“Once in David’s Royal City” has become my favorite carol. I did not grow up singing this carol…I did not learn to love it in seminary, as I did some of my favorite hymns. Only in recent years have I learned and grown to love this carol.

 I guess I first heard it on public radio’s broadcast of the Nine Lessons and Carols Service from Cambridge each Christmas Eve. It is always the first carol sung, the Processional carol, and the first verse is sung solo each year by a boy soprano. It is lovely! It is moving:

I am writing this on December 7…..the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day…..a day that has “lived in infamy.” I saw on the news this morning that 4 of the 5 living crewmen from the Arizona are in Hawaii for the commemoration—one of them is 104! They have stories to tell, and such stories should never be forgotten. What is it they say—to forget history is to relive it? Pray for peace on this day…..pray that there will be no WWIII. Christ, the Prince of Peace, came to bring peace on earth.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope you had time with family and friends to catch up with each other, to tell stories, to remember other Thanksgivings and loved ones. I hope you had some quiet time to ponder how gracious and giving our God is and to remember that everything we have and everything we are, are gifts from God.

This Sunday is the last Sunday of the liturgical/worship year. It is known as “Christ the King” or “Reign of Christ,” and reminds us that the one’s coming we began to anticipate last year in Advent is the Christ who lives and reigns forever. Human leaders will fail us. Christ will not. What better affirmation on the last Sunday of the year!

We have had two of our four weeks of the fall stewardship campaign, Giving to Grow.

The first week was more or less an introduction , and this past week we considered John Wesley’s advice, “Earn all you can,” as long as, that is, we do so without harming ourselves or others physically, mentally, or spiritually. I had interesting responses, many people convincing me that Wesley’s words are timely still.

It’s been almost two weeks now since Hurricane Matthew brought its devastation to our state, after wreaking so much havoc in the Caribbean and up the Atlantic coast.

(This post was also included in this week’s First Words.)

We are well into October now, into the “P” month of pumpkins, pecans, and pot pies! Each of these have become a fall tradition at First Church…..pumpkin sales going to support youth ministries, pecans to benefit Congregational Care ministries, and pot pies to fund missions.  Your purchase of any and all of these go for worthy causes!


Subscribe to our newsletter

We'll send you frequent updates about church news and events.

Stay Connected