Christian Women host ‘Happy Holidays’ luncheon

The December 12 “Happy Holidays” luncheon of the Christian Women’s Club, held at the Allegheny Community Center, began with Karen Zurkan leading the opening prayer. Birdie Crandall, Chair, welcomed any guests attending for the first time. David Ford of Jamestown, N.Y., began the music with the group joining him in caroling “Jingle Bells”, “Silent Night”, and “Joy to the World”.

Debi Sprague next conducted the door prize drawings for the hostess gifts. Birdie asked Nancy Schuyler to lead a prayer for those who are struggling with hard times. Sarah Chamberlain and Nancy Evertson assisted with the brown bag pot luck. Birdie asked for a second prayer for all those facing difficult challenges keeping in mind they need our support of general prayers and prayer chains.

Christian Women’s Club is affiliated with Village Missions whose goal is to go out into small rural communities and build up attendance in areas reaching people spiritually who may not have a church. In addition, the mission’s intent is to spread the Word of Jesus to young children who have had little or no exposure to Jesus in their young lives.

Ford continued his sing-along with the carols of “We Three Kings”, “The First Noel”, and “Deck the Halls”.

Sprague then introduced the spiritual speaker, Pastor Jon Meyer of Scandia Covenant Church, who shared his story of how he came to join the ministry and accept Jesus Christ. In addition to pastoring and volunteering at the Crossing, he led the WAHS boys’ and girls’ tennis teams for the past three years. He learned from his tennis coach at a young age to not overthink everything as that complicates things and gets in the way of yourself.

He compared those words of wisdom from his coach to our spirituality.

He has talked to lots of people throughout his ministry who don’t go to church. He has found out that we, as Christians, overthink religion. We fall away from God as we may have had a bad experience, only dabble in occasional church, or have not been exposed to church as children growing up. We divide ourselves over what is the correct way to be baptized, when to receive communion, or we have conflict over rules of doctrine or certain ritual. Does it really matter? All that matters is that we go to Heaven when we leave this earth.

What is Christmas really about? It is about a baby who was born to fulfill a prophecy and promises of God. We forget our roots. We allow the details of the Christian faith to replace the foundation of our faith. Meyer told the audience that the most famous Biblical passage is John 3:16. God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

Pastor Meyer summed up by reminding us our religious roots are in John1.

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. In him was life and the life was the light of man.

Ford ended with the audience singing “The Twelve Days of Christmas” before closing the meeting in benediction.

Those from the community who are grieving the loss of a loved one or depressed at Christmas time are invited to attend a second Blue Christmas service at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 23, at Emmauel United Church of Christ, 1710 Penna Ave E. and Alson Sts.

The first service held earlier this month was well received and another has been requested.

The January 9, 2018 meeting will be held at the ACC at noon with music provided by Ford. Featured guest will be Jason Passinger of Warren with leather and shoe repair. The spiritual guest will be Pastor Madilyn Edwards of Emmanuel United Church.

A $9 donation covers lunch and program. Call Yvonne Lee for reservations at 726-0796. New attendees are welcome.