It happened at Christmas – A roundup of celebrations from across the diocese

Christmas pageant

Mary heard a message from the angel, Mary and Joseph looked for a room at the inn and the shepherds listened to the choirs of angels. Christ Church Woodburn presented the story of the birth of Jesus Christ in their Christmas pageant.

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Mary heard a message from the angel, Mary and Joseph looked for a room at the inn and the shepherds listened to the choirs of angels. Christ Church Woodburn presented the story of the birth of Jesus Christ in their Christmas pageant. Photo: Judy Gurman
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Photo: Judy Gurman
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Photo: Judy Gurman

 

Nativity – a worldwide perspective

by Shirl Christian

On December 10th, St. Paul’s Mount Forest invited the community to come and view a display of nativity scenes and other related items.

Light refreshments were offered, encouraging people to stay and enjoy some relaxing fellowship.

Scenes and figurines, on loan from members of St. Paul’s, included many different interpretations of the nativity from Canada and around the world.

The display also featured a variety of angels and a detailed model of St. Paul’s Church. Rector Shirl Christian’s collection of santons (“little saints”) from the South of France represented that area’s traditional depiction of the village folk bringing their own gifts to the Christ Child.

This is the second year of the nativity display, and St. Paul’s members hope it will become an annual tradition.

The Reverend Shirl Christian is Rector of St. Paul’s Mount Forest and Grace Church Arthur.

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This display featured carved wooden nativity figurines from Tanzania, as well as the village santons (little saints) from France bringing their gifts. Photos: submitted by Shirl Christian
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The model of St. Paul’s, owned by Pat and Bruce May, was created by Brian Kirkpatrick of Georgetown. Photo: submitted by Shirl Christian
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More nativity sets loaned to St. Paul’s illustrate show a wide interpretation of Christmas.

A rocking chair and Santa – a Christmas fable

by Brian Galligan

Anyone who needed to coax reluctant children to attend the 5:00 p.m. Christmas Eve Family Service at Grace Church Milton and harbored concerns about their behaviour in a possibly austere environment, breathed a sigh of relief when they were met by a flock of friendly cuddly sheep.

This set the tone for the service in which I gathered the children around my rocking chair and used the story of the birth of Jesus Christ to teach them, and the rest of the congregation, about the rights of acceptance and inclusivity, over the wrongs of intolerance and discrimination in the world.

After each child received two silver bells to ring, everyone joined in to sing Away in a Manger, followed by an enthusiastic rendering of Silver Bells.

As the service continued and the consecrated gifts were elevated, the sound of distant sleigh bells was heard announcing the arrival of St. Nicholas (a.k.a. Santa).

The jolly fellow explained that just like everyone else, he had come to church to pray and give thanks to God for all his blessings.

Then, before leaving on his journey to deliver presents to children around the world, he said he needed Jesus in his life, so he was the first to kneel at the altar to receive Holy Communion.

Hopefully the children, parents, grandparents and others left that evening with a re-ignited interest in a church that had challenged their usual perspectives of Christmas and had also once again become relevant in their lives.

The Reverend Brian Galligan is Interim Pastor at Grace Church Milton.

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From his rocking chair Brian Galligan tells the story of Jesus’ birth and its message for today’s world.
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Santa Claus receiving Holy Communion from Brian Galligan at Grace Church Milton. Photo: Submitted

Jesus Child

Cuthbert’s K.I.D.S. (St. Cuthbert’s Oakville Sunday School) sang “Jesus Child” by Mary Ellen Kerrick at St. Cuthbert’s Oakville annual service of Christmas Lessons and Carols. Their director is Ann Grose who was accompanied by Jean Podolsky and Bruce DuPlessis.

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Photo: Mary Ellen Fitzpatrick

St. Cuthbert’s Choir
The annual photo of St. Cuthbert’s choir was especially poignant this year. It marked the last Christmas for Bruce DuPlessis serving as organist and music director of the Oakville parish. Bruce, pictured to the right of Rector Joe Asselin (back row) retired after 10 year and is returning to Calgary.

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Photo: Lori Kennedy

Picture with Jesus
Following the 7:00 p.m. Family Christmas Service at St. John’s Jordan, five year old Aurora Ware, whose birthday is in December, wanted to have her picture taken with the Baby Jesus.

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Photo: Brenda Lane