Christmas Gift

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You can also mail in a check with Christmas Gift in the memo line to:

First Congregational United Church of Christ
2201 7th Ave.
Moline, IL 61254 

In the bleak mid-winter Frosty wind made moan;
Earth stood hard as iron, Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter Long ago.

Christina Rosetti

Christmas 2020

The Christmas carol written by Christina Rosetti in 1872, In the Bleak Midwinter, has a very different feeling than the usual joy and shepherds and angels along with Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.  But some Christmases are pretty cold and bleak.

December 2020 is not yet cold, but it has some bleak qualities about it.  We are being warned not to gather as usual, and the older I get the less important are the things of Christmas and the more important are the relationships and gathering and seeing family and friends.  And that, specifically, is what we are being warned against.

2020 has been difficult for your church.  We are a congregational church that has been prevented from congregating by the pandemic.  We are in a pastoral transition, we have made big efforts in mission and we are blessed to have an Intentional Interim Minister Becky David beginning just this December.

I am writing to you to ask for a special Christmas gift to your church to help us get started on a strong footing in 2021 and support Pastor Becky.  I am too old to dig and ashamed to beg, says a servant in Luke 16:3.  Well, I am too proud to beg for myself, but not too proud to beg for my church.  I am making a special Christmas offering to the church, equal to an extra month of giving, and beg you to do the same.  I am blessed to be able to do this.  Please give as you are able.

The Rosetti carol also ends with a question of giving.

What can I give Him, Poor as I am?
If I were a Shepherd I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him, Give my heart.

We have been using this in worship at the time of the offering during this Advent season.  It emphasizes our relationship of love with Christ and the church.

Thank you for remembering First Congregational Church this Christmas. Please return the enclosed Christmas Offering Envelope or give online at God bless you and those you love.

Michael Swartz
Associate Pastor