, are approximately 100 small praying children who gather on a weekly basis to be loved and hear the word of God.  Here, their worship leader leads them all in a quiet prayer of praise for the season that celebrates our baby Jesus.

As I opened my phone to observe a moment captured, I was struck by the "light," and realized we had an angel among us at GoFriends.  Do you see her?...

...I do.

And seeing her shine over these children, this light leading each to the heart of Jesus, I just want to thank God for these little hearts that now know love and will hopefully never, never feel excluded, insulted, disenfranchised, or dismissed.

Thank you Ms. Jenny, for sharing the "Good News" about baby Jesus to so many children in Morgan County.  

Friday, December 9, 2016

"One Last Time?" Really?...

“One Last Time”

Are you sad about the news today?  Would you like the opportunity to express your sadness? Show the Ellis Family how much you will miss them. Hug a kid today that will never experience “The Movement” or “Section 208.”  Rich and Jenny have opened their hearts and home to a youth ministry that has changed the nature of our community and your world.  

Express your love peacefully as we demonstrate our sadness with a Community Circle of youth, parents, friends, this Sunday, December 11th, 8:00 a.m. outside the steps of First Church on Green Street, Berkeley Springs, and 10:00 a.m. at “The Blue” as our community and youth will gather “one last time” to say “goodbye” to the beloved Youth Pastor, friend, and brother of First United Methodist Church, Rich Ellis and family, who have been “let go”… for "one last time"
... where we were never allowed the chance to see Rich in church one last time, 
... where the congregation and administration will hear from, some of us, one last time.

Everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree
And no one shall make them afraid
They’ll be safe in the church that we’ve made
I wanna sit under by own vine and fig tree
A moment alone in the shade
At home in this church we’ve made
One last time
The congregation will hear from me
One last time
And if we get this right
We’re gonna help the youth say “goodbye”
One last time.

 “One Last Time,” say a prayer for us
One last time,
The congregation will hear from us
One last time
And if we get this right
We’re gonna teach kids how to say
You and I

One last time

(Writing this post pretty late last night, I woke up this morning with Lin-Manual Miranda's melody and lyrics still repeating in my head. I must thank Hamilton (and Lin) for the words to heal the hurt, understand the process, and appreciate this shade as we sit under a vine that was planted by a pretty special servant of God whose fruits I am hearing from my young children as they also wake up with expressions of sadness at the reality of things like not going to Lighthouse, experiencing Anchor Camp, or a house for homeless children and lost hearts.)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

"Gotta Catch 'Em All!" Run for Robots 5K at the Morgan County Fair

“Gotta Catch ‘Em All” Run for Robots 5K at the Morgan County Fair
Call it a frenzy!  Call it a fundraiser!  Call it family fitness!  Call it whatever you want!  But be sure to also call it Run for Robots 5K and Pokemon Go!  Now, while out on your walk or Run for Robots 5K coming up this Saturday, July 23rd, to launch the Morgan County Fair, be sure to capture a Pokemon, or two!  The fun begins at 9:00 a.m. from Berkeley Springs High School.
What?!  Just how does the popular Pokemon Go! virtual game collide with a new event this year in Berkeley Springs?  Well....I’ll tell you.  Community running club at First United Methodist Church, or FUMC Go Run for God, is hosting an event to help Morgan County students raise money for STEM, or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  For a donation of $10 per person, all ages and abilities are encouraged to join us for a fun filled 5K run/walk through historic Berkeley Springs, from following the path of George Washington to creating a new Pokemon Go team, tie up your running shoes, bring the kids, and prepare to “Catch “Em All!”

Run for Robots 5K at the Morgan County Fair is for both athletes competing for personal times as well as others looking for a leisurely fun walk/run.  It is all about family fitness and fun under the watchful eyes of Morgan County safety officials!  Official times will not be taken nor awards for age categories.  Rather, meet Pastor Doug Hoffman of First United Methodist Church who will present the first six runners with wood “Run for God” medals hand-crafted by students of Berkeley Springs High School wood-shop.

For Pokemon Go enthusiasts, characters are waiting to be captured all along the route!  From Oddish, Gloom, Psyduck, Magikarp and more, runners and walkers will not want to miss surprises waiting at George Washington’s Bath, Portals, to Gifts & Souvenirs at Berkeley Springs Memories, and more. Return to visit merchants following the race for wonderful local arts and crafts, visit the Fair, stop by the park later for live entertainment at 5:30, then stay for dinner downtown at one of Berkeley Springs fine restaurants.

Run for Robots is a gentle, flat, 5K which after starting from the high school, will proceed north on Concord where Oddish was spotted, north on 522 passing the Berkeley  Springs State Park, crossing Fairfax Street, toward the Star Theater.  Turning there, the route then enters the park for refreshing healing water break, passes George’s bath, and circling West Virginia’s smallest State Park for a return south on 522.  After passing BSHS, meet more characters along Widmeyer Way’s south playground for a return to the finish line where refreshing water will be provided by Berkeley Springs Water, the original natural spring water!

Proceeds go to benefit the Morgan County Robotics Program, a county wide STEM initiative to help students have classroom robotics opportunities and Relentless Robotics 4H Clubs, an after school program to build and program robotics technology as well as competitive teams with FIRST, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.

Registration begins at 8:00 at Berkeley Springs High School.  Run for Robots will begin at 9:00 a.m.  For early online registration, go to or call Angie Hott at 304-582-8696.  Morgan County Robotics and Relentless Robotics 4H Programs are administered by the WVU Extension Office and Morgan County Schools with generous support from community sponsors like State Farm Insurance, Tom Seely Foundation, Gat Creek Furniture, FAST, STS International, and the Eastern WV Community Foundation. 

The WVU Extension Office in Morgan County has hosted an annual fair and 5K for some time now.  It was five years ago when this now 50 year old grey haired PD bloggin hott mama of four decided to sign up the Hott family for their first family 5K.  For some reason, I got the crazy idea from Dan's neurologist that exercise is a good thing.  Well, until one attempts their first 5K in the mountains of West "by God" Virginia.

With two then little boys in tow, I cheated and finished early; however, my hotthubby Dan finished the race my hero! (It's true!  See here:  Believe it or not, this day began a journey that not only includes a few more 5Ks, a couple 10Ks, and yes (I kid you not), two, dare I say TWO half marathons!

Just how crazy is that?!