Dear Beloved Friends,  

        Christmas greetings in the name of Jesus!  My December daily reader this month contains writings from Christian leaders of the earliest Church. I have found them to be most refreshing and a kind of resettling of my faith in Jesus during these unsettling times. One in particular immediately created in me a joyful spirit this winter of heartbreak as we mourn isolation from our loved ones and an unfathomable number of deaths due to the coronavirus. We might have found ourselves now and then during this time, experiencing sorrow and gloom. Yet, even in our feelings of grief and helplessness, the messengers still come to us bearing the good news that God is with us in the flesh, knows our pain and brings us ”Peace on earth and mercy mild…”
          
         I share with you an excerpt from a 4th Century bishop that has lifted me up.
            “Christ is born; glorify him. Christ comes from heaven: go out to meet him. Christ descends to earth: let us be raised on high. Let all the world sing to the Lord: let the heavens rejoice and let the earth be glad, for his sake who was first in heaven and then on earth. Christ is here in the flesh: let us exult with fear and joy – with fear, because of our sins; with joy, because of the hope that he brings us.”  – Gregory of Nazianzus, Bishop of Constantinople, [389], from Readings for the Daily Office from the Early Church, ed. J. Robert Wright.

       During these dark days, Christmas brings us Christ’s light. It shines into our lives and onto this fragile disease-ridden earth. In his birth we experience a kind of new birth ourselves because we are shown an alternative to the worldly status quo and are invited into this thin spiritual area where heaven and earth meet in the birth of Christ. Rejoice in catching a glimpse of this magnificence!

       I’m excited to share with you the opportunities these days of Christmas to join the many digital offerings at St. Paul’s. We have not stopped worshiping together because the digital world has opened up many ways for many people to glorify God outside of being in-person. Thanks be to God! I hope you join us. And if it is your practice to make a financial Christmas offering to St. Paul’s, please email us for an envelope, stpauls@stpaulsmaine.org, or follow this link  stpaulsmaine.breezechms.com/give/online to make a safe, online gift. Thank you!

       I hope you will join the community of St. Paul’s, Brunswick, Maine in proclaiming our joy this Christmas.
  
In Christ’s Light and Love,
Carolyn+
The Rev. Carolyn H. Eklund
CHRISTMAS AT ST. PAUL’S

Blue Christmas Worship online from the Washington National Cathedral
Wednesday, December 16 at 7:00 p.m., https://cathedral.org/christmas/

4th Sunday of Advent
Sunday, December 20
     9:30 a.m. Family Worship on Zoom
     10:30 a.m. Spiritual Eucharist on St. Paul’s Facebook 
https://www.facebook.com/StPaulsBrunswick/live

Christmas Eve
Thursday, December 24
4:00 – 4:45 p.m.
Family Service Live with Nativity Video of St. Paul’s people in CostumeZoom (email  stpauls@stpaulsmaine.org for a link)
5:30 – 5:50 p.m. 
Come to Union Street Parking lot for Christmas Eve Candle Lighting.
7:30 p.m. 
Christmas Eve Spiritual Eucharist on St. Paul’s Facebook https://www.facebook.com/StPaulsBrunswick

Christmas Day
Friday, December 25
10:00 a.m.
Christmas Day Spiritual Eucharist
St. Paul’s Facebook live 
https://www.facebook.com/StPaulsBrunswick/live

First Sunday after Christmas
Sunday, December 27

No 9:30 Family Worship today

10:30 a.m.
Diocesan “Spiritual Eucharist” on St. Paul’s Facebook https://www.facebook.com/StPaulsBrunswick



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