Peace On Earth & Good Will To All – 2015

Peace on Earth

Hépíng….LaPaixFrieden….שלום….Hoʻomalu….शांति….Perdamaian….….

Pacem….Pokój….Paz….Barış….Hòa Bình….Peace

 

The Empty Stocking Sermon from The Bishop’s Wife

Tonight I want to tell you the story of an empty stocking.

Once upon a midnight clear, there was a child’s cry, a blazing star hung over a stable, and wise men came with birthday gifts. We haven’t forgotten that night down the centuries. We celebrate it with stars on Christmas trees, with the sound of bells, and with gifts.

But especially with gifts. You give me a book, I give you a tie. Aunt Martha has always wanted an orange squeezer and Uncle Henry can do with a new pipe. For we forget nobody, adult or child. All the stockings are filled, all that is, except one. And we have even forgotten to hang it up. The stocking for the child born in a manger. It’s his birthday we’re celebrating. Don’t let us ever forget that.

Let us ask ourselves what He would wish for most. And then, let each put in his share, loving kindness, warm hearts, and a stretched out hand of tolerance. All the shining gifts that make peace on earth.

..

Homeless singers achieve their dream by singing at White House, Lincoln Memorial

December 21, 2015 By Colby Itkowitz – washingtonpost

Shawn Neal once sang “We Shall Overcome” at a civil rights march in the early 1960s where Martin Luther King Jr. spoke. Tyran Austin was a music major at Cheyney University near Philadelphia. Marvin Coine had sung in his high school choir.

Now they sing together.

Neal, Austin and Coine are homeless, living on the streets of Atlanta. The circumstances that got them there are different — and yet strikingly similar: a misstep, a lost job, a wrong path.

Every night they find shelter in a church basement that welcomes them in from the cold. And it’s there where the church musical director invited them to form a choir.

And so it came to pass that in the quiet chilly morning on Monday, the three men stood with 13 others on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, gathered around the slab of etched marble marked as the spot where King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech, and started to sing.

Dressed in thick bubble jackets and black knit beanies, holding red folders with lyrics, the men clapped and stepped side to side in tandem as they belted out the lines of the African American spiritual Christmas carol “Go Tell It on the Mountain.”

Go, tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere;
Go, tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born.

Tourists paused, redirecting their attention from selfies and turning their cameras on the men. And suddenly, these men, who for most of their days feel invisible, were seen.

Later the choir would stand in the ornate foyer of the home of the first African American president. And sing again.

It was only last month that Donal Noonan, a burly, bald Irishman who serves as a church musical director at the Catholic Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Atlanta, received the call from the White House inviting his choir of homeless men to sing during one of the residence’s holiday tours.

For more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2015/12/21/a-choir-of-homeless-men-performs-where-martin-luther-king-stood/

.

Thinking of others: Youth group brings gifts to YWCA homeless shelter

12/24/15 By ALEX DAVIS – bradfordera.com

It was two days before Christmas, and at Wal-Mart some Bradford area children were creating a stir.

The youth were after toys –– big and small –– and had $100 to spend, an award they won for their float in the seventh annual Cruisin’ Into Christmas parade held downtown in November.

But youth group members of the First Presbyterian Church in Bradford weren’t doing last-minute gift shopping for themselves. They decided to use the money for another purpose — thinking beyond themselves this Christmas.

After carefully choosing out gifts Wednesday morning, children and adults assembled at the homeless shelter at the YWCA Bradford on West Corydon Street to make sure children have presents to open on Christmas day.

The deliveries are for four children at the shelter who range in age from 9-months-old to 13-years-old.

For more: http://www.bradfordera.com/news/thinking-of-others-youth-group-brings-gifts-to-ywca-homeless/article_485810fc-a9e4-11e5-bb99-cfadcd74f914.html

.

Nonprofit spreads cheer to Bay Area inmates on Christmas

12/24/15 By Kevin Kelly – Daily News Staff Writer

MENLO PARK — A local nonprofit organization is continuing its tradition of bringing cheer to San Mateo County inmates during the holidays.

