From the Children’s Ministry….

Our annual Elf Workshop has joined the list of activities that must be cancelled this year due to Covid 19. In its place, we will have a “work at home” Elf Workshop.  I am preparing boxes containing a craft, cookies, hot chocolate, and a few other surprises for the children. On Friday, December 18, the children will be invited to join me for a Christmas movie on Zoom.  I hope we can all have our cookies and hot chocolate together as we watch a Christmas movie remotely.

One of our Elf Workshop activities that we have participated in the past few years that we will not be able to do this year is preparing treat bags for first responders who have to work on Christmas.  We have delivered these to the Emergency Room at Northside Duluth and a nearby Fire Station.  This year, we are replacing that tradition with the Gift Card drive for Northside Duluth staff who work with Covid patients.  In the last few weeks I have read reports of how stressed healthcare workers are after dealing with this virus for nine months.  I saw first hand how labor intensive it is for hospital staff to care for Covid patients.  It is taking a toll on them physically and emotionally.  They have to be at the point where they dread going to work.  In trying to come up with some way of replacing the treat bags and giving these workers something to look forward to, I came up with the idea of a “Secret Santa” type incentive to boost their morale.  After talking to the staff and presenting the idea to the Mission’s Committee, it was decided to ask the congregation to donate $25 Visa Cards that will be given out daily during December to random staff members.  I have talked with the hospital point person for this kind of activity and they were extremely pleased that we would do this.  This has been a difficult year for the hospital and the person I talked with felt this would be a great boost to morale.  For all of you who are willing to participate in this activity, thank you!  The staff at Northside Duluth saved my life.

 I recently watched the first episode of “The Good Doctor” for this season.  The show dealt with the early days of dealing with a virus that is brutal and unpredictable. Some of the scenes were a depiction of events nurses and tech support personally described to me in July. When the main character threw up his hands and cried, “I just want this to be over”, it brought tears to my eyes because, according to the timeline in the story, the ordeal for hospitals was in reality only just beginning. Hopefully, the promise of so many vaccines that will soon be ready for distribution will bring normalcy back into the lives of healthcare workers and to our lives as well.  Until then, all we can do is support each other.

I hope you will consider donating a gift card for this endeavor.  I also hope you will take a few minutes to call one of our older members living alone.  The isolation of this pandemic has been hard for everyone, especially those who have no daily contact with another person.

Take care of yourselves. I hope that you will find peace and joy during this holiday season.  If there was ever a time when we need the hope of Christmas, it is now.