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Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

December 23, 2011

AND GATHERED ALL ABOVE

What should we do with Christmas that falls on a Sunday? Seems like it should be a slam-dunk. Christmas on Sunday sounds like a deal made in heaven (pun intended). But the realities of modern life intrude.

Recently there was a Dispatch article about churches facing the conundrum of having worship on Sunday morning… Christmas morning. Some churches were having one worship instead of their usual two or three. One church was cancelling since they knew that folks would want to be home with their families and that they had just had numerous Saturday evening/Christmas Eve services. One minister is encouraging his congregation to wear their pajamas to promote a home-style atmosphere.

I can appreciate all those explanations. It’s probably our own fault since we (churches and ministers) have promoted and succeeded in offering meaningful and beautiful Christmas Eve services. People do attend on Christmas Eve. There is no better evening in the church year. To be together on the night before the birth is like being on the hillsides with the shepherds as they first saw the star.

So the question remains: How much worship can people take at this time? Many will be there on Christmas Eve. Should they be expected to return on Christmas morning too? I noticed that we even have a debate going in the newspaper’s Letters to the Editor column.

Here is what we are doing. It’s rather simple too. We are worshipping. We’ll worship in our historic Gladden Chapel on Christmas morning at the usual 10 am time. (Come to think of it, in five and a half years, I have never preached or worshipped in the Gladden Chapel at the 10 am hour on a Sunday morning. THE hour of worship at Dublin Community Church. THE place and time where our ancestors worshipped in 1877. It seems so right.) We’ll sing Christmas Carols and hear the readings from the Gospel of Luke. A short meditation on the carol: “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” A couple of our members and friends will sing, as will we. We’ll end at 10:35. Fellowship in the Narthex.

Christmas morning worship is not about obligation or pressure. It is not about guilt or a bowing to the needs of society. It is merely about observance. Join us in the Gladden Chapel or in your hearts at home. In any case, the doors will be unlocked. The candles lit. The Sacred Scriptures read. The carols sung. Surely that will suffice.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing

p.s. Here is your Scriptural homework for the week: Luke 2:1-20

Christmas Eve Worship: 4:30 pm & 8:30 pm in the Main Sanctuary; 11 pm in the Gladden Chapel (Please note: Childcare will NOT be available for the 8:30 pm Christmas Eve service. This was printed in error in last Sunday's bulletin.)

Christmas Day Worship: 10 am in the Gladden Chapel

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