JobTrain, a job training and career placement facility in Menlo Park that offers free services to low-income Bay Area residents, has been baking cookies for inmates since 2008. This year, students in its culinary arts program whipped up 6,500 cookies of 10 varieties, enough for every inmate to receive one of each kind.

The cookie gift bags were launched 25 years ago by another nonprofit organization, the Service League of San Mateo County. The League picks up the cookies from JobTrain, adds other goodies contributed by churches and individuals to bags decorated by local students, and distributes them to inmates on Christmas Day.

Before JobTrain joined the good-will effort, many inmates were unaware that the nonprofit organization providing the treats could help them on a career path when — and even before — their sentences were over. The cookie making goes hand in hand with a work furlough program for non-violent inmates at JobTrain that started up roughly a decade ago.

“A good friend of mine with the county of San Mateo, Elihu Kittell, came to me about 10 years ago and said I’m always complaining I need more students, and he’s seeing people sitting around in jail with no vocational training,” said Adam Weiner, a chef who teaches culinary arts at JobTrain.

For more: http://www.mercurynews.com/peninsula/ci_29302534/menlo-park-local-nonprofit-spreads-cheer-inmates-christmas?source=rss

The Obamas Happy Holidays 2015

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19 thoughts on “Peace On Earth & Good Will To All – 2015

  1. WH

    Friday, December 25, 2015

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing
    Kailua, HI

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    9:30 PM
    President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama visit U.S. military service-members
    Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kanenohe, HI
    10:00 PM

  2. The Empty Stocking Sermon

    from The Bishop’s Wife

    Tonight I want to tell you the story of an empty stocking.

    Once upon a midnight clear, there was a child’s cry, a blazing star hung over a stable, and wise men came with birthday gifts. We haven’t forgotten that night down the centuries. We celebrate it with stars on Christmas trees, with the sound of bells, and with gifts.

    But especially with gifts. You give me a book, I give you a tie. Aunt Martha has always wanted an orange squeezer and Uncle Henry can do with a new pipe. For we forget nobody, adult or child. All the stockings are filled, all that is, except one. And we have even forgotten to hang it up. The stocking for the child born in a manger. It’s his birthday we’re celebrating. Don’t let us ever forget that.

    Let us ask ourselves what He would wish for most. And then, let each put in his share, loving kindness, warm hearts, and a stretched out hand of tolerance. All the shining gifts that make peace on earth.

    • Homeless singers achieve their dream by singing at White House, Lincoln Memorial

      December 21, 2015 By Colby Itkowitz – washingtonpost

      Shawn Neal once sang “We Shall Overcome” at a civil rights march in the early 1960s where Martin Luther King Jr. spoke. Tyran Austin was a music major at Cheyney University near Philadelphia. Marvin Coine had sung in his high school choir.

      Now they sing together.

      Neal, Austin and Coine are homeless, living on the streets of Atlanta. The circumstances that got them there are different — and yet strikingly similar: a misstep, a lost job, a wrong path.

      Every night they find shelter in a church basement that welcomes them in from the cold. And it’s there where the church musical director invited them to form a choir.

      And so it came to pass that in the quiet chilly morning on Monday, the three men stood with 13 others on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, gathered around the slab of etched marble marked as the spot where King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech, and started to sing.

      Dressed in thick bubble jackets and black knit beanies, holding red folders with lyrics, the men clapped and stepped side to side in tandem as they belted out the lines of the African American spiritual Christmas carol “Go Tell It on the Mountain.”

      Go, tell it on the mountain,
      Over the hills and everywhere;
      Go, tell it on the mountain
      That Jesus Christ is born.

      Tourists paused, redirecting their attention from selfies and turning their cameras on the men. And suddenly, these men, who for most of their days feel invisible, were seen.

      Later the choir would stand in the ornate foyer of the home of the first African American president. And sing again.

      It was only last month that Donal Noonan, a burly, bald Irishman who serves as a church musical director at the Catholic Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Atlanta, received the call from the White House inviting his choir of homeless men to sing during one of the residence’s holiday tours.

