Candlelight Christmas Eve Service

Join us in our family service on this special evening, Christmas Eve, Wednesday, December 24 at 6:30 for a candlelight service of readings and carols.  Children of all ages are welcome.  Our Church is located at the corner of Balclutha and Comet, one block off Foster City Boulevard.  Parking entrance is on Comet.

Believing in Christmas

As I reflect on the advent and Christmas season, I am always reminded of the importance of believing. There are other themes, but this one is crucial. I think this fact is what got the whole Santa Claus thing off the ground with children. Though I must admit that it is pretty much out of control, it’s original intent was really good — that believing has its rewards. For children, it’s presents. For us belief is, as well as it should be, about something else.

As I wade though my Christmas movies and stories the theme comes through time and again, that when we believe in love, we will be sustained by that love. The gift then is celebrating that sustenance.  As we grow we see that as much as love has power, it is also quite vulnerable. Love must be constantly cared for and nurtured.

Every year, for example, Cameron and I get a new dated ornament for our tree. This year we placed a sand dollar ornament given to us by Rowe. As we put it on our tree in future years we will remember our wonderful year at IUC and all the love that was shared with us. It supersedes any of the other sadness we may have experienced in other situations. Has there been sadness for us? Of course. We are no different from anyone else.  The love we have experienced and the love we know to believe in encourages us to move forward with our lives as we look forward to our next adventure.

“God with us” is the theme of Christmas. In order for us to grasp its significance depends on our belief and our willingness to reach out and receive this life changing, life-fulfilling gift. I Love you all…

Merry Christmas,
Jarv

The Glorious Sounds of Christmas

I love the music of this wonderful season. You just can’t beat Christmas music. This month Cameron and I got to hear two wonderful concerts right here in the Foster City area. One was a concert called Alleluia, by Foster City Community Chorus, and then we heard Gloria by Viva la Musica.

In the first concert I knew most of the music including the Randall Thompson, Alleluia, and the Magnificat, by John Rutter. Both were excellent, tried and true pieces. I also loved hearing From a Distance, by Julie Gold whom I knew from my days as a Cabaret performer in New York City. On the other hand I did not know any of the featured music performed by Viva la Musica. One was a A Savior is Born written by Texas composer, Randall Alan Bates, and the other was Gloria, by Giovanni Maria Ruggieri, a Baroque Venetian composer. Both concerts ended with a series of familiar carols.

And, who doesn’t like a Christmas carol sing-a long? It is truly what makes the season bright. I like singing them all. You will notice I start right away programming all the Carols in our December worship services. Outside of just two or three, the Advent songs don’t do very much for me. By the way,  I was also pleased to see names of IUC church members in each of the choruses including our own wonderful Anna Khaydarova who accompanies both choruses.

Listening to the music that boldly proclaims the coming of the Christ child into our midst, gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect, and yes, even escape from some of the horrific happenings we have experienced recently. The music tells the story that we need to hear so much — that God is with us, bringing us the peace, hope, joy, and love we need to keep us going – calling us to be bearers of the light.

Faithfully,
Jarv