Nativity Notes
From the Dean
“Everybody is with you”

It is a miracle every time in my book. The coming together of people whose hopes are the same even as the size and scope of the weight of life they carry is as varied and diverse as the spectrum of light. A conductor leading instrumentalists or a chorus of voices, a coach choosing just right the talents before him or her, an architect whose vision for beauty literally already counts on the builders and laborers share in prideful accomplishment. All examples of a liturgy if you will that provides for the transcendence of a “soul gift”. A gift that connects us to something bigger than ourselves, it’s foundation a blessed truth that “everybody is with you”. 

Yo Yo Ma, the world renowned cellist, in an interview on the weekly radio broadcast “On Being”, spoke beautifully on the way he sees music and its transcendence. I paraphrase here his words. The greater purpose (of making music) is that we are communing together. It is not about proving something, it is about sharing something. If a technical mistake is made, it is not to be worried about, because (when we are communing) you know that everybody is with you.

I like to think of worship this way. I think it is a miracle every single week that we come together with the same hope. I think that hope is “to love and to be loved”, by God, by ourselves, by one another. I know the size and scope of the weight of life carried is diverse and various. Yet, we are there, communing with God, with one another. A transcendent “soul gift” given over and over and over again. 

Adult Forums:

Dec. 16 & 23 - Dean Pompa & Winston Alozie: How we live and tell the story of "The Glorious Impossible"
Craig and Nyke Concert  Join Craig Thatcher and Nyke Van Wyk for their annual Christmas performance at the Cathedral on Sunday, December 16 at 4PM. No ticket required, $10 suggested donation.
Youth Christmas Pageant Nativity Pageant is being held Sunday, December 23 during the 10:30 AM Eucharist. (Please have your child arrive at normal Sunday School time of 9:20 AM.) Rehearsal Saturday, December 22 10 AM-12 Noon in the church. Sign-up sheet in Sayre Hall. If you have any questions, contact Jess Cleffi at or cell 484-695-2168.
Organ Noels December 25 at 3 PM. Stephen Williams plays an offering of Christmas music for the organ including the delightful French Noels. This year Stephen will be joined by guest soloist Fiona Gillespie.
Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols Sunday, December 30, 5 PM. Cathedral Choir and Friends. Choral music from ancient to 21st century, punctuated by harp and flute. All are welcome!
Want to learn more about Christianity? Your faith? Come join the Exploring Christian Literature Book Club! We meet the third Wednesday of the month at 1:30 to 3:00 in the Goodwin Room. The next meeting will be December 19. We will be discussing A Man Called Mark: The Biography of Bishop Mark Dyer by Tom Linthicum. Didn’t finish the book? Come anyway. Didn’t read the book? Come anyway. Interested in one of the books? Come anyway. You never know what you will learn. Book choices for the rest of the term: JAN- The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, FEB- Explorer’s Guide to Julian of Norwich by Veronica Mary Rolf, MAR- The Hebrew Bible-Feminist and Intersectional Perspectives edited by Gale Yee, APR- Lving Into God’s Dream edited by Catherine Meeks, MAY- Faithful Neighbors edited by Robert Heaney, et al.
Nativity Book Club will not be meeting in December. On January 31 at 11 AM we will discuss Catherine The Great by Robert Massie. (Note the change of date.) The book for February is Why Religion by Elaine Pagels.
Bethlehem Christmas Simulcast Service Join the congregations of Washington National Cathedral and the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem, Palestine, for this annual live simulcast worship service on Saturday, December 15th (9:30 am in Washington, 4:30 pm in Bethlehem). Prayers, readings and hymns in both Arabic and English alternate between Washington, D.C. and Bethlehem bringing those of different lands, languages and ethnic backgrounds together in celebration of the birth of Jesus. All are welcome.
Emergency Shelter Season 2018-2019

Bethlehem Emergency Sheltering will be once again be in action this winter to shelter our street neighbors. A single site at Christ UCC Church, 75 E. Market Street, will also be used again. We will be covering the odd numbered Thursdays as we did last year, and will be using SignUp Genius for online registering of volunteers. The dates are December 1 through March 31 as we've done in the past. You can also contact either Deacon Rodney ( or 484-232-6122) or James Reader ( or 610-417-7418) should you need assistance in signing up, or if you have any questions.