      For more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2015/12/21/a-choir-of-homeless-men-performs-where-martin-luther-king-stood/

    • Thinking of others: Youth group brings gifts to YWCA homeless shelter

      12/24/15 By ALEX DAVIS – bradfordera.com

      It was two days before Christmas, and at Wal-Mart some Bradford area children were creating a stir.
      The youth were after toys –– big and small –– and had $100 to spend, an award they won for their float in the seventh annual Cruisin’ Into Christmas parade held downtown in November.

      But youth group members of the First Presbyterian Church in Bradford weren’t doing last-minute gift shopping for themselves. They decided to use the money for another purpose — thinking beyond themselves this Christmas.

      After carefully choosing out gifts Wednesday morning, children and adults assembled at the homeless shelter at the YWCA Bradford on West Corydon Street to make sure children have presents to open on Christmas day.

      The deliveries are for four children at the shelter who range in age from 9-months-old to 13-years-old.

      For more: http://www.bradfordera.com/news/thinking-of-others-youth-group-brings-gifts-to-ywca-homeless/article_485810fc-a9e4-11e5-bb99-cfadcd74f914.html

    • Nonprofit spreads cheer to Bay Area inmates on Christmas

      12/24/15 By Kevin Kelly – Daily News Staff Writer

      MENLO PARK — A local nonprofit organization is continuing its tradition of bringing cheer to San Mateo County inmates during the holidays.

      JobTrain, a job training and career placement facility in Menlo Park that offers free services to low-income Bay Area residents, has been baking cookies for inmates since 2008. This year, students in its culinary arts program whipped up 6,500 cookies of 10 varieties, enough for every inmate to receive one of each kind.

      The cookie gift bags were launched 25 years ago by another nonprofit organization, the Service League of San Mateo County. The League picks up the cookies from JobTrain, adds other goodies contributed by churches and individuals to bags decorated by local students, and distributes them to inmates on Christmas Day.

      Before JobTrain joined the good-will effort, many inmates were unaware that the nonprofit organization providing the treats could help them on a career path when — and even before — their sentences were over. The cookie making goes hand in hand with a work furlough program for non-violent inmates at JobTrain that started up roughly a decade ago.

      “A good friend of mine with the county of San Mateo, Elihu Kittell, came to me about 10 years ago and said I’m always complaining I need more students, and he’s seeing people sitting around in jail with no vocational training,” said Adam Weiner, a chef who teaches culinary arts at JobTrain.

      For more: http://www.mercurynews.com/peninsula/ci_29302534/menlo-park-local-nonprofit-spreads-cheer-inmates-christmas?source=rss

  3. Weekly Address: Merry Christmas from the President and First Lady

    Remarks of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama

    Weekly Address
    The White House
    December 25, 2015

    THE PRESIDENT: Merry Christmas, everybody! This is one of our favorite times of the year in the Obama household, filled with family and friends, warmth and good cheer. That’s even true when I spend all night chasing Bo and Sunny away from the cookies we leave for Santa.

    It’s also my favorite weekly address of the year, because I’m joined by a special holiday guest star: Mrs. Obama.

    THE FIRST LADY: Merry Christmas, everyone. Here at the White House, we’ve spent the past month helping everyone get into the holiday spirit.

    Our theme this year is “A Timeless Tradition,” and the decorations in each room reflect some of our country’s most cherished pastimes – from saluting our troops and their families to helping children dream big dreams for their future.

    And we’ve invited thousands of families here to the White House to enjoy the festivities – because there’s no holiday tradition more timeless than opening our doors to others.

    THE PRESIDENT: Today, like millions of Americans and Christians around the world, our family celebrates the birth of Jesus and the values He lived in his own life. Treating one another with love and compassion. Caring for those on society’s margins: the sick and the hungry, the poor and the persecuted, the stranger in need of shelter – or simply an act of kindness.

    That’s the spirit that binds us together – not just as Christians, but as Americans of all faiths. It’s what the holidays are about: coming together as one American family to celebrate our blessings and the values we hold dear.

