December 2017

Dear Members and Friends of First Reformed Church of Bethlehem:

“Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth!” The joy of the Christmas Season is upon us! It is with gladness that we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. During Advent, we light a candle each week symbolizing hope, peace, joy, and love. How fitting that Jesus is the light of the world and brings all these things to us.

There is excitement as we look forward to the special day. Many are caught up in the preparations for what their idea of Christmas is. We feel joy and happiness because of the REASON we are celebrating! No matter what the traditions each of us has, the focus is on Christmas. As we reflect during the Advent season, we also remember the blessings in our lives. Christmas is a time to spread hope, peace, joy, and love to those around us as a community of faith.

With this in mind, the deacons have chosen an organization relevant to the recent announcement by Pastor Ratmeyer that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. “Hope Soars” began as “Parkinson’s Albany” and has expanded. This organization supports awareness, education, and research through community events, fitness programs, and support groups, to name a few. One of the many programs is the Capital District Parkinson’s Support Group that meets once a month at the Beverwyck Senior Center, in close proximity to where Harlan and Ellen will soon reside! Please use the enclosed envelope for your offering. We will be helping not only one who is near and dear to our hearts, but many others whose lives and families are touched by the disease as well. Thank you to all and a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

On Behalf of the Deacons,

Annette Jordan

Harlan E. Ratmeyer, Pastor

38 Church Rd.

Selkirk, New York