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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung: Friday, December 19, 1997 - Page 6

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   New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 19, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas                                6A a HeraldZeltungg Friday December Church Life To talk with News Editor Sue England about Church Life call 6259144 ext 221 Church Life Religion Briefs Headlights spotlight the nativity NEW CASTLE Pa AP Armed with chemical heat packs and hot coffee members of the Kings Chapel United Methodist Church created an outdoors nativity for worshippers who watched from the warmth of their cars About 100 people from the small church in New Castle 43 miles northwest of Pittsburgh took part in this years pageant its fourth The twonight run includes 10 tableaus along the churchs U shaped parking lot and typically draws 800 carloads of viewers The one scene that everyone wants to be in is the scene where the shepherds are and thats only because theres a fire coordinator Jodie Barron said Actors warm up in the church kitchen during breaks One night between visitors the multitude in Scene 8 did the chicken dance to stay warm In Scene 2 Mary and Joseph steered clear of a donkey guilty one year of biting a police officers backside The churchs drivethrough nativity is Barron said a Christmas gift for the Focus on Christ at Christmas SALT LAKE CITY AP Amid the frantic commercial pace of the holidays it is important to pause and reflect on Christ and the origins of Christmas according to Mormon President Gordon B Hinckley He came to do for us that which we could not do for ourselves Without his atonement we would be helpless before the unrelenting grasp of Hinckley said in his annual Christmas devotional address to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints Because of him and of him alone there is hope there is peace there is light and understanding Through his great act of redemption through his atoning sacrifice came eternal he said Hinckley said nothing in history compares with the gift of Christs birth and life The great political empires have come and gone But the lonely figure of the Son of God hanging on the cross of Calvarys hill to die a mortal death and rise Homeless stay put for the holidays BUENA PARK Calif AP Eighty homeless people will have a warm Christmas and New Years thanks to a court ruling in a case that put charity in conflict with city codes The Rev Wiley Drake of the First Southern Baptist Church on three years probation for violating zoning laws by housing homeless people at the church has been given until Jan 4 to pare down the population to 52 from the current 80 The good news is we dont have to kick anybody out over the Drake said The bad news he said is that about 30 people will eventually have to leave Most of the homeless spend nights in an enclosed patio behind the main church buildings The church also provides cots food and clothing to hundreds who dont sleep there Muslims seek solutions to split DEARBORN HEIGHTS Mich AP About 400 Muslims from southeast Michigan look to bridge the gulf between Sunnis and Shiites two sects with centuriesold divisions There are an estimated Muslims in the Detroit area evenly divided between the Sunni and Shiite traditions although Sunnis make up 90 percent of the roughly I billion Muslims worldwide This country is different because all of the different nationalities from all over the world lave corne to live here That combination gives us a real opportunity to overcome our said Imam Mohamad AM Elahi a Shiite scholar from Iran who runs the Islamic House of Wisdom For many years local Muslim eaders in the area tolerated each other at banquets academic conferences interfaith gatherings and the Muslim council Now they look to hardcore discussions for acceptance Do you treat Jesus like Tickle Me Elmo It never fails Months of time energy and money are spent in preparation for The Big Day Christmas Stress about giving gifts mounts as expectations of whats under the tree rise in our hearts Anticipation is realized on the morning of Christmas as neatly wrapped paper flies in the frenzy of discovering the contents of each package Ambivalence is common since we receive presents which we greatly longed for as well as interesting presents that will become next years white elephant gifts Subsequently comes the part of Christmas that we try to avoid but seems to still happen No matter how special valuable or enjoyable a particular present may be unless it is highly utilitarian dices and makes julienne it soon finds its way to a shelf to be remembered occasionally if at all This seems to be most prominent among children We give them the toy of their dreams only to wonder why the toy soon disappears from the childs playtime agenda When my kids were younger and this sort of thing happened I would try to use it to my advantage during those alltoo frequent admissions of boredom on their part Where is that toy I got for I would ask Then I would offer the parental threat Im not going to get you any more presents if you arent going to play with the ones you already have This scenario is not unlike our lives as Christians The birth of Jesus