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By Pastor Joe

We are now 12 days away from our next Candlelight Communion Christmas Eve Service. I hope you will all plan on attending. Invite a friend and don’t forget you can come as you are dressed: jeans, sweatpants, ugly Christmas sweater, combat boots, camouflage, Green Bay Packer spirit-wear, you get the idea! Everything starts at 5pm and 1 hour later we will be wishing each other a Merry Christmas. The service is a great addition to your family activities during the Advent season. The Dokken family always reads the story of Christ’s birth before we begin opening presents. Chicken-wild rice soup is also another part of our family celebration. Our children have never known a Christmas Eve without attending a service. The Christmas Eve service is not required, it is not biblically mandated, and does not make us more righteous. Yet, I want the world to know Christmas is all about Jesus, and since our Candlelight Communion Christmas Eve service is all about Jesus, I’m all in! This 1-hour service could be the only time a loved one of yours hears the gospel message during the next 12 months. The lights dimmed low, and everyone holding their own candle and singing Silent Night is very special. The reason for the brief, but memorable service is we understand the importance of hanging out at home with family and friends on this special night. Lauren, Matt and Eleanor will be with us, so will our youngest son Timothy. Presents will be opened and wrapping paper will be burnt up in the fire! We used to have a giant fireplace in our Northfield home, and wrapping paper was the major source of combustion on December 24th. Please don’t tell the Tree Huggers about what has become a Dokken tradition. Just to clarify, any old or special wrapping paper receives a pardon and is recycled for future Christmas celebrations.

As you read this article the tables are still in place in the sanctuary, from last night’s Winter Wonderland outreach. One of the show’s favorite songs from previous events is Beautiful Star of Bethlehem. On the Wednesday night just prior to our Café, the group of singers was practicing. Once again, by faith, I’m believing it will be one of the special moments experienced on Saturday night. Saturday night can’t come soon enough after watching the group perform. The spirit of “together is better” could be felt as the practice session continued for about 30 minutes. Speaking even more, by faith, about the Christmas Café which happened last night, the whole evening should be very special. The planned treats look fantastic, the imagery is memorable, the music and messages practiced were very touching. I want to extend my sincere thanks to everyone who was part of this great outreach. We even had some resemblance of a Winter Wonderland outside. Enjoy it while it lasts, next week most of it will be melting away. Highs in the 40’s are project by Wednesday! What a privilege it is for Janet and me to serve this fellowship of believers. Merry Christmas!


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