Christmas Party with Community Presbyterian
and the Inland Empire Presbyterian Fellowship.

Christmas was once again the occasion for a combined celebration with the two congregations coming together for one of our famous combined potluck dinners, the singing of Christmas Carols in a multituded of languages, a Nativity play in Chinese, and Piñatas for young and old. Pastor jan led the celebration wuth simultaneous translating from English to Chinese and vice versa.
As has become customary, the evening began with the usual feeding-frenzy (after the appropriate blessing, of course). Free food is always an attraction.

Community and IEPF members both encountered foods that were a puzzlement.

The Church was decorated for the season. The highlights being the tree and the altar with the Advent Candles.

The time had come for worship. The sanctuary was full to overflowing. Some of us even spotted teenagers in the back!! Everyone was in the mood for Christmas carols. They sounded great while being sung in three or more languages.
Yes "teenagers" were present, and were a big part of the celebration. Liz and her friend's trio provided great three part harmony and arrangements on some old familar carols.

The newly formed IEPF Chamber Orchestra made its debut at the party, playing with gusto and feeling.

As part of the Chamber Orchestra concert we were treated to a violin duet ...
and then the young lady returned to treat us to a nice solo on the recorder.

And the Community Voices from Community Presbyterian sang!

The children worked with Jenny Wu to create a memorable Nativity play. Everthing went off without a hitch! (Well?) The narration was in Chinese. Here the angel tells Mary that she is going to have God's son.

After the Angels explain to Joseph what has happened he and Mary marry and leave for Bethlehem

Jesus is born in Bethlehem and Mary and Joseph rejoice.

Then the Shepherds, Angels, and Wisemen from the East all gather together to praise God and adore his Son.

Even the animals!

What would a Christmas party with mobs of children be without a visit from Santa (who looked very Chinese) . . .

. . .and the Chinese ritual of breaking Piñatas ended the evening. There was a horse Piñata for the little ones, and a bell for the older children. After a couple of early disasters with one falling and the other breaking off its head, both were summarily broken to reveal what every kid wants (and needs) at Christmas. More sweets!

A good time, a satisfied appetite, a worshipful mood, were had by all. People returned to their homes filled with the Christmas Spirit and visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads. All that remained was for the crews from Community and the Inland Empire Fellowship to clean up.

A Most Merry Christmas to All

Pastor, Jan Opdyke

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