By Eddie Pipkin
Christmas is here, a full and frantic season for all you merry elves of ministry. So, let us just take a moment to wish you a blessed and happy time with family and friends (as well as the extended, adopted circles of family and friends you choose to care for because this is the year-round spirit of Christmas). And let us thank you for your partnership as readers and as co-workers in the Kingdom-work of sharing love and hope. And beyond that, let us simply share a gift of some opportunities to smile together as you hopefully transition from your Christmas Eve candlelight services to a few days of well-deserved rest and absent-mindedly scrolling through email in that drowsy gap between naps.
We appreciate you as members of a community that works together to do good in the world in the name of Christ. We appreciate your commitment to discipleship and the labor of helping people deepen their relationship with God so that their lives might be enriched. We are thankful for the sacred opportunity to collaborate with you. And now we encourage you to finish out a busy and blessing-filled season with some downtime, rest, and recharge, so that you might be refreshed and ready for the thrills that lie ahead in ’22. (We, for instance, are excited about some new things we’re working on in the year ahead). But for now, Phil is headed down to the sunny Keys, Eddie is traveling north to the piney woods of Georgia, and Amanda is tucked away for a quiet Christmas with her family – and who is this Amanda, you might ask? Well, she is the quiet but persistently excellent Head Elf who keeps all things Excellence in Ministry Coaching humming along behind the scenes. She richly deserves her stocking filled of joy.
As for you, I gift you, as a small token of my esteem, with these favorite Christmas-related links, so that you may click upon them, drowsily contemplating them as you laze about with those “dreams of sugar plums (now consumed) dancing in your heads”:
- An over-the-top Lion King parody(?) musical and dance mega-production extravaganza of the nativity story.
- A re-write mash-up, all-star Christmas carol performance based on lyrics provided by kids, “Christmas in a Town Called Bevelton.”
- Christmas carol lyrics with a Shakespearean twist (which have nothing to do with Christmas or the nativity, per se, but are just really, really funny to us recovering English majors).
- Christmas-themed church signs (which span the range from cute to cringeworthy).
- Best church Christmas light displays.
- A link to the Patrick Stewart rendition of Scrooge in the classic TNT production of A Christmas Carol (my favorite version of this life-affirming tale). And here’s a bonus link straight to a pdf of the Dickens tale itself for you readers!
May your stockings be filled with . . .
- Technology that works the way it’s supposed to.
- More volunteers than you need.
- Parishoners who only complain about wishing they had more hours in the day to be a part of your ministry.
- A swift cessation of all things Omicron.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
(One more 2021 blog next week: it’s a meditation I’ve been working on for facing the exciting challenges of 2022. See you then!)