A Christmas Celebration...
December 9, 2020
by Valerie Spiegel and Janet Kittle
”Christmas Joy indeed!"
After 9 months of online-only worship services, PebbleCreek Community Church was able to hold an in-person Christmas Celebration on December 9th. The Bullard Wash Amphitheater provided the perfect setting for 113 congregants and the church staff to gather and celebrate LIVE and in person.
Even though the hats, sunglasses, mandatory masks and socially-distanced seating made it difficult to recognize one another, it was rejuvenating to worship together, especially during this Advent season. Last July, when the reality set in that the Eagles Nest Ballroom would not be available until sometime in 2021, our Elder Board started the search for an outdoor venue to meet our spiritual needs. We are grateful for their leadership, faithfulness and persistence. This Advent service was such a success, Pastor expressed the hope that another similar gathering could occur within 6-8 weeks.
As usual, Rick Kesig opened the service in his jovial manner and mentioned, as did the succeeding speakers, how refreshing it was to welcome REAL people as opposed to talking into a laptop’s white camera light. Donna Giocomo then stilled the crowd with a beautiful rendition of “Away in a Manger”. The poem, “God’s Christmas Tree” by Elizabeth Gill was read by Steve Kirk. With a push of a button, Donna converted her keyboard to full organ mode, the congregation rose and sang some of our favorite Christmas hymns. As we began the third verse of “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” while gazing up at our beautiful, blue Arizona skies, the lyrics, “Hail the heaven-born Prince! Hail the Son of Righteousness” took on special meaning. We solemnly remembered the Lord’s sacrifice for our salvation by partaking in the Lord’s Supper with disposable communion cups.
The Advent reading, Isaiah 9:2-7, led into Pastor Bob’s sermon on God’s peace. In the middle of the afternoon, behind a shopping strip, during the Christmas buying season, it was remarkable how quiet and isolated this park setting became and how little disruption interfered with his soothing reminders. Specifically, Pastor Bob pointed us to Jesus’s words in John 14, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me…. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you…. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
It was wonderful to gather together to celebrate our Prince of Peace and experience Christmas Joy during this challenging time. We look forward to a future time when we can do it once again.”