November 21, 2016

Sometimes when Christmas comes around, people think “Where did the year go? It can’t have been a year since last Christmas. It seems like we just had it.”
  
If they have that feeling at Stanberry UMC, it’s justified. Its Christmas wasn’t a year ago, it was only about six months ago. But they didn’t jump the gun for no reason, they had cause to usher in the holiday early. 
    
“If I came to church, the roof would fall in,” or “He really brought the house down,” might be casual colloquialisms, but they could have been taken literally at Stanberry. The Tuesday following the arrival of Rev. Cody Oshel, the ceiling collapsed in the sanctuary. Not to despair, the church decided they needed Christmas to come sooner. 
    
“We celebrated Christmas in July to remember to have joy in the midst of darkness,” Oshel said. 
    
They had a full Christmas celebration, complete with traditional Christmas dishes for a meal and dessert, and everyone wore their Christmas sweaters. It has proven difficult to find someone willing to take on the repairs that the church needs, but as they have persisted through meeting in the fellowship hall, both attendance and giving have been up. 
    
“Through the destruction there has been great unity,” Oshel said.