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:
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!
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
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.