HTLC News Email, Dec. 17, 2021

Hi, Everyone.  Christmas Eve is only a week away!  (yikes!)

This Sunday, December 19, is the 4th Sunday in Advent and Fill the Food Barrel Sunday.  The 10 am Worship Servicewill be indoors in the Sanctuary (requiring masks, distancing, open windows, air scrubbers – you know the drill).  Last week it was pretty chilly in the sanctuary, what with all that fresh air and all, so bundle up!  Zoom Sunday School, Coffee Chat, and Communion will be at the usual times, and a pre-recorded Online Worship Service will still be available.

Also this Sunday is the Living Advent Calendar event.  Christ the King has been meeting at different people’s houses throughout Advent for food and fun (that’s the church “Christ the King” – not the actual Christ the King – although he is everywhere!).  We’re invited to join them this Sunday, Dec.19, for the final installment. It starts at 5:30 pm and will be held at 42182 Camino Santa Barbara, Fremont CA 94539.  Tori, our joint Ministry in Context student will be there, and it’ll be our last chance to see her for some time.  Come and wish her well!

Longest Night Worship Service, with local churches participating, will be available to view online beginning December 19.  Longest Night services are held on or around December 21st, the winter solstice, the longest night of the year.  They are designed to provide space for prayer, reflection, and remembrance amidst the holiday hustle and bustle.  Those experiencing grief and loss may find it especially comforting.  I will send out the link when it becomes available.

Christmas Eve there will be two services.  One will be at 4 pm with the option of attending inside the sanctuary, or outside on the patio with a monitor and speakers, weather permitting (rain and electronics – not the best of friends.  Although, gathering around a crackling TV might be kind of cheerful).  The second service will be at 8 pm inside the sanctuary and will include the choir.  There will be candle lighting at both services.  The same precautions will be taken as noted above for this Sunday, so you’ll need to wear a mask.  Find your most festive one!  (sorry, no ugly Christmas mask contest)

We plan on recording the Christmas Eve services as they happen and posting them later that evening or at least by Christmas Day (they will take some time to upload).  Arnold and I have been practicing recording during recent services and we hope to have things figured out by then.  I just wanted to let those of you who do not want to appear on camera know that you won’t be visible as long as you’re not in the first three rows.  Even the first three rows of people won’t be visible most of the time, and even then, mostly just the backs of their heads will be showing (or, in my case, my bald spot – well it’s more like a bald neighborhood these days).

The following Sunday, December 26 (only two days later!), we are planning a Service of Readings and Carols for the 10 am in-person service.  As with Christmas Eve, we will be recording the live service and uploading it afterward. The Sierra Pacific Synod will also be putting out their own pre-recorded service that day, so you will have a choice of which virtual service to watch (or watch both – compare and contrast!).  We plan to be recording and uploading the in-person Sunday services until we are ready to stream the services live on YouTube in (almost) real time.  Streaming will be our New Year’s resolution!  (Let’s hope it fares better than most!)

– Keith
your friendly Parish Life Coordinator (i.e. Church Secretary)

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