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At the invitation of my friends Bp. Todd Hunter and Rev. Elizabeth Khorey, I’m very excited to post this announcement about a very special Christmas Eve Service at Holy Trinity Church in Costa Mesa. On a semi-regular basis, I’ve been fortunate to “fill-in” on occasional Sunday mornings when needed to contribute musically to the Liturgy. During those Services, I play “solo acoustic”, as I do almost all time. But on this blessed evening, I will be joined by several fine musicians associated with the Church. We will be singing and playing to accompany and join with the Congregation throughout the hour.

Our format for the evening is a slightly shorter adaptation of the traditional Anglican Nine Lessons and Carols Service. There will be a series of brief readings, each followed by a traditional carol sung by all. Of course the Story of the Nativity is familiar to most, but one that we never tire of hearing. God’s direct intervention into human history by the Incarnation of Jesus was His master plan all along. While it’s certainly true that every day is infused with Jesus’ Life, Death, and Resurrection, particular calendar feasts (aka holy-days/holidays) are effective reminders and guideposts along our day-to-day, year-to-year lives in the Faith. They remind us to consider and reconsider the great lasting truths of Scripture and our place in His heart.

We’ll be starting at 5:00 p.m. and expect to be together for about an hour or so. If you’re visiting Holy Trinity for the first time, please note that, as always, we’ll meet at Needham Chapel on the campus of Vanguard University. If you turn into Civic Center Drive from Fair Drive (across from the OC Fairgrounds), you’ll immediately see a couple rows of parking spots to the left, adjacent to the University. If you look to the right and see the Costa Mesa Civic Center (City Hall, Police, Fire Station), then you know for sure you’ve made the correct turn. Then as you drive down those two rows of parking spots, you’ll eventually see that they dead-end into a private street called Vanguard Place. Once you park and are on foot, proceed to the left to Needham Chapel. It’s a very short walk from that point and you’ll be able to see the building easily. Here is a LINK to a campus map … the Chapel is labeled as “18”.

I know that Christmas Eve is often etched-in-stone as to where you might have to be. But if you have some flexibility and think, “You know, I can do this and still do that”, then please bless us with your presence and your voice as part of our Everybody Choir!

I couldn’t be more excited. No sooner do I get home from my UK Trip on June 12th, 2017 … and I receive an unexpected generous invitation to return to Israel (for the fourth time)! The ball started rolling with my close pal Pastor Steve Hopkins. Steve recently was called to a new pastoral position at Table Rock Fellowship (Medford, OR) after many years at Calvary Chapel Salem. While on a recent tour to Israel, he got to know and become friends with Dr. Paul Shockley, a pastor at Bethel Church and Professor at the College of Biblical Studies in Houston. While they were in the Galilee, they visited the Gadara area that inspired my song “Man of the Tombs“. In fact, Steve read the lyrics to the assembled tour group. That led to a discussion of the possibility of me singing the song in-person at that same spot on the next tour. Now plans are unfolding for me to do just that. While there, I’ll be musically partnering with Steve to  lead worship and sing many of my own songs whenever it’s appropriate to the setting. (Twice before I’ve sung an a capella version of “Jesus Christ the Apple Tree” at the Church of St. Anne in Jerusalem. The acoustics there are incredible and I’m hoping to do that again.) In addition to Your Humble Acoustic Servant, Steve, and Dr. Shockley, the Tour will be led by Pastor Wayne Cone of Cypress Bible Church (Houston, TX) and Dr. Dwain Camp, who recently served as Interim Pastor at Bethel and now works with Equipping the Saints in Houston. (Whew, I know, lots of info!)

But now the thing to look at is the dedicated TOUR WEBPAGE with lots of items you’ll want to check out. Six Tabs and One Big Button will get you informed in a hurry: 1. Home (Trip Overview), 2. Itinerary (Subject to Slight Changes but Pretty Close I Expect), 3. Flights & Hotels (Most will depart Seattle. Hotels in Tel Aviv, Ein Gev – Gallilee, and Jerusalem), 4. Extensions (Extra-Cost Days in Eilat – Petra), 5. Payment Policy (Deposit by 09/21/17, Balance by 12/21/17), 6. Travel Insurance (Optional Add-On to Deposit), and finally … 7. The Handy, Hard-to-Miss Register Now Button (Uh, that’s so you can, say it with me, Register Now!). And finally now, THE question: How much is it? Assuming a Seattle Departure and Double Occupancy, the Basic Tour cost is $3,835.00. That’s not cheap but seems very well-priced from what I know on the subject. I very much hope you can join us. If there are other items/concerns not addressed in all you’re reviewing, please click HERE to email Steve. Tell him Bob Bennett sent you. It won’t do a thing but it’ll make me look really, really good!

JULY 2017 UPDATE: It appears the Tour is fully booked.
But between now and February 2018, some slots may open up.
If you’re interested in being put on a Waiting List in case something
opens up, email Steve at the link directly above.

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