Sunday, November 27, 2011

First Sunday of Advent

Lots of fun today at church!  Our family "catered" the coffee hour, and the reception of our goodies was most gratifying.  It turned into an extended family project, as my mom baked and contributed a gorgeous, huge almond-y coffee cake and oatmeal cookies. I made a couple things, and then a friend (technically not family, but we're awfully fond of her!) at church volunteered a number of Other things (squash soup, nachos, and bread!), so we ended up with a very nice spread.

After "coffee" the actors for this year's pageant got suited up and we drove over to the farm of one of our members to take the Christmas Pageant pictures.  I had the directorship of the pageant for the last two years, and both of them had to be postponed due to icy roads.  This year our priest's wife is doing the thing, and she had the very clever (to me) idea of doing more of a "PowerPoint" pageant. Pictures are taken in advance, then presented by someone (I assume our director) who will pretend to be explaining the Christmas Story to a group of children gathered at the front of the church.  I'm not sure what they'll show the pictures on (our church does not have a television or screen behind the altar), but that's not my problem!  And the restful part is that, once the pictures are done, the whole thing is ready to go whenever needed, and no issues of flu or impassable roads need interfere. My pageants were pretty darned cute, but there was much nail-biting involved, and I think this method is definitely worth a try!

(Here our director explains The Plan)

 This is the first time in four years (I think) that the kids haven't been Joseph and Mary.  Katie recognized that it was time to share the glory, but it was not easy.
 She made a very cute angel!

 I think that jovial Episcopalian angels don't need to bother with the "Fear not!" bit.

Here Travis is holding the director's notes.

 These are some sort of Scottish cows.  Aren't they darling? And I'm told they are tasty, too.

 This is the part of the story where the Three Wise (?) men are lost in the woods.  The photographer (in purple, at the left) is encouraging them to all Point in the Same Direction when they point to the Star of Bethlehem.  It took a while, but they Did eventually get it!

Our photographer had a hard time deciding which stall had the best light, but our intrepid angel/shepherd moving team got the manger arranged Just So.

The angels start with a calm serenade...
gradually pick up steam....
 really start to feel that rhythm.
 And this is the part where Mary tosses them out so that poor baby Jesus can get some sleep.

 Guess not -- they must have promised to behave. And the wise men present their gifts.

 Aside from poor Katie getting a bit tearful (the hay did not agree with her allergies), it went very well!

A lovely start to what I'm sure will be a beautiful Advent season!

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