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Merry Christmas! I'm grateful this year to be celebrating with my family, a gift I don't take for granted!  

I am curious about what you have done this Christmas, more specifically, what did your Deacon team do? In this season that can be so full of hidden loneliness and overwhelming consumerism amidst the love, joy, peace and hope of the birth of Jesus - did you do anything to reach out into someone else's darkness to bring them into the light?

Perhaps you visited shut-ins?  Sang carols in an old-age home? Arranged an affordable Christmas gift market for those with lower income? Maybe you hosted a dinner? Promoted a buy-nothing Christmas?

Whether or not your endeavors were successful, my question is: what did you try to do to make this season reflect more truly the greatest gift we've ever received - Jesus - God become man?


Elna Siebring from Halifax sent the follow story.  Thanks for sharing Elna!



 Every year around this time I always seem to have an experience  of a Christmas miracle....... it happens at the Mission where we serve breakfast to our street friends in Halifax.  Every year it catches me by surprise.  This year it happened again.    9 am  Christmas Eve morning and our last guests, Martha and Shelley had just left the mission.  A couple minutes later the two women returned to the dining hall and asked if they could speak with me.  They had met a young mother pushing her 7 month old baby in a  stroller through the streets in the pouring rain and knocking on church doors.  She had run out of diapers for her baby and had no money to buy new ones.   My  friends wanted to know if they could invite her  to come in out of the cold and have some breakfast even though it was past closing time.   I said 'definitely, invite her in and we will find something to serve her".  Martha and Shelley helped carry the stroller down the flight of wooden steps, down the alley and into the dining room.  The mom was so young, so beautiful, so desperate.  Her hands were freezing cold and her hair dripping wet.   Her baby was so adorable and he was toastie warm in the stroller.....kept dry by the plastic rain cover.   Bill, who reminds me of my Oom Henk, was washing the dishes that morning.  Bill is crazy about babies.  He pulled up a chair beside the stroller and spent the time cooing to the baby.  The baby woul look up at Bill with his big blue-grey eyes (the colour of a winter sky) and give him big smiles while us women visited with the mom over  a breakfast of eggs, bacon and toast.    Before the mom left, we were able to give her new mittens, hat and socks. The church that was serving that morning delivered diapers,  the left over breakfast food  and other needed things to her apartment.  The mom was so grateful for the gifts of food and clothing....which for most of us are everyday things.  I am grateful to Shelley and Martha who saw the mother and child in need and invited them into the mission.  For in this act of hospitality, I witnessed a Christmas Miracle... we were visited by Mary and the Christ-child down at the Mission on Christmas Eve Day. 

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