Reflections 12/18/11


First, congratulations to the Religious Education participants for their wonderful pageant: the publicity, the photography, the music, the costumes and props, and the play itself. Many thanks to all who made it happen, especially Peggy Stephens-North and Jill Hayes. Each year, something beautiful is created by our children and youth to tell the stories of the season, and this year was no exception.

A couple of notes about upcoming services and holiday schedules. In addition to our traditional Christmas Candle Lighting Services this Saturday, we will have Sunday morning services on both December 25th and January 1st. There will be no evening services. December 25th, we will meet in the vestry for a “Pancakes and Carols” service. January 1st, we will turn from the old year to the new.

I will restart the Bible classes again, on Sunday January 8th through February 5th.This round we will meet AFTER church, in Room 3, at 12:15. The focus will be on Jesus and the Gospels. Both adults and youth are most welcome. We have a good time!

At our Longest Night Service, Sally Seekings read the following as a chalice lighting. It is by the Reverend Mark Belletini, from his meditation manual, Sonata for Voice and Silence:

Grey skies over my head,
Throw yourselves like quilts over my busy life
And remind me to sit down and rest.
Stars of winter,
Orion’s sash sparkling across the heavens,
Remind me by your distance that,
Compared to the infinity of the universe,
Every single thing I struggle with on earth is small, parochial and hardly universal in scope.
Great music of the season, glowing with angel songs and filigreed with great mysteries,
Remind me that my own birth, like the births of all the people in this room, was no less
mysterious than that ancient and celebrated birth, no less brimming with wonder,
For all children that come into the world have lives as precious to them as Jesus’ life was
precious to him. So now, come, Love greater than my longing,
Silence greater than fatigue of tongues,
And haul my heart away from the undue frenzy of the season,
And bestow it to rest, proportion and the haunting dark beauty of winter’s long nights.

Josh, Sam, Henry, and I wish you all the wonder and mystery, music and grace of this season. Remember to step back from the frenzy to embrace both the light and dark beauty around us.

-Rev. Ellen

Contact Info

First Parish Church
2 Westford St
Chelmsford MA 01824