December 25, 2016
We celebrated a very special Christmas holiday last year, with family from the West Coast visiting for a couple of weeks. After days of last-minute shopping, a beautiful Christmas Eve worship service, parties and a family gift exchange, it was time to relax, get out of the house and do something fun and different for a couple of days — so of course we went to Dogwood Acres!
Dogwood Acres is a retreat center and camp owned by the Presbytery of Florida. It is run by a small staff with the help of volunteers. We stayed in the lodge, hiked the trails, checked out the swimming lake and the gopher tortoise habitats, counted deer, played Scrabble and relaxed. And all of this still left time to do a little local mission work. We chose from the camp volunteer worklist, cleaning up around the cabin area one day and having a complete weed-pulling festival at the labyrinth the next. The four adults and three kids in our extended family — a family of believers and “maybes” — had a blast. The nicest vacations don’t have to be lengthy, expensive or far away — they just need to include loved ones, a purpose and good times.
James Vance, Dogwood Acres Ministry Team Chair
Today’s Focus: Nativity of Jesus Christ / Christmas Day
Let us pray for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Martha Miller, OGA
Eliza Minasyan, PMA
Let us pray
Lord, we come to you as we are, seeking your love and listening for your voice. We thank you for the gift of opportunities to serve, and for your ability to turn our action into faith. Amen.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, December 25, 2016, the Nativity of Jesus Christ (Year A)
Christmas: At Dawn
First Reading Isaiah 62:6-12
Second Reading Titus 3:4-7
Gospel Luke 2:(1-7) 8-207-10
Second Reading Hebrews 1:1-4 (5-12)
Gospel John 1:1-14