Nativity Notes
From the Dean
But those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Another translation uses the word wait, where hope is used in this verse from Isaiah. Either way it gets at the same thing.

I am watching our world ratchet up for the upcoming festivities the holiday season brings. Decorations arrived on city streets in October. Christmas music blares from the radio even before thanksgiving this year. Concerts, events, preparations typically raised to a fever pitch.

Yet my days, though filled with enthusiasm for what comes next, is also filled with the quieted songs of Advent, which is by definition preparation. My days include the regular rhythm of life and death, fear and hope, struggle and promise.

I am mindful of those who have lost loved ones just now. I am mindful of those we walk with who are dying just now. I am mindful of those who are trying to make sense of choices they have made and consequences they now must face. I am mindful of those whose relationships are fragile and who walk delicately each day. I am mindful of those chased from their homes by fire, by earthquake, by war, by oppression. I am mindful of children who are vulnerable and weak, hungry, or distanced from love.

I am mindful of the broken, the brokenhearted, the disillusioned, the dispossessed, the harassed, the addicted, the prisoner, the widow, the orphan, the refugee. I am mindful of all those struggles associated with the fragility of the human condition and I am mindful of my own weakness and desperate cry for compassion and hope.

Advent. Preparing. Preparing each day to come to find a way to cut through the noise and activity of the “season” and admit we can’t find strength alone. We find it “waiting”, “hoping”, in the source of all life. The waiting and hoping connects us to one another. 
Adult Forums:

Dec. 9 - The Rev. Mary Catherine Cole, Director of Pastoral Care, St. Luke's University Health Network will present Grief and the Holidays.
Dec. 16 & 23 - Dean Pompa & Winston Alozie: How we live and tell the story of "The Glorious Impossible"
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.
Past & Present Luncheon TODAY Friday, December 7th - Past & Present's Annual Cookie Exchange and Festivities. With decorations, music, sharing stories and yummy foods, not to mention the COOKIES, we always look forward to this get-together. The time is 11:00 AM for enjoying music and our time together. Lunch at noon. We look forward to seeing everyone and, oh, bring a friend. 
P.S. We are making crèche sets our decoration theme. So if you have a set that could be on display during the luncheon, please bring it. We will have a safe haven waiting for it in the dining room and it would be so much fun to see all the different kinds.
Christmas Support  Each year our congregation identifies and supports a few families by helping them with the purchase of Christmas gifts. If you would like to be part of this gift of generosity, please submit a gift card to Target or Walmart in the range of $25-$50 and send them to the office by Thursday, December 13. Dean Pompa will get these to families.
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.
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 (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 7
10:00 AM Nativity Staffs the Thrift Shop
11:00 AM Past & Present Luncheon & Cookie Exchange - Dining Room, Kitchen

Saturday, December 8
9:00 AM Altar Guild Prep – Cathedral
10:00 AM Thrift Shop open until 1 PM
1:00 PM Diocesan Finance Committee Meeting - Room 23
5:00 PM The Feast | Celtic Eucharist – Cathedral

Sunday, December 9
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
12:00 PM Holy Hike
1:00 PM Private Recital - Cathedral

Monday, December 10
9:00 AM Flower Arranging for Hospital Visitation - Sacristy
10:00 AM Food Access Committee - Room 21

Tuesday, December 11
1:00 PM History Group - History Room
1:00 PM Al-Anon Meeting - Room 21
2:00 PM Clergy Bible Study - Good Shepherd Chapel
2:30 PM New Bethany Ministries Staff Meeting - Goodwin Room
7:00 PM Property Committee - Conference Room
7:00 PM Yarns of Love - Dining Room

Wednesday, December 12
9:00 AM Holy Eucharist | Healing Service - Good Shepherd Chapel
9:30 AM EfM - Room 22
10:00 AM Nativity Staffs Thrift Shop
1:15 PM Yarns of Love - Dining Room
3:15 PM Private Tutoring - Good Shepherd Chapel
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 13
10:00 AM Nativity Staffs the Thrift Shop
7:00 PM Cathedral Handbell Choir Rehearsal - Bishop Gray Room
7:00 PM S-Anon - Room 21

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

Cathedral Church of the Nativity
321 Wyandotte Street | Bethlehem PA 18015
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