Our God, heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain,
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign;
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty---
Angels and Archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air;
But only His Mother
In her maiden bliss
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.
— From the Organ Bench —
One of the most beautiful hymns, in my opinion, of the Christmas Season is one that we don't hear a lot of. In 1872 a beautiful poem under the title "A Christmas Carol" was published by English poet Christina Rossetti. In 1906 Gustav Hoist would set music to these beautiful words of Rossetti composing what we now know as "In the Bleak Midwinter." The title of this hymn is all too appropriate for the times we find ourselves in. During this pandemic, uncertainty and doubt the world seems 'bleak' to say the least. This hymn, however, provides so much hope. God entered a bleak and suffering world in the most humble of ways. Born in a bleak stable, God came to us to give light, joy, hope and peace. In our seemingly bleak and cold world we are reminded that this Child, born to us, paves a way for a brighter and hopeful New Year. The last verse gives us the recipe for some hope and joy and that is to simply give Christ our heart. As we begin a New Year during the Bleak Midwinter maybe we can allow this hymn to provide the comfort and hope we need and to remind us that giving Christ our heart can shine some light in an all too seemingly dark world.
Music Director /Organist
In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan;
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow, In the bleak mid-winter
Annual Reports are due
There is a box in the SS room marked for them or you can get
them to Clare directly.
The Annual Business Meeting
of the church is immediately following the Feb 14th worship service.
What can I give Him,
Poor as I am? ---
If I were a Shepard
I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man
I would do my part, ---
Yet what I can I give Him, ---
Give my heart.
81 Hancock Road • Williamstown, MA 01267 • (413) 458-3467
Rev. David Hurst!
We have several options for Sunday, January 17th Worship
WilliNet will have Sunday service at 9am and 4pm.
Rerun again Wednesday at 10am and Friday at 7pm.
The internet link to this week's service is: https://vimeo.com/499833340
Our God, heaven cannot hold him, nor
Heaven and earth shall flee away, when he
comes to reign.
In the bleak mid-winter, a stable place
The Lord God almighty, Jesus Christ.
In The Bleak Winter,
v2 by Christina G. Rosseti
— Remember in Prayer —
The Prayer List is attached. Please email the church (email@example.com) if you would like to make additions or subtractions. Keep those on the list in prayer. . . It Works!
Members of the congregation
Norm & Betsey Burdick, Sam Westcott, Maggie Guiden, Jack Haig, Cecile Love,
Polly Roberts (Dalmaso), Missy & Brian Young, Don Quimby, John Storey, Mary Kirby, Caroline Martel, Mickey Thaisz, Anne Tiffany
Dick Diest, cousin of Wayne Morrison
Linda Cangelosi, sister-in-law of Mary Ellen Cangelosi
Charmaine Lapier, sister of Eunice Lapier
Hank Schneider, brother of Mary Ellen Cangelosi
Becky Leto, friend of Clare Morrison
Megan Jennings Dostal, friend of Chris van Luling & community
Matt Parker, friend of Chris van Luling
Julia Peele, sister of Bonnie Herr
Michelle Nicklein, daughter-in-law of Virginia Nicklein
Victor Fraenckel friend of Bob & Janet Mayer
Cathy Foley, friend of Chris Bradich
Carol Clement, Mary-Ellen Cangelosi’s sister
Sandra Joyce, friend of Ann Tiffany
Sue Linquist ,Bob and Janet Mayer’s daughter
Susan Rockefeller’s daughter’s upcoming adoption hearing for her
Mary Beth Miller, friend to both Janet Holmgren and Bridget Spann
Sol Wertkins, friend of Clare and Wayne Morrison’s son
Damon George, son of Jon George
Dr. Wayne E. Wilkins family, a wonderful member of the
All of the First Responders who put their lives in jeopardy to care for all of us. For those working in grocery stores, gas stations, hospitals, nursing homes, health care facilities, food banks… who are working in spite of the danger to themselves. Prayers for anyone who is overwhelmed by this pandemic. Prayers for those who are feeling isolated or afraid. Prayers that God give us the mindfulness to reach out by phone to those who we are not frequently in touch -those on the outer edges of our friendship & family. Prayers for all people as we look to “love our neighbor” as God has commanded.
Happy New Year to one and all!
Let us pray for a new year full of recovery from Covid 19 and all its suffering. Let us pray for a recovering economy and all the people Covid 19 has affected. Even in these times we can celebrate the coming of God in Jesus. We can celebrate the newness of life and enjoy the hope of the coming of the kingdom described in this beautiful hymn.
