By Cynthia Laird, Senatobia District Communications Coordinator
The children gathered around as Santa told the story written by Charles Tazewell about "The Littlest Angel."
The Gathering Place in Batesville,Mississippi, aglow withthe ligh from candles and Christmas decorations, was especially warm and inviting for Senatobia District clergy families on Thursday, December 5, 2013 as we celebrated the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. There were handshakes, hugs and smiles as laughter echoed throughout this joyous fellowship of children and adults meeting new friends and reconnecting with longtime friends.
Rev. Andy Ray, Senatobia District superintendent, greeted us with kind words of praise about the unity and hard work of clergy and laity in the district. He commented that "God is at work in our churches." Then he reminded us that Christmas is not about what we have done, but what God has done by choosing to redeem us.
"Innocent, God comes to us and our task is to tell others how much God loves us," stated Ray. "We are blessed people. Bombs are not dropping outside our doors and we have plenty to eat."
He asked us to continue to pray for those who have experienced tragedy and hurt, and to remember those affected by the typhoon in the Philippines and those that may not have food to eat.
Rev. Andy Ray admires his gift--a Duck Dynasty gnome.
The celebration continued with a bountiful dinner and music provided by Batesville United Methodist Church's music directors, Brooke Wright, Calvin Flint and Ben Flint who shared some favorite songs of Christmas. Ray soon joined in with his harmonica. While they played "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," Santa made his appearance. The children gathered around as Santa told the story written by Charles Tazewell about "The Littlest Angel" whose gift of childhood treasures in a little box was chosen by God to be the bright star heralding the birth of Jesus.
The evening concluded with Santa giving presents to the children, and there was even one for Ray. Santa's eyes were especially merry as he laughed when Ray opened his present, a Duck Dynasty gnome. Prizes were awarded and thanks were given to the district, Batesville First UMC, the musicians and others. Lastly, we all bundled up to go home in the storm, chilled by the weather, but warmed by our memories of the special time we enjoyed with our district clergy families.