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Today in the Mission Yearbook

Minute for Mission— Nativity of Jesus Christ / Christmas Day

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.

On this weekend we were the only people there, but we were not alone. God and all of nature quietly smiled on us and gave us plenty to think about as we reflected on the hustle and bustle of the previous week. And maybe the “maybes” in our group heard a little whisper from God in the quiet that weekend too.

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
Psalm 97:1-12
Second Reading Titus 3:4-7
Gospel Luke 2:(1-7) 8-207-10
Psalm 98
Second Reading Hebrews 1:1-4 (5-12)
Gospel John 1:1-14