Bishop of Myra
Bishop Nicholas of Myra visits Holy Trinity Syracuse, NY
On Saturday, December 8th, Church of the Holy Trinity, Syracuse hosted its first Feast of St. Nicholas, an event for children attending or connected to the parish. During the three hour event, children colored, played a game called “Do you want to build a snowman?”, sang carols, and constructed Christmas decorations for their home trees. We read the book “Santa, Are You for Real?” by Harold Myra which explored the historic account of Bishop Nicholas of Myra and his love for Jesus. St. Nicholas himself made an appearance in person (fully vested) and distributed gift bundles that included a candy cane, an orange, a cross necklace, and a figurine of the infant Christ in the manger. Somehow, while he made his appearance, the children’s shoes that had been left in the entryway, were filled with gold, chocolate coins.
What was initially conceived as a fellowship event for the 9 children that regularly attend our Sunday School classes quickly transformed to an outreach event. 28 children and 19 adults filled our undercroft and participated in the festivities. Please pray that the new friendships made will turn into lasting relationships built upon the foundation of Christ.
The parish did not expend a lot of organized effort in promoting the event. We ran a limited promotion on the church Facebook page that garnered a fair amount of attention. It is my belief though, that it was our membership speaking with those interested in the event that led to one of our highest attended outreach efforts. We also emphasized the free nature of the event. Our vestry voted to fully fund the event and our junior warden, Barbara Martin, worked tirelessly organizing the kitchen and staff to make sure that we could offer a lunch to the children at no cost to them.
There was at least one child there to whom, as I understand, this event was likely the closest thing he would have to a Christmas this year. Trinity’s commitment to put on this event meant this child saw and experienced Christian love in the middle of a difficult life. I pray that we can continue to see this child and disciple him, and that many of the new faces we saw become weekly participants in worship and members of our parish.
A flyer was developed with all of the church events for the upcoming month and the correct times with a brief explanation of all of our Christian education programs. This was sent home with parents so that they would have something to reference when deciding to accept our invitation to return.
We are so thankful to God for blessing us with this well attended event, and He is the one who deserves all the credit for its success. Praise Him!
Rev. Deacon Marc Steele