Dear friends,

nativityI've been praying for a few weeks about what to possibly say to you in a Christmas message that could capture a tiny spark of the feeling that fills my heart as we prepare to celebrate the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. I wish I could march up to each of your doors individually, hug you, and thank you for the gift you are to me -- but especially to your families and our Church -- every day of the year. I say often that I'm blessed to have a front row seat for the best writing on the Internet. As I sit at my desk (or in my kitchen, my car or wherever my office happens to be that day) and read the contributions shared by our columnists, I hear their voices in my heart.

This year, as in the years that have come before, we've welcomed new voices to our team. To our contributors, I say that YOU are -- I receive most of the credit, but each of you who gives of yourself so freely to educate and inspire our readers is really the heart and soul of this family. In a special way, I would like to thank Sarah Reinhard and Timothy Norton for putting up with me and talking me down off the cliff several times each week. Additional, I wish to publicly thank our Facebook team -- Sarah, Lisa Schmidt, Brian Kravec, Pat Gohn, Meg Matenaer, and Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur. You've taken our Facebook presence from zero to 2,300+ and counting all in the course of a few months!

And to our readers, I thank you for being such an important component of our work at - it is really for you and your families that our writers sacrifice their time and share their talents. Your comments are our "pay" and your sharing of the treasures you find here on our site helps us to grow and continue to expand. I recently received the following note from a reader named Colleen that exemplifies this spirit of community:

Thank You for your faithful ministry. I can't begin to tell you how you and your staff are a lifeline for me. I start every day with your website, the daily prayers, and the heartfelt sharing by your contributors. Although I do not know them personally, I consider each of you a member of my spiritual forever family.  I thank God that He uses technology to connect, inspire, challenge, and comfort us.  May you have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed new year.

In my email inbox I keep a file called "feedback" that's filled with notes like Colleen's. On days when I wonder why I'm spending so much time on my computer in the face of technical frustrations, occasional negativity, and a constant backlog, I pull up this file and read words like Colleen's, which convict me about the need for our site to continue to grow and to serve.

As you gather tonight or tomorrow morning to celebrate the Eucharist and the Nativity of our Savior, please know that you and your family are in my prayers in a special way. From you, I learn each day. With you, I pray each day. In Him, we are united each day.

May God richly bless you and your family today and always!

With love,


Lisa M. Hendey