In the Bleak Midwinter

This  beloved Christmas carol with words by Christina Rossetti draws a familiar word picture of Advent 2018.

In the bleak midwinter

Frosty wind made moan

Earth stood hard as iron

Water like a stone.

Since the beginning of recorded time, people have feared the short days and dark, cold nights of midwinter. They have gathered together around fires and candles to keep company with one another. Being together meant keeping warm and sharing meager food when crops were gone and hunting results uncertain. Loneliness meant death.  

Today we are told that loneliness is once again at epidemic levels. But there are ways to defeat that loneliness. Come join with the people of Holy Nativity while we greet the coming of our Savior with prayer and song. We will light the candles, read the familiar Bible verses and sing the old songs. We will welcome newcomers and greet old friends with handshakes and hugs.

Come and join us, as we give Him our hearts.

— Kathleen Schreiner

June 12, 2016 #WeAreOrlando

Dear people of Holy Nativity:

On Sunday mornings alone, I drive down to church with my radio off, in order to mentally review my sermon and otherwise prepare for worship. I had seen something about gunfire at a Florida nightspot when I first got up and glanced through internet headlines, but it wasn't until some of you saw more about the terrible unfolding story on your phones during our parish picnic that I began to learn what a horrifying massacre had taken place. Over the past two days, my own emotional rollercoaster has included shock, grief, anger, frustration, resolve ... and hope and faith, that with God's help, we can change the bloody narrative of death, bigotry and division of which this tragedy is only the latest manifestation.

Two Sundays ago, I was so heartened to see a sea of orange at Holy Nativity, as we marked Gun Violence Awareness Sunday. Two short weeks later, the time is upon us to move from awareness to action. We have much prayerful work ahead to heal divisions and ensure the safety of everyone in our nation: gay, lesbian, straight and transgender, black, white, and all colors, male and female, Christian, Muslim, and all faiths, persons with disabilities and those struggling with mental illness, immigrant and natural-born, young and old... But while we do this work of reconciling all of God's children, surely, surely we can find a way to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of those individuals at clear risk of perpetrating evil and violence in this broken land. May we find a way -- before another house of worship, school, nightclub, theater is targeted. Enough!!!

Lord, make us instruments of your peace...
Lisa Keppeler+