Archives > The Sower Newsletter >

The Seed: December 18, 2022


The Seed Newsletter: December 18, 2022


Dear Christian Temple Family,

On Wednesday night, our Advent study group heard a stirring reading from Things Fall Apart, the classic novel from Chinua Achebe. Lauren, our fearless leader, was guiding our reflection on suffering and the ways in which we are taught that suffering is something to be overcome. A delightful and honest conversation ensued with plenty of moments of silence to simply take in the wisdom of our fellow pilgrims.

As I have reflected on that gathering of dear souls, I am reminded of one of my favorite Christmas traditions: Jolabokaflod. Though I am not Icelandic in heritage, I think my Nordic soul might hold some Icelandic aspirations because nothing thrills my soul as much as thinking about a Jolabokaflod, literally translated "a book flood."

For so long, I was obstinate about where I found wisdom. Non-fiction books filled my shelves. I read books about economics, global food crises, migration, and religion (of course). I believed that fiction books were a waste of time. Fortunately, I have been converted, transformed. I have given my life over to novels of all shapes, sizes, and types. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration. But it has felt like a spiritual awakening to find wisdom, truth, and beauty in the pages of Toni Morrison, Chinua Achebe, and Alice Walker.

As we approach the holiday where we celebrate the Word made flesh, I hope you can give yourselves permission to delve into all kinds of words and the fleshlyness they carry. Dive into a good, hearty novel to take you on an adventure over the new year. Bring along a book or two to your relative's house for when everyone takes their mid-morning Christmas nap.

I am willing to bet that if you give into the flood waters of the Jolabokaflod, your life will be enriched by wisdom from Beyond.

Grace and Peace,





Click Here to view and/or print the Creative Advent booklet.    




When Lisa Nichol's step-father, Fred Switzler, passed away on Sunday, we did not yet have the information regarding his service to include in our Joys & Concerns email.  Please note that a memorial mass will be held for Fred on Thursday, Dec 22nd, (10am) at St. Mark’s Catholic Church located at 30 Melvin Ave in Catonsville. 




Is anyone interested in helping out by being a greeter on Sunday mornings? All you have to do is come to church at about 10:40, greet folks at the door, welcome new folks and get their contact info if they don't mind, and take attendance. You can also choose the Sundays that work for you. If you'd like to join the wonderful team of Greeters, please contact Susan Safford at or 410 218-3487.




Christian Temple family – We have not had Journey to Bethlehem in person since 2019 due to COVID, and we want to bring back the tradition. Journey will be Saturday, December 17 from 6-8 PM. Set up will be Friday December 16 from 6-8 PM. We need YOUR help with set up, the actors’ pre show meal, actors, market booth owners, and clean up. PLEASE contact the following folks to volunteer and get more information:

Amy Luking : 410-419-9182

Sonja Scott 202-439-9415

Matthew and Cathy Bloedorn at and




Please place your poinsettia orders as soon as possible. We received news that our deadline for ordering has been moved up!

Help decorate the Sanctuary with poinsettias for the Christmas Concert and Christmas Eve Services – then take your plant home. You are also able to designate your poinsettia plant in honor or memory of someone.

Poinsettias are $12.00 each. You many purchase them by check, cash, or online via our VANCO service.

Please call the office if you have any questions (410-747-2041).

CLICK HERE for the order form!



Joe Pettit will be leading an Advent study for the Sunday Forum beginning, November 27 through December 18. He will be using a book written by Joseph R. Kelly, "The Origins of Christmas." Here is a synopsis of the book.

When was Christmas first celebrated? How did December 25 become the official date for Christmas? How did the Bible's "magi from the East" become three kings named Melchior, Caspar, and Balthasar who rode camels from three different continents to worship the newborn Christ? Why did medieval and Renaissance artists often portray Joseph as an old man? When did the first Christmas music appear? And who was the real St. Nicholas, and how did he become one of the most famous of al Christian saints? These and many other questions are answered in The Origins of Christmas. The story of the origins of Christmas is not well known, but it is a fascinating tale. It begins when Christmas did not exist and finishes when Christmas had become an integral part of Christian life and Western culture. The Origins of Christmas covers a variety of topics in a concise and accessible style and is suitable for group discussions. Chapters are "The Birth of Jesus," "Creating the Christmas Story," "Creating Christmas Day and the Christmas Season," "Jesus, Mary, the Magi, and an Obscure Asian Bishop," and "The Popular Acceptance of Christmas. "

If you are interested in obtaining the book for the study, it is available through Amazon: The Origins of Christmas: Kelly PhD, Joseph F.: 9780814629840: Books. It's available both in Kindle and Paperback formats.



December 18, 2022 

The 9 O'Clock Forum will be meeting this morning via Zoom.  Please see link at the bottom of the page.

The Children's Choir will NOT be meeting on December 18th.  We will see you again for the Children's Choir after the holidays. 

Transformers will  be meeting this Sunday, December 18th!  Kids will leave to participate in the program right after the Children’s Moment during our worship service.  Kecia Johnson is the Education Coordinator for Christian Temple who also leads this group.  Kecia will be happy to answer any questions you might have regarding the Transformer program and schedule.



The Official Church Board updated Christian Temple's Pandemic Preparedness Policy to more accurately reflect the current realities of the pandemic. Anyone who would like to see the policy as it now is written may CLICK HERE.


Our email distribution lists are almost up-to-date, but we are concerned that we may have missed a friend or two during this process. If you know of anyone who isn't receiving the J&C and/or The Seed, please ask them to let the office know. Contact Robin at 410-747-2041 or at Thank you!


We needed to update our Zoom account recently for a variety of reasons.  In doing so, some of our standard, recurring links have changed.  Please look carefully at the links printed in our newsletters as they may be different than expected.  If you have any questions, please call the church office at 410-747-2041.  Thank you!


Nine O' Clock Forum, Sundays (9 AM), Zoom Sessions Only

Joe Pettit will be leading an Advent study for the Sunday Forum beginning, November 27 through December 18. He will be using a book written by Joseph R. Kelly, "The Origins of Christmas."


Wednesday Bible Study (9:30 AM), Zoom Sessions Only

Beginning on Wednesday, November 2 and for the next 24 weeks the Wednesday Bible Study group will begin a new study on “Understanding the New Testament.” The course is led by Professor David Brakke, Ph.D. This is a 24 lecture series that takes us behind the scenes to study not only the text of the New Testament, but also the authors and the world in which it was created. The course explores Jewish lives under Roman occupation, reflects on the apocalyptic mood of the first and second centuries A. D., witnesses the early Christians’ evangelism beyond the Jewish communities, and witnesses the birth of a faith that continues to shape our world today.

There is no need to purchase books or course materials, as the WBS coordinator distributes appropriate reading materials and a Zoom link each week for each lecture. Please join us this fall in learning about our Christian faith, its scriptures and authors. If you have questions, please contact Vaughn Ouellette at 410-313-9661 or email: