Dear Friends,
Yesterday started with our chancel choir’s annual cantata.  Beautifully done.  Very well attended.  And the day ended with our second annual Simply Worship Christmas Party.  It was a joy to participate.  There was joy on every face of those who were our guests of honor.  Thanks to you, there were gifts and cookies in abundance.  It was one of those days — I’ve had quite a few — that makes me feel so blessed to be your pastor!
David and Pamela Berkowitz attend two churches.  Ours is one.  The other is the Presbyterian Church in town where their son, Aaron is the pastor.  David sent me this yesterday.  I asked him if I could share it with you and he said I could.  Enjoy.
In Christ,
I had  a great day today. I was a bell ringer for the Salvation Army. It was only for one hour at our local Fred Meyer store.  I enjoy studying people and this was a great opportunity to do that while at the same time, helping out a very worthwhile charity.  I enjoyed making eye contact with total strangers and watching their response. As they were going in, I wished them a cheery good morning (OK, OK, it was 10 A.M., but that’s still morning) and on the way out, a sincere Merry Christmas.  
The responses are amazing.  Some will look right back at me and interact as if we’ve known each other for years, warm as old friends.  Others will avoid acknowledging your existence and pretend you aren’t even there, as if to even glance at you is enough to cause them an incurable infection. (Just for fun, I do that at malls, too. Fascinating the range of human response.)  It was incredibly gratifying to see the charity of people, making an offering into the red pot. Some put in rather large bills. Maybe I wasn’t to notice, but it’s hard to avoid noticing a $50 bill. Some of the warmest moments came from watching parents teach their children about generosity and watching the kids put change into the pot. Their little faces just light up.  There are some mighty nice people in the world.  

One bit of silliness did creep into my head.  Every once in awhile, as I was ringing my bell, the clapper would get caught in the chain. The clapper is the part that hits the bell and makes it ring. That made me think of the old Johnny Carson/Jack Webb skit.  For those of you too young to know, or have really bad memories, Jack Webb starred as Sgt. Joe Friday, the straight faced, matter-of-fact investigator in the semi-documentary police procedural, Dragnet, set in Los Angeles. Each show would start, “This is the city. Los Angeles, California” and then go to a scenic shot of the city.  Johnny Carson was the host of a nighttime talk & variety show. Probably the best that ever was. 
Enjoy the video. Watch as each man tries his best to keep a straight face. (I did mention that it is some silliness.)
And if you get a chance, you might consider being a bell ringer for the Salvation Army. I’m glad I did.
David Berkowitz