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A Poem for this Week

Russell Sullivan, Pastor

Since the eighth-century the O Antiphons have traditionally been used for daily prayer in the seven days before Christmas Eve. There are seven of them, each representing an image of Christ: Wisdom, Lord, Root of Jesse, Key of David, Radiant Dawn, Ruler of the Nations, and Emmanuel.  We sing one every Advent, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” The first letters of these seven images spell backwards an acrostic, ero cras, which means “tomorrow I come.” Here is one of the seven:

O Wisdom,

coming forth from the mouth of the Most High,

pervading and permeating all creation,

you order all things with strength and gentleness:

Come now and teach us the way to salvation.

Come, Lord Jesus.

They are beautifully descriptive of Christ, his personhood and his work. A poet, Diane Tucker, has created a modern version of these eighth-century antiphons, “Forty New O Antiphons.” They have a contemporary ring, and as the antiphons of old, they also describe Christ and ask for God to break into our present world and context. Here are three of them. I hope they bless you as they have blessed me:

O Lover of the homeless and the addict,
never let us rest, respectable and clean,
assured that we are “not like those people.”
Show us the homelessness of our cold hearts.
Show us our own “acceptable” addictions.
So turn our souls to loving those you love
with your holy love, which is our true Home.


O Lord of all the failing and forgetting,
may peace come down on all who have dementia.
Preserve, in age, their humour and their hearts.
Be with newly nameless sons and daughters.
Fill the grieving with your everlasting Name.
May all that’s lost leave space for re-creation:
rest and reflection, silent hours, and song.


O Lord who spread the silver on the salmon,
you sculpted sleek the dolphin and the whale.
What joy the otter and the seal’s play bring you,
the eagle’s dive, the cormorant’s spread wings.
All these you raise beside the glinting inlet
and fill them full of fish your own hands hatched.
We sing with thanks your love for sea and shore!


In Memory

We announce with sadness the death of member Pat Higley on Sunday, December 13, 2020. The funeral service is private. Condolences may be sent to her daughter, Lisa Milletics. Let us this family in our prayers.


Join Us For These Services Online

Lessons and Carols – A Festival Service of Nine Lessons and Carols will broadcast on Sunday, December 20, at 4:00 p.m.

Service of the Longest Night – This service will broadcast on Monday, December 21, at 7:00 p.m. The service will feature the talented flutist, Jocelyn Goranson.

Christmas Eve – Join us for a celebrative Christmas Eve, at 6:00 p.m., with brass ensemble and singers. Dr. Sullivan will bring the Christmas message.

Book Club Selects Books

It’s time to get reading! Here are the Pine Street Book Club selections for the upcoming months. All are welcome. Questions? Contact Barb Neff at [email protected]

  • January 17 – “Small Great Things” – Jodi Picoult
  • February 21 – “No Ordinary Dog…” – Will Cheney
  • March 21 – “The Dutch House” – Ann Patchett


Offering Envelopes

Beginning in January 2021 we will be utilizing a newly-designed offering envelope. If you use offering envelopes to send your contributions to the church, please be on the lookout in early January for the 2021 envelopes.


Giving Tree – LAST Update

The original email with all details about the 2020 Giving Tree was sent November 19. Please email Audrey Light at [email protected] with any questions or call 717-649-7068. Here is a quick update of the giving possibilities this year:

  • ALC – 5 CHILDREN LEFT: Halo (learning toys), Heaven, Holly, Alexander, and Kayriana. Email Audrey Light and cc Becky Cotich with your first, second, and third choices. Gifts to be mailed directly to the child’s home. Or mail gift cards to Giant, Target, or Walmart to Becky Cotich for distribution to students as needed.
  • DDB – 7 Days of Giving: backpacks filled with necessities described in the postcard sent to all members. Email [email protected] to arrange delivery.
  • Help Ministries – make checks payable to Help Ministries and mail to Pine Street to help fund the one-time fuel oil assistance offered by this agency.
  • Homemade Cookies – individual baggies of 5 cookies each to be given to DDB clients and Presbyterian Apartments residents at their respective Christmas dinners. Please email [email protected] to arrange delivery by December 18.
We Believe



Founded in 1983, Downtown Daily Bread (DDB) is a ministry of Pine Street Presbyterian Church. It is a one-stop soup kitchen, shelter, and services for every person in Harrisburg who struggles with hunger and homelessness.

Learn More


Due to COVID-19 and social distancing, volunteer work in the Soup Kitchen and Shelter is suspended through May 2021.

Please check back in June. If you have a question call us at (717) 238-4717 x122.


Since Downtown Daily Bread’s beginning in 1983, volunteers have played a significant role, especially in the Soup Kitchen. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteers logged an amazing 1,680 hours per month by serving a warm lunch daily to an average of 100 people.

Due to the pandemic and social distancing, volunteer work at Downtown Daily Bread is suspended through May 2021. Please check back in June. If you have a question, call us at (717) 238-4717, ext. 122.


Your support fuels our mission to serve all hungry and homeless people in Harrisburg. Downtown Daily Bread (DDB) is a ministry of Pine Street Presbyterian Church.

Check: Please make checks out to Downtown Daily Bread and mail to 310 N. Third Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101.

Credit Card: Click here. Credit card donations are processed via the church's Paypal account and directly deposited to DDB.

For questions or to drop off in kind donations, please call (717) 238-4717, ext. 122.

Amazon Wishlist: Click here to purchase and send essentials that we distribute to clients.

Downtown Daily Bread's life-saving programs are fueled by annual donations from individuals, family foundations, churches and community organizations, regional corporations, local businesses, and county government.

We honor this generosity by practicing fiscal accountability and efficiency. Our accounting records are audited annually by an external firm. In addition, we contract with The Foundation for Enhancing Communities (TFEC) for all financial accounting including gift processing.

Mail checks to:

Downtown Daily Bread
301 N. Third Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101

Use PayPal to donate by credit card or with your personal PayPal account.


DDB is a mission project of Pine Street Presbyterian Church, a 501(c)(3) organization. For legal reasons, your PayPal donation to Downtown Daily Bread will reference The Presbyterian Church of Harrisburg. All proceeds will benefit Downtown Daily Bread.

Donation of food and essential items are also welcomed. Call Downtown Daily Bread at (717) 238-4717, ext. 122


Do You Need Help?

Downtown Daily Bread can help you with
  • Meals
  • Mail delivery
  • Showers
  • Indoor Day Shelter with cots, phones, computers, and bathrooms
  • Storage lockers
  • Clothing and Essential Items
  • Conversation with knowledgeable staff
  • Case management and counseling
Monday - Friday
Breakfast7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m.
Use side entrance on Willis Street alley
Monday - Friday
Day Shelter7:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Use front entrance on 234 South Street
Monday - Friday
7:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Use front entrance on 234 South Street
Lunch12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
for Men
7:15 p.m.
Check in at front door;
space limited; line often forms by 4:30 p.m.
Learn More


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