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PNNE-Connections for December 23, 2022
In this issue:
Greetings from PNNE and its Committees, organizations, and the wider community of Christ!

PNNE Resource Presbyter, The Rev. Scott DeBlock

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (Niskayuna, NY), a member of my church lived right along the Mohawk River, right where the Lisha Kill meanders into woods next to her house.  And every year before Christmas, she would run a few hundred-foot extension cords to this tiny little fir tree sitting in the marsh, and she put blue lights on it.

You had to look really hard while driving along River Road to see it, and I will admit, there were a few times every Christmas season where I almost ran off the road.  But when I did see it for the first time each year, I would get come home and yell out to my three daughters, “Little blue tree is there!”  And then they would run into my mini-van and I had to drive them to go and see.

And yes, this happened every year.  Even when I picked them up at the airport or train station at college semester break, I had to take a detour and go see the Little Blue Tree.  For them, and for me, that Little Blue Tree was more than just a little tree.  It was a sign of hope in the woods.  It was a reminder that the Light of the World pierces through the darkness, something we really need to remember in these times.

Christmas is that reminder that we need the Little Blue Tree in our lives.  We need Immanuel, God with us.  And this time also reminds us that we are Little Blue Trees to those around us.  We too are called to share the love, hope, joy, and peace of the Christ Child in the wilderness.

This past summer, we had to cut down a dead willow tree in our front yard.  It’s not difficult to figure out what I planted in its place…
Merry Christmas!


Synod of the Northeast, Rev. Dr. SanDawna Gaulman Ashley


I join you in praying that Christmas comes to every congregation and family.  This season, take the opportunity to enjoy the traditions that give you a sense of the Holy and the things that add value to your well-being.  The night is still, and the stars shine bright.  Holiness is all around.  God is speaking and birthing new hope into the world.  Look for the signs.

This is Christmas. Let it be a merry one for you and yours!

Rev. Dr. SanDawna Gaulman Ashley
Transitional Synod Leader

Kay & George Huggins

Blessed Christmas greetings from the COM Chair, Rev. Dr. Kay Huggins, and the PNNE IT volunteer, her husband, George.

Merry Christmas from the DeMarcos!

(Rev. TJ DeMarco is Stated Clerk for PNNE.  -ed.)

Mission At The Eastward (MATE)

Mission at the Eastward (MATE) wishes all of you and your families a safe and very Merry Christmas!  May God bless your journeys as we move forward into the New Year together.
Chris DeLisle, Executive Director

Christmas Aftermath by Larry Jones

Christmas Aftermath
by Larry Jones

The dishes all are washed and 
    the table cleared and brushed;
the lights are out or dimmed and 
    the busy house is hushed;
the dogs are full and satisfied, 
    the family all in bed;
at last I have my time tonight 
    to let my thoughts be said.

It’s not the food that makes a meal – 
    it’s camaraderie;
it’s banter ’round the table; and 
    the ambiance we see;
it’s knowing we are just a part 
    of a so-much-greater whole;
it’s the nourishment of well-meant love 
    that feeds a family’s soul.

Take me away but this remains 
    within my memory:
that Christmas is for giving and 
    receiving gifts with glee;
that Christmas is for loving time 
    spent with each other one;
that Christmas is for thanking God 
    before the day is done.

And when the darkness comes at last 
    and eyes must close in sleep,
then thank the Lord for simple things –  
    no need to be so deep.
We only need to realize 
    that blessings all have we,
and blessings great we too can give, 
    a different world to see.
The Rev. Dr. Lawrence Jones, is Interim Pastor, East Craftsbury Presbyterian Church, and Chair of the PNNE Nominating Committee. - ed.

Presbyterian Women (PW) of PNNE

The women of PW - Presbytery of Northern New England - send out warmest greetings to all in this time of Christmas celebration.  We have been given much in the way of blessings, especially the blessings of fellowship with each other both inside and outside of our churches, our larger communities, and our world.  We pray for God’s blessing to continue in us and with each of us as we share another Christmas season together and begin a new year.
PW Co-Moderators:       Martha Grady-Costa
                                       Barbara Holland Cooper

Maine Council of Churches

Advent/Christmas greeting from MCC to PNNE:

To our beloved member, the Presbytery of Northern New England, The Maine Council of Churches sends our greetings during this sacred season of hope, peace, love and joy, and we give thanks for the ways that, together, we inspire and equip people within, through and beyond the church to unite in creating a world where peace is built with justice and justice is guided by love.

Rev. Jane Field
Executive Director, Maine Council of Churches

Treasurer - Elder Stewart Gates

What It's All About by J. Barrie Shepherd

What It’s All About
Somehow he still brings it out,
the best in us, I mean.
In spite of all the merchandise and marketing,
at last, that shining moment does arrive 
when the music, the manger scenes,
those creaking, worn old words,
“And it came to pass…” connect.
And we discover, yet again,
what we have known from the beginning;
that giving lies deep at the core of everything,
that birth just keeps on happening
and is the origin of all hope,
and that gentleness and kindness -
these simplest gifts – can hide swaddled in a manger,
and yet shed radiant light on every darkness,
truth on every falsehood,
grace just when we feared that all was lost.
J. Barrie Shepherd

PNNE Contact Information

Resource Presbyter, Scott DeBlock       Stated Clerk, T.J. DeMarco | 518-423-7901 | 401-523-7417

PNNE Website
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