Family of Hope House Church December 2010
Something Amazing at Macy’s
On November 6, 2010, a group of some 650 singers from the Philadelphia Opera Company joined together in an unusual conspiracy. They arranged to be at Macy's in Center City Philadelphia at high noon,to mix in with the crowd of shoppers there and then, on cue from their director on a second floor balcony, sing the Halleluiah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah. All of this was accompanied by someone on Macy’s giant organ in the large foyer area of the store.
A video recording of the event became quite a hit on YouTube, as a rare musical feast that caught the startled shoppers completely off guard. Many were obviously amazed and moved by the unexpected performance, either because it brought back fond memories of it as a loved and familiar part if their past, or as a masterpiece they were hearing for the first time.
Some of the listeners looked up and raised their hands in awe or held them over their hearts. Others were using their cell phones to take pictures of the musicians all around them and/or were calling others to have them listen in. Still others were excitedly talking to each other as they listened with wonderment. And of course all joined in an extended and heartfelt round of applause after the last drawn out “Hal - le - lu - jah!” at the end of the piece.
As a person of faith, I was deeply moved by the performance on YouTube, and it was certainly an experience aptly described by a sign one of the organizers of the group held up at the end, “You have just experienced a random act of culture by the Opera Company of Philadelphia.”
Maybe we should all find ways of expressing some random, creative, and impactful kindnesses of our own this season, expressing our Hallelujahs and our confidence in who shall reign forever and ever.
This could be in the form of a surprise visit to someone at a nursing home, an offer of some child care for a frazzled parent in need of a break, a note of appreciation for a past teacher or pastor who has made a difference in our lives, or an invitation to dinner for a new immigrant family in the community.
May such Hallelujahs resound everywhere!
- Harvey Yoder
* INVITE YOUR FRIENDS to our annual Family of Hope Christmas Celebration at 1 pm Sunday, December 19, at the Vlasits' Lodge Enjoy a carry-in meal, a meditation by Guy Fresen, lots of singing, a children's story and an offering of food for Patchwork Pantry and of money for Heifer, International.
* BERTHA SWARR is grateful to be able to move home again as of November 30!
* WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR RUTH STAUFFER’s good recovery from her recent surgery and that no malignancy was found.
* SOPHIE MAY suffered a broken foot from a fall November 22, and will have to be off work for the remainder of the year.
* DECEMBER LECTIONARY READINGS:
12/5: Isaiah 11:1-10, Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19, Romans 15:4-13, Matthew 3:1-12
12/12: Isaiah 35:1-10, Psalm 146:5-10 or Luke 1:46b-55, James 5:7-10, Matthew 11:2-11:
12/19: Isaiah 7:10-16, Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19, Romans 1:1-7, Matthew 1:18-25
12/26: Isaiah 63:7-9, Psalm 148, Hebrews 2:10-18, Matthew 2:13-23
December services worship at 4 pm, meal at 6 (except 12/19)
5 Location: James and Ruth Stauffer 1255 Parkway Dr 22802 574-6141
Worship and Sharing: Harvey Yoder
Bible Study: “Preaching Peace” Paul Swarr
12 Location: Joyce Ulrich 1029 Shenandoah Street Apt 101 246-1013
Worship and Sharing: James Stauffer
Bible Study: “Proclaiming Justice” Harvey Yoder
19 Annual Christmas Celebration with other house churches at 1 pm
Location: Guy & Margie Vlasits 3448 Caverns Drive, Keezletown.
Meditation: Guy Fresen
1 pm Carry-in Meal
26 Location: Susan Campbell 1361 Lincolnshire Drive 22802 564-1524
Worship and Sharing: Susan Campbell
Bible Study: “Celebrating Deliverance” James Stauffer