"God is our refuge and strength" Psalm 46:1
Being in a Christmas Eve service in a church has always been important part of Christmas to me and my families. When I went to Haswell, Mary Schafer greeted the worshipers by handing out programs and candles to hold while we sang "Silent Night." Mary has been doing this for 23 years. Bless her heart! What I liked was seeing five of my families there. What I looked forward to was hearing the Pastor Janita Krayniak sing "O Holy Night," and we were so blessed to hear her beautiful soprano voice. Nancy (McCracken) Walker was kind to drive over from Eads to play the piano for the many carols that were led by Kent Johnston. It was meaningful to hear adults read the scriptures, light the candles of the Advent Wreath, and help distribute the sacks of goodies for the children after the children's sermon. Pastor Krayniak and her husband led a candlelight service in Eads and, later in the evening, in Cheyenne Wells.
There were other Christmas Eve services in the county. We are blessed to live in this part of America where we are free to attend Christian churches if we so desire.
As I left Haswell, I noticed that there were pretty light displays around the homes of Delton and Marlynn Eikenberg, Mark and Michelle Nelson, Joe and Laurie Musgrave, Casey and Shannon Gibbs, Shane and Pam Lessenden, and possibly others that I did not see. Readers may remember in times past when the economy was such that people could not afford to have such pretty light displays.
Renee Woods was honored by her family and friends in a large funeral last Friday even though there was a freezing rain outside. It was unique that every pew was draped by afghans that Renee had crocheted through the years. She always liked to crochet them in colors that her children and grandchildren favored. Charlotte Woelk's piano music was lovely, as was the vocalist, Sylvia Week's, hymns. Pastor Mark Imel conducted the service and also at the cemetery. Renee's husband, Robert Woods, was a school administrator, classroom educator, and wrestling coach for many years, thus many attendees were from that part of their lives, along with a number of hospital employees with whom she had worked 19 years.
Our hearts have been hurting since last week when we heard that Charlie Collins suddenly died from a heart problem. Charlie's funeral is scheduled for Tuesday, December 31. This is a heavy burden for the Woods family since Leanna Collins is Renee and Bob's daughter.
All week, people have been recalling how wonderful the Crow-Luther Cultural Events Center Christmas concert was last Sunday. The stage setting was rendered by the artistic Sheriff's deputy office assistant, Debi Derby, while Terry Riley had spent hours arranging various colored lights and photo slides to compliment the musical selections. Marty Miller and Ken Flory helped him on the boards in the production room. CLCEC Chairwoman, Betsy Barnett, introduced the poet, Bill Three Feathers Bunting from Springfield, who was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Between acts, Mr. Bunting recited poems that he had written. Bunting's poems and essays are published. Alicia James accompanied Eads High School junior Mollie Kelley on the guitar as they sang Christmas-themed songs. They were followed by a group of grade school children who sang peppy songs which pleased the audience. The lovely Janita Krayniak sang several classical songs, which were a joy to hear - such angelic renditions by famed composers. A young couple, James and Breanna Echols, who used to live in Memphis, Tennessee, where they garnered many awards as Christian song writers and musicians, sang some of their compositions. The Echols decided to live near Wild Horse, to raise their three young children, so we who live in this part of their world are reaping blessings from hearing them perform. The Echols raise cattle and are involved in other enterprises. The attractive Trudy Howard Hardy, a former Eads alumna, now of Loveland, pleased the audience with beautiful renditions of Christmas songs from the movies. She is as or more lovely than in 1984 when she graduated. Thank you to the CLCEC Board for arranging to have these talented performers for a memorable concert in Eads!
This is the time to finalize having your brick engraved if you plan to buy a brick to be placed on the sidewalk in front of the Plains Theatre properties. It is heartwarming to hear of the families and people who are pooling their money to honor their parents or a place of business, or a person who has died that they want to honor. Thank you, Lola Igou and Sandie Kelley!
Our sympathy is extended to Opal Miner after the death of her nephew, Larry McNeely. He lived in Kansas and was formerly from Kit Carson.
School begins again January 6 with the basketball games at Kit Carson Friday, and the next night at Stratton. The wrestling team will be at Lamar January 11.
Roger Evans weekly reminds us to pray for our military. Let us remember to pray daily for our men and women in the military. I have three nephews in the military service, so that request is even more appreciated.
Shalom, readers, Shalom!