Trinity, West Pittston to host MUSICare Project Concert

[From Fr. John Major]

On Wednesday, December 8 at 5:15 p.m., children from infant through age 5 and their parent or other adult caregiver will have a chance to experience the joy of  making music in a playful, age-appropriate way.  The event will include a free demonstration of  Music Together ®, a relaxed music program where infants, toddlers, preschoolers and the grown-ups who love them learn to share and appreciate songs, rhythms and simple instruments in a fun, interactive way.  Santa Claus will also stop by for a sing-a-long and visit with the children.
The evening of fun and music is free and open to the public, but reservations are requested.  Trinity Episcopal Church is located at the corner of Spring Street and Montgomery Avenue in West Pittston.  For more information or reservations, call 570-654-3261.
For more information on Trinity's MUSICare Project featuring Music Together visit

Diocesan Life for December 2010 and January 2011

Attached is the latest Diocesan Life for December, 2010 and January 2011. Remember, we love to get stories and pictures! If you have something you want featured, please contact Kat Lehman to discuss publication. Diocesan Life deadlines are posted on the calendar as well so you know when to get the stories in. For February's issue, we need the stories by January 4th. The attached file is 3 MB in .pdf format.

Download December2010_DiocesanLife_SMALL

Redeem the gift card – Christmas sermon by Bishop Paul

Christmas Sermon by Bishop Paul Marshall
Cathedral Church of the Nativity
December 24, 2009

Last Christmas a loved one gave me a very nice gift card ... to Dairy Queen. I was grateful for their kindness but I determined to pass the card on to someone better able to metabolize an Oreo Cookie Blizzard. But also aware of my ability to lose things, I immediately put the card in a safe place until I could give it away. When I came upon it this Tuesday morning, I was startled that it was still around, having benefited or harmed no one. Besides realizing that I had stumbled across a sermon illustration, I began to wonder if there were other gift card scofflaws out there and so hit the internet. I learned that twenty-seven percent of people who receive gift cards lose them, accidentally throw them away, or just never get around to using them. In dollars, last year that casualness amounted to $8 billion out of about $65 billion worth of gift cards sold.

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Friends in low places ... A Christmas reflection by Archdeacon Stringfellow

From the Lectionaries
Friends in low places
by Archdeacon Howard Stringfellow
Luke 2:1-20
24 December 2009

Herod was King of Judea (1:5, at the annunciation to Zechariah) while Augustus was Emperor (2:1), but Herod died before Quirinius was governor of Syria (2:2). Luke has got the facts wrong, but what really is the harm? The tradition had Jesus’ birth during the reign of Herod (as in Matthew), and Luke has to get Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem as the birth there is an important messianic credential. Quirinius was the one who ordered the census. Telling the story of Jesus compellingly for Luke is a higher priority than scrupulosity about the facts. And he may not have had all the facts available to him.

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Jesus' birth exalts the poor

From the Lectionaries
Jesus' birth exalts the poor
by Archdeacon Howard Stringfellow
Advent 4 –– Luke 1:39-45 (and 46-55)
20 December 2009

Our Lady headlines the Gospel this week, replacing John the Baptist who held center stage for two Sundays. Enduring, however, are the comparisons and contrasts between John and Jesus except they are made between their parents, Zechariah and Elizabeth, and Mary and Joseph. Before Luke 2:1, the beginning of the “Christmas” story, Joseph has but one brief mention (1:27) and does not appear.

When Gabriel announces the birth of John to Zechariah, and Zechariah disbelieves the announcement, he is struck dumb (1:20). When Gabriel announces the birth of Jesus to Mary, she doesn’t disbelieve but asks “how” (1:34). And when she visits Elizabeth, she bursts into the Magnificat, the opposite of having her mouth closed for her.

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Getting ready for Christmas visitors

The Evangelism Commission has a new post on their blog "Share the Bread," Getting Ready for Christmas Visitors.

Here's an excerpt:

Most congregations will have to dust off the back—or the front!—pews on Christmas Eve. Churches find that a lot of people show up for what is both a major feast of the church and a major cultural holiday. The Christmas story reminds us that God is revealed to strangers and welcomes the outsider. How we prepare for Christmas at the doors of the church is every bit as important as what we prepare in the chancel....

...Don’t forget to prepare for visitors as carefully as we prepare our music, our flowers and greens and our liturgies. We may think that these special liturgies are for “us” and so end up treating visitors as outside observers or, worse, as interlopers. If there is ever a time when our liturgy is both a celebration of the community faith and a spiritual ministry to the community, Christmas Eve is it!

Here are some more or less random suggestions for extending hospitality to everyone on Christmas Eve. These are lessons that can be applied any time.

Read the rest for some tips on how to get ready for Christmas visitors.

This is the complete link:


The Rev. Canon Andrew Gerns
Rector, Trinity Episcopal Church, Easton, PA
Chair, Diocesan Evangelism Commission