What? It’s almost Christmas! Yes I am sure it is a sign I am getting older but it does seem hard to believe we already here at Christmas and the end of the year. Thankfully, before our Moravian Lovefeast on Christmas Eve to get us ready for the reencounter with the Child of Bethlehem and the light of Christmas. And after that I am looking forward to the time to pause and celebrate “God with us” and reflect on 2013 before I go rushing into the New Year. And here in this place I begin to stop to remember 2013 and my encounters with the dark places and light there. It has been a year of challenges in many ways yet in the midst of the challenges I have encountered sacred in arms to lean on, words of encouragement and more numerous than I can count, acts of kindness that have helped me over the bumps. Many of those encounters have come from the community and family here at HUCC. And as we reflect together we too have many causes to celebrate --with a renewed vision, and an affirmation of that vision from the wider church in the granting of our loan and with most importantly, new faces, folks that in the count of Sundays are new but in the connection in our hearts feel like they have always been a part of us, pieces of our puzzle that we just discovered. And together these faces new and old have done big things-- fed our community, renewed a home in Mebane through a Brush with Kindness helped a local school and much more. In 2013, we have been abundantly blessed and we will remember the blessings with thanksgiving and the challenges as ones we faced together. And 2014 is a lot to look forward to with the revitalization of our building, our Associate Pastor’s ordination, new folks who will join our family, exciting mission opportunities and finally the big a blowout party on our 25th birthday as we rededicate our building and ourselves for the next 25 years. We are blessed and I am blessed. So as I in this season to remember and look forward to the encounter with God’s light, I wish a Peaceful and Joyful Christmas to each one of you who are a my HUCC family and to all who may read these words who are family members I have yet to meet. For unto us a Child is born, unto us the light has been given and the glory of God shines round about us.