We are only 20 days away from our next Christmas Café. This year‘s theme is “Scenes of Christmas” and when we think about scenes of Christmas we imagine; the manger scene, the giant Christmas tree in Washington DC, the Christmas table with all of its adornments, movies such as “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Miracle on 34th St.” For others it’s a memorable icon such as Christmas lights outside their home, Rudolph the red nose reindeer on a snow covered roof, a giant Frosty the snowman in the front yard. Obviously old Saint Nick is one if the greatest icons figures of the Christmas season. Let me interject that when the white bearded fellow starts bellowing “Happy Holidays” then he better quit sending Christmas gifts. Enough said. Part of our outreach strategy for 2019 is to celebrate with others the many scenes of Christmas which bring joy to this holiday season. Who isn’t looking forward to turkey and all the trimmings, gathering around the fireplace with family, decorating the Christmas tree, watching Clarence get his wings, and possibly a football game or two. I could keep going on and on about different activities. At the Dokken home part of our Christmas festivities include wild rice soup, we also take the time to read the story of the birth of Jesus recorded in Luke chapter 2. Prior to the wild rice soup, our family attends the candlelight Christmas Eve service. So on December 14th when our family, friends and visitors gather at Hawthorne Assembly, we will all enjoy some great festive finger foods and enjoying the church facility being fashionably decorated. All of this and more will provide for a great evening of holiday celebration. Obviously a question which many have on their mind, and I completely understand, which I want to address is why do we go through all of the expense and energy for an event like this. It could be seen as very entertaining event and not a traditional church activity. Having this unique outreach is why it is so important we invite individuals who don’t attend typical churchgoing activities. We want all to feel welcome when they walk into our church home and observe all the iconic connections of Christmas which are familiar with most who celebrate Christmas. Charlie Brown, candy canes, Christmas trees and more, give us a platform to share with our guests the truest scene of Christmas which is a baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. There are 250 invites available, today, for you to give to friends, family and whoever. My challenge to all of us is make sure the overwhelming majority of these invites go to people who typically don’t come to church. Absolutely feel free to give them to other believers, but take it one step further and tell those who you invite to invite others who don’t usually find themselves in a church on Sunday. Janet and whole host of other individuals are already working hard at providing a memorable and well done Christmas Café. Let’s do our part by praying for many visitors, good weather, and a great message about God coming to earth as Emmanuel.