Brownstown-Sefton News

The words “Remember the reason for the season” have become familiar the past few years, to remind us that, although other words have been added when thinking about Christmas (gifts, expense, hurry, hurry, hustle, busy times, events, parties, and so on), the most important thought to keep in our minds is “Jesus is the reason for the season!”
The old songs that we grew up with (“Silent Night,” “Oh, Come All Ye Faithful,” “Deck The Halls,” even “Jingle Bells,” “White Christmas” and “The Christmas Song”) are still heard and sung, and for that we are thankful.
We do enjoy “White Christmas,” and, thanks to Gene Autry, “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and, of  course, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” will always be a favorite.
And, it is to be confessed, at the top of my favorite Christmas songs is “The Little Drummer Boy.”
Also remembered are the little brown paper bags we received at Sunday School, and sometimes at school, which held an orange, hard candy, chocolate haystack candies and my personal favorite, orange candy slices coated with sugar, and peanuts in the shell.
As the contents were just put in the paper bag, none individually wrapped, that would probably not be considered sanitary today, but I don’t remember ever being sick from our highly anticipated and treasured brown paper bag of Christmas treasures.
At Vandalia’s Liberty Theatre (commonly known then as the “picture show”), a free movie for kids was usually given on the Saturday afternoon before Christmas. They would show a regular kid favorite (such as Roy Rogers or Gene Autry), plus cartoons (Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Bugs Bunny, etc.)
It was not unusual to see a little boy wearing his Roy Rogers gun and holster and felt-paper cowboy hat to the show (which is probably considered an aggressive act these days).
Times have changed down through the ages, and that is most likely the inspiration for this column – my age.
The Homestead Critters and human inhabitants wish you all a happy and blessed Christmas, and our thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost loved ones.
The Christmas message also gives us the hope and expectation of someday joining those who have gone on before us,
We always feel that Cora’s Christmas tree in heaven has a real star on top and that our friend Shirley has joined her and other loved ones in the celebration in heaven.
Helping Hands Food Ministry Give-Away
January 6 and 8 at the new location. One box per household. Sponsored by the Brownstown Ministerial Alliance.            
Friends’, Neighbors’ & Families’ News
• Adrienne (Smith) Kinney graduated with honors from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville on Friday evening with a master’s degree in family nurse practitioner.
Those attending and celebrating with her were: her husband, Walter, and daughters, Elise and Elliot; Bill and Cathy Smith; Brian and Jane Kinney; Ashton Smith; Ryan and Mallory Wise and two sons; Joann Strobel; and Karen Underwood.
• Jaden Meadows, Flo Allen’s great-grandson, has been accepted to Yale for the coming year. He is 18 years old.
Sefton HCE Unit …
… met last Thursday for their annual Christmas  potluck meeting, which was held in the new Golden Years Building.
They enjoyed a meal of turkey, and dressing, ham and many side dishes.
Flo Allen conducted a game, with each member getting a gift, with lots of fun.
Each member left with a good memory of a wonderful time of sharing and enjoying the new Golden Years building.
Those present were Flo Allen, Carol Behrends, Sally Behrends, Doris Dukeman, Connie Green, Lois Jackson, Elizabeth Kasten, Lavonne Kramer and Carol Oldham.
First Christian Church
The morning worship at First Christian Church was led in song by Karen Underwood and Jack Shelton, with Susan Smith at the piano.
Duane Willms presented a Communion meditation and Don Lovett presented an offering meditation.    
The young children presented a Christmas play, “An Emoji Christmas.  Those who participated were: Cordelia Lytle (Joy to the World), Madi Miller (innkeeper), Khloe Enlow (Angel Gabriel), Ella Satherthwaite and Joel Miller (shepherds), Rylin Pruett (horse), Taylor Claycomb (King Herod), Marshall Elwood, Cade Willms and Dawson Willms (wisemen), Kyndal Adams (Mary); Aiden Smith (Joseph); Alivia Claycomb (heart eyes emoji); Emmalee Smith (smiley face emoji and narrator), and Macy Claycomb (Laugh Til You Cry).
Baily Mason was sick and unable to participate.
The children had all their speaking parts and did so well, and caused laughter from the audience many times.  
Most importantly, they presented the Christmas story in a very enjoyable way. Billie Enlow and Ashton Smith directed the play.
Cameron Callaway sang “Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem.”
Liberty Christian Church…
… joined First Christian for a Christmas program, worship and singing Christmas Carols.
Special music was given by the girls’ quintet and Barb Morrison. Matthew Smith gave a devotion.
A time of fellowship was held after the devotion.
United Methodist Church
The congregation of the Brownstown United Methodist Church gathered for Sunday morning worship as the prelude was played.
Mannie Orr and Junior Williams served as ushers. Jarin Evans lighted the altar candles.
Pastor Don Thomas greeted all, recognized the birthdays and anniversaries, shared the prayer list and led in prayer.
Lighting of the Advent candle were Rebecca Evans, Jarin Evans and Rayella Denton.
Pam Orr led the adult class and Jarin Evans led the children’s worship.

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