Monday Message December 19, 2022: Christmas Stories

Dear Church,

This year Nate watched for the first time the classic Christmas Movie: “A Christmas Story.” For those unfamiliar, the movie is the story of 9-yar old, Ralphie, (and his family) during the lead up to Christmas 1940–the Christmas present Ralphie ardently wished for was a Red Rider BB gun. The movie is humorous, heartfelt, and resonant for many, which is partly why TV stations such as TBS and TNT show it non stop beginning on December 24 most years.

Watch A Christmas Story | Prime Video

There’s a lot of things I like about the movie as well–and quite a few Nate enjoyed–but most of all after watching it this year, what I appreciated the most was the simple power of stories and the love with which those stories are passed on, symbolized by the adult Ralphie narrating this Christmas from long ago. In other words, the movie reminded me that the best stories are worth remembering and telling.

As we enter this last week of Advent a lot of those sort of Christmas stories may be on our hearts and minds…

The story the choir sang yesterday (with great direction and leadership from Gloria and Bill) during the Cantata, a story of “The Infant King” who pends every familiar expectation…

The story as it comes in Luke and Matthew showing us that those who attended the birth were not the usual or expected subjects—not the inside elite but outsiders: foreign dignitaries, poor shepherds, a young unwed couple…

The story as it shows up in John and Mark and as it continues through the years through the church, a  story that begins but does not end in Bethlehem but goes on, grows on, inviting us into new ways of life

The story as we sing, and share, and tell it; all the ways the unexpected blessing of love fills our heart and empowers our service to others….

So, I wonder: what is your Christmas story in these days? What is the image or memory that means the most to you in these days? What is the lesson to which you keep returning? What is the truth worth passing on to another?

Whatever that story is, know that is it sacred and valuable; it is worth telling. For in the end, most Christmas stories come to the same thing: a love that knows no bounds has come and is here to stay. And who doesn’t need to hear a story like that?

The Lord Bless and Keep you!

Rev. Ben


*In-Person/Livestream Worship: This Sunday’s worship video is available below! It is our Fourth Sunday f Advent exploring the them of “Love” as we follow “The Way of the Lord.” 



*Masks are welcome but optional during in-person worship as we continue to contend with COVID and an emerging flu season. We also ask everyone to be still mindful of social distancing and respectful of the personal space of others even as we give thanks for being together.*

*The Angel Tree: Thanks to all who contributed to the Angel tree. Please continue to keep the families we served in your prayers, especially as we learned a member of one of the families recently passed away. Special thanks to Melissa Miley, Christy Turpin, and Kathy Blue for helping gather and deliver gifts.
*Christmas Cantata: See a recorded version of the Cantata here:
*Christmas Eve Service is 5pm on Saturday, December 24–in person and online!
*December 25 worship is at 11am. Come sing Christmas Hymns as we welcome Christ into our lives and the world once more!

*“Living Generously” Thanks be to God for the call to share Christ’s love and create deeper relationships through the giving of time, energy, and money.  Thanks also to those who have already sent in pledge cards and those still discerning that possibility! If you would still like to offer a pledge, please send a pledge card to the church office.

Walking Group: Join the Walking Group each Tuesday at 6pm. We currently meet at Cadence Senior Living Center (200 Minglewood Dr.). If you have any questions, contact the church office 919-772-0727. In the event there is inclement weather, we’ll just gather the following week.

The Christmas Joy Offering is a Presbyterian tradition that distributes gifts to support our Leaders… past, present, and future. Your gifts are used for providing comfort to church leaders, supporting leadership development, and building the future of the church. Established in the 1930s, the offering distributes gifts equally to the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions and to Presbyterian-related schools and colleges equipping communities of color. Materials related to The Christmas Joy Offering are included with today’s inserts.

Reminder… our 5th Saturday commitment for H.O.P.E is Saturday, December 31, 2022. Let us end 2022 with providing a “day of dignity” for the guests at H.O.P.E., a bountiful, nutritious meal to quell their hunger and the embrace of our compassion to give them the strength to face the day and the beginning of a new year with a renewed spirit and hope for possibilities/opportunities yet to come.

Boy Scout Troop 392 is having a Krispy Kreme fundraiser. Please see Melissa Miley ( or (919-902-9318) to get your certificate for a dozen glazed donuts. The cost is $15 for each certificate which can be used at any Krispy Kreme location across the United States. (Not valid for in grocery store purchases.)

* Newsletter articles for the January edition of the Spire are due December 21st.

* The 2023 Flower Chart is up! The flower chart is posted in the hallway and ready for sign-ups. The cost of the flowers for the coming year is $40.00.

*Prayers for Peace: Our world continues to need prayers of word and deed for peace. As we in NC are especially aware, it is hurricane season. So our prayers for the world at this time are most notably with those impacted by Hurricane Fiona (particularly in Puerto Rico) as well as Hurricane Ian. Please continue to keep law enforcement and first responders in your prayers as well as those struggling with gun violence in too many places in our nation (including Raleigh, NC). Pray, too, for those for whom the holiday season can be heavy as they deal with loss in what is known as a “joyful” season.

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