Lullaby for the Christ-child
First published in 1539 in Germany, the Christmas hymn “From Heaven Above” recounts the angels’ message to the shepherds and then the spiritual journey of the baptized Christian to Jesus’ manger-bed.
Try singing verses 8, 9 and 13 (translated by Catherine Winkworth) as a tender lullaby of praise, a song of love and a prayer to the newborn Savior. If the original tune is unfamiliar, use “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow” or “Just As I Am.”
Welcome to earth, thou noble Guest,
Through whom the sinful world is blest!
Thou com’st to share my misery;
What thanks shall I return to thee?
Ah, Lord, who hast created all,
How weak art thou, how poor and small,
That thou dost choose thine infant bed
Where humble cattle lately fed!
Ah, dearest Jesus, holy Child,
Make thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
Within my heart, that it may be
A quiet chamber kept for thee.
The Mount Vernon First Christian Church gathers together as a community of faith, declaring Jesus our Christ, the one who reconciles us with God and with each other. We provide a place of traditional worship in a forthright, supportive, and open atmosphere. We are a congregation committed to serving local and global outreach ministries.
A Saint, a grandfather, and paper boats filled with flowers.
By Rev. Jack R. Miller
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, known most of her adult life as Mother Cabrini, was the first citizen of the United States to be canonized. She was declared the “Patroness of Immigrants” in 1950. The memorable life of Mother Cabrini began in the northern regions of Italy and ended at Columbus Hospital in Chicago sixty-seven years later. She was not only the founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, and a tireless champion of Italian nationals, but Mother Cabrini was responsible for the establishment of nearly seventy institutions. Among them were orphanages, schools, and hospitals dispersed over eight countries.
From an early age she was drawn to the missionary life. Her father Agostino would often read aloud to his children from a book of missionary stories which stirred the young child’s imagination. While visiting her uncle, a Catholic priest, she would make boats from paper, fill them with flower missionaries, and send them off down the canal to India and China.
Roberto Licciani was a sixteen-year-old Italian immigrant when he entered the United States on February 25, 1913. Born in Vecchiano, in the Tuscan region of northern Italy, Roberto would spend the next three years working for the railroad as a laborer across the country, becoming a citizen in Elko, Nevada on May 15, 1916. Roberto Licciani was “Nonno” to me, my grandfather. Did he ever cross paths with Mother Cabrini as she helped the Italian immigrants in New York, or visited the labor camps across the country? I may never know for sure. This I do know; my grandfather was from northern Italy and taught me how to make paper boats as a child. Something I have done for my own grandchildren without realizing the connection with history. Now I tell them the story of the little paper boats Mother Cabrini made as a child. The ones she filled with flower missionaries and would send down the canal on imaginary journeys to India and China.On November 13, 2010, I was ordained to the priesthood on the feast day of Mother Cabrini. So now I remember her and Nonno in a special way each year. A paper boat is folded carefully and placed on the altar before celebrating my anniversary mass. It is filled with flowers and my prayers of thanksgiving for a Saint who touched millions, and a man, although hardly a saint, who touched the life of one small child.
Minister Family Musings
Steve & Lela Coleman
Check the bulletin board for updated information about our congregation and the Disciples of Christ organization.
"A Caring, Welcoming Community of Faith"
Join us for our Advent Journey
Advent is a journey of waiting. A time when we as the church recognizes that not all is right in the world, and we hope for a time when all is made right. To journey through Advent is to hold in tension our current reality, and the hope of a world made right.
One one hand, we live in a world where systems and powers allow oppression and sin to flourish. And it seems that, in spite of our best efforts, those systems and powers seem to be winning. We see daunting issues like climate change, racial injustice, poverty, and countless other realities, and wonder what we can do.
On the other hand, we hope for something more. For a world made whole. Advent is a time when we stare injustice in the face and say, “You might think you have won, but something new is coming. Something more powerful than you. Your days are numbered.”
This Advent let us hold the idea of Sabbath as our guiding theme on this journey. Sabbath according to the biblical narrative is about much more than rest. It is about how we orient ourselves to the rhythms of life. It is about creating rhythms of life that allow life to flourish and justice to break into our world. It is about choosing the economy of abundance over the economy of scarcity that is so prevalent in our society.
As we sit in a world not yet made whole, hoping for justice to break in, let us begin to practice this idea of Sabbath together. Whether you have been playing with the story of Jesus your whole life, or are wary of any ideas of faith, you are welcome on this journey with us.
Written originally by Luke Sumner and used with his permission.
Mount Vernon First Christian Church
Pastoral Support for 2020
Month Pastor(s) CellPhone _
January-Revs. Jack & Liz Miller - 360-510-9081/360-318-6068
February-Rev. Steve Coleman--360-391-0395
March-Revs. Jack & Liz Miller- 360-510-9081/360-318-6068
April-Rev. Steve Coleman -360-391-0395
May-Revs. Liz & Jack Miller - 360-510-9081/360-318-6068
June - Revs. Liz & Jack Miller -360-510-9081/360-318-6068
July- Rev. Steve Coleman- 360-391-0395
August-Rev. Steve Coleman-360-391-0395
September-Revs. Liz & Jack Miller-360-510-9081/360-318-6068
October-Rev. Steve Coleman-360-391-0395
November-Rev. Steve Coleman- 360-391-0395
December-Revs. Liz & Jack Miller-360-510-9081/360-318-6068
Note: If pastoral care is needed for such things as a hospital or extended care facility visit, emergency room visit, personal consultation or conversation, or telephone call, please contact the Pastor(s) for the month shown on the above list.
News from the Pews
We welcome the beginning of Advent on Sunday, December 1. Join us as we follow the journey of the shepherds to the stable in Bethlehem.
We keep our homebound and traveling friends and members in our thoughts and prayers this month. Vi Richardson is recovering from a fall. She would appreciate a planned visit or call. Christ Smith would love to have you visit him at Ashely Gardens in Mount Vernon.
We will hold General Board Elections on December 15 following Worship Service. Please plan to attend. There will be a report from our Treasurer as to our financial situation. We are operating with reduced funds in 2019.
The Colemans and the Millers will again share the pulpit in 2020. There is an updated schedule available near the double doors, as well as the printed sermons for those who wish to read as the sermon is spoken each Sunday morning.
We are joining with Family Promise to provide gifts for a deserving family in that program. If you are interested in contributing, please see Jeanne or Steve.