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Umbrella Factory Grocery Store

Dec 16 2018

For ten years now, we have juggled as part of a Christmas party in Naples, Maine. That in itself is not unusual, but the venue is. The party is held at the Umbrella Factory, a local, independently owned grocer store. For the first eight years, I shared the stage (actually, the meat aisle) with BAWT, a local worship band that has since disbanded. Last year there was no other act; just us. This year, there were musicians again. Although I had never met them before, they were fun to work with and we had a nice time. Neither my wife, Sue nor my daughter, Rose, were able to attend, so it was nice to have some others to work with.

I did three shows of about 25-30 minutes each. While the singers' first set was all secular classics: "White Christmas", "Rudolph" etc. after my first set, in which I did several routines focusing on the first Christmas, they sang exclusively sacred Christmas songs. While I don't believe I singlehandedly convinced them to go a different direction for the night, but it was interesting to observe.

It is truly amazing how many people come out for this event each year. Literally hundreds of people. This year, as usual, there was an obligatory visit from Santa. But for the first time, Portlands own minor league mascot, Slugger the Seadog, was there too.

This year I typed up a few invitations to our home church's Christmas Eve dinner and service. Four or five people took them, and I am hoping to see some of them there.

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The presentation was fun and encouraging... The gospel message was clear and encouraging. I purchased your book and just finished it. Your scope is broad and again encouraging. May God continue to bless your ministry. I will encourage others to read your book. -Parishioner of a local church

"Hey, I  wanted to say that was a great message in chapel today! It touched something:) thanks for doing it!" -High School Student  

"We are so grateful that you brought your amazing ministry back to our church this year... The Gospel message you bring applies to all!  It is such a positive, valuable work that you do."  -Coordinator of Christian Ed. UCC Church

"There's no questioning it. This is powerful stuff. It's extremely touching at times, never less than entertaining, and I see a lot of sincere love for Jesus in you guys."  -Dwight Lilies, song writer

The Lord has given you a wonderful window through which to present the Gospel!   - Field Director of Alliance Missions to Paraguay

"What a wonderful ministry to both children and adults.  In past years it has been a struggle to arrange programing that would hold the attention of all ages, but also challenge each heart with God's gift of Salvation.  Thank you for sharing your ministry."  -Sunday School Sup't.

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