Bethlehem Press

Wednesday, June 19, 2019
The Moravian Trombone Choir (Posaunenchor) regularly performs at the annual Advent breakfast. Since the early 18th century, trombone choirs have been distinctive parts of Moravian church services, and as a way to call the congregation to worship. These days, Posaunenchor generally is a brass band rather than a group of only trombone musicians. The nine trombone choir members who performed at the The Moravian Trombone Choir (Posaunenchor) regularly performs at the annual Advent breakfast. Since the early 18th century, trombone choirs have been distinctive parts of Moravian church services, and as a way to call the congregation to worship. These days, Posaunenchor generally is a brass band rather than a group of only trombone musicians. The nine trombone choir members who performed at the
Richard Elterich lights the beeswax candles on the breakfast tables. The candle has been a religious symbol since antiquity, representing Christ as the light of the world. Beeswax represents the purity of Christ. In traditional Advent wreaths, one additional candle is lit in each of the four weeks before Christmas. Richard Elterich lights the beeswax candles on the breakfast tables. The candle has been a religious symbol since antiquity, representing Christ as the light of the world. Beeswax represents the purity of Christ. In traditional Advent wreaths, one additional candle is lit in each of the four weeks before Christmas.
The Sinfonia of the Sigma Lambda Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha at Moravian College entertains with traditional Christmas carols. The singers are Julius Sarkozy, Ethan Beeco, Liam Mulligan, Wyatt Evans Gartley, Julian Calv, Zech Schweitzer and Ben Wilder. The Sinfonia of the Sigma Lambda Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha at Moravian College entertains with traditional Christmas carols. The singers are Julius Sarkozy, Ethan Beeco, Liam Mulligan, Wyatt Evans Gartley, Julian Calv, Zech Schweitzer and Ben Wilder.
More than 200 persons attended this year’s Community Advent Breakfast, that was held in the Moravian Village dining room. The non-denominational event has been held since 1966 as a way to put a more spiritual emphasis on Christmas. More than 200 persons attended this year’s Community Advent Breakfast, that was held in the Moravian Village dining room. The non-denominational event has been held since 1966 as a way to put a more spiritual emphasis on Christmas.
While speaking at the Advent breakfast, Bethlehem City Council Vice President Olga Negron gives examples from her own life of how the city’s assistance programs helped her and her family out of poverty. When she was a single parent with three daughters to raise, she worked for only $6.40 an hour and needed food stamps and health care to get by. While speaking at the Advent breakfast, Bethlehem City Council Vice President Olga Negron gives examples from her own life of how the city’s assistance programs helped her and her family out of poverty. When she was a single parent with three daughters to raise, she worked for only $6.40 an hour and needed food stamps and health care to get by.
In his Advent message, Alan Jennings speaks of what love means, inspiring those in the audience to join him in help those in need. He said the various programs he directs shelter more than 100 families, feed nine million pounds of food and revitalize neighborhoods. In his Advent message, Alan Jennings speaks of what love means, inspiring those in the audience to join him in help those in need. He said the various programs he directs shelter more than 100 families, feed nine million pounds of food and revitalize neighborhoods.
PRESS PHOTOS BY Carole GorneyLaviece Tribble, Lorraine Kelper and Dorise Gross participate in the individual candle-lighting ceremony during the singing of “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” Candles are a Moravian tradition, and single candles are displayed in the windows of many local homes at Christmastime. PRESS PHOTOS BY Carole GorneyLaviece Tribble, Lorraine Kelper and Dorise Gross participate in the individual candle-lighting ceremony during the singing of “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” Candles are a Moravian tradition, and single candles are displayed in the windows of many local homes at Christmastime.
After the Advent breakfast a surprise 90th birthday celebration was arranged by planning committee member Jan Christensen for her father, who is a resident at Moravian Village. The Moravian Trombone Choir is on hand to play “Happy Birthday.” After the Advent breakfast a surprise 90th birthday celebration was arranged by planning committee member Jan Christensen for her father, who is a resident at Moravian Village. The Moravian Trombone Choir is on hand to play “Happy Birthday.”
Members off the Community Advent breakfast committee, which planned this year’s event, are Lynn Collins Cunningham, Jan Christensen, Elizabeth Elterich, Barbara-Anne Taylor (committee chair), Bob Romeril, Reverend Molly Clymer, Tim Gilman, Anne Evans and Gavin Evans Gartley. Members off the Community Advent breakfast committee, which planned this year’s event, are Lynn Collins Cunningham, Jan Christensen, Elizabeth Elterich, Barbara-Anne Taylor (committee chair), Bob Romeril, Reverend Molly Clymer, Tim Gilman, Anne Evans and Gavin Evans Gartley.

