Letter from Rev. Dr. Christine Johnson – Dec 19, 2020

Dear friends, 
This will be my last letter for a few weeks.  As of Monday, December 21, I’m on holidays and looking forward to some rest and rejuvenation. What a crazy week!!
On Tuesday, at 7 p.m., the Advent Four service was recorded with me, Rick Leben and Tonja, Phil, Mackenzie and Alex Aldis.  The Aldis family do a wonderful job of evoking the harmonies of the season. You can watch it anytime after 9:45 am on Sunday, Dec. 20.
On Friday, at 7:30, I presided at the pre-recording of the Christmas Eve service at St. Andrew’s United Church in Pakenham.  It was recorded using their brand new state of the art equipment. 
On Saturday, at  11 a.m., a Baptism service took place for Maverick Ross, son of Jenna and Ray Ross.  Our clerk of session, Carole Williams, represented the congregation.  We recorded it and will be posting it soon so everyone can view it and confirm the words Carole said on your behalf.  Jenna nee Craig has deep roots in the Bethel congregation and Ray has the same in the St. Andrew’s congregation.  So it is quite a gift to be able to baptize their son in the amalgamated community.  They also have a three-and-a-half year old daughter, Margaret.  Jenna and Ray live in the Kinburn area.
At 1 p.m., the Christmas Eve service for BSA was recorded with me, Rick Leben, Kevin Davis, Danny and Travis Strong, Nancy and Dave Hayley. It will be available to watch any time after 4 p.m. on Dec. 24.  Links for the Baptism and the Christmas Eve service will be posted on our website.  Or, go directly to YouTube, and search for Bethel St. Andrews United Church Fitzroy Harbour.
A big thank you to my husband, the Rev. James Murray, for helping us record three services this week. 
Our Christmas celebrations may be different this year, but all of us are finding creative ways to adapt to the situation and to be at peace with it.  These services might help in that regard lifting your spirits and soothing your soul.  Isn’t that what we’re all looking for?  Instead of you coming to the sanctuary, we’re bringing the sanctuary to you.  
The Christmas Eve service brings together a group of musical friends to present an Ottawa Valley feel to the music.  We hope you’ll be tapping your toe and dancing under the mistletoe!! Watch it together as a group!  At one point, an Amber alert alarm goes off on one of our phones — very exciting!!  But, it’s quickly back to more heartwarming music.  I sincerely hope you’ll watch it.  Special thanks to Rick Leben for coordinating all the music.
From my home to yours, I’d like to express a deeply felt Merry Christmas to each one of you.  We are in this pandemic together and we will remain in it together for as long as we need to.  Stay strong and positive and use this time to reconnect with your own soul. If we head into a tighter lockdown, I know the love of God, the peace of Christ and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit will be your daily guide.  Take care and be safe. 
In the love and friendship of Christ, 
Rev. Dr. Christine Johnson 

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