Dear Congregational Family,

Advent/Christmas Season: “The lights of Christmas: The LIGHT of Christ!”

1. Advent Journey: As we continue our Advent Journey, we have lit the first three candles and focused on Hope/Prophecy, Love/Bethlehem, and Joy/Shepherds. This week we will be focusing on Peace/Angels. If you have ever wondered about the role of the angels throughout time in both the spiritual warfare of God to bring “peace on earth” as well as their role in announcing this peace – this Sunday is for you!

2. Silent Night: This Christmas Eve will mark the 200th year anniversary of the song, “Silent Night”. This beloved Christmas carol was written by the assistant priest, Joseph Mohr of St. Nicholas Church high up in the Alps near Salzburg, Austria. The occasion was that the church organ had suddenly broken down and could not be repaired. Mohr wrote the hymn to be simple enough to be easily sung by the congregation, accompanied by Franz Gruber (the organist) on his guitar. It was first sung on Christmas Eve and was instantly loved and shared throughout Austria and around the world. It remains the beloved favorite yet today. (We always close with singing it by candlelight on Christmas Eve.)

3. Ruthfred’s very first service was held on Christmas Eve in 1948; seventy years ago this year! This is the reason that the beautiful stained glass masterpiece at the front of the sanctuary depicts the accounts surrounding the birth of Christ which include:

1. The Angel Gabriel’s Announcement to the Virgin Mary,
2) The Birth of Christ, and
3) The Worship of the Magi.
Take a new look at it this Sunday! (picture below)
(Yes, the first service, was actually held in the chapel, as the large sanctuary was not built until much later.)

4. Christmas Eve Service: I can not overestimate how incredibly moving this service is every year! Let me encourage you to make every effort to be here (with family and friends!)!!

5. Next week: There will be no “Two on Tuesday” as it will be Christmas Day.

God bless you as we continue to journey through Advent by,

“Growing Together in our Faith as the Family of God.”

Merry Christmas!

Pastor Carlson