By Pastor Tim White
Happy Holidays. What a great time of year! It looks like the holidays outside. Rain and wind make for a perfect time to sit by the fire, read a book or have a soul-filled conversation over a cup of coffee. It just feels like the holidays with this kind of weather. And the joke is that we have this weather almost all year long. But we don’t care. It is a great time of the year.
This Sunday Pastor Becca will be kicking off a life-changing message series called: Christmas Lights the Night. She is sharing the Christmas story in an expository message from the Gospel of John. At the same time, Pastor Michael and his elves will begin to decorate the campus with lights getting ready for our dazzling Christmas Eve services with real live animals and a petting area. (Pastor Michael loves Christmas - he has It’s a Wonderful Life memorized.)
And of course, we will be participating in all of our special projects to help those who are hurting in our community and around the world. Every year it seems like Christmas ministries just grow at Washington Cathedral. One of our post-Christmas evaluations told us we needed to do less -- but do it better. When we met as a staff we asked the question – “What should focus on?” Every staff member was so passionate about the different areas of ministry that no one wanted to cut anything. So, as the leader in this movement, I was led to lead the way. Therefore, after 33 years of Santa Conspiracy we are going to take a year off. This was a ministry that was so dear to my heart and you have heard the story of how the Lord started it. We still have some bears, so we will be sending out a few Santa’s to carry on the good work.
This year we need to impact our community with the life-rescuing message of Jesus Christ focusing on the impact of Christmas. We have our ministry to the homeless; to the convalescent homes; the building of a new school in the Patmos slum of Kenya; hospitals, and neighbors who are looking for a faith -- these will continue. It will be, I think, the most dramatic Christmas we have ever experienced as a church family. Christmas Lights the Night dramas will be Friday, December 22, at 7:00 pm; Saturday, December 23, at 5:00pm, and Sunday, December 24, at 5:00pm. Our special guest for Sunday morning, December24 9:30am and 11:00am, worship services will be Dave Irish. And of course, we will have our beautiful Candlelight Communion Worship at 11:00pm Christmas Eve.
Going into Christmas:
- Washington Cathedral Choir Christmas concert at Redmond Town Center Saturday, November 25, from 1-2pm.
- The Mix Worship with Pastor Helio preaching and international praise including a potluck dinner on Saturday, November 25, at 5:30pm
- Pastor Becca McCary preaching on the Sunday, November 26, at 9:30am and 11:00am, kicking off the series: Christmas Lights the Night.
- Pastor Linda Skinner will preach the following week, December 2 & 3, on Christmas Lights the Night from the Gospel of Mark. Saturday, December 2, is our Volunteer Christmas party at the Café put on by Bill & Millie Porter.
- I will be preaching the weekend of December 9 & 10 on Christmas Lights the Night from the Gospel of Luke. For the kids (and anyone else who wants to join in) a special Christmas Cookie Decorating time led by Pastor Becca in the Café.
- Pastor Becca McCary will be preaching the weekend of December 16 & 17 on Christmas Lights the Night from the Gospel of Matthew. Plus - an all-church Christmas Carol sing-a-long with hot apple cider for 20 minutes of the service. In addition, the youth will be having their Christmas party that afternoon.
- Pastor Rey Diaz will be joining our preaching team at the weekend service on December 30 & 31, New Year’s Eve.
There are going to be a lot of great events and special ministry opportunities as we enjoy a focused - refreshing - incredibly inspiring Christmas at Washington Cathedral this year.
Your friend for the rest of my life,
Pastor Tim White