Christmas Blessings

“Christmas is so different this year.” I’ve heard that quite a bit over the last few weeks, haven’t you? Perhaps Christmas IS different at your house in 2020. Some things have changed with ours as we’ve simplified our gift-giving, changed our menu for Christmas day to one that requires less work, and are having just our small family for dinner and celebrating.

Yet I find myself overcome with joy. Perhaps it even is in the simplifying that joy has had a chance to grow. Over these Advent weeks I’ve challenged myself to find joy in small things and now see how God is growing that joy. Truly I’m finding joy in simply remembering that today is the celebration of the birth of Jesus – the one who came to show us God’s love and God’s way to new life, and I am grateful.

I want to take a moment to express my gratitude to the multitude of people who have helped make this Advent and Christmas season so rich, even as they had to do so many things differently. Many thanks to our Worship Committee for creating beauty in our Sanctuary and around our campus. Thanks to our music staff and volunteer musicians for creatively offering music during this time. Thanks to all our church leaders for continuing to maintain our buildings, care for our finances, and do all kinds of work via Zoom and other technologies. Much gratitude goes to our technology staff and volunteers, without whom we would be sitting in front of blank screens on Sunday mornings, Christmas Eve and for special programs. And thanks to our church staff and so many other volunteers for making new things into joyful celebrations during this season. Praise God! If you would like to express a “thanks,” send it to

A couple of ways we can capture joy in our hearts today:
take the time to deeply feel the small joys that are surrounding us.
call someone you know who is alone or struggling today. I know that not everyone is deeply rejoicing on this Christmas Day, so brighten someone’s day with a call.

Pastor Evy is retiring on Dec. 31. This Sunday, Dec. 27, she will wrap up our year-long series on “Words for Life,” bringing the message in our recorded worship at 9:45 a.m. here on our website, YouTube UMC St. Mark’s Oro Valley, and Facebook St. Mark’s UMC Tucson. I’m grateful for Pastor Evy.

Merry Christmas from Art and me! Thank you for your cards, gifts and words of care and love. You are dear to me, St. Mark’s people. Enjoy this day, in Jesus’ name.

Christmas blessings,