Monday, November 26, 2012

December 2012 Newsletter

 Family of Hope House Church                   December 2012

Celebrating The Real St. Nicholas

Some years ago I read about Mike Sherer, a Lutheran minister, who with his wife Kathe, a registered nurse, decided to celebrate Christmas without Santa Claus when their first child was three years old. They had come to see Santa as little more than a prop for the great North American Christmas Marketing Machine, and so decided to focus instead on his venerable ancestor, the real life St. Nicholas.

This third century bishop of Myra, who lived on the southern coast of what is now Turkey, became legendary for his generosity in helping the poor and needy in his parish, according to stories about him passed down through the generations.

Because this real saint seemed to be a good alternative to the jolly old elf of recent invention, the Sherers have begun celebrating the Feast Day of St. Nicholas, which is on December 6, as an early part of their family’s Advent, and each year designate 5% of their December income to give anonymous help to a needy individual or family in their community, in the spirit of the good bishop of Myra.

They do put up a tree, but cover the floor all around it with good books about Christmas instead of the many other gifts for themselves that used to accumulate there. The books they then put away each year with the tree decorations, to give them a rest and to make them “new” each Advent.

The Sherers report that their giving up a fake Santa for a real saint they feel embodies the true spirit of Christmas has been a richly satisfying change, one they would recommend to everyone
                            - Harvey Yoder

Notes, prayers and praises

BERTHA SWARR is at home again and doing better, for which we are grateful.
RACHEL STOLTZFUS spent November 28-30 at RMH with another mild stroke.
DAVID WEAVER’S address is 1032 Smith Avenue, Harrisonburg 22802 and his phone number is 540-705-5084.
HARVSPOT, Harvey’s blog, is at

December lectionary readings

2  Jeremiah 33:14-16 Psalm 25:1-10  1 Thess. 3:9-13 Luke 21:25-36
9  Malachi 3:1-4 Luke 1:68-79 Philippians 1:3-11  Luke 3:1-6
16 Zephaniah 3:14-20 Isaiah 12:2-6 Philippians 4:4-7 Luke 3:7-18
23 Micah 5:2-5a Luke 1:46b-55 Hebrews 10:5-10 Luke 1:39-45
30 Isaiah 9:2-7 Psalm 96 Titus 2:11-14 Luke 2:1-20

December services worship at 4, meal at 6 (except 12/16)
2 Location: James & Ruth Stauffer 1250 Parkway Dr 22802   574-6141
Worship and Sharing: James Stauffer
Bible Study: Paul Swarr                                                       Carry-in Meal  

9 Location: Family Life Resource Center 273 Newman Ave   432-0531
Worship and Sharing:
Bible Study: Harvey Yoder                                                 Carry-in Meal
16 Annual Christmas Reunion Celebration
with other house churches
12:30 pm at Guy & Margie Vlasits 3448 Caverns Dr., K’town  908-0391
Meditation: Mike Cooley, St. Luke House Church
Plus carol singing, a children’s story, and a money offering for Heifer International                                  12:30 pm Carry-in Meal             

23 Location: Rachel Stoltzfus 1359 TwoPenny Drive 22802    433-3983
Worship and Sharing: Harvey Yoder
Bible Study: Lois Wenger                                       No Meal This Sunday

30 Location: Susan Campbell 1361 Lincolnshire Dr 22802       564-1524
Worship and Sharing: Susan Campbell
Bible Study: Dick Dumas                                                     Carry-in Meal

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