COMMUNITY ADVENT BREAKFAST

Monday, December 10, 2018 by Carole Gorney Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

Putting meaning back

The arrival of Bethlehem’s festive holiday season was officially heralded at the 53rd annual Advent Breakfast, sponsored by the Citizens Christmas City Committee (CCCC) and its Community Advent Breakfast subcommittee.

More than 200 people attended the non-denominational event at Moravian Village. Besides the meal, there was seasonal music played by the Bethlehem Area Moravian Trombone Choir, along with caroling by Moravian College’s Sigma Alpha Lambda Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

Held for the first time in 1966, the breakfast was designed to put a more spiritual emphasis on the observance of Christmas. Besides the music, the program traditionally includes a special guest speaker and other dignitaries, a candle lighting ceremony and the audience singing “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”

Olga Negron, vice president of Bethlehem City Council, told the group about her experience as a single mother raising three daughters and working for $6.40 an hour. She talked about getting food stamps and help from local churches and other programs that got her through three early years. Once when she and her family were eating at a Bethlehem charity, one of her daughters remarked, “I like your food better. Why are we here?”

Today, one daughter is a doctor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and another is a lawyer. Re-elected to city council last year, Negron said, “I make sure when decisions are made to remember those in ne-ed.”

This year’s Advent message was given by Alan Jennings, executive director of the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley, and an advocate who has been called “the region’s loudest voice for the homeless, jobless and underprivileged.” Among CACLV programs are the Second Harvest Food Bank, the Sixth Street Shelter, the Energy Partnership and Safe Harbor Easton.

During his remarks, Jennings quoted from the King James Bible on the birth of the Christ child, then observed, “Oddly enough, no matter how many times you look, there is nothing in there about fat old bearded guys in goofy red suits; there is nothing about eggnog, chocolate chip cookies or mistletoe.” He then asked the audience to take another look at the story.

“Mary is little more than a child; biblical scholars place her around 15 years old. She’s pregnant, but not married. Her soon-to-be husband learns that the girl he will marry is pregnant, and he knows he is not the father; the story she tells is that she is pregnant by God. They have no place to lay their heads; technically, they are homeless. The son of God is born amidst the stench of a barn, in a trough; no throne, no armies.”

Jennings made the point that God is trying to tell us something.

“Christmas is not about the haves; it’s about the have-nots. It’s not about those who can; it’s about those who cannot. It’s about those who are lonely and forgotten.”

Following on this theme, Jennings asked and answered, “So where are our leaders? They are spraying teargas on people fleeing places where there is nothing; places where oppression and deprivation, often reinforced by our own policies, is a way of life. and they cannot live with it anymore.”

Looking closer to home, Jennings acknowledged that there are many in the community who embrace the ideals of love and decision-making for the good of others, but he also recognized that there are “far too many” who could give more and don’t; and could show more tolerance and don’t.

Diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease 12 years ago, the 60-year-old Jennings said he doesn’t know how long he can keep up the pace of trying to make a difference.

“I need your help to save one, two, 200 or 2,000 more souls. I am cynical enough to know what I am up against, but optimistic enough to pick the fight anyway.

“Join me.”