Dear Riviera Family,
Are you excited about the Christmas season? Many of you might have conflicting emotions about what is referred to as ‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year’. I have shared with you that I used to feel blue during the holidays and was able to finally experience the joy of the season when I separated society’s Xmas Holiday from the holy season of Advent and Christmas. I now find myself enjoying December at church and decide how much of the secular whirlwind I want to be involved in. I love Christmas carols and Christmas stories throughout the season of Advent as we await the promise of Immanuel…..of God being with us. And I love the mystery and wonder of Christmas Eve as we light our candles and hold them up and sing Silent Night together. I look forward to sharing the gift of this season with you! There are exciting mission and fellowship opportunities throughout this newsletter that will make this the most wonderful time of the year for you too!
In this season where we look for peace on earth and wish goodwill toward all, let us be aware of others. Our country is in a time of unrest as Congress continues impeachment hearings and as I write this we have been warned not to travel to Israel because of unrest in what we refer to as our Holy Land. Just as Auntie Mame sang in the musical, ‘We Need a Little Christmas!’ So let’s model the peace and goodwill of the season by being beacons of kindness in our actions and models of civility in our behaviors and attitudes. This is the first Christmas Bo and I will not have either of our children with us on Christmas morning. But, I have always told them that it is such a busy season for me that it is alright if they visit at a different time when I can devote more of my time to and with them. But realizing this has made me even more aware of people who are alone at Christmas. So, as our personal calendars fill up, let’s reach out to others and invite them to participate in church holiday events with us. We are a church family and the best gift we can give is to offer community to another.
Merry Christmas to all!
The Rev. Martha M. Shiverick