Pastor’s Post for the week of Christmas: A Family Christmas Letter

christmas-dayDear friends in Christ,

We celebrate the Nativity of our Lord in worship this weekend with Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion at 7:00 PM on Saturday and Christmas Day Communion at 10:00 AM on Sunday. I hope to see you then. Meanwhile I am pleased to share our family Christmas letter with all of you (below).

Dear friends and family:

We are home in the Salem, Oregon area on a day where there will surely be rain, as there almost always is this time of year, but maybe not too much today! We have already survived the “big snow” of last week. Joe was the only one on the block with a snow shovel and so we had the only clean driveway on the cul de sac. We are having a rainy late fall in Oregon, which is good, because there’s been some drought the last few years. New Snow has fallen this week on Mount Hood, so all may be well around here.

We each are pastoring a church these days. Patricia serves in Salem at Holy Cross, and Joe serves at Shepherd of the Valley in Corvallis. We are busy, but the people are good, and the Holy Spirit seems to be increasing opportunities for people to care for each other in community, and share God’s unfathomable love in Jesus so that we can be God’s hands and feet to others.

This year, Joe’s son, Aaron, got married to Nicky, in California, and it was lovely. Later in the year they moved to Chicago and have a wonderful apartment not too far from Wrigley Field – home of the World Champion Chicago Cubs! Patricia’s nephew Beau married Alana in Arizona and it was amazing too. This year also included a lot with Patricia’s father, Dallas Wolf, as he fell in February, which began a long series of health issues. So, Patricia and her sister Debbie have both visited him in Houston multiple times. We would all be glad of your prayers for him.

The rest of our year’s highlights were getting to see grandchildren. Joe managed to get to Chicago a couple of times to see his daughter Janet, her husband Matt, and their two sons Trevor, 7, and Wesley, 5. Chris, Patricia’s son lives an hour north of us, and he brings his daughter Maddy to visit us often, and they will be with us the week after Christmas for a day or so. Maddy has turned 8 now and is a lovely young lady. We haven’t spent much time with Patricia’s daughter Faith and her husband, Tim, in Austin, but we will see them for New Year’s Eve when we head south to see family and visit Joe’s home town – New Orleans, before the craziness of Mardi Gras begins.

We also managed to fit in a week in the South of France this year, which means we are awfully spoiled. It was amazing. The summer daylight on the sunflowers made us realize just why Van Gogh lived and painted there. Well, Merry Christmas and Joyful New Year to you all!

Much love, and God’s blessings!
Pastor Joe & Patricia Hughes
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