Our Advent/Christmas/Epiphany worship and special events are threaded together with the theme All Creatures Great and Small.  We are listening to and being led by the animals in this season’s story, those we know about and those we can imagine in, domesticated and wild.  This past Sunday, Advent 3, the Sunday of Joy, featured an intergenerational advent event.  Under our children’s direction, we heard the story Night Tree by Eve Bunting, took in their profound responses to the story, and made bird houses, bird feeders, and treats for the animals at the county shelter.  Many of the bird houses and feeders will be hung by our kids at Pine Acres on Christmas Eve.  That will allow residents there to enjoy an up-close view of an array of birds this winter.  During worship we also blessed the animals in our lives via pictures and stuffed animals.  During the blessing, many a story was told about home animals, farm animals, and wild animals, past and present, who have graced our lives.

Toward the end of the morning, as many of us were enjoying a hearty winter lunch together, I was photographing some of the animals on the altar and under the tree.  Barb had brought a large stuffed lamb that she will give her granddaughter when she is born next month.  Phyllis had a picture of Marv with his Clydesdale.  As I looked at the pictures again, I realized they were placed above the familiar line on the front of the altar:  This do in remembrance of me.  How appropriate those words of the tradition were.  In remembrance of the Christ presence among us, we celebrate our connection with all the creatures.  In that presence we are bound together with those who have gone before and those yet to come.   We do remember.  Martha