This year we had a Christmas banquet at St. James' Church on Sunday, December 23. Together with the Chinese congregation, more than 10 members of the English-speaking congregation feasted in the [kindergarten] playground after the Chinese service ended around 12:30 pm. It was a bright and cheerful party, during which there were exciting "gift-drawings" so that quite a number of participants got Christmas gifts. A very nice bicycle and some microwave ovens were among the best gifts for free!
On Christmas Eve there was a Chinese-and-English Combined Service at St. James'. The church was crowded with people, some new and many old friends, participating in this well-organized celebration of the Eve -- What a peaceful and exciting evening! The Rev. Philip Lin, our new rector, was the celebrant of the combined service. Our Rector Emeritus (the Rev. Charles Chen) gave a bilingual sermon entitled "What is the meaning of Christmas?" focusing on (1) Christ is light, (2) Christ is love, and (3) Christ is hope. I was interested in the sermon. And, by the way, I was excited about the fact that my son and I had been appointed to serve as the LEM's on that evening. How wonderful it is for a father and son to worship the Lord in the same way and at the same time!
Then, on Tuesday, the St. James' English-speaking congregation had a "Christmas Day" service in the evening. The service started at 5:00 p.m. [with the Rev. Canon David Chee as celebrant and preacher] and it was followed by special fellowship hours on the 8th floor of The Evangelist Building. There we enjoyed lots of singing and "sharing" after we had a buffet. Well, the food was good, the music was better, and . . . the atmosphere here tonight was so perfect.