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Feeling down and depressed? Let the church help.  Hah! Urban church legend says this blooper appeared in a church newsletter somewhere.  Of course, not everyone is laughing or joyful at this time of year. Nevertheless, this season is not typically the most difficult of seasons. I suppose that is so because there are so many opportunities to gather with folk as light fades in this hemisphere and invitations come from sundry places.  At church we are opening the doors so often in December we might as well never lock up. Take a look at the front page of the newsletter.  Members have to work hard to be alone if they wish to be alone this holiday season.  Join us for festivities and delightful music.  Come, light a candle with us, for a loved one, or for your own soul, ever burning, ever hopeful. Bring a friend. Yes, it's holiday-time again.  And you are making it through another year –no small accomplishment, good souls, no matter what your circumstances.

No Time, No Time?  When the holidays rush in, just when we are running out of time for meditation, quiet, or reflection, that's when we need meditation, quiet, and reflection all the more. Take time and breathe. Here are some of my favorite gleanings from The Little Zen Calendar, edited by David Schiller:

    + I say to the moment:  Stay now!  You are so beautiful! - Goethe

     + If you go mo’ slow, you’ll go mo’fast. - Folk Zen

     + Nothing is always. - Jane Yolen

     + Would to God that we might spend a single day really well.

        - Thomas A Kempis

     + All distinctions are falsely imagined. - Hui-Neng

     + If it sloshes, there isn’t enough. - Rosen Takashina

     + Truth has no special time of its own.Its hour is now, always. 

         - Albert Schweitzer

     + What you are looking for is what is looking. - St. Francis of Assisi

     + The snowflakes fall, each in their proper place. - Zen Saying

     + We don’t see the world as it is.  We see it as we are. - Anais Nin

A Child Dedication is ready for your infant or young child on Sunday, December 24 at the morning worship services.  Call the Church Office, Nathan Ryan, Kathy Smith or me to schedule your child. With family and friends in town, this Sunday may be perfect for your family schedule.

Religion:  You want one word to take into the new year that never seems to get old? Religion is the word. The new dean of the University of Chicago Divinity School writes: ". . .  there is no field of global inquiry so deeply important in our time, and no public question that does not intersect with the question of religion." The U of Chicago Div School is not known for making statements on absolute grounds, but Dean Laurie Zoloth is correct, absolutely, because climate change, immigration, free speech, and politics etc. all intersect within the study of religion.  Take seriously that word, religion, into the New Year, y'all.

Stewardship:  The budget for 2018 is not whole which is a way of saying your church is not funded yet. If your card is out, please submit your pledge now for 2018.  If you are attending but not yet a member, you may wish to fill out a card.  That would be great news.  And for those of you who have turned in your pledge and wish to increase your gift for 2018, (as several members are doing this year) superhero designation is in store for you.