christmas is almost here

I want to share just a few Christmas pictures before the big day comes and goes. Tonight our church will host its annual Candlelight Christmas Eve Services (a.k.a. our annual chance to burn down the church), and this is the day the office phone rings off the hook from folks in the community calling to learn the times (5p 6:30p 8p). One common question: Are the [hand]bells ringing? Yes would be the answer. With only one exception, Mauri and I have shared the joy in—including the preparation for—these services for the 19 years we’ve been married (his number would be 33), so this feels like the first (of several) finales for us. It’s bound to happen, this feeling, but doesn’t need to be sad or maudlin, given the enticement of what lies ahead.

So that’s what we’re up to tonight. And you?

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Bailey, Marissa, Cassidy, Paul (in Arizona—Dusty/Quinn)

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Oscar (in Pennsylvania—John/Rachel)

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Will (in Oregon—Pete/Linsey)

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Sage (in Oregon—John/Erin)

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Brynn (in Oregon—John/Erin)

And finally…our tree!

Our new Christmas tree

Merry Christmas to you all!

“Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

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