generates plenty of excitement and expectation Churches will be full on Christmas Eve in recognition of both Tim Judkins the historical event and hopefully the personal application of that event in our lives But what happens the next day Those who welcome Jesus to earth and accept Him into their hearts as the magnificent gift that He is should find time to enjoy Him all year Unfortunately many treat Him as something for which have been asking they receive Him at Christmas but shelve Him after the wrapping paper is discarded and the tree is removed I wonder what our Heavenly Father must feel Does He feel the same joy that we feel when little eyes are brightened upon the opening of a fantastic present Does He feel disappointed when the incredible Gift is spurned for the next exciting distraction to come our way Like many gifts that we put into our already cluttered toy box the gift of Gods Son Jesus often pales in our eyes when the daily routine surfaces with all the bumps grinds and curveballs We forget that this gift is more than a toy Perhaps its utilitarian value is misunderstood because we dont perceive it for what it really is a lifegiving personal relationship that rewards and fulfills our daily existence and that also helps us to deal with the surprises of life Many will dust off this gift again at Easter and play with it for a few days If the value of Jesus doesnt find its way into the heart and life of each person it will once again be relegated to the toy box until something occurs that jogs our memory or stirs our conscience Gods gift to us is priceless and incredible Not only is Jesus what we truly need but if we see Him for who He is we will see that He is what we want too Rev Tim Judkins is associate minister at First Protestant Church in New NB family sings their faith at Fiesta Texas A New Braunfels family begins their second year to perform at Six Flags Fiesta Texas in the Christmas Musical The Majesty of under the direction of Mike Meece director of The Promise in Branson Mo It is presented in the ornate Zaragoza Theatre complete with elaborate costumes live animals and flying angels Rev O Winston Wilson and his wife Martha and children Baileigh 8 Bethany 10 and Oliver 15 will be performing during Fiestas Holiday in the Park through Jan 4 Wilson is the pastor of the New Braunfels Church of the Nazarene plays bass and acoustic guitar drums piano and sings Martha also loves to sing She is student teaching at Smithson Valley High School She attends Southwest Texas State University at night and works for Comal Independent School District Food Service Department Baileigh is a secondgrader at Frazier Elementary and loves to sing Bethany is a fifthgrader at Canyon Intermediate School who sings and play the piano Bethany is a featured soloist in the musical and can be seen on the Fiesta Texas advertisement on television Oliver is a ninthgrader at Canyon High School plays the drums in the band and loves Photo submitted The performing Wilsons are from left Oliver Winston Bethany Martha and Baileigh computers According to Winston this opportunity has been a wonderful learning experience for the entire family and has given us an excellent way to share with the community the true meaning of Christmas Sonshine Singers serenade across state About 14 years ago John Rushing then music director at First Baptist Church in New Braunfels organized the Sonshine Singers composed of senior adults only Over the years this senior choir has performed throughout Texas and in New Mexico and Colorado In May 1996 a chartered bus carried them to Colorado where they sang at three churches and a state Baptist encampment for seniors In February 1997 the group motored to the Valley singing at churches and winter Texan R V Parks for a week On Nov 16 1997 the Sonshine Singers filled the choir loft at First Baptist supported by the newly formed Ukulele Band also directed by Rushing Betty Haas is the pianist for both groups The Sonshine Singers will present a musical for senior choir special Sunday titled Christmas A Time for Singing at First Baptist Church Photo submitted 1998 officers of the Sonshine Singers of First Baptist Church are from left back president Paul Hall photographer James Plckard reporter John Lee and historian Mildred Plckard front secretary Estelle Carnal ministry treasurer Marjorie Johnson and vice president Margaret Morris Artist celebrates God in New Mexico By CECILE S HOLMES Houston Chronicle ALBUQUERQUE The reach of Gods love is as tall as a mountain and as a wide as a river in Meinrad Craigheads world She celebrates it daily in the hand built studio where she lives and works in a quiet wooded residential area near Old Town Albuquerque Within sight are the majestic Sandia Mountains A few minutes walk away is the Rio Grande Earth and water Heights and depths The balance pleases Craighead a visionary artist and writer who will lecture in Houston this weekend Craighead says this stark and beautiful New Mexico landscape is her heartland She first embraced it in I960 when she moved to Albuquerque after graduate school for her first job teaching art and art history Two decades later she returned certain this is where she belonged It was really a homecoming The whole time I was away this archetypal dream land was really