Hope, a Blue Christmas, and Joining Hands with Steamboat Island Church

On December 13th St. Christopher’s jointly sponsored A Blue Christmas Service with Steamboat Island Church. Fr. James preached the sermon, Pr. Heather consecrated the Eucharist, and they both shared in the leading the other parts of the liturgy. The service is geared for anyone whose Holiday Season is more ‘blue’ in feeling than the “Holly Jolly” reds and greens. “Sometimes we feel forced into being all ‘happy and nice’ during the season of Advent and Christmas. The reality is that life isn’t always easy or pleasant, even during the Holidays and sometimes especially because of them. The Blue Christmas Service tells how Christ came into the real world – one filled with darkness, sorrow, hurt, and longing – a world in need of a Savior,” said Fr. James. The message focused on Jesus the Savior whose coming brings hope, comfort, peace, and joy even in the midst of hardship and grief. 

Pr. Heather Sparkman, a United Methodist pastor, with Fr. James at Companion Cove for the St. Francis Day Blessing of Animals in October, sponsored jointly by St. Christopher’s and Steamboat Is. Church

When asked why St. Christopher’s joined with Steamboat Island Church in sponsoring the service Fr. James replied, “One of Jesus’ most poignant prayers was that all his disciples would be unified. Pr. Heather [of Steamboat Island Church] and I agree that the mission Jesus has given to our congregations is best served by the Holy Spirit of cooperation rather than a fearful or jealous spirit of rivalry. Both congregations are called to the same mission – to make disciples that follow Christ; we have many things in common and yet also different ways of approaching that mission. Pr. Heather and I believe the congregations can reach out to more people through teamwork than we could apart and on our own. I personally think St. Christopher’s proves that true in its ethos as a Lutheran AND Episcopal congregation. We’ve reached more people a federated, community congregation than we did before. As a community church, cooperation like this is simply in our DNA because Jesus, above all else, is our DNA.” 

Fr. James also mentioned that because of the cooperation between the two congregations Steamboat Island Church planned its service on Dec. 23rd to make available another option for worship in the community instead of overlapping with St. Christopher’s. The two congregations publicized their services together in a red flyer mailed out to the community and shared the costs of the publication, effectively cutting costs for both congregations.

St. Christopher’s and Steamboat Island Church will continue their Advent and Christmas celebrations in December. 
Steamboat Island Church – Dec. 23rd, 4:30-5:30 at Companion Cove 
St. Christopher’s Community Church– Dec. 24th., 3:30, 5:30, and 8:00pm. 

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