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All welcome at United Church Christmas celebration

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  |  Posted: Thursday, Dec 19, 2013 10:29 am

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Dear Friends,

Those of you who remember the TV show Seinfeld will remember the episode where “Festivus” was introduced. “A Festivus for the rest of us.” One Festivus tradition that we saw those many years ago was the “Airing Grievances,” when people would lay out what was bothering them. It seems we all celebrate a little bit of Festivus the whole year round

As I write at the tail end of the “Great Blizzard of 2013” my twitter feed and Facebook news have been full of complaints. “There is too much snow.” “It is too cold.” “Other people are awful drivers.” Oh wait that last one was me. You get my point though we seem to default to complaining when we don’t have to do it face to face or really own the things we post tweet or text.

It also seems to me that on top of the snow, we do a lot of running around. We look for the perfect gift, we need to make sure the kid’s concert gets attended, we have the office parties and the gatherings at home, and the Santa Clause Parade, there is a lot going on. We want to take in as much as we can in this young city of Airdrie because we are searching for authentic community. We also want to project the veneer that we have it all together.

At its heart though Christmas doesn’t have everything wrapped up in a neat bow. Joseph forgot to make reservations. Mary was an unwed teenage mom. The baby ended up being born in a stable. The grace of God is often made known in crisis or dysfunction; just ask some of the folks affected by the flood this summer.

We all have some level of brokenness self-inflicted or laid upon us so if you would like a Christmas experience that is a little messy and that welcomes you just as you join us at Airdrie United Church on Christmas Eve. Our 6:30 p.m. Angels and PJs service is for the young and young at heart everyone is invited to come dressed and ready for bed. Our 8:30 p.m. service features Candlelight and the Sacrament of Communion. On Dec. 22 at 10:30 a.m., we are having a “Service of Carols”. On Dec. 29 “Low Sunday” you can come and hear a classic Canadian tale of things that can go wrong when you forget to buy the turkey.

We extend an invitation to all who are new to Airdrie, or if you have been here forever, if you are new to church, or you always come please join us. If you are straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered you are welcome, and a blessed child of God. If you live with mental illness bring your anxieties and your fears and search for the gift therein. If you are addicted, “poor,” unwashed, if you have ever felt unwelcome, if you need a hug, or a safe place to be. If you are away from home or if you don’t have one, if tears flow because you miss someone, know that you are not alone. Know that the grace of God comes in the midst of messes on a still and silent night. Join us just as you are, blessed and loved, just as we all are by God who loves both deep and wide.

On behalf the people of Airdrie United Church, and on behalf of my wife Tara and our children Edward and Katerina, a Merry and a Messy Christmas to you all

Reverend Dave Pollard,

Airdrie United Church


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