    During this season, we also honor all who defend those values in our country’s uniform. Every day, the brave men and women of our military serve to keep us safe – and so do their families.

    THE FIRST LADY: So as we sing carols and open presents, as we win snowball fights…

    THE PRESIDENT: Or lose snowball fights…

    THE FIRST LADY: Let’s also take time to pay tribute to those who have given our country so much. Go to JoiningForces.gov to see how you can serve the troops, veterans, and military families in your community.

    And together, we can show them just how grateful we are for their sacrifice. That’s a tradition we all can embrace – today and every day.

    THE PRESIDENT: So on behalf of Malia, Sasha, Bo, Sunny, and everyone here at the White House – Merry Christmas. May God bless our troops and their families. And may God bless you all with peace and joy in the year ahead.

  4. Obama Visits U.S. Service Members on Christmas in Hawaii

    December 25, 2015 Margaret Talev – bloomberg

    President Barack Obama told U.S. military service-members on Christmas that “we never take for granted” the risks they take to keep Americans safe, and that the killing of six troops in Afghanistan by a suicide bomber this week reminded the nation that the dangers were real.

    “So many families here are serving tirelessly,” Obama said during his traditional yearly Christmas Day visit with personnel stationed in Hawaii. Accompanied by his wife Michelle, Obama thanked the hundreds of gathered men and women, telling them to “keep up the extraordinary work” and wishing all a wonderful Christmas.

    “There’s still folks over there every single day and it’s still dangerous as we saw this past week,” Obama said of the Dec. 21 attack in Afghanistan. “We never take for granted what all of you do for the American people. You all keep us free. You all keep us strong,” he said at Marine Corps Base Hawaii – Kaneohe Bay.
    Obama said he looked forward to taking photos afterward with service members, especially of their newborn babies.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-12-26/obama-visits-u-s-service-members-on-christmas-in-hawaii

    • December 26, 2015

      Remarks by the President to Servicemembers

      Marine Corps Base Hawaii – Kaneohe Bay

      4:32 P.M. HAST

      THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody! Merry Christmas! Mele Kalikimaka! Happy New Year! Happy Hanukkah! We just want to — hope you guys are having a great holiday. And it is wonderful to see all of you.

      This is one of our favorite things to do every single year, because not only are we in Hawaii for Christmas, but we’re also able to say thank you on behalf of the American people. So many families here are serving tirelessly. And it’s not just those in uniform who serve, it’s also the spouses, the kids. There are times where you’re missing birthdays, missing soccer games, making sacrifices.

      As we know, when you’re deployed overseas, it’s tough. And even though we’ve been able to reduce the number of folks who are deployed in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, there are still folks over there every single day. And it’s still dangerous, as we saw this past week, where we had some outstanding, brave men and women who were killed.

      And so we never take for granted what all of you do for the American people. You help keep us free. You help keep us strong. And whatever service you’re in, whatever branch, we are extraordinarily grateful for everything that you do every single day. And we hope you guys had a wonderful Christmas.

      For those of you who are with your families, that is a true blessing. For those of you who are still a little bit far away from home, we hope you had a chance to give them our best and let them know that we love them as well. Michelle and I are looking forward to taking pictures with all of you. And we see a couple of new babies this time — we always get our baby fix when we take these photos.

      But the main thing I just want to say is keep up the extraordinary work. To Colonel Killeen and the rest of the commanding officers here, thank you for doing such an extraordinary job. And thank you for welcoming us as well. The only problem I’ve got when I’m here is having to work out with Marines in the gym. (Laughter.) Because I generally feel like your Commander-in-Chief is in pretty good shape, and then I get next to some guy curling 100 pounds and it makes me feel small. (Laughter.) But that’s okay. It gives me some inspiration. I’m going to work harder so I can keep up with you next year, all right?

      Thank you, everybody. God bless you. Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. (Applause.)

      END 4:36 P.M. HAST

      • President Obama Speaks to Troops at Marine Corps Base Hawaii

        Published on Dec 26, 2015

        On Christmas Day, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama visited servicemembers and military families at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, and thanked them for their dedication and sacrifices. December 25, 2015.

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