I'm Still Looking for Christmas

I'm Still Looking for Christmas

. 4 min read

Our December newsletter:

Oh, I'm still looking for Christmas

Tell me what Christmas means?

Tell me what's the worth?

Singing peace on earth

When there's war on the TV screen?

Oh, I'm still looking for Christmas

Tell me how does Christmas work?

With our flags unfurled

Singing "Joy To The World"

When there's so much pain and hurt

Oh, I'm still looking for Christmas

Switchfoot, “Looking for Christmas”

Friends and Partners,

I have begun listening to my Advent and Christmas playlist and was surprised again by the insight and longing of the song excerpted above. It fits with our theme for Advent 2023, “The Irrational Season,” from a poem by Madeleine L’Engle:

This is the irrational season

When love blooms bright and wild.

If Mary had been filled with reason

There’d have been no room for the child.

There is something irrational about the promise of Advent, the expectation that God will come, the anticipation of the kingdom where the last shall be first, swords shall be beaten into plows, crocus shall bloom in the desert, justice shall flow like a river, and God shall wipe away every tear. And yet, we long for this day, we crave this gift. Even the longing and the craving is a sign: God has made us for this, for kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

I join you in prayer for kingdom come. And I invite you to participate as much as you can with the variety of opportunities we have in this holy season. In particular, I want you to know that Sunday December 24 is BOTH the fourth Sunday of Advent and Christmas Eve. We will hold one combined service that Sunday morning at 10:00 am for the fourth Sunday of Advent and our typical two Christmas Eve services at 7:00 (Family) and 11:00 pm (Reflections).

I also want to thank you for your generosity in so many forms, whether joining a mission team or donating food for the food bank, visiting as part of our care team or volunteering with Vacation Bible School, helping with worship technology or singing in the online or in person choirs, serving as an usher or giving financially. Together we impact countless lives.

Your contribution statement for the first three quarters of 2023 is attached. With any questions, please contact Carol.Lada@ChristontheMountainTop.org. In addition, you will find a flyer on year-end giving offering education on tax-friendly options for your generosity. Please be sure to have any year end gifts in the office or postmarked by December 31 in order to be credited to your 2023 giving. In addition to gifts of all sizes for our general fund, we continue to seek extra gifts to help pay off our mortgage principal (now just under $34,000). Thanks again for giving yourselves to Jesus first of all!

Still in One Peace!

JP Bohanan, Pastor


Message series: The Irrational Season, Hope in Struggle (3 Dec), Pardon and Peace for Guilt and Shame (10 Dec), Joy for the Devastated (17 Dec), and Favor for the Lowly (24 Dec).

Readers for Advent and Christmas: We are looking for groups – households, friends, couples – to read Scripture and light the advent wreath, for each of our Sunday services and for our Christmas Eve services. Please contact Suzanne.Bowman@ChristontheMountainTop.org or 570.474.6060 with your interest.

Angel “Tree” (benefitting children in Head Start Hazleton) is up on the bulletin board in the narthex. Gifts need to be clearly marked with their tag securely attached and are due back no later than Dec 17. Tags may be picked-up and gifts returned on Sunday during worship (8am-12:30 pm), Tuesday & Thursday from 6:30-8:30 pm.

Christmas Caroling at Smith Health Care, Sun 17 Dec 2-4 pm

Christmas Caroling at the Bonfire, Sun 17 Dec 5:30 pm-


This year’s Christmas Offering will support two of our mission partners, Habitat for Humanity and Mission Central.

We are looking for volunteers to play in our pop-up Christmas Eve orchestra during the 11 pm service. Dust off that high school band instrument and join the fun!

Life of WORSHIP:

COMMUNITY of Friends

  • Are you considering becoming a member of Christ Church? We are scheduling member intro dates for those exploring what that means. Contact the office to sign up.
  • Youth are invited to make cinnamon rolls with Jean Bohanan.
  • NEW Women’s group, "New Year – New Friendships." Meeting at the church Sunday 7 Jan 2024, 4 to 6 pm. All ladies welcome. Bring an appetizer or dip to share. Contact Kim Kleban at wckim4857@aol.com by December 27th to sign up (or Suzanne at the church office if no email).
  • Grief Support's December meeting with the candlelit Time of Reflection for 14 Dec at 7 pm on-line. Those attending will need something to light. There will be more time for spontaneous group discussion this year with a brief candle lighting ceremony to reflect on their losses, changes in their lives, and blessings.
  • Check out the full list of current groups at the end of church-wide emails.

Purpose of MISSION

  • Habitat for Humanity work day, Sat 9 Dec. Contact Steve Ross at (570) 417-2805 to sign up.

Ad-Ministration (Business):

  • Church council meetings are open to the public, currently scheduled on 22 Jan, 19 Feb, 18 Mar, and 15 Apr.
  • Mortgage: We have made significant progress toward paying off our mortgage. At the beginning of 2022, the principal remaining was $94,767.41. At the beginning of 2023, the balance was down to $61,634.49. As of 30 June, the balance was down to $33,860.66! (All gifts towards the mortgage go toward paying down the principal early.)
  • We are in the planning process for improvements to our bathrooms and main hallway. Please support the council’s discernment with your prayers and, if led, with your gifts (designated for bathroom/hall projects).