in my dream she said I had spirits of this land that followed me the whole time I was away It was those very spirits who in my dreams in the late 1970s and early 1980s told me without doubt it was time to come To her art is like a tunnel and the artist a guide through darkness into light As the artist leads the viewer embraces everexpanding vistas led by the artist as seershaman Some scenes attract and nurture others repel and challenge But all invite one into a deeply spiritual world where the cycles of life move in ancient lifegiving rhythms Craigheads works are less about religion than about life and faith through the centuries They are peopled with symbolic animals from crows to coyotes The mythologies of cultures ranging from the Pueblo Indians to the ancient Greeks shift through her drawings Words weave into litanies in accompanying texts Artists and humankind especially women play an important role in a docudrama played out on canvas Craigheads unusual outlook and creative gifts led writer Anne Bancroft to describe her as a solitary painterpoetmystic in the tradition perhaps of William the early British romantic poet and artist in Bancrofts book Weavers of Wisdom Arkana Let every heart prepare Him room Joy to the World the Lord is come Let earth receive her king What a wonderful time of year It is a time of high expectations and lots of activity We in Unity acknowledge this time of year as the time to concentrate on the birth of the Christ Child within us When a birth is imminent there is much preparation for the actual event We prepare ourselves by calling to mind our trangressions of the year We ask forgiveness so we can have a pure spirit in which to welcome the Christ child As with any birth there must be peace and quiet with which to nurture this tender spirit That is exactly what we do we spend time in the quiet and nurture this tender little one so it can grow strong and healthy I was asked one time by a cousin of rhine if Lwas saved TheiquestiorT took me by surprise because for so many years that question has not occurred to me He went on to say that he didnt know if he had the faith that salvation required Here was a man who had graduated from the Baptist Seminary in Louisville Ky and had spent years teaching Patfi Brooks Krumnow Sunday School My heart went out to him In my belief system since the Christ child is born within me and God dwells within me as well how can I be separated from God at any time Following that thought through how can I not be saved We in Unity believe that we all contain the spark of divinity and we are made in Gods image and likeness We leave no one out Come join us for our Christinas service at llSunday We rneeljt Center 655 Landa And she will bear a son and you shall call His name Jesus for it is He who will save His people from their Matthew Rev Patti Brooks Kmmnow is minister of the Unity Church of New Young Life hosts allarea clubs Young Life hosted two AllArea Clubs this semester The first was Oct 20 and was conducted at TBarM The second was Nov 24 and was held at Christ Presbyterian Church High school students from New Braunfels Smithson Valley Canyon and Seguin participated in the clubs Both evenings were full of excitement music skits laughter and a talk from one of the Young Life leaders about the person of Christ An average of more than 250 teen agers participated in each AllArea Club Young Life hopes to conduct two AllArea Clubs each semester in addition to each schools weekly clubs Young Life is open to anyone in high school If anyone has questions or would O YOUMG uri COU5ARS RANGERS lATADORS Photo submitted Young Lifes second AllArea Club was conducted on Nov 24 at Christ Presbyterian Church like more information about Young Life call the Young Life office at 6251212 Provided by Young Life New organization to provide Christian advocacy and support I can think of no better time to announce the opening of Village Advocates a nonprofit Christian organization than during the Advent Season when the whole Christian community waits with great anticipation for the coming of said Ed Langham director of the new Christian outreach corporation Our purpose is to extend God love throughout the entire Christian community with visitations support groups grief substance abuse prayer and further support to those at risk and in Langham said Long active in health care and church organizations such as Order of St Luke the Physician Stephens Ministry and the Anglican Prayer Fellowship Ed brings to the Christian community a varied background in pastoral care areas There are no fees for the services provided by Village Advocates but they hope and pray that donations and gifts will allow them the continue and enhance this ministry to the community One other facet of Christian Support will be a study of experiencing God with video and audio helps this offers a handson course in growth and discipleships Provided by Village Advocates SencJ Church Life submissions to Church Landa New Braunfels TX 78130 T This Christmas Season be part of something new Hill Country Christian Church A new Church in formation Now meeting at Arton Seay Intermediate School Hwy 46 just mile west of US 281 Sunday Service 1 Contemporary Worship Open Communion   

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