We need people to help register guests, get them their bunk assignment, prepare and serve meals, chaperone through the night and coordinate clean up in the morning. The shelter will open its doors to guests at 5:00 pm and all guests will be out of the building by 7:00 am. This year there will be at least two paid staff members on site from 4:00 pm until 8:00 am.

Parishioners in the Hospital  If a family member is hospitalized, please contact either the clergy or leave a message with the parish office (610-865-0727) informing us of who is in the hospital and at which hospital.
Christmas at the Cathedral
Celebrate the season with us.

Sunday, December 16 - 4:00 PM Christmas & Candlelight with Craig & Nyke

Sunday, December 23 - 10:30 AM Nativity Christmas Pageant
* There will be 8 AM Holy Eucharist
Monday, December 24 - Christmas Eve
5:00 PM Festive Eucharist, Special Music, Children's Sermon, Bishop Kevin Nichols Presiding
10:00 PM Music from the Rood Screen
10:30 PM Candlelight Festival Eucharist, Bishop Kevin Nichols Presiding

Tuesday, December 25 - Christmas Day
10:00 AM Holy Eucharist with Music
3:00 PM Organ Noels with Stephen Williams & guest soloist Fiona Gillespie

Saturday, December 29 - 5:00 PM Celtic Christmas, Candlelight, Live Celtic Music, Carol Sing-along

Sunday, December 30 - 5:00 PM Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols

Sunday, January 6 - Celebration of the Epiphany
Services Saturday at 5:00 PM and Sunday at 8:00 AM, 8:45 AM and 10:30 AM
9:15 AM Epiphany Breakfast with special guest Einstein the PA Snow Camel

Sunday, January 27 - Parish Annual Meeting & Breakfast
8:00 AM Holy Eucharist
9:00 AM Sunday School & Annual Meeting
10:30 AM Holy Eucharist
Cathedral Schedule

Friday, December 14
10:00 AM Nativity Staffs the Thrift Shop

Saturday, December 15
8:00 AM Finance Committee - Room 23
9:00 AM Altar Guild Prep – Cathedral
9:00 AM Nativity Budget Committee - Room 23
10:00 AM Thrift Shop open until 1 PM
5:00 PM Holy Eucharist – Cathedral

Sunday, December 16
8:00 AM Holy Eucharist - Cathedral
8:45 AM 321 Contact Worship Service - Sayre Hall
9:20 AM Sunday School | Adult Formation
10:30 AM Holy Eucharist - Cathedral
4:00 PM Christmas & Candlelight with Craig & Nyke Concert - Cathedral

Monday, December 17
9:00 AM Flower Arranging for Hospital Visitation - Sacristy

Tuesday, December 18
12:00 PM Staff Holiday Luncheon - Dining Room
1:00 PM Al-Anon Meeting - Room 21
6:30 PM Vestry Meeting - Dining Room

Wednesday, December 19
9:00 AM Holy Eucharist | Healing Service - Good Shepherd Chapel
9:30 AM EfM - Room 22
10:00 AM Nativity Staffs Thrift Shop
1:30 PM Exploring Christian Literature Book Club - Goodwin Room
3:15 PM Private Tutoring - Dining Room
4:30 PM Cathedral Choristers Rehearsal - Choir Room
6:30 PM EfM - Goodwin Room
6:30 PM New Bethany Ministries Parenting Group - Good Shepherd
7:00 PM Choir Rehearsal - Choir Room

Thursday, December 20
10:00 AM Nativity Staffs the Thrift Shop
11:00 AM Bethlehem Steel Vets - Room 21
7:00 PM Cathedral Handbell Choir Rehearsal - Cathedral
7:00 PM S-Anon - Room 21

Friday, December 21
10:00 AM Nativity Staffs the Thrift Shop
2:00 PM Staff Holiday Gathering - Office closes at 1:30 PM

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321 Wyandotte Street | Bethlehem PA 18015
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