November 28, 2023
Dear Members of the Crossnore Presbyterian Church Family,
In the midst of Advent Season, which should be a time to prepare our hearts, minds, and spirits for the coming of Christ, we are bombarded with the “to do lists” of buying gifts, sending Christmas cards, decorating the home, baking, and attending Christmas events. It is no wonder we reach Christmas Eve exhausted and empty. I hope you will use this Advent Season, which begins on Sunday, December 3, to take time each day to read the scriptures and the message in the Advent devotional included in this mailing, and listen to what Christ is sharing with us in these troubling times—the true Christmas message of hope, peace, joy, and love.
The title of our Advent devotional is “Daily Reflections for Advent and Christmas: Waiting in Joyful Hope 2023-2024.” The author, Susan H. Swetnam, is a retired Idaho State University English professor, who now works as a massage therapist for hospice patients, cancer survivors, and caregivers. She is a music minister in her home parish. Through Swetnam’s reflections on lectionary readings, readers will grow in their understanding of the Word of God. These readings offer a way to enrich your prayer life during these holy seasons. This devotional is written in the Catholic tradition with words like “parish” which is the same as “congregation,” and offers an ecumenical window into Advent and Christmas. The devotions begin with the first Sunday of Advent, December 3, and continue through the Baptism of Jesus, January 8.
Please join us for Sunday worship as we travel to Bethlehem once again and discover Christ born anew in our lives and in the world. If you would like to receive the weekly virtual worship service with music links, sermon, and announcements/prayer requests, please send a note to
Our annual Christmas Eve Offering provides funds for emergency gas, propane, and electricity to families and individuals in financial need in Avery County. Every dollar will be used to help keep the homes warm for those who are financially struggling as the weather service has issued a very hard winter for the NC mountains. With costs rising for propane, gas, and electricity, this offering will make a real difference in the lives of so many people. You can share in this offering by writing a check made out to Crossnore Presbyterian Church, designating it for the “Christmas Eve Offering,” and mailing it to Crossnore Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 386, Crossnore, NC 28616. Thank you for caring and sharing!
Whether you are here in the mountains or spending the winter in warmer climates, I want to share with you our special Advent and Christmas programs and projects so that you may join us in body or in spirit:
** Order forms for poinsettias can be downloaded here. The poinsettias are a beautiful part of our sanctuary during the Advent/Christmas Season. The poinsettias are provided by members of our church family who place them in honor or memory of loved ones or to the glory of God. Each plant is $10. The deadline to order a poinsettia is Sunday, December 19.
** Our Advent Bible Study will meet on the following Wednesdays (November 29, December 6, 13, and 20) at 3 p.m. in the fellowship hall. Pastor Jim Taylor will be leading our study on the newly published book, Heaven and Earth: Advent and the Incarnation, by Bishop Will Willimon. What a great way to prepare for Christmas! Books are $10 each. We still have books available. Please email Pastor Kathy to reserve a book:
** Friday, December 1, the CPC Men’s Breakfast Group will meet at Kay’s Kitchen at 8:30 a.m.
** Saturday, December 2, 10 a.m.- 12 noon, we will be preparing the sanctuary for Christmas by decorating the Chrismon Tree and adorning the sanctuary windows with candles and greenery. All are invited to this fun and festive time.
** Sunday, December 17, Michael Willis, Irish Harpist, will be providing special music for our worship service. Our Christmas Potluck Luncheon will be held following worship. Ham, coffee, lemonade, and tea will be provided. Folks are asked to bring a side dish to share. We will also be honoring Kathy Hutcheson, who has been our music director for 23 years and is retiring.
** Sunday, December 24, 11 a.m., the morning Christmas Eve Service will be held in the sanctuary. Rev. Maggie Lauterer will be our preacher as we celebrate Christ’s birth. Every penny of our Christmas Eve offering will go to provide electricity and heat for the needy members of our county.
** Sunday, December 24, 5:30 p.m., our Candlelight Christmas Eve Service will be held in the sanctuary. Christmas Worship will be filled with special music, Christmas carols, scripture readings, Christmas stories, and prayers as we worship Christ, the babe born in Bethlehem, the Lord of all, and the Ruler over heaven and earth. Every penny of our Christmas Eve offering will go to provide electricity and heat for the needy members of our county.
“The Meaning of Christmas”
by Father Andrew Greeley
It might be easy to run away to a monastery, away from the commercialization,
the hectic hustle, the demanding family responsibilities of Christmastime.
Then we would have a holy Christmas.
But we would forget the lesson of the Incarnation, of the enfleshing of God—
the lesson that we who are followers of Jesus do not run from the secular;
rather we try to transform it.
It is our mission to make holy the secular aspects of Christmas
just as the early Christians baptized the Christmas tree.
And we do this by being holy people—kind, patient, generous, loving, laughing people—
no matter how maddening is the Christmas rush.
“Growing Deeper in Faith, Reaching Out in Love” - Mission Statement of Crossnore Presbyterian Church
Please join us for worship every Sunday morning at 11 a.m. in our historic rock sanctuary. We are a very warm and welcoming congregation and delight with each new person who comes through the door. There are no strangers here. We praise God with a mixture of traditional and contemporary hymns and songs. The service is fresh, relevant, and engaging, and leaves one with an inspiring message and mission to take into the week. Coffee Hour in the fellowship hall after worship provides an opportunity for newcomers to get to know some of the members of the church family. For more information, please contact the church office, at 828-733-1939.
If there is inclement weather, we will post the cancellation of in-person worship on the website, Facebook, and the church office phone message. When we are not able to meet in person, Pastor Kathy records her sermon on Zoom and sends it out along with the bulletin and music links.