by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster
Things are happening at St. Peter Church, which stands waiting at 4901 Main Avenue, Ashtabula. A newly called Priest, The Rev. Peter W. Nielsen, III, has made it his mission to make sure the smallest among us understand the gifts which Christmas brings with a short service, lasting only 45 minutes to an hour.
So on Christmas morning, when the packages have been opened, the church doors will swing wide as the bells ring out their song, welcoming everyone to a birthday celebration.
This is planned as a party for a special child, loved by billions around the world.
Father Peter announced the morning service, which will start at 10:30am, as a come as you are celebration. PJs and slippers are completely acceptable. This is, after all, a birthday party for a child who even when He was born knew each of us. Children attending will raise their voices with those of their parents, parishioners and guests, making a joyous noise to our Lord, lead by our Choir Director Danielle Cline.
We will begin a celebration of the life of Christ when he was only a few hours old, clasped in the arms of His Mother. His presence gives us every reason to celebrate and share a special peace and His story, savoring its mysteries and its lasting promise.
Expect to be moved by the Christmas Story read to us by Father Peter as it is shared in a way new to all as St. Peter renews its ministry.
Children of all ages are welcome. This is their service. With the congregation of St. Peter Episcopal Church all will hear a Christmas Story which is familiar and yet made new. This is children's time to experience the wonders of the gifts which came to each of us through the birth of the Baby Jesus.
Together, Father Peter says, we will make the Christmas story our own, listening and making joyful sounds as we share our best gifts with everyone.
A Child was born and laid in a manger by a mother who knew the preciousness of the Gift He brought. At our celebration all baptized will be welcome to receive the Eucharist. All will receive a special Christmas blessing.
After the service we will share a birthday cake in the dining hall, blowing out the candle together as we look forward to a year filled with hope and renewal.