Vol. 12, No. 25, December 20, 1999
The Holiday Celebration Breakfast
With President John DeWater back at the helm after a weeks absence due to illness, Frank Stillo opened the holiday proceedings with the invocation and pledge to the flag. Kevin Jewell welcomed four visiting Rotarians.
Dick Brown came forward to chair the program for the Holiday Celebration. A couple of seasonal musical favorites, Deck the Halls, O Christmas Tree. And Madeline Gauthier, with John Mix at the piano, conducted Jingle Bells. Then what to our wondering eyes should appear but the figure of one of the more ancient characters in history. Tumbling down the hillside with a big red pack on his back came Santa Claus, who burst through the door to the cheers of the crowd!
Santa had a gift for every child, along with comments about their Rotarian Dads and Moms. Santa was a little out of shape, having trouble getting his breath during the entire gig. Hes so used to driving his sleigh everywhere that a little bit of exercise is more than the body can stand!
After Santas anticipated appearance, Steve Thorson, tenor, and Michelle Vertatschitsch, at the piano, entertained with four outstanding songs. Steve, with a voice and stature like Pavarotti, received a standing ovation for his work. He sang O Sole Mio, The Lords Prayer, Ave Maria, and O Holy Night. Steve consented to give free breathing lessons to Santa after the program was over.
Don Chandler, BBRC Exchange Student Chairperson, gave a gift of a Bellevue Square Shopping Spree to Marina Petribu, from Recife Brazil. Her hosts were present for the breakfast. Ann Redmond and her daughter Kelly and Dick and Diane Haelsig have all hosted Marina during her stay in Washington.
Shelley Noble, representing the Community Service Committee, awarded a $2,000 check to Kathleen Negrone, on behalf of her son Raphael, for his special education at the Wilderness School. Both Kathleen and her husband are deaf, and Raphael suffers from some disabilities that make his education difficult. The couple also received two $25 gift certificates at the Outback Steakhouse Restaurant. HopeLink, the new name for the former Multi-Service Center, coordinated the award ceremony.
Father Bob Bethea, pastor of the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Bellevue, closed the festivities with a snapshot of what Christmas is all about. Christmas is primarily a time to receive, contrary to popular thinking. For, unless youre willing to receive, there can be no givers.
With a farewell We Wish You a Merry Christmas, the program ended with President DeWaters thought for the year: Let others praise ancient times. I am glad I was born in these. Ovid, 23 BC.
And a special thanks to Wallace Elmer Kodak Mahoney credit for his photography! TOP
Will Einstein is a Community Service Representative for Puget Sound Energy, who previously worked on the staff of Jennifer Dunn and for King County Council member Jane Hague. Hes a Mercer Island native, graduated from Whitman College in Walla Walla, and enjoys singing, skiing, hiking, cooking, and home projects. He and his wife Brooke live in Seattle. As for Y2K, Wills sponsor, Wally Mahoney, cautions that if you have problems with your electricity, just call Will. He wont be able to get the power back on, but youll feel better.
From the Officer and Directors of the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club to its members, spouses, families and friends everywhere, may you find the spirit of the season within every gift and every greeting, as we search for greater peace, goodwill, and understanding in the world around us. TOP
The next weeks program (January 14th) will take place at Safeco Field, where Brian Evison has a program prepared for the BBRC. Again, meeting begins at 7:00 a.m. More details will be made available when Reveille resumes publication on January 5, 2000.
Word has been received from Glendale Country Club that an extensive renovation of their kitchen will take place in early January, forcing the change in meeting locations. However, the Glendale management now indicates that the third meeting of the month, on January 21st, can be accommodated at the Country Club. TOP
The Manger Was Empty
Outside, it was just beginning to grow light. In the church, where only the pastor moved, candles flickered and threw shifting shadows on the arches and the stone floor. Occasionally, stray candlelight picked out the rich colors in the stained glass windows. It was cold and, except for the pastors slow tread, it was silent.
He paused beside the almost life-sized nativity scene to say a Christmas prayer of thanksgiving to the One whose birth is celebrated. The figures, each lovingly crafted with wonderful realism, sat on a small stage. A night sky and the star that led the shepherds and the wise men to the Messiah on the day of His birth could be seen through the open door of the stable. The shepherds were just entering, eyes wide in obvious awe. Various kinds of livestock stood in stalls of hay on the edges of the scene. And in the center was the Holy Family. Looking at the manger scene, the pastor could almost feel the reverence of that long ago night.
Slowly, a puzzled frown crept across his brow. Then his choked gasp rustled through the empty church. The manger was empty! The small figurine representing the infant Savior was gone.
Hurriedly, and with growing agitation, the pastor began to search the church again. Starting by the manger, he peered back through the aisles, nearly crawling on his hands and knees to see all the way under each seat. But there was nothing. Next, he called the custodian, thinking he may have seen the figure of the infant Jesus. Then he called the assistant pastor and the elders, but no one had any explanation. In the end, each shaking his head sorrowfully, they accepted the truth they had all been trying to avoid: The figure could not have been mislaid or lost it must have been stolen.
Disheartened, the pastor informed the congregation that assembled that morning of the theft. For a person to steal the very symbol of giving, the reason for hope well he just did not understand.
The figure of the Christ Child, he said, must be returned before this Christmas Day is over. No one will ask any questions, but it must be brought back immediately. Toward the end of the day, the discouraged and heavy-hearted pastor took a walk through the wintry streets of the neighborhood.
Ahead of him he saw one of the youngest members of his church, a six-year-old boy named Tommy. Bundled shabbily against the cold, Tommy trudged up the sidewalk, proudly dragging behind him a brand new toy wagon.
But as the pastor drew
nearer he saw that the wagon was not empty within lay
the missing baby Jesus, now wrapped and blanketed but not quite
But Pastor, the small boy quavered when at last the man finished talking. I didnt steal Jesus. It wasnt like that at all. He paused to swallow hard and wipe away a tear. Its just that Ive been asking Him for a red wagon as a Christmas present for a long time, and I promised Him that when I got it, Id take Him out for the first ride. TOP