These first few weeks of November, we are seeing all of our committees meet as we prepare for the holiday season ahead. We are working very diligently to ensure that we have a special celebration no matter what may be happening in the world around us.

In the midst of our conversations, something occurred to me. We have been so focused of late on all the things we cannot do that many of us have lost sight of all the things that we are actually doing.

For example, did you know that First Presbyterian of Hollidaysburg has opened our doors to a whole bunch of groups from our community who need a safe place to meet when they couldn’t find another?

How about that a big portion of our Peace & Global Witness offering from World Communion Sunday is going to an organization helping local foster children in our own Blair County?

Or that yes, we are one of the churches that is absolutely still taking part in ARW’s Christmas4Kids, providing gifts for children in our community, because there is no virus or tragedy that will prevent us from helping to ensure that children get toys at Christmas?

Or that the money from our poinsettia sales this year will support one of our local florists and that the remainder will go to help people recovering from recent all the fires, hurricanes, and earthquakes through Presbyterian Disaster Assistance?

How about that we will be having Christmas Eve worship with candlelight at multiple times, a children’s nativity the last Sunday in Advent, and are working on safe singing for the Advent & Christmas season?

Or maybe you could tell people that we are actively praying for them, for our community, our country, and our world?

And never forget, you are walking with your pastor as she faces a devastating loss in her own family. That together you know you will get through the coming months and into the years ahead to the bright future where God is already leading us.

If nothing else, tell them that.

Yes, there are many things we can’t do. And I miss them as much as anyone.

But we are the church of Jesus Christ. Our work continues no matter how we have to adapt. And we have never stopped.

So start spreading the good word. FPCH is alive and well. We are open for worship, even if it looks a little different. And, most importantly, if anyone is looking for a home for Christmas Eve, we will certainly have a space for them.

Blessings, Pastor Janie

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