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How are you doing this Advent season?

Dear friends,

It’s Friday before the fourth Sunday in Advent

and tomorrow Christmas Eve is a week away.

How are you doing? Are you thriving? Or just hanging in there?

I pray you have experienced some joy along this Advent journey.

But let’s be honest. This can be a hard month for us. I don’t mean to wallow in it. To be sure, many of us are in positions of privilege. But even those of us who appear to have it all together (whatever that means!) often have personal or professional struggles we keep closely guarded.

More than 20 years ago when I was Minister of Music at Providence Baptist Church in Charlotte, December had been particularly hard – and I was pretty frazzled. Probably brought way too much grumpiness home with me (With some regret I think about my long-suffering wife and kids!). One day in my office at church I put a new CD in a player. Yes, it was the 90s. It was “Our Heart’s Joy: A Chanticleer Christmas.” And for the first time I heard the Franz Biebl, “Ave Maria.”

I swiveled my chair around to face the back wall

so no one walking by would see me.

And I listened.

And I wept.

Not long after this hard Advent I became part of an intentional spiritual community that was an 18-month commitment. The deep friendships that blossomed there did not solve everything, did not heal every wound. But that experience helped me on the journey. And that spiritual community inspired some of what we’re trying to do in Polyphony today.

Blessings on you, my friend, this season.

Breathe, bless and be well

And Merry Christmas!

Doug Haney

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