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.)