Church was packed Dec. 16; I'm not sure if it was because of the upcoming Christmas holiday or the overwhelming need to pray for the families affected by the shooting in Connecticut Dec. 14.
Sermons throughout our area were focused on trying to make sense of this event as well as trying to cope with the overwhelming grief all Americans feel.
Shining through the grief are the acts of heroism displayed by the first responders, staff and administrators at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Christians are taught "all things work together for good."
This week, it's difficult to see how that can be true for the families and friends of the children and adults who died at the Sandy Hook School in Connecticut Friday.
I am the mother of five children. They are grown now, but a mother always remembers her children as they were when they were young.
When Laurie was 6 years old, she was an instant mother's helper when triplet siblings joined the family. She would come home from school, put down her book bag and happily snuggle with a baby on the sofa.
An out-of-town friend of mine recently shared the heartbreak of having another person let her down.
My friend has health issues which include severe pain. All she wanted was someone to go with her to another one of the myriad doctors of she has to see in order to get a better diagnosis and treatment. A friend of hers promised to accompany her but did not. This left my friend feeling cheated and alone.
Not long afterward, I read yet another article encouraging people to embrace the spirit of the season by giving to those less fortunate.
Mary A. (Christman) Lisetski, 97, died Dec. 8, 2012, at Westminster Village, Allentown. She was the wife of the late Michael Lisetski for 69 years.
Born in Northampton, she was a daughter of the late Purie and Lillie (Smith) Christman.
She was a 1932 graduate of Northampton High School, where she played basketball.
She was a women's basketball official for high school and collegiate games for 38 years.
She was a member of Zion Lutheran Church, Northampton, where she was a senior choir member and an assistant Sunday school teacher.
Allentown Public Library, 1210 Hamilton St., Allentown, will be having the following events in January.
Nilsa Lasso-von Lang and Jiwanda Gale-Rogers will discuss the release of their latest book, "Flavors of Panama" 7-8 p.m. on Jan. 16.
"Flavors of Panama" presents a chronological overview of Panamanian cuisine.
North Catasauqua police responded to these and other calls recently.
· Officers responded to a call about information in the 200 block of Eugene Street.
· Police responded to an alarm in the 500 block of Hunter Street.
· Officers assisted EMS in the 1200 block of Third Street.
· Police responded to a hit-and-run motor vehicle crash in the 1000 block of Howertown Road.
· Officers assisted the Coplay Police Department on North Fifth Street.
· Officers assisted EMS in the 1100 block of Second Street.
The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire is holding auditions for its 33rd annual season, Aug. 3 and continuing Saturdays, Sundays, and Labor Day through Oct. 27.
Auditions for the Blackfryars, a volunteer acting group, are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Jan. 12, 13. Those auditioning should prepare a one to two-minute comedic or dramatic monologue and sing a 30-second song.
Auditions the Bacchanalians, the professional acting company, are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Jan. 26, 27. Those auditioning should prepare two one-minute monologues (one comedic and one dramatic) and sing a 30-second song.
"Love" CD party: Folksinger and songwriter Rachel Marie, above, presents a concert, 7 p.m. Dec. 22, Gertrude B. Fox Environmental Center (formerly Illick's Mill), 100 Illick's Mill Road, Bethlehem, to celebrate the release of her CD of original songs, "There is Love." She'll play guitar, accompanied by Ansel Barnum, harmonica; Elena Gambino, violin; and her father, Bill Schachter, bass. Rachel Marie has played Lehigh Valley venues, including Godfrey Daniels. Ticket information: illicksmill.org, 610-419-0218
See interview: Page B3
"Bethlehem Star: The Light That Still Shines" will be presented in the style of a 1940's radio drama, 7 p.m. Dec. 22, 24, in the sanctuary by the Drama Team, Adult Choir and children's Praise Gang of Cedar Crest Bible Fellowship Church, Cedar Crest Boulevard and I-78, Salisbury Township.
The Christmas musical by Claire Cloninger and Mark Hayes takes place on Christmas Eve when a snowstorm forces a young traveling family to seek shelter at a roadside motel owned by retired couple Hal and Nettie.
"Off The Page, " a poetry and open-mike night, will be held at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 27, Allentown Public Library, 1210 Hamilton St., Allentown.
Poets storytellers and musicians may share their works and the inspiration behind them. Those interested in performing are asked to sign up at the event.