‘Connections that give us a sense of being home’

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Mayor Michael Newhard’s message at the Old School Baptist Meeting House Christmas Eve celebration.

On this night of nights, we gather as families and friends. It is a moment rich with familiarity, shared experiences and possibilities. This is the beauty of what occurs in a small town. It is the sharing that connects us, and it is those connections that give us a sense of being home, in the warm comfort, near the people and things we enjoy.

There is delight here but there is also something more. This is a holy time and place. In these four walls of this ancient meeting house we are surrounded by beautiful windows whose Gothic arch points to heaven like hands together in prayer. Let’s open those folded hand as a cup and you have a symbol of our Valley – the magnificent Warwick Valley, encircled by hills and woods and streams with all the glory of creation, all the sanctity and spiritual deepness of nature’s cathedral – this is home.

It is the spiritual mixed with the everyday that is reflected in our lives. It guides us and inspires us and makes us want to give more and to be better. It is also why we love our home, surely built on a foundation of love and compassion and the goodness born from the spirit of human respect.

Dear friends, dear Warwickians in our cupped hands as we imagine our protected and sheltered valley, we must remember we are not immune from the struggles of the world nor from disease, distress or loss. We are neighbors, we are community and for all that is good and all that is a challenge we have found and have each other. That is why we are here and so tonight let us join our voices in song. Some beautiful and holy and some silly and full of mirth but all full of love. Song like laughter is the ingredient that helps us transcend and fills our hearts.

In the glow of this December night, this sacred night let us rejoice in the birth of a Savior. A child born is a new beginning, a fresh start filled with hope.

On behalf of the Village Board of Trustees, Village staff and Department of Public Works, I would like to wish all a very Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with promise and mystery found in the beauty that surrounds us.

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