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scripture, prayer, and creative response with communion

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Pastor Keith and Piper's Christmas Letter
Dear Friends,
It has been far too many years since we last sent out a Christmas letter. I am writing this the day after Christmas, which for pastors is a day of serious rest. So I am not going to sweat this. Nice and easy. Relaxed. A stress-free letter. Let’s see… (sound of computer keyboard keys clicking)

Hello! Blessing upon Blessing be upon you this most JOYOUS season!

Yes, those are our children in the photo to the left. They are older now than when some of you likely last saw them. Time flies and all that. So where have we been and what have we been up to in the interim?
I could suggest that we have been travelling the world or that we are America’s secret first space family, but what could be cooler than the truth: we’ve just busy raising a family and serving the church.

Christian will be 17 in June and is a high school junior who just happens to be taller than his father and is now learning to drive. Still playing the vibraphone and bells in the high school band and dabbling with piano on the side, Christian still reserves most of his creative energy for his drawing. Under the tutelage of a retired Disney artist his passion for cartooning continues to grow. That’s one of Christian’s creations to the right. We’ve visited four colleges so far with a few more trips still planned.

Thomas will be 14 in April and is an 8th grader much into his computer and taking care of Yuki, his somewhat prickly albino hedgehog. Tom plays the baritone horn in the band and like to pluck out tunes by ear on the piano. Tom’s our scientist and we don’t blink an eye when he starts pulling ingredients out of the pantry or hands us some blue print off the internet and begins to give us a shopping list.

Luke will be 10 about the time you get this and is enjoying 4th grade. Our resident Wii expert, Luke can beat Dad in everything but Wii bowling. This year Luke traded soccer for fencing, added glasses, said good bye to one hamster and welcomed another and discovered “Guitar Hero.” He reads voraciously (all our kids do even in this electronic age) and is counting the days until he gets to learn to drive.

Piper began the year as a middle school world history teacher and moved on to the open spot as the 7th grade science teacher (yes, she is still grinning at that). She’s had her students dissecting chicken wings and so forth. I’m told her Roman and Greek Day was the hit of the year for many students. So much science, so little time….Well, between grading tests and projects and planning the next cool lab, helping the boys with their home work, making lunches, checking book bags, balancing the checkbook, leading the church's hand chime choir, and trying to keep up with her running, Piper has found time for both continuing her bass playing with the Broward Symphony Orchestra and taking ballroom dance lessons with me. She bought special ballroom dance shoes, so you know that she takes this seriously.

For our summer sabbatical sojourn she mapped out a several thousand mile trip from Florida to Boston and back with too many stops in between to mention. We rode the subways in New York and Boston, visiting colleges in Virginia and Georgia and generally had a blast.

Keith (that would be me) got a bit older this year with a trip to the emergency room during my 3 month sabbatical that was the beginning of the end for my gall bladder. An ultrasound, nuclear stress test, upper endoscopy and some outpatient surgery later and I was a few pounds (and one stuffed with gallstones gall bladder) lighter and much more pain free than I had been in quite a while. On the bright side I did get my thesis approved and graduate with a Doctor of Ministry degree from Columbia Theological Seminary in May. How quickly four years came and went!

Piper and I took a romantic trip up to St Augustine (above), staying at a bed and breakfast that was simply out of this world.
I got to baptize my little niece Olivia in New York in June (Seen below with the boys).

I still bake bread, mess around with the Irish whistle, do the odd crossword or jigsaw puzzle and enjoy writing the annual church Christmas program. As always, this year was a gift.

A blessed Christmas Season to All!
With Love,
Keith, Piper, Christian, Thomas and Luke!

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