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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 19, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas 6A □ Heratd-Zettungtl Friday, DecembeMjMggT Hera Z e i t u n g A’ 2* Sir k» ta Church Ufo ■ To talk with News Editor Sue England about Church Life, call 625-9144, ext. 221. Church ' Religion Briefs NMdtlflati spotlight tho nativity NEW CASTLE, Pa. (AP) — Armed with chemical heat packs and hot coffee, members of the King’s Chapel United Methodist Church created an outdoors nativity for worshippers who watched from the warmth of their cars. About IOO people from the small church in New Castle, 43 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, took part in this year’s pageant, its fourth. The two-night run includes IO tableaus along the church’s 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 that’s only because there’s a fire there," 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 officer’s backside The church’s drive-through nativity is, Barron said, "a Christmas gift for the community.*’ 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 death," Hinckley said in his annual Christmas devotional address to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day 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 hts atoning sacrifice came eternal life." he said. Hinckley said nothing in history compares with the gift of Christ's 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 Calvary’s hill, to die a mortal death and rise again " Honwkts stay put for Hi# holHoy BUENA PARK. Calif (AP) Eighty homeless people will have a warm Christmas and New Year's, 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 don’t have to kick anybody out over the holidays," 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 ( he church also provides cots, food and clothing to hundreds who don’t sleep there. Muslims spsk solutions to split DEARBORN HEIGHTS. Mick. (AP) — About 400 Muslims from southeast Michigan look to bridge the gulf between Sunnis and Shiites two sects with centuries-old divisions. There are an estimated 50,000 Muslims in the Detroit area, evenly divided between the Sunni and Shute 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 have come to live here. That combination gives us a real opportunity to overcome our differences," said Imam Mohamad All Elahi, a Shute scholar from Iran who runs the Islamic House of Wisdom For many years, local Muslim leaders in the area tolerated each other at banquets, academic conferences, interfaith gatherings and the Muslim council. Now they look to hard-core 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 what’s 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 year’s “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 (“slices, dices and makes julienne fries!”) 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 child’s playtime agenda. When my kids were younger and this sort of thing happened, I would try to use it to my advantage during those all-too-frequent admissions of boredom on their part. “Where is that toy I got for Christmas?” I would ask. Then I would offer the parental threat: “I’m not going to get you any more presents if you aren’t 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 die magnificent gift that He is should find time to enjoy Him all year. Unfortunately, many treat Him as something for which thqy have been asking: they receive Him at Christmas, but shelve Him after the wrapping paper is discarded and die -tree is removed. I wonder what our Heavenly Father must feel. Does He feel die same joy that we feel when littie eyes ate brightened upon die opening of a fantastic present? Does He feel disappointed when the incredible Gift is spumed for the next exciting distraction to come our way? Like many gifts dial we put into our already cluttered toy box, die gift of God’s 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 don’t perceive it for what it really is: a life-giving 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 die value of Jesus doesn’t 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. God’s 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 Braunfels.) 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 Christmas,” 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, IO; and Oliver, 15, will be performing during Fiesta’s 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 second-grader at Frazier Elementary and loves to sing. Bethany is a fifth-grader 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 ninth-grader at Canyon High School, plays the drums in the band and loves Knoto suDcmnoa Th# performing Wilson* ars, from left. Oliver, Winston, Bethany, Martha and Baileigh. computers. According to Winston, this opportunity has been a wonderful learning expenence for the entire family and has given us an excellent way to share with the community the true meaning of Chnstmas. ‘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 mine if I was saved? The question took me by surprise because for so ' many years that question has not occurred to me. Fie went on to say that he didn’t 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 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 earned 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 RV Parks for a week. On Nov. 16, 1997, the Sonshine Singers tilled 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 “Chnstmas — A Time for Singing” at First Baptist Church. f*\*. i - j iii m rTlOID luommw 1996 officers of the Sonshine Singers of First Baptist Church are, front left, beck, president Paul Hall, photographer James Pickard, reporter John Lee and Netorian Mildred Pickard; front, a aer story Estella Camel, ministry treasurer Marjorie Johnson and vice president Margaret Norrie. Artist celebrates God in New Mexico By CECILE S. HOLMES Houston Chronicle ALBUQUERQUE, N M — The reach of God’s love is as tall as a mountain and as a wide as a river in Meinrad Craighead's world. She celebrates it daily in the hand-built studio where she lives and works in a quiet, wooded residential urea 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 life," she said. "I had spints 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 mc — without doubt — it was time to come beck." To her, art is like a tunnel and the artist a guide through darkness into light. As the artist leads, the viewer embraces ever-expending vistas, led by the artist as seer-shaman. Some scenes attract and nurture; others repel and challenge But all invite one into a deeply Patti Brooks Krtimnow Sunday School. My heart went out to him. In my belief system, since ttye Christ child is / bom within rife, 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 God’s image and likeness. We leave no one out. Come join us for our Christmas service at I [ Sunday. We meqtjt the Senior 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 sins.” Matthew 1:21 (Rev. Patti Brooks Krumnow is minister of the Unity Church of New Braunfels.) Young Life hosts all-area clubs Young Life hosted two AII-Area 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 teenagers participated in each All-Area Cub. Young Life hopes to conduct two All-Area Clubs each semester in addition to each school’s weekly chibs. Young Life is open to anyone in high school lf anyone has questions or would uatcoMs * raw in IMMU-^nogf. Photo submitted Young Ufa's second Ak-Arse Club was conducted on Nov. 24 at Christ Praabytsrien Church. like more information about Young Life, call the Young Life office at 625-1212. (Provided by Young Life) New organization to provide Christian advocacy and support spiritual world, where the cycles of life move in ancient, life-giving rhythms. Craighead’s 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. Craighead’s unusual outlook and creative gifts led writer Anne Bancroft to describe her as a "solitary paintcr-poet-mystic in the tradition perhaps of William Blake," the early British romantic poet and artist, in Bancroft’s book. Weavers of Wisdom (Artois, $8.95). “I can think of no better time to announce the opening of Village Advocates, a non-profit Christian organization, than during the Advent Season — when the whole Christian community waits with great anticipation for the coining of Jesus,” 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, etc.) and further support to those at risk and in crisis,” Langham saki. 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 arc 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 hands-on course rn growth and discipteships. (Provided by Village Advocates) Sand Church Life submissions to Church Life,707 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 Alton Seay Intermediate School Hwy 46 just 7« mile west of US 281. Sunday Service 10:30 Contemporary Worship. Open Communion rn ;