Nurses Notes December 2018
Advent, a time of waiting, of developing incarnation, of looking for Christ everywhere, in everything, in everyone. We will be offering a Spiritual Direction/Formation group the first three Sundays in December, December 2, 9 and 16 at 3:00 P.M. at our church. The focus of this group will be Art as Prayer. Not an artist? Great! This isn’t about you and your ability, it’s about God being present. We will look at collage, mandella and paint pours. I would appreciate folks signing up so I have an idea what to bring as supplies. Sign up sheets will be in fellowship hall or you can call, email or message me. Sessions will last 1 ½ to 2 hours. While young people are welcome, it may not work well for children, as artwork will be completed in contemplative silence.
We enter Advent and Christmas hopefully, even joyfully, and some of us unrealistically. Many have hopes of the “perfect holiday”. What that means varies from person to person, family to family. The concept of the perfect holiday often involves parties, laughter, stunning lights and decorations, amazing and delicious food and drink, perfect gifts, perfectly wrapped with lovely paper, ribbon and bows for each person on our ever-growing gift list, families and friends gathering joyfully and peacefully. Yeah. Like that doesn’t sound like a set up for failure and disappointment!
We’re learning about stewardship of financial resources as Pastor Emily leads us through Adam Hamilton’s book Enough. How many toys can your kids and grandkids really play with? Will they remember who gave them what a week later? What did you receive from whom last year? One of my favorite gifts was from a member of our youth group who donated money to a project accessing wells in Africa. Another was from our youth group who decorated an apron for me and a chef’s hat for John. One of my Hensell nieces requested that we not give the kids toys for Christmas but gifts of time or experience, saying that they will remember and be impacted more by that than any toy. Check out the website for “The Advent Conspiracy” which challenges us with the question, “Can Christmas still change the world?”
Be realistic with your expectations of yourself and others. You will be tempted to overcommit, overdue, overeat, overspend. Instead of “just do it” I’m saying “Just DON’T!” Be good stewards of your emotional and physical resources. Have a talk with your family about what Christmas is about, how you and they can be the incarnation to and see the incarnation in others. Welcome Christ in the stranger, the other. Is your neighbor alone? Nursing homes are often overwhelmed with carolers and programs in December, then the residents are left, some of them without family or visitors. Commit to visiting Fairview monthly, volunteering at the Free Store, Soup Kitchen, Food Pantry throughout the year. We’re celebrating the birth of Christ, the Advent of God made flesh! How can you best do so? (A hint: it doesn’t involve bankruptcy, credit card debt, and gaining 15 pounds!)
Christy Friedel, Parish Nurse, Spiritual Director firstname.lastname@example.org 535-1032