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By Mary Woolsey
The leader at Evergreen Outreach this week was the Rev James Fackler, who said that he came to EO by dog sled on Monday.
“On a day like today, when one spits, it turns to ice cubes," Fackler said. "Probably everyone wanted to sleep in this morning; that would be better than sleeping out in this kind of weather, but we came to EO to have a good time.
"Judy Varga and Randy Schukar will keep us swinging.”
When Donna Smith finished playing the piano, Fackler led the “Welcome" and "EO” songs.
He introduced new visitors: Tray Stokes from Paris and Dave Rochkes, who was new last week. Another visitor was Judy Cline, who came to hear Judy Varga and Randy Schukar sing. Judy Cline’s husband, Charles, and Judy Varga had worked together.
The birthday song was sung for Patricia Pence (16), Susanne Schumacker (11), Margaret Rogers (13), and Bob Jones (16).
Fackler asked if we knew “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” He said that it was more than just a Christmas song.
He showed us a rosary, and said that when he touches each bead it reminds him of certain things. The first bead reminds him of an angel, the second bead means Elizabeth and Mary. The third bead reminds him of the manger and all the animals, etc.
There is one Christmas carol that has always baffled us. What in the world do leaping lords, French hens and, especially, the partridge who won’t come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?
From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that time wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning and a hidden meaning known only to members of the church. Each element in the carol was a code word for a religious reality, which the children could remember.
1. The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
2. Two turtle doves were the Old Testament and the New Testament.
3. Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
4. The four calling birds were the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
5. The five golden rings recalled the Torah or law contained in the first five books of the Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
6. The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
7. Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit: prophesy, serving, teaching, exhortation, contribution, leadership and mercy.
8. The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
9. Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.
10. The 10 lords a-leaping were the Ten Commandments.
11. The 11 pipers piping stood for the 11 faithful disciples.
12. The 12 drummers drumming symbolized the 12 points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.
We will probably never think of the “Twelve Days of Christmas” in the same way.
Fackler closed with prayer, praying that each of us would be faithful witnesses.
Fackler's last joke for the day: A 98-year-old man was asked why he had lived so long. The man said that he had lived so long so that he could get back at his kids.
Judy and Randy began their entertainment, with Judy singing “How Great Thou Art” and Randy singing “Ring of Fire.”
Judy reminded us that Phyllis Rames was instrumental in the success of Evergreen Outreach. She sang “You Are So Beautiful To Me” while Judy’s husband, Bob, and Phyllis danced together. Judy also thanked the many volunteers.
Many other songs followed: “Elvira,” “Hey, Good Looking,” "You’re Lookin’ At Country,” "Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “You Ain’t Woman Enough to Take My Man” and a duet by Judy and Eleanor McNutt, “Help Me Make It Through the Night.”
Randy sang two songs: “You Were Always on My Mind” and “Over in the Glory Land.”
Thank you, Judy and Randy.
Shirley Locke and Peggy Lippold won two games of pinochle, while Joyce Mueller and Ruth Ann Scott won one.
It was a lovely hour of fun, dancing, singing, jokes and devotions. Smiles were abundant, and many people extended friendly greetings to each other.
Fackler dismissed the gathering with “God Be With You Until We Meet Again.”
He said he had 15 grandchildren, more girls than boys, and the latest one is Elliott Ama Magdalene, a beautiful girl.
There will be no Evergreen Outreach on the 17th because of the Martin Luther King holiday. We will meet again on the 24th, with Softfire. See you then!