The first snow of the season has arrived in Holland, outlining the branches of every tree, and turning the dirt expanse where Nykerk once stood into a bright white blanket.
Our door is ready for Christmas. Wrapping paper has gone up, the garland lines the doorway, and our mini tree has mini present boxes tucked beneath its branches.
While Christmas has taken over our door, Sunday was all about Thanksgiving. Van Vleck Hall held its annual Thanksgiving Dinner at 6:00 p.m. in our basement. Everyone that could pitched in, made a dish, and together we filled the giant half circle counter top with plates of fruit, pasta salad, taco dip, yams, 5 pounds of mashed potatoes, desserts, and more. This was my second Van Vleck Thanksgiving, and my second time of being in that basement with a group of great people realizing how lucky I have been to be a part of such a close, caring community.
The Gathering on Sunday was a special Praise and Prayer service during which they recorded the music for this year’s worship CD. It was a beautiful night of worship during which Trygve Johnson, Dean of the Chapel, spoke during a break between bands. Though his message was short compared to the usual Gathering message, its length did nothing to hinder the powerful reminder of why we worship and how we are walking into the beginning of a new advent season.
And so on Monday night the Hope community welcomed in the Christmas season with President Knapp’s 3rd Annual Christmas Tree Lighting. Gathered around the campus Christmas Tree between the President’s house and Voorhees we counted down from ten and President Knapp lit the tree. We sang Christmas carols and lit candles while singing Silent Night. There was free food, cute keepsake ornaments, music, laughter, and a beautifully lit tree making for a lovely Monday night.
A lot is happening in this crazy little week before Thanksgiving, but so far already this week Hope has reminded me multiple times that there is so much to be thankful for if I just slow down and take it in.
Thanks for reading & Happy Thanksgiving!