I love this "Ye Olde" carol, "In the Bleak Mid-Winter," written in 1872 for its beautiful words and harmony. Matthew sang it so beautifully on Christmas Eve. The English poet Christina Rossetti wrote her beautiful piece of theology, to express the humility of our Lord's birth in such a rich and loving way. She contrasts Jesus' birth in a simple manger to his second coming, One "so great that even heaven cannot hold him!" The hymn reminds us that there is assurance in knowing the story of Jesus' life, ministry, and death, culminating in the celebration of Easter!
Rosetti reminds us that we celebrate these bleak days of winter [and Covid] with patience and trust, knowing that our Lord will come, like the spring. All life's seasons are best lived in faith. Through the ups and downs of life, through all the milestones and celebrations, we see God's love in all that we do and say.
May God bless, Happy New Year.
— January Calendar —
January 1st New Year's Day
January 3rd Morning Worship 9 am, Communion
No WilliNet or Vimeo this week dur to vacations at their studio
January 10th Morning Worship 9 am
January 12th Church Council 7 pm
January 14th Deacons Meeting 3:30 pm
January 17th Morning Worship 9 am
January 21st Christmas Day
January 24th Morning Worship 9 am
2020 Reports are due today to be included in the Annual Report
January 31st Morning Worship 9 am
February 14th Annual Meeting following morning worship
Worship Servicescan be seen on WilliNet channel 1303 Sunday at 9am and 4pm with reruns Wednesday at 10am and Friday at 7pm.
(Except week of 1/3)
A BIG THANK YOU to all those that supplied Poinsettias and the front door Wreaths for the Adven Season!
As we close out 2020, all organizations and committees should be putting together their reports. There is a box in the Sunday School room for those reports.
From the Sunday School . . . Caroling for Second Congregational church members was a wonderful experience. "The highlight of the month" wrote one person we sang for. What joy and bright smiles we witnessed. Yet I think most carolers would echo a sentiment from Acts 20:35: "It is more blessed to give than receive." Many of us felt more Christmas spirit after caroling than at any time this season. In a season that has been so solitary, so silent, and devoid of so many special holiday traditions, getting together to sing some cherished songs was a wonderful way to connect safely and share the holiday spirit. We are thankful for our SCC family and thankful we were able to honor our Savior's birth in shared song.
The Deacons have been doing their duties in this time of craziness. We have only needed one to greet people each Sunday. People have been picking up a program as they enter and either mailing or leaving their offering envelopes in the front on the plate. As I think back, I believe we should have cancelled Christmas Eve service as only two people attended. Hopefully better days are coming.
The Dorcas would like to thank all who donated to the Cookie Mission. It was a great turnout. A big Thank you to Janet Holmgren and crew for Caroling and delivering cookies for us.
Clare will be doing the Annual Report this year and will need all Committee Reports for the year. Please have them in by January 31st. There is a box labeled Annual Reports in the Sunday School room.
The Mission Committee:We provided Gift Cards, Candy and money to the Williamstown Food Pantry for the Christmas Mission. The Dorcas Society provided two canned hams. Thank you, Clare and Mickey, for arranging this donation. We delivered to the Pantry on the 15th. Carol DeMayo was very appreciative of your generous gifts again this year. Gift cards and candy were placed in each box that was picked up at the Pantry on December 16th as part of their Christmas Giving. The Pantry provided fresh vegetables and fruit. Our committee wishes to thank all of our members and friends who donated towards this mission. It was amazing to deliver these gifts in a time of pandemic. We all take care of each other. We are blessed.
One of other Missions for 2021 is Doctors Without Borders which we have supported for several years. They provide and deliver lifesaving medical care in many foreign countries. They are a top-rated charity with a "Four-Star Rating" of accountability and a "Guide Start Gold" rating for transparency. Top-Rated Charity with "A" rating from Charity Watch. Their doctors save lives in conflict Zones like Yemen, battle disease in the Congo, fight malnutrition in Nigeria and treat many people who are along the Migrations Routes in Central America. Our church will be contributing $300 this coming year for this Mission. You can find more information on their website if you are interested. * There is a booklet on the table in the Fellowship Hall at church if you wish to review any of their missions. It describes where and what these doctors provide for services and the risk they take by going into these frontiers to deliver lifesaving emergency medical care to people in crises. We are proud to support these medical teams to save lives around the world.
The Trustees were very pleased to welcome David Young to the committee. He has agreed to fill the position vacated by Bart vanLuling. David not only provides his knowledge and expertise but also represents the future of the church. We had the parsonage fireplace chimney inspected and cleaned. Neil and Jessie are very pleased to be able to use the fireplace. The snow plowing has been done in a timely manner. The children next door have enjoyed making a fort with the huge pile that comes with the long run up the driveway.
Offering Envelopes for 2021 are available at the rear of the sanctuary. If you do not find a set with your name on it take a blank set and fill out your information when you use the first envelope so Jean Richer can send out statements.
Happy New Year to All!