The Christmas season at the Congregational Church of Excelsior in 2017 was exciting, as always. On Sunday, December 17, the Chancel Choir, joined by our youth, presented Candles & Carols: A Service of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love, a cantata by Mark Hayes. The kids did Christmas readings interspersed with familiar yet unique sounds of the season, some of which the congregants joined in on, all of this in our beautifully decorated sanctuary. Lydia Holsten, director of music, and Janet Holler, interim director of Christian education, put together the wonderful program.
Then on Christmas Eve, the morning worship service at 10 a.m. was supplemented with a candlelight service at 4 p.m. Large candles added to the ambience of the sanctuary throughout the service, and we ended by awaiting the arrival of the Christ child in only candlelight.
Beyond the church services, we gave to the community during the season through a mitten tree, laden with warm winter items that went to Sharing and Caring Hands, a gift card drive yielding 50 Target cards for local at-risk teenswho receive spiritual and emotional support through Tree House, and donations of canned vegetables and fruits for ICA, our local food shelf.
It was truly a season of giving and love.